Playful Kiss Episode 13 Recap

Let me start off by saying that AKP exploded this week. There were over 15,000 hits yesterday alone, which once again confirms the rabid love of Playful Kiss (Mischievous Kiss) online and in the international community.

I had no clue this was going to happen when I first wrote about PK – I recap and share PK goodies because it happens to be one drama I am thoroughly enjoying. Nevertheless, I’m glad to have the opportunity to enjoy PK with folks around the world. I read every comment, but at this point I would need 48 hour days and two extra sets of hands to respond to everyone.

Episode 13 of PK was probably the single most anticipated episode yet, and rightly so. It’s the episode that finally arrives at the big confession we’ve all been waiting for. There are two ways to view it. If I compared it to the same episode in It Started With A Kiss, then PK’s execution is indeed tamer and less intense. But I’ve never watched PK with an eye towards ISWAK, and I won’t start now. With that said, overall I loved episode 13!

For a sweet little drama, this episode was surprisingly heavy on the emotional heft, ending with a kiss that ranks amongst the best kisses by a young actor to a young actress in a young drama (sorry for so many caveats, without it the PK rain kiss is just a kiss, but I liked it enough that it ought to merit some distinction).

It was actually all the meaty scenes leading up to the kiss that really made me love this episode completely. Joon Gu got his dream date with Ha Ni, Hye Ra got to date an empty-shell of a Seung Jo, and both Ha Ni and Seung Jo really got down to thinking about their own feelings as well as state of their relationship.

More importantly, Seung Jo and Ha Ni make a decision! Independent of each other, they make a decision which does bring them to the same critical juncture in their lives. They love each other, and Seung Jo finally puts it all on the line. He wants Ha Ni, company financial needs be damned.

Lastly, over at Dramabeans, Girlfriday’s Episode 12 recap really lit a spark that ignited into a veritable discussion on individual identity, self-respect, ambition, and the meaning of loving someone. For a rather simple drama, PK really has a lot of worthy issues for discussion hidden within. My thoughts are thus: while I am a Hye Ra in real life, I rather envy the honest and unwavering determination of a Ha Ni to keep pursuing her heart’s desire.

But there is no objective right or wrong way to view Ha Ni, and it really comes down to personal experience and judgment. On this topic, the rest of my thoughts will be available after the end of this recap.

Episode 13 recap:

Seung Jo is taken aback when the door opens and Hye Ra greets him as his intended matchmaking partner. So am I, but for different reasons. I was expecting someone…blonder, and less bitchy. Hye Ra is all smiles and banter, while Seung Jo looks frozen and in a daze. Hye Ra confesses to being surprised to hear that Seung Jo was her intended set-up, otherwise she never would have come.

Matchmaking grandpa remarks that the couple must be fated since they are already classmates from university. Really, gramps? Then Hye Ra is fated to be with tennis sunbae, too! Back to the awkward lunch, Gramps tells the kids to enjoy a delicious meal, and Hye Ra jumps in to order some non-oily food for Seung Jo which suits his tastes. Gramps feels like Seung Jo and Hye Ra act just like a married couple. No, gramps, it’s just your granddaughter acting like an overeager mistress, is all.

Back at the Baek house, Mom comes home in a tizzy yelling for Seung Jo. When she finds out from Ha Ni that Seung Jo left the house dressed in a suit, Mom has a look of consternation. After the meal, gramps leaves and the kids go outside. Hye Ra tells Seung Jo that when her gramps showed her a picture of the guy she was getting set-up with, she initially had no interest until she heard the guy was running a gaming company and she wondered if it was him. Seung Jo asks what’s going to happen now – does he have to marry Hye Ra to get her grandfather’s financial backing?

Hye Ra says maybe. She asks Seung Jo if that would be upsetting for him. He throws the question back at her. Wouldn’t that upset Hye Ra more? Boy is either purposely obtuse about her feelings for him or just jerking her around. I vote for the latter. Hye Ra and Seung Jo actually flirt a little around a water fountain, and I threw up a little inside my mouth.

Seung Jo tells Hye Ra that under these circumstances – the employees haven’t received their salaries and he can’t give up on the gaming company – he’s willing to go forward. He asks whether she’s unhappy about it. Unless Hye Ra got replaced by tennis sunbae dressed as Hye Ra, then no, she’s clearly happy as a jaybird about this latest development.

Seung Jo is relieved that his intended partner is Hye Ra, which leads Hye Ra to confess that she came into this matchmaking with full knowledge that the other person was Seung Jo, whereas Seung Jo appears to have been willing to sell his hardened self to any random chick. Hye Ra’s pride is hurt knowing that, but she still dressed up to the nines to come meet Seung Jo. She openly states that she likes him a whole lot.

Hye Ra doesn’t want to use third-rate tactics to get Seung Jo, so she is treating this as just an opportunity for them. She asks Seung Jo if they can start dating. Play at fair go casino here! When Seung Jo agrees right away, her relief and happiness causes her to jump around like a giddy school girl. Hye Ra continues to be a woman who may be bitchy, but is always forthright and never conniving. I like her as a woman, hate her as a rival for Ha Ni.

Mom tells Ha Ni not to be worried, which woman could possibly like Seung Jo with his cold personality. Only Ha Ni can put up with Seung Jo’s attitude problems. When Seung Jo comes home, Ha Ni tentatively asks if he went on a matchmaking date. He admits he did, asking her in return whether she knows who the prospective partner was. Ha Ni knows that it’s Hye Ra, and Seung Jo adds that she’s an ideal candidate. When Ha Ni wonders if he means to marry Hye Ra, Seung Jo flatly replies that the point of going on matchmaking dates is to get married.

Seung Jo walks into his room, leaving Ha Ni outside uncertain of everything. She falls to the floor, and as the tears fall you can actually see her little heart breaking into pieces. Eun Jo creeps up the stairs and witnesses Ha Ni’s emotional collapse. Seung Jo sits in his room, deep in thought. This is clearly not as easy for him as he likes to pretend.

Ha Ni talks with her best friends about this latest development in her sad sack of a love life. They tell her to give up Seung Jo for real this time, and find a guy who loves her. At work, Seung Jo gets an encouragement text from his newly acquired girlfriend, and he does not look happy. Instead, he texts Ha Ni, who is studying at the library but more likely completely wallowing in Seung Jo misery. He messages her that he’s going to dock her pay because she didn’t show up at the company for work today.

Ha Ni is enjoying a meal made especially made for her by Joon Gu. He confesses that everything he does is for Ha Ni. When he made the noodles, he thought specifically about what Ha Ni would enjoy eating. He washes his hair and changes into presentable clothes everyday just in case Ha Ni came by. He tells her that she is his sole reason to live.

Ha Ni says that Joon Gu is making her sound larger than life, when she is but an ordinary girl. She tells him that the food is truly delicious, and that he did great. Joon Gu is tickled with glee, and works up the courage to use this opportunity to ask Ha Ni out on a date. Ha Ni is so touched that she agrees to go on a date with Joon Gu.

Seung Jo and Eun Jo are having breakfast. Seung Jo pretends to casually ask where Ha Ni is, and is told that she’s gone out on a date. Eun Jo notes that she decked herself in all red from head to toe. Seung Jo shakes his newspaper a tad too forcefully and replies that she’s probably out on a date with someone with weird taste.

Joon Gu looks OMG-so-fine and is out on his dream date with his beloved Ha Ni. He came three hours early to wait for her. Seriously? This boy. Is beyond sincere. I dies. Revived myself, back to recapping.

They catch a movie, enjoy a fancy meal, go shopping – all the requisite date things to do. While walking on the street, he grabs her bag to hold it for her. While eating, Joon Gu actually rolls up the food and feeds it to Ha Ni. He is seriously a wonderful guy. Ha Ni actually looks happy, and seems to really be enjoying herself.

Ha Ni and Joon Gu go to the batting cages, and Joon Gu shows off his awesome swinging form (for those of you who’ve watched Lee Tae Sung in 9 Ends, 2 Outs, this is a total wink wink to his baseball player role in that drama). As the cute couple walks through the park, they flirt by poking daffodils at each other. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as satisfied watching a second lead get his date with the heroine in any drama.

They get a passerby to take pictures of them, and the pictures are so candid and sweet it brings tears to my eyes. Because I know they are not meant to be, and yet in an alternative universe where Seung Jo does not have any feelings for Ha Ni, then this couple would be perfect and happy and have a dozen children together.

Gramps goes to the hospital to visit Seung Jo’s parents, and explain his desire for the unholy union of Seung Jo and Hye Ra to take place. Dad tries to suggest that they are yet young and should at least finish college first. Gramps says they can still go to school after they are married, and possibly even study abroad together. He thinks their kids would be unbelievably intelligent (and have shitty personalities). He tells Seung Jo’s dad not to worry about the company, he will provide the financing.

Seung Jo and Hye Ra are out on a date, watching a clown performance at the park. Seung Jo appears to be enjoying himself until his eye spots a couple playing tennis, and his face tightens up. He flashes back to a scene not shown in any episode thus far, of Ha Ni practicing her swing in her room while raging at Seung Jo and Hye Ra. All the while, Eun Jo and Seung Jo have been sitting outside enjoying the one-woman show.

Still out on their date, Ha Ni tells Joon Gu that she had a good time. Joon Gu one-ups her by saying today was the best day of his entire life. She smiles, and he notes that Ha Ni looks radiant when she smiles. For Joon Gu, if he can see her smiling face every day, he wouldn’t even need to eat any meals.

When Ha Ni smiles back at him, he wonders if he has something on his face. She shakes her head no, and tells him what a wonderful person he is. No shit Sherlock! At this very second, I almost forgot about Seung Jo and just wanted Ha Ni and Joon Gu to be with each other. Ha Ni has always known what a great guy Joon Gu is, but it’s clear this is a new sensation for her seeing him in this light.

Hye Ra and Seung Jo move their date by the Han River, and discuss his work at his father’s gaming company. Seung Jo discusses how he is changing the company’s product lines away from the current craze for 3D gaming. Ha Ni and Joon Gu are on a date and happen to stop by the same coffee house. The boy is as excited as a puppy at the beach, remarking that he would have never been to such a place if not for Ha Ni.

The two couples run into each other, and Seung Jo’s face immediately freezes and Ha Ni’s discomfort is palpable. Hye Ra invites the other couple to double date at a jazz concert, and Seung Jo shoots down the idea saying Joon Gu and Ha Ni should be going to an amusement park. Joon Gu rightly gets in Seung Jo’s face about the insult, but Ha Ni tugs Joon Gu away and says that Seung Jo sure knows her very well. Both guys comment that the other couple is such a perfect match for each other, though only Joon Gu means it.

Ha Ni’s good mood is completely gone, and Joon Gu works up the courage to put it all on the line and proposes to Ha Ni by the bank of the Han River. Back to Seung Jo and Hye Ra, he opens the car door for her, and she pauses. She notes that if she were Ha Ni, he would have told her that she had hands of her own and to open her own door. Hye Ra wonders why Seung Jo is so mean to Ha Ni, and not being stupid she perceptively wishes that Seung Jo could be as cold to her as he is to Ha Ni. Ha, dream on, sister.

Ha Ni sits at home and flashes back to Joon Gu’s marriage proposal earlier in the evening. Joon Gu tells her he’s loved her for 4 years as she has loved Seung Jo. He would be willing to wait forever, but now that Seung Jo has a prospective marriage partner, isn’t it time for Ha Ni to finally let go. He asks her to marry him. He tells her than he has always been behind her, all she needs to do is turn around and look. Omo, this was a heady and emotional raw speech. I felt so proud of Joon Gu for going after what he wants most in life.

Mom is waiting for Seung Jo when he gets home from his date with Hye Ra, and she is mad at him for agreeing to be set up for the sake of saving his dad’s company. Seung Jo replies that he’s not doing it for his dad, and when his mom pushes him further he says that he likes Hye Ra, isn’t that a good enough reason for dating her. It’s clear that Seung Jo notices that Ha Ni is overhearing this entire conversation, and that his declaration about his non-existent love for Hye Ra is meant for her ears.

When they run into each other outside their rooms, the conversation is pointedly mean. Seung Jo asks whether she had fun on her date, and she says she had a great time unlike some other people. Seung Jo tells her to keep dating then. These two are now hurting each other in circular ways, it’s both hard and easy to resolve. Seung Jo really is dating Hye Ra for the company’s sake, but he can’t let his parents know. And when Ha Ni went on a date with Joon Gu, Seung Jo is hurt, and thus he lashes out at Ha Ni again and again.

After the confrontation between Seung Jo and Ha Ni in the hallway, Seung Jo walks into his room. We see Eun Jo has been awake in his bed and likely overhead the conversation. Eun Jo has a very disturbed and worried expression on his face.

Ha Ni tells her friends about the proposal. She says that the date and the proposal were wonderful, but neither caused her heart to beat faster. Her friends remind her that no one has ever loved her the way Joon Gu does, and they think she’s a better fit for Joon Gu than Seung Jo. On paper, maybe, but the heart wants what the heart wants, however ill-conceived.

Ha Ni walks down the street in a daze, considering the possibility that Joon Gu is the man for her. Even though her heart doesn’t beat around him, it’s comforting and he feels like family. Great rationale to consider marrying someone, Ha Ni. She encounter Seung Jo and Hye Ra passing by during a shopping excursion. Hye Ra announces that she and Seung Jo are about to have dinner. Seung Jo blurts out an invitation to Ha Ni, much to the surprise of his girlfriend, who quickly joins in asking Ha Ni to join then.

They decide to have dinner together, and Hye Ra has coincidentally selected Ha Ni’s dad’s restaurant. At the restaurant, Joon Gu looks at the pictures he took with Ha Ni on their date and gives a million watt grin. When the trio arrive, Ha Ni’s dad is surprised to see Seung Jo with Hye Ra on his arm, especially after Joon Gu proclaims that those two are planning to get married.

After the meal arrives at the table, Hye Ra is about to dig in when Joon Gu shows her the proper way to add vinegar to the cold noodles. After he walks way, Hye Ra tells Ha Ni that Joon Gu sure has changed, implying for the better. Seung Jo bitingly adds that it must be great for Ha Ni to have a boyfriend that knows so much. Hye Ra immediately notices the atmosphere and grabs a piece of food to feed Seung Jo, who eats it with as much enjoyment as eating crap. Hye Ra ends the night telling Ha Ni to stop looking so much at Seung Jo lest she bore holes in his face. I’d like to bore a hole in Hye Ra’s head, and maybe suck out her brains.

Seung Jo gives a work presentation to the applause of many. When Seung Jo wants to leave afterwards because his father is coming home from the hospital, gramps tells him to bring Hye Ra along since its high time she meets the family. Mom welcomes Hye Ra with a hey, and grabs Ha Ni to sit down and join the increasingly uncomfortable family gathering. Mom makes several pointed remarks that clearly show she does not welcome Hye Ra as her perspective daughter-in-law, and that she has set her heart on Ha Ni.

Mom tries to put down her own son as a suitable future spouse, but to no avail. Hye Ra sees right through it. Later that night, Seung Jo confronts his mom’s earlier behavior as immature. While he can’t stop Mom from liking Ha Ni, she can’t force him to like her. Oh geez, really, Seung Jo? Just man up and say you are going to sell your body to Hye Ra.

Mom says that he’s purposely being difficult. Oh, you think, Mom? Seung Jo is her son, and she knows him best. He’s refusing to acknowledge it, is all. Seung Jo responds like the EQ of 10 guy he is, telling Mom that he is refusing to think about it, so what’s that to her. Mom thinks Seung Jo was being inconsiderate bringing Hye Ra home with Ha Ni around, but Ha Ni pipes up that she’s fine with it.

Seung Jo tells Mom to continue to respect his decisions, even with respect to this arrangement. Mom and Dad are worried about Seung Jo and Ha Ni. Mom reiterates her belief that they are made for each other – making up for what the other person lacks, and sharing what the other person has. As they are discussing the situation, Mom cries, worried that she did something bad by encouraging Ha Ni and Seung Jo. Eun Jo comes running over and tells his mom not to cry. He reveals that Seung Jo likes Ha Ni.

Eun Jo runs back to his room and confronts Seung Jo about whether he is really going to get married to Hye Ra. Eun Jo asks if Seung Jo likes Hye Ra, and is told that he probably will if things continue down this path. Eun Jo wants to say that Seung Jo likes Ha Ni, but is cut off by Seung Jo’s response that Hye Ra is a perfect match for him, smart and good at tennis. Once Eun Jo gets to know Hye Ra, he’ll grow to like her, too. Eun Jo mutters under his breath that Seung Jo is lying.

We flash back to the kiss at the resort. Eun Jo is wandering around on a bug-catching expedition. He sees Ha Ni dozing at the bench, and is about to go play a prank on her when Seung Jo walks by. Eun Jo hides behind a tree, and sees Seung Jo sit down and lean in to kiss Ha Ni. Poor boy looks absolutely traumatized. I wonder when they teach Korean elementary school kids about the birds and the bees?

It turns out that Seung Jo wasn’t unaware that there was a witness to his surreptitious kiss. After the kiss, Seung Jo looks up and sees Eun Jo watching him from behind the tree. Seung Jo puts his finger to his lips in a shushing motion asking Eun Jo to keep it a secret. Eun Jo nods his head in agreement. Back to the present, Eun Jo tells himself that he can’t reveal the kiss to Mom yet, but it’s clear that Seung Jo likes Ha Ni, despite Seung Jo’s refusal to admit it.

Hye Ra realizes that things aren’t progressing ideally with Seung Jo, but she declines gramps offer to help her speed it up (with financial arm twisting, I presume). But she concedes that she may take gramps up on that offer should things not work out. Hye Ra, I hope you were just saying that to make your gramps feel more important, because resorting to blackmail is so beneath you.

Mom tries with no success to bribe Eun Jo with dessert to explain what he meant when he said that Seung Jo likes Ha Ni. Ha Ni has a conversation with her dad, who tries to sell new and improved Joon Gu to Ha Ni as a prospective partner. Dad is regretful of his decision to return to the Baek house, now that Seung Jo is rumored to be marrying another girl. He tells Ha Ni that he approves of Joon Gu, who genuinely loves her.

Back to the antics of the absent from the drama tennis club, demon tennis subae is training his students hard. When one of them remarks that it’s supposed to rain, does that mean they still have to come tomorrow, tennis sunbae responds that is sunny as all hell and could not possibly rain. Oh, the drama gods will make it rain, tennis sunbae.

Seung Jo shows up at the tennis club to collect his belongings, telling tennis sunbae he won’t be coming in the short term. He looks around and wonders where the ball boy is. Tennis sunbae says that perennial ball boy Ha Ni has been skipping class recently, what with her dating noodle shop boy. This comment clearly affects Seung Jo, who I fear will completely shut down soon if he doesn’t release all that pent up frustration. In a healthy way, of course. Seung Jo encounters Ha Ni’s friends who happen to be walking by.

The two friends talk loudly amongst themselves, clearly intended for Seung Jo’s ears, that Ha Ni might get married to Joon Gu. She got all dressed up and is planning to give him a response tonight. They conclude with laugh that Ha Ni might end up married before Seung Jo. Seung Jo’s face turns into marble this time.

Ha Ni is at the restaurant with Joon Gu. Joon Gu asks for a response, and Ha Ni replies that she needs more time. Joon Gu asks what more does she need, now that Seung Jo has moved on. He asks her what’s so good about cold, indifferent Seung Jo anyways. When she doesn’t respond, Joon Gu reminds her that he once compared himself to her home, a place for her always. But a home that remains empty for too long can go bad.

When Joon Gu tries to kiss her, she stops him and leaves. Ha Ni takes the bus home, but it’s pouring when she arrives at her stop. She ducks for cover, and runs into Seung Jo, who is sitting by the side of a store holding an umbrella. They walk home in the rain. Seung Jo queries what her response was to Joon Gu, regarding his proposal. Ha Ni questions if she’s not allowed to get married?

Seung Jo asks again what her response was, and Ha Ni tells her its none of his business what her response is. She tells him that she is planning to move out, staying in the house isn’t good for anyone. Seung Jo stalks off leaving Ha Ni running to catch up to his umbrella. She continues telling Seung Jo that Joon Gu is working so hard and doing such a great job, she wants to work with him and help her Dad.

When Seung Jo asks if she likes Bong Joon Gu, Ha Ni replies that he’s loved her for so long. To which Seung Jo questions whether she should like Joon Gu simply because Joon Gu likes her. Ha Ni finally gives Seung Jo a piece of her mind – she’s tired of being in a one-sided love and wants to have someone love her for once. She says that she likes Joon Gu.

To which Seung Jo confidently states that the man Ha Ni likes is him, and she is not allowed to like another guy. Not allowed? Oh Baek Seung Jo, normally that would make you persona non grata in my drama heart. But since you are close to an autistic genius, what with the lack of social graces, I shall give you a warning not to take this allowed shit too far. She is allowed to like whomever she wants. You’re better off just begging for her to keep loving you forever.

Ha Ni wonders where Seung Jo got this confidence all of a sudden. But she concedes that, yes, the man she likes is and always has been Seung Jo. But she can’t continue this anymore. Seung Jo doesn’t even spare her a passing glance. At which point Seung Jo lets go of the umbrella, and grabs her face for a real kiss. Not some weak lip press, but a real heated kiss.

When Seung Jo ends the kiss, he once again tells her that she can only like him (second warning, Seung Jo, cut it out with the demanding statements, dude). Ha Ni is in a daze and agrees, noting that this is their second kiss. Seung Jo corrects her by saying it’s their third kiss, but then pulls her in for a hug, telling her that it doesn’t matter anymore.

Thoughts of Mine:

With the anticipation so incredibly high for episode 13, there is no well in hell the episode would be as good as our feverish daydreams have conjured. Regardless, I tried my best to enjoy the episode as is, with as little expectation clouding my judgment as I could muster. As such, it really did provide the satisfaction I was looking for as a viewer – like my emotional investment in PK finally paying off in the same way Ha Ni’s unwavering love for Seung Jo finally paid off as well.

To my surprise, my favorite scene in this episode was actually NOT the rain kiss. It was Joon Gu’s date with Ha Ni. The sheer joy the boy exhibited, the simplicity and ordinariness of the date underscores exactly how momentous this occasion was for Joon Gu. It made me tear up actually. Because as much as Ha Ni’s love for Seung Jo feels one-sided, it isn’t because Seung Jo the robot merely could not and/or would not process the knowledge that he loves her back without it short-circuiting his wires.

Conversely, Ha Ni really doesn’t love Joon Gu back, and has not done anything (up until now) to give Joon Gu the hope that he had a chance with her. So Joon Gu really carries the most emotionally heavy torch in PK. I was happy to see him have his dream date with Ha Ni become a reality, I was also ready for him to request that Ha Ni make a choice. Him or Seung Jo. If Ha Ni doesn’t do so, Joon Gu can never move on. And I know he’ll be a perfect guy for some lucky girl out there.

The confession in the rain was nowhere near as powerful or electric as ISWAK, but that’s okay. PK has always had its own style, and it suits this story to have it be more tender and quiet. I’m upset the PD cut away to the umbrella mid-kiss, but then the PD’s shot selections and editing in this drama has been all over the place so I should be happy the kiss lasted as long as it did.

While some may worry that this confession and confirmation of their mutual love for each other would render the last three episodes of PK devoid of conflict and challenges, I’m pretty sure that won’t be the case. I actually enjoy the lighthearted moments in PK more, and am eager to put Hye Ra and Joon Gu behind us and enjoy Seung Jo and Ha Ni’s shenanigans as couple.

I’m hoping Hye Ra retains her spirit and pride when she gets rejected by Seung Jo, because devious and destructive tactics are really not her style. I like her confidence, and she of all people notices each time that Seung Jo is around Ha Ni, the atmosphere and his attitude changes. She’s not stupid, she hopes she can get Seung Jo to fall for her by dating. With that in mind, my hope is that when she realizes he is in love with Ha Ni, she will gracefully bow out.

As for Joon Gu, the boy needs a really good cry, and then a good pat on the back for loving a woman for so long and with so much devotion. Someday a worthy woman will come along who will love him back. Ha Ni is unfortunately Seung Jo’s burden to bear, and Seung Jo is fortunately Ha Ni’s baggage to carry. Frankly, both Hye Ra and Joon Gu should count their blessings they got out while they can. Let Seung Jo and Ha Ni drive each other crazy – with love, with fights, with laughter, with tears.

A Subjective View of Noah’s Snail:

Women may tout the feminist horn, and bemoan the example set by Ha Ni that she would dare to center her life’s ambitions around what the guy she likes ends up doing. But they are missing two crucial elements that temper my gut reaction to reach into the screen to shake some sense into Ha Ni.

For one thing, Ha Ni is only nineteen. How many people know what they want to do in life at that age, and end up achieving the goal set at so young an age? Along the same vein, Seung Jo is pretty clueless about his own life’s goals. But he gets a pass because he’s a genius, and because ultimately he picks a rather honorable profession as decreed by society, a doctor. Ha Ni gets raked through the coals, and I find that rather hypocritical.

The second point is that Ha Ni does have a goal at this juncture in her life, her goal is to love Seung Jo. To cast aspersions on this goal is a purely judgment call. We as a society no longer subscribe to love as a honorable goal – because we understand that love is fleeting, divorces are a dime a dozen, and love cannot sustain us in the long run. Love does not buy bread, right?

We reject “loving someone” as an admirable calling because the harsh realities of experience show us that loving someone usually ends up with a person heartbroken, with three kids, fighting for alimony and child support, bitter at the world, etc. Yet “loving someone” is indeed as valid a goal as aspiring to be an astronaut, working to become a teacher, training to become a doctor.

I find that choosing to love someone as one’s lifelong ambition takes more guts than deciding to be a lawyer because you are smart and can argue very well. Ha Ni knows the pitfalls of loving Seung Jo, of doing everything to conform to Seung Jo. And yet she is both naïve and idealistic, and willing to take the chance. Perhaps when she is 24, she will look around and realize that she wants to pursue other interests. And that would be fine. It is presumptuous to find Ha Ni’s current dream pitiful or mockworthy.

If we were to cast stones at her, it strikes me as rather judgmental and sexist. If a young man made it his life’s goal to love a woman and cater to her every need and support her, we’d likely crown him boyfriend of the year award. By saying that Ha Ni needs a professional and career goal in order to validate her existence as a woman or as a person, that strikes me as narrowly construing a person’s value system. To look down on Ha Ni because she values Seung Jo, and not valuing becoming a doctor, lawyer, artist, etc., presupposes that only selecting a profession is an admirable goal to have.

It is not. I knew what I wanted to be my entire life. I accomplished my goal in record time, never once slacking off or making a false step. I am happy with my path in life, because that suits my personality. But others have different trajectories, different timelines, different pursuits of happiness. Their pursuit is no less valid than mine. What I find admirable is having dedication, determination, and perseverance – and Ha Ni has all three. She just elects to use it on Seung Jo, rather than an inanimate goal like professional accomplishment.

While I hope that one day, preferably soon, she also finds a career path in life that she loves, in addition to a happy relationship with Seung Jo, I’m not casting any aspersions on Ha Ni’s speech in episode 12. If Ha Ni were 29 and still thinking this way, then whatever respect I have for her goes promptly down the toilet. I think Seung Jo sees it the same way, as he actually quietly accepted that her goals were valid, however silly and youthful they were.

To tie in Ha Ni’s intellectual maturation, we have to look at this girl like she really is Noah’s Snail. It may take her longer to learn something, longer to figure out a professional goal, longer to realize that she can have her own identity and interests outside of Seung Jo, but I have complete faith she will get there.

As time passes, I find myself mellowing out more, willing to accept alternate points of view and life styles. I don’t find Ha Ni annoying me as much as Xiang Qin did in ISWAK, so I cut her more slack. Don’t get me wrong, Ha Ni really is the antithesis of my real life personality, but that’s why it amuses me to no end to watch her grow.

[Credit: screencaps and stills from MBC official releases, Baidu, and DC Playful Kiss forum]


Playful Kiss Episode 13 Recap — 85 Comments

  1. thank you thank you!!! GO MA WO!! hahahah sorry i’ve been stalking your site again ^^ but i Just Love – LOVE – your recaps.

    And PK… PK just touched my heart 🙂

    It skipped a beat again when he dropped his umbrella before that Kiss we’ve al anticipated from the beginning of PK!


    • Just one thought….. could Joon Gu possibly end up with ha ni’s hairdresser friend? There was this once when Joon Gu enters the hairdresser’s shop and the look on her face… was like… seeing someone she had feelings for 🙂

      It would be a nice match… she likes to eat, he can make nice food ^^ keke

  2. wow half an hour early.thank you so much for the recap.i actualy love the calm feeling with the kiss,i find the kiss in the Taiwan version is over the top and fake,maybe its just me
    i love u for standing up for hani regarding Girlfriday’s issue, its bug me since i read her recap but with my limited English i cant write what i think but thank to you i feel so much better now knowing i’m not the only one who think that way. once again thank you . and i’ll see u tomorow night,same time ok .off to sleep now

  3. Omg thx so much for the recaps!
    What a great one!
    I found myself really enjoyable reading ur entry from the start til the end ^^
    Finally, the biggest confession that i was waiting for!
    THAT KISS’s HOT!! It totally worths my anticipation.
    I feel so happy for Hani as much as I also feel sorry for Joongu in the next ep.
    Poor guy…. If I were Hani, I will ditch Seungjo and go for him LOL ><

  4. I like Ha Ni a whole lot more than Kotoko. Actually, one thing I really like about this k-version is that it didn’t go so over the top. That makes it sweeter and more likable for me. Joon Gu was adorable here. Sniff. poor boy.

  5. Wow, what a great recap Ockoala. I need to digest the ep first then come back here to comment. I am happy that this ep is not that angsty. (For fantasy and angst, there’s a certain tv “news” channel.)

    Thanks again

  6. Thank you so much for this wonderful recap. J truly enjoyed every minutes reading this. Also, loved your comments those just make me smiles.

    Thank you again for taking the time to do this. Truly appreciated.


  7. Thanks for the recap! 🙂

    I actually like Joon Gu more than Seung Jo now. It started last episode actually. He’s so much better for Hani. If I were Hani, I’d forget Seung Jo completely. I like the second male lead here at PK than at ISWAK… I never felt this towards him (of the female going for the second lead instead) on ISWAK. Joon Gu is more matured than that guy (ISWAK), and more cool. 🙂

    I agree that ISWAK’s kiss-in-the-rain scene is much more intense than this one. But like you, I didn’t expect either. If I’d be setting a standard for this drama, then I guess I won’t be enjoying it that much.

    Poor Joon Gu… 🙁 I want to give him a big hug… My heart goes to him.

  8. I have the luxury of not having watched the TW version. So I’ve got nothing to compare to. 🙂 Obviously, the kiss could have been more, but it could have also been much *less*, so I’m happy. I like the way he was grabbing her and when they pull away from the kiss, the lips are still ready for more even as they talk. *happy*

    I really enjoyed the bittersweet date with Joon Gu. He really is an amazing guy. Odd how I’ve not really read of anyone complaining that he cares about Ha Ni too much, or that he does too much for her….. gotta love double standards.

    As for Ha Ni, I was her at 19. I followed my high school sweetheart to the city where his Ivy League school was, different college, of course. Although he encouraged me to transfer, by the time I got there, he was doing his best to ignore me as he was trying to experience the college life. It all worked its way out and we did have a couple pleasant years after college before everything went to pot.

    I don’t know that I would have finished uni if it wasn’t for him. I know for certain I would never have left home to go to school if it wasn’t for his encouragement. I know that at that time, I wanted to be the best me… for him. And I accomplished quite a bit.

    Now, I’m a single 30-something and independent as hell. And while thinking of myself back then makes me totally *facepalm*, I don’t think I would change a thing. He was the driving force that led me to better myself, much like Seung Jo is that for Ha Ni.

    Ha Ni is much more simple minded than me, so she probably won’t outgrow him the way I did my guy. Heh.

  9. My thoughts are still scattered but I can’t stop myself from posting.
    1. I admire HaNi for having the guts to move on. In her shoes I would have moped for days locked in my bedroom.
    2. I think Hae Ra engineered the arranged marriage. She alluded to knowing how exacly to help Seung Jo in the previous episode.
    3. I don’t think that Seung Jo intended to get as far as marriage in the arrangement with Hae Ra.
    4. Seung Jo and Ha Ni looked like they were enjoying the kiss, for real.
    5. Hae Ra has spindly legs.

  10. thanks again to you. due to i don’t understand korean, i do need recap asap.
    thanks so so much for your great work. wishing u all the best.

    in my opinion, i would like hani to reject bsj’s kiss and tell him that she gave him up already.
    I want bsj (not kim hyun jo) to suffer as oh ha ni had been suffering about him.
    Don’t u agree?
    then bsj to knee down and ask oh ha ni to marry him. I think that the way should be for that scene, as i am a woman.

  11. I love your recap and your thoughts, it is wisely written and shows a level of maturity. At any rate who are we to judge other people on their action regardless how follish it may look and sound. At least Hani has a ‘life purpose’ and it should be respected.

    3 more episodes and we will not see the cute couple anymore. Hope that you will still recapping good k-dramas.

  12. Thanks ockoala for the quick recap. Had to read this before I could start work….will be back after I’ve got a chance to watch this ep tonight.

  13. 1) I’m a little late to jump on the KHJ bandwagon…but oh wow, that boy is seriously gorgeous with an even more gorgeous smile. I swear I melt every time he smiles…

    2) Oh, and the rain scene. Amazing. I think that its equally as good as the Taiwanese version. Why? The guy actor (Joe Cheng I think?) is a whole lot more emotional while speaking but KHJ’s expressions (including his eyes) just speak volumes about his true feelings. Plus, the camera angle in the k-drama for the kiss compared to the Taiwanese one was a million times better (or maybe its just a bad quality youtube video I found…)

    3) Poor Joon-Gu. 🙁 Just seeing the pictures alone of him and Ha-ni already told me that they were honestly happy together (and plus who wouldn’t be affected by his genuine-ness??) I’m crossing my fingers that Joon-Gu will find a girl who deserves him in a last few episodes or my heart just might break into two 🙁

  14. You have outdone yourself! Fantastic insightful recap. You are right that the anticipation for this epi was epicly great. The run-up to the broadcast was amazing. After watching the raw, I couldn’t wait for your recap to come on. How can the rating be in the 5% domestically? Can’t fathom this phenomenon, overseas viewers anticipation, enjoyment of PK is so much greater than that. I second your comment that JG’s date with Ha Ni really evoke happiness and sadness. Happy that he had his dream date but sad that despite how faultlessly wonderful he was a boyfriend and how she came to realise the beauty of JG, he holds no spark for her heart. Instead a cold hearted and mean-barbed SJ made her so alive and her heart beat all the faster. Therein lies the sadness. Looking out for epi. 14 next!

    • Yeah, it was so bittersweet, and much more poignant of a date between Joon Gu and Ha Ni than I was prepared for. It almost makes one change ships, but alas, the pot doesn’t fit that particular lid. ^__^ Joon Gu will get his own happily ever after, but not before a pit stop in Hotel Heartbreak first.

  15. Ockoala, I find I have been enjoying your recaps of PK more than the ones on Dramabeans lately, although I love reading both and all the comments, from the long ‘essays’ right down to the one-liners about the hair changes, KJH’s hotness/smiles and JSM’s cuteness. I don’t know if it’s just my feeling or if it is actually that way, but I think your recaps and comments are more open-minded and less subjective.

    I do feel that a lot of the viewers are taking what is firstly a plain, simple and yes even tender love story of two still very young persons too seriously and turning it into a great discourse of some sort. Despite the poor ratings the very fact that this drama can evoke such a huge response I think has undoubtedly made it a success even if not in terms of Korean entertainment, but definitely academia noteworthy. A cultural studies/sociology/psychology, or dare I say, even a film professor somewhere out there ought to write a journal paper on this phenomenon. I could not believe the number of comments and the length of some of these. Having said that I think my own response will be pretty long too.

    I too think the viewers have forgotten the age of the two protagonists, and too many women watching this are thinking too much in terms of female independence (from what, I’m not quite sure, unless they have no family whatsoever). I think Ha Ni is actually very brave, to be able to love so wholeheartedly and not demand anything back takes a lot of courage, it might be a little old-fashioned, but it’s so rare to see this kind of love for real nowadays, and I think this is such a pity. And to be able to love one person like this for the rest of your life is almost non-existent. It’s true I wouldn’t want any daughter of mine to stalk someone she likes in the same way but having witnessed my sisters doing it then I can say the portrayal in the drama isn’t wholly unrealistic. It happens to teenage girls! So to those who are oh so harsh please cut Ha Ni some slack just because you don’t do it or refuse to believe it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. That’s why popular boybands are worth so much. KJH has probably experienced it for real and not from a girl he loves back either.

    I love PK for its simplicity and I love the Korean version best for the very reason that it has been toned down a little and also for making the male lead a little more endearing than the other versions. There’s just something about watching a couple learning to love each other, even if it’s fictional, perhaps HN’s life does evolve too much around SJ’s but it’s vice versa too. She might want to live her life by what he does, but he does live his life by what she decides for him. As for the stalking, I see it not so much as stalking but she follows the one she loves because she doesn’t want to miss one moment with him and if you can’t see it then you’re not really watching this story, he’s following her too, but no one is accusing SJ of stalking just because it’s less obvious. To be honest, there’s a whole lot of stalking going on from all the main characters, and that’s just one of the quirkiness of the story that makes it a humorous drama, but some people seems to have lost that fact.

    It’s a shame the story won’t be delving into their lives after the marriage, because I think that’s when the story really kicks off. Marrying BJG would have been the easier option for OHN and he might have been able to make her happy but to marry someone to ease your own pains is just wrong. So I don’t mind HN hurting JG too much now because if she never manages to return his love then it’ll hurt a lot more later. I don’t think SJ was seriously considering marriage with someone he didn’t love, not really his style, and he hates being dictated to and likes to do things in his own way, to his own time scale and be damn with it all, even to the extent of hurting the people he cares about and loves. So I think the marriage interview was a necessary plot device, because of what was happening with SJ HN was forced to think about her future which made her give JG a date, which gave him courage to propose, which in turn forced SJ to think with his heart and not his head for once and voila confession time. If only he had done that from the beginning, but then we wouldn’t have had any drama to watch.

    Sorry Ockoala for filling your page but this my first comment and after 13 episodes I just wanted to get some things off of my chest. Thank you for the great recaps and I really enjoy your insights. Can’t wait to read your next one.

    • Please don’t apologize. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and insights. Keep them coming, be it essays, treatises, or diatribes. All are welcome at AKP.

    • Obviously, I have been re-reading your drama recaps while waiting for Flower Boy Next Door’s next episode since it is already 2013 and I kept re-reading your blogs, Ms Koala.

      Some other Korean / Japanese / Taiwanese dramas do not appeal to as of the moment, this is why I have been doing what I do right now. I might as well be re-watching PK for enjoying it one more time.

      I do not condemn Ha Ni for what she does as this drama is based on the real life story of the manga author. If my guess is right, this happened during the 1960s or 70s era that differs a lot from what we have/do in terms of technology, cultural and societal practices. Added with the age of the main characters, the viewers must always bear in mind, the source material in order to fully comprehend and enjoy the drama that is unfolding in front of us…

      Sorry for the two (2) years belated comments but I feel the need to make some comments…If it is of no bother to you…

      Btw, i love your recap/insights on FBND..

  16. lol… for me, my fav scene is still the kiss. just because i either watch it screaming, or i grin like a fool until my cheeks hurt and i look like an idiot. about the umbrella thing… there are speculations that it was there to cover the brick hani had to stand on… which makes it justifiable but i still think they should have focused on the upperbody part then. gya gya gya… iswak version was definitely more “charged,” maybe because rise of emotions caused by all the yelling until it reached the climax, aka kiss. but for some reason, i can’t say that pk isn’t my fav kiss… i guess i like them both. they are just different.
    and i know ive just talked exclusively about the kiss but can’t help it..
    thinking about this kiss is like a soother to the headache i’m having after finishing reading all the 450-so comments on DB…. my head is dizzy from all that….
    will comment later on less, um, physical scenes….

    • me again… but no, i’m still talking about the kiss… after watching it for the gazillionth time, the editing is really starting to bug me… for some reason, the kiss gets better and better each time, but then parallel to that, the editing of the scene appears to worsen each time i rewatch the scene…
      i don’t wish anyone to lose their job but seriously, mr. editor, maybe you should consider retaking some classes about editing… just saying.

      • I am now 99.9% sure that someone competent edits the even number episodes, and a monkey edits the odd number episodes. Not just episodes 11 and 13 being wonky, look back all the odd number episodes have very herky jerky cuts between scenes.

  17. I don’t really have anything to add other than what has been already said on Dramabeans and AKP. I’m glad a lot of people are enjoying PK but my personal emotional attachment to PK has been dwindling since Episode 11. Maybe it’s just me? This episode was alright for me and an easy watch. I loved Bong Joon Gu’s scenes until right before the rain scene, when he almost forced himself on Ha Ni. That was kind of unexpected but at the same time, I do hope that he gets his happy ending. And wow, 15K hits? I’m not even keeping track anymore. The numbers just keep going up, up, up! I doubt things are gonna calm down here. Heh. I’m wondering what’s going to happen in the next 3 episodes. My friend and I are betting about the ending. Hopefully we won’t see just like 5-10 minutes of their married lives in the end. Well, we’ll see. Oh, but I also want to add a totally random last comment and say that I was examining eucalyptus leaves today! :] And I thought of you, ockoala ’cause heh, you’re a koala and all. 😉 Heehee. Yes, random. :ahem: Now I should probably go examine some dodo foods…although they’re probably extinct now. See ya tomorrows!

  18. You are such a great writer!!! I really enjoyed your recap and comments. Thank you. (Ah suh mi dah?)

    Yes, I was one of the zillions who joined the great Oh Ha Ni: Feminist Scourge or Proof of Love’s Transformative Power debate over on DB. It was fantastic and the fact that such a “simple story” generated so much passion and thought is a testament to the original manga’s timelessness. *sigh*

    I’ve started to watch TW’s They Kiss Again. Let me say that it really portrays how far our fair lovers have evolved as human beings. They really do bring out the best in each other. Someone over at DB commented that the Itazura No Kiss franchise should really be subtitled “The Growing Up of The Boy Character.” TKA bears this out. The Boy is so patient with The Girl. He really understands her and loves her unconditionally. It’s pretty amazing–and in a way quiets the Feminist Scourge side of the debate. But I digress.

    Can’t wait for the English sub version to come out!

  19. As usual, thanks ockoala for the lightning speed recap. Love all of your reviews of PK.

    After watching this episode, I really wished that OHN had a twin sister. OHN for BSJ and twin sister for BJG. The date between BJG and OHN was cute and very touching. Just by looking at him, you can tell how much he loves her and oh man, that confession and marriage proposal made me cried.

    I also felt sorry for BSJ as well. Just when he’s finally starting to sort out his feelings for OHN, he has to give it up for the sake of saving his father’s company. The empty looks on his face when no one is watching were heartbreaking but that all went away when I saw the HOT kissing scene. In my opinion, it was well executed. It was not over the top but at the same time very passionate and romantic. I swear I replayed that kissing scene at least 10 times and had the same reaction each time.

    Looking forward to the next recap!!

  20. im in luv with seung jo… his gesture .. his eyes speak a thousand words… his luv is something you have to feel it with your heart…

    Although i feel sorry for Joon Gu..but nothing much can be done since his competitor is seung jo… maybe because i prefer bad boy type .. he he .. i can see Joon Gu as a best freind only ..

    Honestly i think Haera make a good pair for seung jo in term of physically & mentally …but their marriage life will be to perfect to be true… & maybe that why seung jo fall for ohani insteed..

    cant help to notice …seung jo i mean hyun joong looks like prince in this episode especially the kissing scene ..

  21. Thanks so much for this recap, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this (as well as your previous ones) and your insights as well. I have not read any of the comments, here or from other sites, regarding HaNi’s — maybe what others view as– antifeminist qualities, but I agree with your thoughts wholeheartedly. To be 19, is to be naive, silly, daring, and to let our hearts rule our heads. It’s been said before, but bears repetition, that (I think) this is the power of this drama, that we were HaNi at one point in our lives, and she has become moreso relatable becase SJM delivers in each and every scene.
    Again, the time and effort you put into these recaps are very much appreciated!

  22. just woke up and immediately opened this blog, soompi thread, and viikii…
    kekekeke while uploading in viikii i get to read th recap and comment in soompi..
    anyway good thing that I onlly woke up today cause i wouldnt be lured into watching the raw after resisting watching the long teaser and the live streaming last night… i’ll be baack here after I watch the subs at viikii.. ^_____^

    lastly thanks OCKOALA…

    • i posted this in soompi thread. but i felt that i need to post it here again, just to let out some pint up emotions about ep13…
      kekekeke… but everyone else let me just say “I LOVE EPISODE 13….!!!”
      its the best episode yet.. you can see the varying emotions/struggles/confessions of each of the 4 main leads…
      i so love love love love love this episode…!!!

      i just finished watching part 4 of ep 13…
      so i still havent seen the great Kiss in the rain scene which almost all people are raving about…

      ON Haera:
      first of all let me just say that i am really happy of HaeRa…
      i mean if i were haera i would be so happy to have the ‘coincidence’ or as his Grandpa said ‘DESTINY’ of having the marriage meeting with the guy i like. in Korea i think its normal to enter the marriage meetig due to parents insistence. i mean it wasnt her fault that she is the grand daughter of the company that has the power to ‘help or bury’ the BAek company but she is doing her best to get SJ’s heart as much as she can. i am kinda of sad for her in that aspect cause knowing her, confident and intelligent, she resorted with winning SJ’a attention through her grandfathers comapny isntead of making SJ come to her with her own charms. and also I think she might be as desperate and as in love with SJ as HN is, she might not show it cause like SJ she is like the girl version of our Robot boy, so she is RObot girl. and anyway since HN has the upper hand of being [1] in the same home as SJ, and [2] SJ parents loving her to be their daughter in law, this was her last fight for love. knowing how intelligent she is, i think this is a calculated and logical step for her to get SJ whatever means possible, a “Machiavelli: The end justifies the means” – philosophy

      On JoonG:
      okay can i just say that he is the sweetest guy ever, okay that is next to Jihoo sunbae.. and gosh does he say the sweetest things, he rivals JIhoo sunbae’s “I am JanDi’a firefighter..” with his “Hani, you are the reason i live” and “if you just turn around.. i an right here..”
      but when i say rivals i say it with great love, but sometimes the accents just keeps me laughing and smiling. it seems for joonGu however sweet he maybe and however his words may make anyone cry with its glucose goodness i just cant seem to have a straight face hearing him. I keep imagining that if this was dubbed in FIlipino, he would have a strong Visata accent like annabelle rama. and i just cant help laughing about that…
      but JoonGu you will be forever stored in my heart as one of the 2nd leading man that i wished to have the a GREAT LOVE story all on your own. that is along with JiHoo suncae, Lee JunKi in my girl (well he ended up having great drama’s after), Luigi in Full house and etc…

      ON SJ & HN:
      okay i love the jealousy between Hani and SeungJo in this episode. SeungJo is finally having doubts with how much Hani’s love in devotion for him run deeply..
      i like the dating parts so much cause it shows how SJ and HN dealt with their real feelings…
      SJ dates HR adn in his blunt way casually says that they may get married, so in turn HN feels that all her 4-year love has really come to an end, she ends up dating JG. Hearing HN dated JG and meets them afterward, SJ jealous but not ready admit that he is goes and goads HN in seeing if she really is serious in forgetting him, when HN admits that she is SJ comes home and knowing the HN will overhear his conversation with mom, he lets it slip that he is serious with HN.
      hahaha these 2, or maybe just SJ really have a hard time getting his feelings out.. and knowing that he is a thinker before a feeler, he cant get through his own mind over her heart..

      on SJ’s mom:
      okay she rocks in her HN worship. but now she kinda annoys me a bit, i know that many would disagree with me. but she kinda reminds me of JunPyo’s mom who favors Jaekyung and pushes JunPYo to her instead of what his son’s choice.
      i mean we all know that SJ love HN but i just think that mom should just let Sj come to terms with her own feelings. i know that in the process of him realizing he love HN he hurt her, but I think it is the process he needs to over come, i think at this point his heart and mind are fighting in the very opposite sides where his minds chooses Haera as the one and his heart choosing Hani as the one.
      and as SJ said, his mom really never gave him a chance to choose, she is doing what she did when he was a kid, dressing him up as a girl. I know she just wants what is good for their son, but come on all mother think they are only doing some thing evil cause they are thinking what is good for their sons, like in JunPyo’s case….
      so people dont hate me for kinda bashing on SJ’s mom a little, its just my opinion, if the heroin were Haera, you would really hate her you know…

      • i love your comment in , if dubbed in filipino you can imagine the visayan accent of joon gu as hard as annabelle rama! talk about comparison! LOL!

    • AHhhhhhhhhhhhh…!!!!!
      (squeling with so much delight…!!!)
      just finished it….
      i had high expectation with their kiss in the rain…
      i mean if you read my previous post, i mentioned that i want the kiss to be HOT, Passionate, True and long…
      and i am happy with it, it had 3 out of 4 from my categories…
      it was about 2010 seconds of kissing Hotness…

      so now i gotta go to the hospital..
      bye people

  23. Thanks ockoala… great recap and great insights…
    I’m one of few who stand by OHN for what she believes in…
    If people throw stones at her… I’d probably the ones who pick up those stones and throw back to at them… lol

    I’d like to point out that during the kiss scene, what SJ meant by ” You like me. You can’t like other men, but me” Actually he’s referring to her inability to love other man other than him. Not like he’s saying that OHN is not allowed to love others. But this is how I interpreted. Hope I can change yours… hehe

    With that being said, I agree that ISWAK’s rain kiss is more powerful only becoz of the emotional floodgate has been open wide. While, in PK the kiss SO HOTTT!!! I actually stop breathing for a while. But the reaction is a bit calm and kind of exhaling something that’s been building up from your chest. And it’s a relief for both OHN and BSJ. I hope we can see more of this emotions in tonite’s episode.

    PK fighting!

  24. Thank you so much for yet another excellent recap! It makes it so much more relaxing waiting to watch the episodes… and I love your commentary ^^

  25. thank you again for the recap…i love this episode eventhough it’s not same intense with the taiwanese version but still i love everything that kim hyun joong does…hehe…

  26. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt as satisfied watching a second lead get his date with the heroine in any drama.” Do you think it’s because they allowed the actress to look happy here? In that screencap you posted yesterday, of Joon gu and Hani, my first thought was whether it was an offscreen still… because its so rare that the first and second leads are allowed to to look like they may POSSIBLY be an OTP toooooo….. (but that first pic with the flowers in their hair and the sequence leading up to it in the recap… a little gurgle of regret ran in chest..)

    However, its always interesting to note that the predominant watchers of this drama must be women. When Hani speaks of her dreams, and they revolve around her Seungjo-Sun, it’s like “Bombs incoming!” but when Joongu tells Hani that he wakes up in the morning for her, and cooks thinking of her, everyone melts (me included, of course). But I really don’t have any problems with Hani’s little Seungjo-centric world. She, like Seungjo’s mom, lives in a perpetual happyland, where their lives, and dreams and joys are tied to those they love, and their ambition is to be needed and loved by those around them. It’s never gonna be my world, but I have to admit there were times in my childhood that I wished I had a mom like Seungjo’s rather than my super-career woman mom.

    When we got to the Eunjo-Seungjo scene and they were discussing Hyera, it just hit me. I LIKE Hyera. And Seungjo’s right. He’ll learn to like her, as will Eunjo. She’s not a bad person. But they’ll never feel about her like they feel about Hani. There was once this one story I read that described this little girl, Ollie, as a creature who knew only one thing – how to make people love her. And that’s Hani through and through.

    But on your thoughts of Joongu, and that MBC still of him, I thought that I’d found him attractive for the very first time in this drama. You led me to remember what it was that led to his devotion and dedication to Hani. But I haven’t really figured out what my feelings are for this character yet. Rather than comparing the intensity of the kisses betwen the TWD and KDrama, I thought that the difference lay in events leading up to it. Here, we have to face the possibility that Joongu could be SUCH a man, and bring happiness to Hani, but Seungjo never REALLY encountered the wrenching fear that Zishu faced that he had lost Xiangqin…

    I comment as I read the recap, as if it were a conversation- you tell me a little bit about last night’s episode and I reply. So when I got to your Noah’s snail views, I thought about deleting my comments above – sorta redundant but I didn’t in the end. I was reading Lulybunny’s comments and it was sorta ironic how I was the reverse of her. I was Hyera at 19, decided to read law but only practiced for 2 years and then joined the family business. But I’m 29 now, and I’m not sure if I know what I want to do. Sorta sad right? I’ve been feeling frustrated as all get out for the last few months, and the only good thing about it is that when I’m frustrated, I write better (as opposed to boring drivel).

    sidenote. All of a sudden, I really felt the hand of the Goong PD here, with the MBC stills in all their over-exposed glory (not that I don’t like the effect). I know I shoulda felt it before, but it just hit me suddenly here!

  27. I seriously wanted to smack Seung Jo in this episode for being especially cold hearted towards Hani. I cried and cried for Oh Hani. My heart literally broke with hers. And then at the end, that Seung Jo just had to give a passionate kiss that made up for being a jerk. And she forgot the heartache just like that. I better see some kickass loving from Seung Jo in the next episode.

  28. I think when SJ texted HN that he will deduct her salary for not reporting to work the underlying message was :WHERE ARE YOU? WHY ARE YOU NOT HERE IN THE OFFICE WITH ME?.. right?? anyone agrees?? =)

    • yup!!! instead of replying to hae ra, he sent a message to hani, which i also take as he needs hani and want to be with her rather than hae ra!

    • Agree with you there. The genius that he is, SJ has to make it hard for everyone to understand him. HN will have to learn to read his subtext, which she’ll have a lot of opportunities to do once they’re married and more sure of his feelings. One of the things that made INK/ISWAK/PK so enjoyable for me was that the audience can see and even feel the male lead’s love for the girl but she’s so obtuse to realise that she isn’t in a one-sided love relationship. One heck of a heart puller to engage the audience, whether they enjoy light-heartedly or get annoy with her slowness, and the same with his indirect methods of showing love.

  29. “The confession in the rain was nowhere near as powerful or electric as ISWAK, but that’s okay. PK has always had its own style,”
    I couldnt agree more..after the watching the preview leading up to the kiss i thought i would be disappointed by the lack of energy in the events elading up to it….but i was quite surprised that i wasnt simply cuz it fit PK….it just sorta flowed with the tone that PK has had so far which is a part of its unique charm

  30. thank you for this wonderful recap…you never fail to surprise me with your witty side comments….still have 3 remaining episodes and i’m looking forward for your next recap….best regards 🙂

  31. the kiss is frigging adorable. random , but does any1 knows the song being played during th date of hani and joon gu from the hat shop. it goes kiss kiss , forget about the past .its so adorable

    • to answer your question, i believe it’s a song by Bye bye sea (the group at hani’s and seungjo’s school) named proposal of marriage… I’m not fluent in korean since i’m still studying it but i tried to research the lyrics and I think i’m right…
      in case you need the korean title, its 청혼 and bye bye sea=안녕바다

  32. thanks ockoala!!!
    your site was another piece of heaven for PKissers like me.
    i almost stalk your blog since last night coz i watched PK raw and i cant fully understand some of the scenes but then i remember we have such a big time difference so i crushed out that idea coz its means i will not have any sleep and wont be ready for work if i do that. to sum it up, im so happy to be reading your cent or two regarding episode 13. ok enough about me.

    episode 13 was done right for me. from the dates of the alternative couples seung jo/haera to hani/joon gu. it showed us the posibility of the OTP IF they will not end up together. on the outside appearance it looks like it works but if you look closely how comportable they may seem it doesnt fit coz something is missing. they just reflecting one another and they dont compliment with each other. remember the lid and pot?!

    joon gu my boy…can we all give this guy a bear hug? my heart goes with you! this nice, sweet, devoted guy whose willing to go any length just for the happiness of hani. i wish the show would give him a nice ending or closure as well coz he truly deserves it. he just love the girl at the wrong time i think.

    hae ra, at first i thought in this episode you would be the uber b*tch that i need to draw my claws and use it to you. but then i think hae ra also knows that she’s fighting a loosing battle coz seung jo’s actions (even when they dated) obviously shows that he like hani so much. she just wanted to give it a try IF she can sway seung jo to her. IF ONLY! so im just gonna be nice and withdraw my claws and just give her props for trying. also, i think her trying also helps seung jo to really come terms to his feelings for hani.

    for our OTP!
    seung jo, in the first half of this episode i really wanted to smack your head in the wall for you to come with your senses. but then i remember that you are a robot boy so your senses are still limited to basic things like logical thinking and nothing more and still learning a thing or two about having EQ’s. ok, im being mean by saying that… in this episode you have shown that you can be human, and call me bad but i LOVE seeing you struggle with you feelings. i love how you try your hardest to choose whats right and logical when from the inside your whole being is screaming that you wanted other ways.

    my dear hani, there were tears in my eyes as you suffered from your supposed to be heartbreak from seung jo. and cant really blame you if you did try to find someone new coz seung jo was really being an *ss. but then again you wouldnt be oh hani if you did force yourself to be with someone you didnt love. *sigh, i must say i envy your kind of love…its seem so simple, honest, pure and unconditional. thats why in the end you’ll be rewarded.

    a shout out for our little guy eun jo! i know you would come around about hani being your noona! love how he sees his hyung’s feelings thoroughly. how bothered you are that your robot bro was such an *ss to your noona hani.

    i love the dynamic seung jo and hani played in this episode because both of them were hurt. each one trying to hurt the other b’coz the other the hurt them first. its like a merry-go-round of hurts and angst.

    did i forget something?
    oh, about the kiss… for us how watched/read the other version of PK, i know most of us will start to compare and complain. but as for me, i like it how its done…its not over the top but its not really lacking… it fits how PK relates its story, simple, quiet with touch of reality. ok, minus point that seung jo seem to demand from hani that she need to like only him but then again he, seung jo are still working process in terms with his EQ’s so i’ll let it slide just this once.

    again, will be anticipating the episode 14 as we move forward, hoping for better days of seung jo and hani. its time to show some loving guys!!!

    • happy to see your nice long reply… makes me feel better about my absurdly long reply. it’s just that we’re so happy and thankful for ockoala’s recaps right? hehe

      • i usually leave comments in blogs but never really this long…PK make me do things that i dont usually do…
        and besides ockoala is such a gracious host for our comments it feels great to share it with others.

  33. thank you ockoala, love your comments after the recap. for me hana with joon gu will be ok, she will content and may be happy if she married joon gu. but seung jo with hae ri will be like 2 roommates living together. seung jo will always be himself as a cold distant ice prince, only the little ball of fire hani can melt him to be a lovable person. love this ep.

  34. Okay, I said I wasn’t counting but … I couldn’t help but notice that there’s –wait, are my eyes deceiving me — 70 COMMENTS ON THIS RECAP ALONE?!?!? Caaarrraaazzzyyy! Mine would be the 71st. It’s mind-boggling for me to see all this PK love online, which we’ve kind of already addressed a couple of times on this blog. Well, I enjoy reading the comments. I love the discussions online about PK. It may not be anything stellar but it sure sparked a ton of varying reactions from practically every K-drama watcher I know. Love this!

  35. Your writing and these recaps are just so insightful, sweet, earnest and WARM. Such a ‘feel good’ read. 🙂 I read through all 13 of them, some afresh and it still gives me this sweet fuzzy warmth and I’m pretty sure for the nth time. 🙂 Thank you, sweetie!

    I love your analysis of Ha Ni. I was a young Ha Ni, but heartbroken fast and I willed myself into more of a Hye Ra not in brains but in practicality. I do missed the very young dreamy ridiculous me occasionally, but that’s childhood, we all grow up eventually, some faster, others at snail’s speed and it’s harsh to judge a child for being childish.

    *Can throw bricks at me* TBH your writing is MUCHMUCH more enjoyable than my watching experience. I had a hard time w/9 -13. I find the pace and editing in many scenes deflating, as if PD+writer are tired and weary in telling this simple earnest story in their whimsical way w/ loads of heart to put the soul and endearment in, sucking out many delicious dramatic scenes. I did scratch ISWAK comparing since ep2, if not I won’t be in as deep, but there r too many times watching a scene in PK I subconsiously reminisce a ‘better done’ scene, not in technicality per se, but in terms of its emotional push and pull and the right on dramatic beat in ISWAK, can’t help it. I’m not a masochist urging for MORE ANGST MORE, but when I feel like 9-13 required a louder bombom to build us up to a much more effective gratifying pow! of a kiss!! I consciously feel depraved. Watching last 4 eps is like I’m reading the story abridged and I need to remind self visually I’m still attested to how pretty and cute everything is. I feel this chunk of episodes is not done fluently in giving me a smooth transition to this point of development for the characters. For example the KISS.

    Needless to say I don’t feel much for the kiss, technically it’s well done acting-wise, but the editing screwed up the timing. Where’s the urgency?! Where’s the NEED YOU RIGHT NOW, DARN IT?! If PD is aiming for settling with the sweet and cute and tuning down every other emotions, why bother w/ the dropping of umbrella, in pouring rain, post some marriage proposal/forced kiss, in the middle of the street, AFTER a BIG DEAL excruciating wait for our Seung Jo!! The kiss should be all consuming, spur of a moment, Unrequited Sexual Tension shattering, a case of insanely intense feelings shredding all rationality for Seung Jo. And just a few little gasps of air and shocked pauses will make the Ha Ni, ‘it’s our second one’ much more attuned to the situation. She of all ppl and after all the build up should be the last one to remotely expect any of this, even just a peck…let alone how comfortably composed she’s to a subsequent lovely embrace. As if nothing has happened prior. Her ultimate fantasy dreamboy SJ just sucked air out of her literally and figuratively with a kiss and a love declaration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • you can throw bricks at me too. im sorry just my honest opinion

      seriously cant you just enjoy the drama?

      i mean we watch them because they are for entertainment purposes right?, do you think we will be entertained if we keep comparing between versions?, who did this scene better etc?, when did we all suddenly become a critic?

      i watched all versions BUT i LOOK at them individually and i DONT compare them with each other. how can it be a remake if you want the same scenes/emotions show once again then you should have just bought a DVD of your version of choice and put it on REPLAY.(that way you can watch them the way you liked it)

      *here is my analogy: i feel PK is the youngest sister who is being compared to her two elder sisters (TW & anime version) same blood BUT TOTALLY DIFFERENT personalities and qualities* so if you were the youngest sibling would you feel good being compared to your unnies? (my point exactly)
      give the poor girl some slack she is trying to make an identity thats different from her elder simblings

      *PS its called a REMAKE not a replication there is a difference between the two. just enjoy the show as it is if you dont like it dont watch. that simple

      • lol.. i wouldn’t quite put it as strongly since i understand where mookie comes from. however, i loved your sisters analogy… really well put.

      • O trust me babe I did try to just sample the kiss, and enjoy the ride. I’m glad you and others enjoyed it tremendously. I did enjoy it as well strictly as a kiss. But I’m allowed or I hope I can enjoy it on another level, how it fits into the context of the plot itself and the progression of the characters.

        If 10 year olds have to woo back his girl whom he assumed is coupling with some other 10 yo to the extent he has to kiss in public in pouring rain to prove his point or to shush her negating every one of his blunt demanding ownership claims, I would still demand some earth shattering in the form of some shivering, showing of built up nerves. That’s just me. Same for kindergarteners in the same situation. But as realistically as I want to for discussion purpose, our HaNi and JeongSo are college students, may it be stunted development socially or intellectually.

        I do agree these are diff interpretations of (the same on paper) characters but HaNi and JeongSo are not yet in a comfortable romantic relationship where public display of affection IS…comfortable. Ha Ni doesnt even know there is a 2 way ROMANCE going on btn them. Sneaking a kiss on his sleeping beauty was cute, but pretending nth happened afterward was clear proof of he’s not sorted out all the messy human feelings and he knows it. This kissing without real mutual understanding whether they are on the same page or not, more for a purpose of making his point, should not be done as fluffy and as natural as another kiss. When I’m reading the manga (ie the original work that this is based on) it’s so delicious that our genius boy is escalated to wits end in how to express ‘I love you’ without the natural instinct to simply say it out. It gives me, the reader, a lot of satisfaction to see him that antsy, almost seeing him pulling his all hair out and the one and ONLY resolution his IQ20000 head can come up with to express his feelings is a kiss, as simple as that. The solution is simple, but he should still be more out of place than he’s ever been in his young life. It is the climax of the whole story, ringing back to its title It Started With A Kiss a second (or third) time and progressed to a much more poignant crescendo of an eruption of raw emotions. It takes all these inner turmoils and every bit of guts and irrationality out of our SeungJo to make this happen and it should be rightfully portrayed by the PD.

        If the argument is he’s so far from normal that I should not expect such natural inner turmoils fr our SeungJo. I disagree, vehemently. I think one message to take home fr this story is love is not discriminating. Whether u r an unfeeling genius or u r a slow scatterbrained sweet girl, we are all equals in the game of love.

  36. Thank you for your thoughts in the end. After episode 12 I felt extremely upset at Hani’s lack of determination as a person, that she needed BSJ to define herself. However, now that I look back on it, and because I’ve had a similar experience, at 19 it definitely is permissible for her to behave this way. I actually believe, because her actions were from the heart, it was a lot better compared to mine. So her pride is left to the wind when she does these silly things, so what? She wears her heart on her sleeve and lives vivaciously in the moment. It’s all good. At least her intent is pure and noble, unlike some whose would other wise have been twisted and corrupt.

    BSJ’s ineptness for emotion I can understand. Deeply rooted in his identity was what his mother did to him as a child. Those are his issues he has to deal with and settle, and just because he is a genius, doesn’t mean he’s got the courage to deal with it. But now, hopefully, he’ll have the courage with Hani’s help.

    Episode 13, though I loved the kiss. While everyone says it’s this or that, I take it for what it is. It was an emotional kiss, BSJ’s lips latched on, making sure HE or HANI knew they were finally at that meeting point, when they were at the same plane, emotionally. While I would have slapped him for “commanding” me to only love him, I can view it this way: He wants to reaffirm, with himself, and Hani, that there is no need for anyone else. No need for Hae-ra, JoongGu, issues with his mom, her inabilities. He’s there, she’s there, and they’re complete.

    As for the pursuits of happiness, I can say I was very much like Hani in HS. Then because MY story went awry, I turned into the cold BSJ…but only now am I coming to grips that it’s not healthy. One should be balanced~ 😉 Live, Laugh, Love.

    OH crappers, almost forgot! As for her career path, I think that once OHN’s emotional state is finally settled (which it is, because she’s got BSJ’s security) she’ll go off and do amazing things and find and be the person she wants/should/needs to be. Sometimes it just takes that much.

  37. honestly, i came here with the full intention of fulfilling what i previously said I planned to do, namely talk about something other than the kiss but after reading all the comments on this post, most of which made me smile so much (you guys are all AWESOME), I feel somehow exhausted and in no state to be able to concretely and coherently express my thoughts on this episode. It doesn’t help that I also went through all the hundreds of comments on DB just before this. -_-”
    That said, I LOVED Siu Ying Yip’s comment, and so did I love ockoala’s thoughts on the episode as well as on the bench speech. And I already said before that I thought I might like ockoala’s recap on PK in particular better than I do with DB’s… and I sadly feel like it’s no longer a thought but something true. Sadly, because I feel like I’m having an affair (wink to Hani). LOL. Don’t get me wrong, I still love JB and GF and have a girl crush on them (lol, i’m weird. i know) and love their style of recapping, even for PK and admire them deeply. It’s just that I’ve found ockoala’s recap to reflect my thoughts and some more better and thus more enjoyable. this is really weird but i have this nagging uncomfortable feeling even when typing this… i must crush on JB’s writing more than i thought i did. XD
    jokes aside, i loved this episode, expectations lowered or not, comparison with ISWAK withstanding or notwithstanding. I didn’t want to raise my expectations but found myself increasingly hyped as the teasers/previews/photos poured out until by the time I finally watched the episode, I was already in a high state of anticipation. And still, I wasn’t disappointed and squealed like mad not only at the end, but also during all the cute/sad/maddening moments in the episode.
    KHJ had received many criticism for his acting in general, and in the rain scene in particular. I didn’t feel the same… As I have always stated, I’m not his fan, nor do I think his acting is anywhere near what it should be. However, because HE, KHJ, is awkward, HE fits BSJ’s personality perfectly. The blank look on his face is a perfectly believable reaction, even if not enough “satisfying” for some. Having a brother with the same social awkwardness, I can say that his portrayal of such a character is perfectly authentic I sometimes wonder if he is not acting and actually being himself. I also find it not a necessity for the two to be yelling at each other. Seungjo being who he is, just snapping out of frustration is already his equivalent of fury. As for Hani, she is resigned so why would she shout. The way ISWAK executed the scene was fine (and still one of the most memorable scenes in any dramas I’ve watched) but the subdued, but nevertheless emotionally charged korean scene delivered just as much. Like I said somewhere else, sometimes, the suppression of emotions can seem even more explosive than an outburst of them. As for the kiss in itself, it wasn’t forceful (which worked for ISWAK) but tender which in this case, worked perfectly for PK and is equally squeal-worthy. As for the aftermath, I LOVED the way KHJ’s eyes expressed his joy, and gentleness towards Hani. For a boy who still can’t act that well, it is quite a feat. Quite honestly, I am a bit tired of all the comparisons (especially the negative ones… haha. sorry, I’m totally subjective here) made between ISWAK and PK. In a sense, they are almost two entirely different dramas, or genre/style, from the way they are executed. You know, like comparing the two Iljimae and RoI, but less extreme than that.
    As for Joongu, my heart broke, several times for him. For Haera, I still respect the way she acts with Seungjo. In a way, I wish I could behave like either Haera or Hani, both with the one I would like.
    Some blame BSJ for acting like an ass… and I too feel like he was a jerk. However, I am more inclined to excuse him, mainly because his reason is more than him being emotionally stunted. In his childhood, his friends who said they liked him left and mocked him and I believe that he is still now scared of that happening to him again. In a way, that’s why he would rather push Hani away.
    Haha… for a supposedly “short” comment from tired me, this is quite a rant… guess I still had some energy left in me. or more likely, I seem to be inexhaustible whenever PK is concerned.
    And yes, to your comment, I starting to really agree with what you said about the monkey… if it IS really a monkey, then I don’t mind firing it. not likely though. I’m not sure I remember all episodes but I still remember the VAST improvement from ep 1 to ep 2 and one of the episodes that impacted me the most remain ep 8, and 10, both of which are even numbers. Sigh. The curse of odd numbers. If my memory serves right, the same thing happened with BOF.
    and now, my brain seriously needs some rest, aka another round of KHJ’s jawline.

    • v, got to agree regarding comparison, as i said in DB comment, every drama remake has its own approach in even its a same story. why not just enjoy what the drama offers to us.

      also, about KHJ, others blames his lack of emotions but then again if the PD is not satisfied with the result he could ask to re-shoot it again right? it means KHJ is doing what his PD wants him to do. in my opinion KHJ did a good job esp. this episode. with different emotions he needed to convey in this episode i totally saw it.

      • I agree. Just let me say a few words, as a person who does not pretend she knows acting; I’m one of those who can enjoy a drama for what it is and will usually like it if the story is watchable and the actors aren’t short-changing the audience and tries their best.

        And I do think that KHJ has tried his best, perhaps he still needs to hone and refine his acting skills, but in PK I think he has portrayed SJ very well and if he can’t act well enough yet for some people I personally think his eyes are doing enough acting to cover all the other perceived imperfections. I do wish people would give him some time before criticising, he is new to dramas, if after ten or twenty years and he’s still playing robot parts then I might worry a little for him.

        As for the comparisons between the different versions, yes, many haven’t cotton on to the fact that they are versions, adaptations of the original (manga), not ISWAK, or the Japanese drama or anime, and not even of the manga. I want to stress the word adaptations, they’re not meant to be the same, now that would be boring as hell, rather like SJ and HR together. Excuse the comparison.

        I have enjoyed all the different versions and have accepted each one separately. Each has its own pacing and style and tone or mood. I tried not to talk about the kiss but with all the comments coming up I’d like to add that if it had been like the one in ISWAK then it wouldn’t be PK, the atmosphere would have been wrong since KHJ’s portrayal of BSJ is not the same as Joe Cheng’s of Zhi Shu and likewise for the female leads.

        I wish people (the ones who are criticising endlessly) would take this story as it is and enjoy the fun. Yes, it’s fun. I believe in freedom to think and speak but please stay open-minded a little, if we’re always comparing one thing to another and wanting everything to be the same then there would be no point to being human.

        Thank you v, kia and rainyrain for liking my comment. I couldn’t stand not being part of this online fun any more since I’m an avid Itazura na Kiss fan, and there is no one in the house I could talk to about the dramas I love. My two sons probably think their mother have gone doolally so I’m glad I found ockoala’s blog.

        I’m heading to the recap for ep. 14 now and I’m sure ockoala will have given us another great one. See you there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.