Best Love Episode 11 Recap

As much as I enjoy watching a Hong Sisters drama, even the ones I liked tended to go downhill in the second half, some rather precipitously. I’ve been praying that Best Love (The Greatest Love) might end that trend for me, and I’m happy to report that episode 11 doesn’t dip a toe anywhere near a puddle of convoluted mess of plot developments.

While this episode was substantively nowhere near my favorite, the ending was by far the best BL ending so far. I don’t think I will ever look at a potato the same way again. I am now also fully convinced that Cha Seung Won + car = danger to all womenkind the world over. OMG, after City Hall, I never thought he can make me swoon in a car again. But I was wrong, because he did it again. *cue the song involving Britney Spears in a red skin-tight latex suit*

Episode 11 Recap:

Jin embraces Ae Jung, telling her that he’s exhausted and needs to recharge. He explains that a device like a cell phone needs to be charged for at least one bar before it can be turned on. So he’ll just hold on to her until he’s done charging for one bar. Ae Jung’s eyes widen as she lets him hold her for a bit.

Ae Jung comes to her senses and pushes Jin away, telling him she’s not his charger and he should go elsewhere to grab some juice. Jin turns his metaphor literal, and walks over to the kitchen asking Ae Jung to make him some curry then. If she’s not going to let him recharge emotionally, at least feed him physically. She wonders why he insists on the curry, and doesn’t want to oblige his request.

Jin asks her how she’s planning to leave, since there are scads of reporter camped outside. Jin thinks Ae Jung is stuck at his place for at least 2-3 days. But if she’ll make him curry, he’ll tell her the secret passage out of his house, which involves the model car parked in his living room.

Jenny and Ae Hwan are talking about why Ae Hwan let Ae Jung go over to Jin’s house. Ae Hwan says Ae Jung wants to confirm something so she just left. Jenny is rightfully worried that Ae Jung will waver again if she finds out Jin punched the manager for Ae Jung’s sake. Pil Joo arrives and asks to speak with Jenny about something.

Ae Jung chops vegetables and Jin tosses them in the pot. He gently blows on the burn on Ae Jung’s arm. Ae Jung puts two-and-two together, and asks Jin if her injury is the reason he got in a fight. She tells him that he should go blow on the manager’s wounds instead. Ae Jung asks to grab some potatoes and he says that in his house, potatoes do not get killed to become food.

Jin points to his fish in the aquarium, asking if Ae Jung would cook those fish if she wanted to eat fish. The same logic applies to potatoes in his house. They eat the curry without potatoes. Afterwards Ae Jung asks Jin if he really has a way out of the house.

Ae Jung and Jin get into the model car, and he pretends that he can get there where she wants to go. She tells him to stop joking around. He asks if there is anywhere she wants to go with him? There are many places he wants to go with her. Ae Jung thinks he’s crazy, but he says he’s not crazy, he’s broken. He points to his broken heart, telling her it beats for her all the time.

Jin tells her that his car is as broken as this model car here. If he gets his heart fixed, he’ll drive right past her. Until then, she needs to stay away from him. She wonders why he tries to get close to her, and then now tells her to run away and avoid him.

Jin walks out of his house and is surrounded by reporters. He tells the media that he will explain it later, and gets in the car. Ae Jung sits in the model car and thinks back to the contradictory things Jin keeps asking of her.

Pil Joo asks Jenny why the manager has it out for Ae Jung? Jenny says it’s because of Mina. Pil Joo remembers who Mina is. Jenny says it’s been 10 years and she doesn’t remember what happened back then anymore. Ae Hwan says that he should have been the one to hit the manager, not Dokko Jin. Pil Joo doesn’t look pleased.

Jin goes to visit the manager in the hospital. Jin apologizes, and the manager agrees not to press charges this time because Jin came to apologize in person. But next time he won’t let it go. Jin also says that he won’t put up with it next time, if the manager messes with Ae Jung again. The manager can’t believe Jin is doing this for Ae Jung, and warns Jin that his image will be ruined if he keeps doing this.

Jin tells him to go ahead and try it. The manager wonders who Ae Jung is to Jin? Jin says that she is just someone at his agency with no power, and he is Dokko Jin with lots of power. He calls the manager a bad guy who would hurt a woman. Jin warns the manager that this is the end of this matter, and he’ll be sued if he dares to write a book about it.

The media reports that Jin missed the awards ceremony because his previous heart condition flared up. Jin meets with Agent Moon, who hands him his award. Jin informs her that he’s not going to Hollywood anymore. Agent Moon reminds Jin that Ae Jung doesn’t want him. He smiles and tells her not to worry, it’s all good.

Jin talks with his potato, happy that its growing so fast. But he worries that if the flower blooms, the potato might die. He holds his heart. Jin meets with Se Ri, who asks why he never told her his scar was from heart surgery. Jin doesn’t think they had the kind of relationship for him to share this secret with her.

Se Ri asks with a smirk if Jin really likes Ae Jung? Jin wonders why she looks kind of happy about this? Se Ri offers to let him go to Ae Jung, which makes Jin further curious since they don’t have the kind of relationship where they want the best for each other. Se Ri confesses that she likes Pil Joo, so if Jin can make it work with Ae Jung, then she can have Pil Joo to herself. Jin says it can’t work out between him and Ae Jung, so Se Ri needs to leave Pil Joo alone. Se Ri wonders if Jin has been pushed aside for Pil Joo. Jin says he wasn’t pushed aside, he just can’t get ahead of Pil Joo.

Se Ri shows Pil Joo the fake news reports about why Jin missed the awards ceremony (because of his heart condition), saying the truth was Jin punched someone because of Ae Jung. Pil Joo says he knows, and he also knows Se Ri is here today to tell him this and not because she’s sick. Se Ri says it hurts so much, seeing Ae Jung holding on tight to Pil Joo on one side, Jin on the other.

Pil Joo says Se Ri hurts because of the jealousy she feels in her mean heart. Se Ri concedes she’s jealous because what she wants is being taken away from her. She asks Pil Joo if he’s not also jealous. Pil Joo also admits he’s jealous a lot. He apologizes to Se Ri for scolding her. She asks him to stop scolding her because she is really having a hard time.

Ae Jung is signing pictures at the agency. Jae Seok brings in a smiling ad of Jin. Ae Jung chides the ad, wondering why he’s bothering her if he’s broken. She accidentally marks it with her pen so she tries to wipe it clean. She’s blowing and wiping the picture Jin when the real Jin shows up. He thinks she’s trying to kiss the fake him because she can’t do it to the real him.

Ae Jung explains that she was just trying to wipe it clean. Jin makes the same pose and tells her to go ahead and do the same thing to the real him. She doesn’t take him up on his offer, so he disappointedly sits down with her as she continues signing. Ae Jung ignores him, and Jin notes that she’s good at ignoring his antics.

He tells her to continue ignoring him in the future, no matter what insanity comes out, it’s all a joke. If he asks her to marry him, it’s a joke. She says ding dong. He says if he disappears and goes to die, it’s a joke. He wants her to say ding dong, but she refuses, upset and he can joke about this. Jin says he’s got a butthole for mouth, he can joke about this. He gives her some candy to eat as she signs.

The manager talks with someone, and it’s clear he’s not going to let this go. He wants Mina found. Jin is watching Ironman, and Jae Seok asks Jin if he’s really not going to Hollywood. Jin says he can’t go because he needs to stick around and make sure something is not messed with. Jae Seok asks if Jin won’t tell him the results of his test. Jin says that Jae Seok may not be his manager for much longer. Jae Seok has tears in his eyes, and says he’s job is not to reveal things.

Jin’s heart surgeon holds a medical team meeting with a roomful of doctors and discusses Dokko Jin’s heart condition and need for another surgery. Jin meets with the doctor, asking him to schedule the surgery within the month. The doctor reminds Jin that the reason for his heart to start thumping again ten years ago is now by his side (i.e. Gu Ae Jung).

Jin is home and says out loud that he misses Ae Jung. His heart starts to beat wildly and he presses down on it, telling it to get itself under control. But he looks at the potato and says that he still misses Ae Jung. Jin sneaks up to her house, telling himself that he’ll just see her once and leave so that he can recharge.

Ding Dong sees him and explains his aunt is not here. Ding Dong is holding a blue stool and asks Jin for help since Jin is so tall. Jin grabs the video game put up high so that Ding Dong can’t reach it. Jin makes Ding Dong promise not to reveal that Jin got the video game for him. The kid wonders if Jin is here to secretly see his aunt, and Jin says of course not, that is what stalkers do.

Ding Dong runs off to play, and Jin looks around the kitchen. He spies bottles of his endorsed Vitamin Water which makes him giddy. But then he sees a box of Oriental medicine from Pil Joo, which makes him upset. He walks around the house carrying the pouch of medicine. He starts to wander around the house, but reminds himself that he’s no stalker.

He then decides that if he knocks, then he can enter. He does just that with an adorable devious expression. He walks into Ae Jung’s room, and he opens a jar of face cream. He says it smells like Ae Jung. He puts some under his nose and smiles that it’s Ae Jung’s smell. Suddenly Jin hears Ae Jung calling out for Ding Dong, and realizes she’s home.

He tries to hide but steps on the dropped pouch of Oriental medicine. He tries to wipe it up using his hands, and then using Ae Jung’s pair of white shorts. He shoves the shorts in his pocket but can’t find a way out. He goes back in her room and walks over her bed and jumps down on the other side, leaving footprints on the bed. Jin hurts his ankle a little and dodges behind a pile of hanging clothes.

Ae Hwan and dad come home as well, and Ae Jung goes to her room to change. Jin suddenly realizes she’s changing. He tries to shield his eyes, but can’t stop himself from peeking. Ae Jung wonders where her shorts went, suddenly Jin makes a noise. She looks and sees only his eyes, and he says “it’s me.” But she starts screaming and running away because she doesn’t realize that it’s him.

Jin grabs her on the bed and silences her, allowing her to recognize that it’s him. Suddenly Ae Hwan comes over and Jin ducks under the covers and Ae Jung pretends that she’s tired and resting first. Suddenly Ae Hwan sees Jin’s dirty feet, and tells Ae Jung to wash it first before sleeping otherwise it’s just so dirty.

Ae Jung realizes that Jin smells like her cream, and that he has her shorts in her pocket. His handprints are exactly where her butt area is, heh. He says that he’s not a stalker. She wants him to leave via the roof. Once he goes outside, he says he can’t leave since he hurt his ankle.

Ae Jung grabs him a compress for his ankle. He asks if she learned that from Pil Joo? Jin holds Ae Jung’s face close to his, telling her he needs to recharge. Ae Jung allows him to hold her close. Finally Jin pulls away, telling Ae Jung that he’s going crazy because he just wants to take her home to be his personal recharger. Ae Jung tells him to just say it, he likes her and wants her to stay by his side. He says he can’t because he’s broken. Ae Jung gets upset and walks away. Jin thinks he’s going crazy for real.

Pil Joo’s mom demands to know why the PD allowed Pil Joo to be paired up with Ae Jung. PD Kim explains that Pil Joo likes Ae Jung. Mom wonders if Ae Jung seduced Pil Joo, but realizes that Ae Jung appears to not like Pil Joo back. Pil Joo’s mom meets with Ae Jung dad and explains the situation. Ding Dong overhears and confirms it with a cute “ding dong”. Mom wonders if Ae Jung will reject Pil Joo on the show, or they will go all the way to the end. She moans about what she’s going to do with her Pil Joo.

Ae Jung meets with Pil Joo and lets him know that his mom really doesn’t like her. Pil Joo asks Ae Jung to please let that person (Jin) go, if she likes Pil Joo even a little. Otherwise he can never catch her.

Agent Moon gives Ae Jung her first solo single demo, and confirms that a CF is lined up. She asks Ae Jung to do her a favor – convince Jin to go to Hollywood by messing with Jin’s pride and breaking up with Jin for good.

Ae Jung looks at the purple sneakers Jin bought for her and remembers what he did for her. She puts it in a bag and cries. Ding Dong watches her and cries as well. The manager meets with Se Ri and informs her that he found Mina, who has a new name and is still in Korea.

Se Ri tries to get the clinic to give her Mina’s information, but the clinic won’t share it. Se Ri then asks if she can be told when Mina’s next appointment will be. Pil Joo comes out and wonders why Se Ri is looking for Mina. He finds out from Jenny that Se Ri and Mina were not close.

Pil Joo is walking in the neighborhood and sees Ding Dong looking into the recycling bin. Ding Dong asks for Pil Joo’s help to get the sneakers out of the recycling bin. Pil Joo asks if Ae Jung threw it away, and is told that she threw it away all the while crying, so she clearly doesn’t want to throw it away. Pil Joo gets the sneakers for Ding Dong, who washes them and sets it out to dry.

Ae Jung practices what to say to Jin, who overhears her. He asks if she’s starting to like him. Jin asks her to come to his house, he has something he wants to show her. She asks him to do as she says now. He asks if she wants him to leave her side, because he can’t do that. Ae Jung asks Jin to go on a picnic with her, and to wait at her house for her. He promises to wait for her.

Ae Jung and Pil Joo film for Couple Making. She promises the PD that she’ll talk with Pil Joo more today. Pil Joo asks if what he said to her made her feel burdened? She asks him for a favor, to hold onto her so that she doesn’t run to Jin. She apologizes for asking this of him.

Jin gets dressed up and happily tells the potato that he’s putting it all on the line and going to wait for Ae Jung. He presses his thumb against his lips, and then presses a kiss on the potato.

Jin texts Ae Jung a picture of the potato, which Pil Joo accidentally sees because he thought it was his phone. He tells Ae Jung, who doesn’t want to see it, telling him to delete it. Pil Joo moves to delete it, but we don’t see if he actually does it. The production of Couple Making think something is wrong between Ae Jung and Pil Joo since their interaction is rather stilted.

Ae Jung and Pil Joo do a puzzle. He tells her to follow his lead, and he will help her. Jin goes to Ae Jung’s house and waits outside in his car. Pil Joo and Ae Jung have dinner. Poor Pil Joo looks sad still. He walks her home, asking if she enjoyed the movie today. She says she did, and he looks at his watch and realizes that the day is over already.

When they arrive at her house, they see Jin waiting in the car for Ae Jung. Pil Joo takes Ae Jung’s hand, telling her that even if its hard he’ll help her, and all she needs to do is follow him. Ae Jung stops to look directly at Jin, but Pil Joo switches their hands and they walk inside still holding hands.

They sit down in the patio area, and Ae Jung takes her hand out of his. Pil Joo grabs the empty space for a moment as Ae Jung starts to cry. Ae Jung wonders if Jin got her message, she did a great job of just walking right past him, right? He must know she purposely ignored him, and if he has any pride he will completely leave her life now. Ae Jung looks at Pil Joo, apologizing for how hard this must be on him as well.

Jin sits in his car and cries. Oh god, watching a grown man cry like that just breaks me into pieces. Pil Joo looks at the crying Ae Jung and the sneakers drying in the yard. Pil Joo takes out Ae Jung’s phone and shows her the picture and text Jin sent. Pil Joo gets up and leaves without saying anything else.

Ae Jung reads the message which says: Gu Ae Jung, I grew the potato you brought this much. They say the flower is poisonous, but I was patient and grew it until the flower bloomed. I’m broken so I can’t catch you, so this time you need to come. So that I won’t be able to stop, and can keep going on. Come and recharge me.

Jin sits outside still waiting for Ae Jung, tears in his eyes as he peers up at her house. Ae Jung walks up to his car and Jin has his eyes closed. This time it’s she who puts her hand on the window and against his cheek. Jin looks up and sees her, and OMG he still has a tear rolling down his eyes.

He rolls down the window, and she tells him “you bad guy – recharge.” Jin sticks his body out the window and grabs Ae Jung for a deep kiss. Everyone with me now – SQUEEEE!!!! And for the record, the song that plays during this scene is my favorite off the BL OST, it’s called “Don’t Forget Me” and it just perfect for this moment.

Thoughts of Mine:

While the jokey scenes, the hyper-antics, and the overall theatrical nature of this drama may turn off some folks who find it all just a little bit “too much”, what’s hidden within the layers of Hong Sisters wrapping is a truly memorable and very touching love story. One that is mature despite the immaturity of our hero, and one that is romantic despite the practicality of our heroine.

In discussing this episode, I have to call out Se Ri and Pil Joo first, because dayum are they rewriting second lead history as we speak. Se Ri, who still needs to stop her whining and entitled ways, nevertheless is really brave when it comes to fighting for her love. She’s done nothing to sabotage Ae Jung, other than confess her feelings to Pil Joo at a crucial moment for him. She tells Jin that she likes Pil Joo, hoping that maybe Jin can make it work for Ae Jung so she can have a chance with Pil Joo. If only other second female leads can be this way.

Pil Joo officially wins the best second male lead of the year award. Hands down, no competition. When all is said and done, his might be my favorite character in this drama. Because he’s so normal, so sincere, so realistic. At the end of the episode, he knows where Ae Jung’s heart lies, and he can even see where Jin’s heart lies. Jin’s not toying with Ae Jung, and Ae Jung is running away from Jin for Jin’s sake. In a case like this, Pil Joo is the third party, and he accepts his place in this love triangle and allows Ae Jung to look at all the facts and make her choice.

We’ve five more episodes to go, and we finally have our OTP together at long last. I thought the development of their relationship was very appropriately paced, and their getting together at this juncture feels well-earned. I know Jin’s surgery, and to a lesser extent the mystery of Mina, remains looming over this story. But I like to think that however this story reaches its conclusion, we’ll all be clapping like trained seals because it was just so incredibly amazing to get a rom-com this equal parts funny, sophisticated, and heartfelt.

While BL may end up being my favorite Hong Sisters rom-com (Hong Gil Dong remains my favorite Hong Sisters drama, period), it’s not without its flaws. While I find all four main leads well-cast, and have good chemistry, sadly I have to concede that I personally find Gong Hyo Jin has much better chemistry with Yoon Kye Sang. I can’t explain it, but it’s clear in every scene they share. Chemistry is intangible, and not a factor of the ability to act or looking good together in the same shot.

For example, nothing Hyo Jin has done has ever come close to her soul-searing chemistry with Rain in Let’s Go To School, Sang Doo. Same with Cha Seung Won, who probably met his onscreen soulmate in Kim Sun Ah in City Hall and it might never happen again. It’s just that something more that can’t be forced. Rare couplings have it, but most end up just being good but not great.

That doesn’t mean Jin and Ae Jung are not a dazzlingly memorable OTP when all is said it done. But really the Hong Sisters never create mind-blowing OTPs for me (whereas that appears to be Kim Eun Sook’s specialty). Rather they excel on creating love stories and situations that are memorable and touching, which is how I feel about Jin and Ae Jung’s love story. It moves me because it’s so well-written, period.


Best Love Episode 11 Recap — 80 Comments

  1. i agree…
    -Cha Seung Won + car = danger. i loved City Hall.
    -love the second leads…especially Pil Joo who is normal and realistic
    -favorite OST for BL is “Don’t Forget Me”

    can’t wait to see where the story will take us next!

    thanks koala!

  2. I think for me, the Hong Sisters seem to really be emphasizing romance (not chemistry/lust) — so their OTPs don’t seem to sizzle like others. Instead, their OTPs simmer, often quietly (or in the case of DGCH, quite noisily), but there’s a sincerity to their development. I never feel like I’m just being “told” that this is an OTP, when it comes to the Hong Sisters; I always feel like I can genuinely believe these two people truly like each other, as a foundation to loving each other. Even when they make a lot of noise that seems like otherwise, there’s still a fundamental kind of respect between them — like Jin admiring AeJung for her years in the industry.

    So… no. This OTP isn’t burning up the screen (unlike the two in, say, a little-known kdrama with the initials of LTM) — but it’s developing into one that I think would end up rock-solid and believable. Maybe it’s just me, that fireworks are fun, but this is really a romance. HEART BREAK!, and goofball theatrics, and all.

    • Very well said.

      I disagree that she has more on screen chemistry with Piljoo though. They do have chemistry, but to me… it’s not chemistry between lovers but rather, between very good friends.

      • I like PilJoo so much, I’ve had to give serious thought to what flaw he’s got (other than not being Wacky Jin, that is) — and I think it’s that he likes her, but that he doesn’t necessarily admire her strength and/or understand it, where it comes from. He wants to protect her, while Jin wants to encourage her. Pil Joo wants to take her away from nasty showbiz, but Jin doesn’t disrespect her like that, like she needs to be “saved”. He doesn’t want her to hurt, but he seems to realize that taking her away isn’t really the way to do it.

        In some ways, that actually makes Jin feel like one of the most mature and respectful main leads in any Hong Sisters drama. Hell, in a lot of kdramas at all. He’s not doing the noble idiocy “this is for your own good”, he’s trying to help her without stepping too much on her toes. Unlike Pil Joo, who has the best of intentions but who ultimately would resolve the situation “for her”, I think, if he could.

    • kaigou,

      I am definitely agreeing with and loving your thoughts! I too think Piljoo is sweet and awesome, but I also agree that Piljoo and Jin have different ways of protecting and respecting her. They both have different views on what is best for her… but the reason why it works with Jin is because his view aligns with hers. I like how you say that Piljoo doesn’t necessarily admire/understand her strength and what she’s been through. Jin wants her to rise above what she’s gone through and keep moving forward in the industry. He wants to help her confront and overcome, rather than run away.

      And totally agree with you about Jin being mature. It’s so odd because he is also so immature at the same time. He is such a walking contradiction! However, I think this is why I can take his character seriously (even though he is one of the, if not most, wackiest characters ever)… because his wackiness and immaturity is backed up by his sincerity and maturity. His way of not telling her about his condition also proves his maturity… he doesn’t tell her because she’ll be hurt, but he also doesn’t pretend to be mean to her so that she can back off. He wants her by his side, but doesn’t want to force it upon her.

    • I agree with Kaigou regarding HS’s OTP. For me a good story comes from a solid plot. Since we’re talking about KES and HS, I also love City Hall, my favorite drama and yes the chemistry is awesome, but when I first watch it, I keep wondering, when did Jo-guk start to fall with Mie-ra? So I need to watch the first few episodes again, but later on I just love the way their relationship grew, it’s like they completed each other.

      I didn’t have that “confusion” about Dokko Jin and Ae jung, although Jin’s assumed antic disposition, the HS can make them come together romantically in a believable way. And I read some people say that they don’t think GHJ does a terrific job here, I think the opposite, GHJ as Ae jung might seem self-consciously awkward but that is just how she interprets Ae jung, and she’s so natural. So the guy is a crazy no. 1 star and the girl is an awkward artist desperate for a comeback, fall in love, try to resolve all their dozens issues, his career, her career, his health, her family-she’s the breadwinner and all, that’s creating tension and momentum in the plot that keep the viewer coming back for more and fall in love with the OTP 🙂

      Ockoala as always thanks for the recap.

    • yes this is so romantic… and i do see little hearts floating beetween AJ and J. they’re so believable. they’re in love!!!! as to the people who doesn’t see the chemistry i don’t understand
      and i don’t see so much chemistry between AJ and PJ. they look like good friends. that’s all

  3. Dear Koala,

    Thanks a lot for your hard work..
    I really happy because at this episode we can see DKJ and GAJ became a real couple (at last)

    Can’t wait for the next episode

    Go Team Jin

  4. I actually disagree with your opinion on Hong Sister’s ability to create a ‘mind-blowing’ OTP. I think their earlier works Delightful Girl and My Girl have one the best OTPs. Who can forget Lee Mong Ryong + Sung Choon Hyang or Seol Gong Chan + Joo Yoo Rin?

    • I prefaced by saying “for me”, so in response to your statement “who can forget….”, well, I can and did forget those OTPs. I gave up on Choon Hyang by episode 8 when they kept recycling the same headdesking plot devices, and I second lead shipped so hard in My Girl I bore a hole in Gong Chan’s head for being in the way. MG also hurt the OTP when I found Lee Da Hae had more chemistry with Lee Junki than with Lee Dong Wook.

      I find HS OTPs memorable only in the sense of the context of their story, how they meet, the antics ancillary to the set-up. If you take away the fun story, what’s left doesn’t stand alone nearly as well as some other legendary OTPs in K-dramas. That is all. But the romance the HS creates is very memorable.

      • Hm, I understand where you are coming from, except I don’t think I’ve ever second lead shipped in any dramas. I’ve always believed that situations are key to good OTPs. That being said, I do truly believe that there must be SOME sort of chemistry between the actors/actresses in order for OTPs to be work.

        You mentioned that YKS and GHJ have better chemistry, but I just don’t feel or see it in the context of this story. The character he plays, in my opinion, is very…dull and the prime example of the ‘nice guy finishing last’.

        If YKS and GHJ were playing the lead couple – no scratch that – if YKS were playing a more endearing character with some sort of ‘fault’, I could imagine that they would be a good couple. I just find that without ‘the character’ and ‘situation’, it’s hard to trace ‘chemistry’.

        BTW, this is just my opinion, so I don’t want you to take it the wrong way. I still very much appreciate your insight on the dramas you recap.

      • I also disagree. I mean Go Mi Nam and Tae Kyung are my favorite kdrama couple ever! And there wasn’t one Hong Sister couple I didn’t like. All of them were cute in different ways.
        btw…I found Lee Jun Ki annoying in My Girl…

    • I hate Chemistry I never memorized the chemical abbreviations man wazzup with the Jargons???? ahahaha 😉 keep laughing!!!!!

  5. Dear Koala..
    Thanks a lot for the recaps for this episode..
    It’s 2 am now, and i haven’t been going to sleep yet, just to wait for your wonderful recaps. Looking forward to your recap on ep 12.. \(^^)/
    Thanks, and now i’m of to my dreamland of Ae-Jin..

  6. “One that is mature despite the immaturity of our hero, and one that is romantic despite the practicality of our heroine.”

    This line… I absolutely agree.
    AHH I am irrevocably in love with these characters and this drama!

  7. While I do agree about PJ being the best second lead, I have to disagree about his chemistry with AJ. I sincerely can’t see it, I find their interactions quite dull.

    So, which has been your favorite episode so far?

    It’s gotta be 10, for me.

  8. best episode so far……

    CSW acting is perfect…his sad eyes made me felt the same way too….

    thanks a lot for the super fast recap….hwaiting..

  9. thanks again koala for the super fast recaps! i wonder how you still can get your beauty
    sleep…please.teach me how to sleep while reading your recaps and watching korean dramas:)

  10. I think one of the reasons why I am not very much in love with this drama as much as LTM is because the differences in the level of chemistry the OTP of each drama has. Still, I’m not saying that I don’t like BL because I do.

    And it’s the same with me ockoala, Hong Sisters dramas often make me lose interest in the second half while the first half makes me crave for more.

    The thing with this drama that kind of bugs me is I don’t really know who the “bad” guy is. Is it Seri or the manager? I doubt that it’s Seri because even though you don’t like her, you also don’t hate her. She’s not really that bad of a person but more like a person with a lot of jealousy. So the bad guy must be the manager. I don’t know.

    • why has there got to be a “bad” guy in a drama? I prefer dramas were everyone has faults and good points.

      But, yeah, if there had to be a bad guy it would be the manager… though we don’t know what exactly happened 10 years ago with Mina

  11. I’m finally done with exam and started my marathon for BL. So far, I feel that the tone of this drama a bit over the top for me to be emotionally invested (it’s strange especially since I was able to emotionally invested in manga adaptation of crazy characters like Nodame, just not this one). However, I do think this drama is intense with plots and very entertainment so am happy for the team that this drama keeps getting better ratings (sigh for my beloved City Hall as I mention the rating issue).

    I can’t agree more re the onscreen soulmate for the CSW-KSA pair. While I do think CSW did a fabulous job in “acting”, (which means, there’re traces of acting; and to be fair it has something to do with the overall tone and setting of the script and character of Dokko Jin) somehow the development of his love for GAJ is not very believable to me (again, it’s more about the story development). This is my first Hong sister’s drama and I guess they do have a huge tendency to use loads of metaphors to conspicuously build up their intended emotions…which, hmm, may be too conspicuous to my liking.

    And I also tend to ship for GAJ and Pil Joo. Partly the chemistry, or perhaps partly due to their more compatible acting style. I read from one interview of CSW saying how he’s more a “technical actor” (as in he knows what he needs to present physically for the audience to know what he’s trying to convey) while GHJ is more of a natural. I think Yoon Kye Sang also has this more of the “natural” kind of acting style that makes me think that GAJ and Pil Joo have better chemistry.

    • I agree with you about BL. I like it, but don’t love it. And like you, I can totally get into crazy adaptation like Nodame (love!!) but BL lacks something I cannot put my fingers on. Perhaps it’s the mismatch in acting styles as you pointed out. I find CSW totally sells the character in a comical way, but others are not quite there.

      In Nodame, everyone is crazy and comical (hope u know what I mean) so the whole tone is more enjoyable.

      • I agree with you when you say that you like BL but not love it. It seems to be missing something that is really important, maybe the most important thing, while LTM, its the other way. I love it because it has the most important thing even though it might not have everything else…

      • Yep I know what you mean. Nodame basically set a new standard of mange adaptation dorama for me… I was like “wow” all the time as I watched it and I totally shipped Nodame-Chieki couple (although in real life I would ship Juri and Eita… argh too bad Eita is taken now).

        So I guess whenever it involves comics-like plots on TV drama I would compare it with the level of Nodame (esp. considered Dokko Jin is as wacky as Nodame, heh!). It was like perfect balance between real emotions and crazy/comical characters (I do think all characters in Nodame have very real emotions as they pursue their dreams as well as in relationships).

    • Ding Dong!! I agree with everything you’ve said here. (BTW, I am also a devout fan of Nodame and I read the manga and watched the anime, TV series, film and film sequal…etc. ) You point out one biggest “issue” in BL, that is, Hong Sisters are trying too hard on metaphors and meta-references. The weirdest thing is that I am born and raised in Korea and I didn’t find the jokes to be that funny. Ep 1-4 are great, but after that, I find BL is turning into a High-Kick type of comedy (actually some Korean news did say that). Moreover, the love plot between AJ and Jin, just as you’ve mentioned here, is just too fantastical, too abrupt to construct a believable love story that I can connect with emtionally. It seems to be that the script writer just want them to automatically fall in love since they are the main male and female lead. Ironically, there are more detailed descriptions in “Fantasy Couple” for all leads equally even though the setting is supposed to be fantastical. And you are right. GHJ and YKS have a similar style that is natural, subtle and well-controlled. I even wonder if MBC cut the YKS’ “ration” since in episode 11, he only showed up for 5 minutes. Nonetheless, he shined in those 5 minutes. I never saw him act before since I only knew him from the golden age of G.O.D.Now I will try to catch up with his other works.

  12. True words. I think the chemistry of this OTP is there, but it’s not mind blowing. I love them & root for them though because of the story.

    I haven’t seen Hong Gil Dong. Ms Koala, someday you need to write a review on it, please! I read some of your reviews of past dramas on thundie (the epic SEASONS review!!!) and enjoy them a lot.

  13. Sigh….Know it’s gonna come…start crying for Pil Joo….I’m the one that easily touch by something sincere…so from the start of the drama I have touched by Pil Joo…(eventhough Jin is hillarious, but I keep re-watch scene of Pil Joo..ottohke…)
    Very grateful that Hong Sister have written good plot for their second lead including Se Ri…as you say they do not sabotage the other party…or hiding something or jealousy that harm other….just like the other second plot….Whuah Hong Sister although I my heart definitely sick for Pil Joo…but I’m satisfied with yours. Daebak!!!

  14. Hi Koala, I was wondering do you know where I could watch ep 11 even if it doesn’t have english sub, the other dramas like LTM I can watch it as soon as it comes out on tudou, but then The Greatest Love, I’ve been waiting all day and yet I still can’t find any website that has it. I love your recaps thnks, Keep up the good work.

  15. LOVE your recap but I have to disagree on the Hong Sisters (HS) v. Kim Eun Sook (KES) OTPs. I find that with me, it’s the opposite. For some reason, I find it really hard to emotionally connect with KES’s OTPs because they seem too cold. HS’s OTPs are always warm and goofy characters so even if they’re completely wacky, I don’t find it hard to ship them.

    I couldn’t, for example, root for Joo Won and Ra Im because I couldn’t connect with their characters and while their chemistry is undeniable, I felt zip on their love story. I ended up watching SG because of Oska. But when Yoo Rin cried, I cried along with her. When Yi Nok mourned Gil Dong, my heart broke. I was squealing when Tae Kyung kissed Mi Nyu under the stars.

    To each his/her own, I guess.

    • I am with you about SG’s Joo Won and Ra Im. I just couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried, connect with them. The same with the couples in 49 days. Both Yi Kyung /Scheduler and Ji Hyun/Han Kang didn’t appeal to me at all. When I was watching the first few episodes of 49 days, I was hoping so much that the Scheduler ended up with Ji Hyun. I was so disappointed that it was not going to happen that I stopped watching it and resorted to reading the recaps. I couldn’t feel that the Scheduler loved Yi Kyung and vice versa.

      The show only emphasized their love for each other by showing ‘flashbacks’ and their obvious emotional turmoil through tears. I mean, for me as an audience, I need some sort of physical and emotional contact, I need to see the story. It just didn’t cut it for me that the show said “Hey you, and you – you guys knew each other and were in love, but we aren’t going to show it. Kay? Alright.” I also HATED that the show had more scenes of Scheduler and Ji Hyun but that they were not going to be together. I couldn’t understand why they did that.

      Traditionally, more scenes together = OTP. Anyway, sorry for my rant.

      • I also forgot to add that although Joo Won and Ra Im had many scenes together, I felt the story had no direction after episode 9. I absolutely loved Hyun Bin in Snow Queen and My Lovely Kim SamSoon, as well as Ha Ji Won in 100 Days with Mr. Arrogant. But I don’t know, the story for SG did not show any development in JW and RI’s relationship. It was all about ‘push and pull’, and if you pull yourself out of Secret Garden land, you can tell that there isn’t even a real story. Sure there were cute metaphors and symbols, but those didn’t cut it for me and I had a hard time trying to relate them to the actual plot.

  16. This drama always blown me away with their perfect line story and the acting of CSW, he is so hillariously funny… I am so lovin him.. and of course I love BL period..

  17. Thanks!!! Koala for another great recap of BL …this episode really for me makes BL a great drama and one that is going to be top on my list. The Hong Sister have truly created another memorable story, and they are getting better as time goes.

    I agree both second leads on BL are out of the norm for romcom Seri continues to the jealous teenager who convents anything that AJ have and we see it here in plain view, she wants Pil Joon because she really likes him, or because AJ has capture Pil Joon heart? I think that should be the question… Pil Joon is just the plain Joe in the story the one who has all his senses with him the normal person who sees things that none of the other people see, and that to me makes him unique and human and he shows us that win or loose in the battle so called “Love” sometimes you just have to bow down and accept defeat with great humility.

    AJ and Jin are meant to be together they both understand each other at a deeper level and the business they live in, AJ trying to stay away in order to protect Jin and his career since she knows how hard is to maintain in great image in the spotlight, as for Jin he discover that he has everything any man can desired, but love true love he never has. I love how the pace of the drama and where is going and really it shouldn’t be a surprise to many of us who are Hong Sister fans that their dramas always tent to start very light heart it and mid way we get hit by the emotional bulldozer, but this time I think the Sister are pacing themselves very adequately.

    ooops I think I ramble too much already… 😛 thanks again…

  18. wow, people really do differ in there drama tastes. I’ve always been one for the plotline, because it’s what drives the drama forward and keeps me interested. No matter how hot and sizzling the chemistry, if the story is not there to back it up, the desire to watch the next episode is just not there, esp with these weekly waits. That’s why I love Hong sister dramas, becuase there storyline is so unique and interesting, which is also why I wasn’t able to continue with LTM. I mean, they were literally burning up the screen with there kisses, but I was basically fast forwarding every episode just to watch the OTPs. That’s NOT a satifying drama watching experience.

  19. Totally agree with you Koala! Yes, I was screaming (like a fangirl) when I saw the ending last night. OMG….that was a good one… Guess, we have to start checking out every car from now…

  20. I am loving this drama….. CSW is just killing it as DKG…. I squelled, giggled, cheered, and felt his pain just where you said i would be….. the last picture really did it for me not because CSW is hot and theres a car but you could just feel how hurt he is and how much he loves Ae Jung….I tend not to analyze rom-com as long as im entertained because for me that what they are meant to be….it takes you in a roller coaster ride of emotions but in the end it should be a happy ending (and yes i demand it to be… hehehehe) but BL really has a nice flow it…. you would want to watch each scene whether its CSW and AJ or PJ and AJ, and yes even with SeRi… There are so many things that needs proper closure so i just cant wait for the remaining episodes… I am just one of the millions who wants to find out what would happen but be the 1st one to complain when the show will finally end….thank you for your wonderful recap…looking forward to the next episode

  21. I’m afraid I’m gonna have to agree with some of the commenters here Koala. I think for me, the chemistry is sizzling between AeJung and Jin. I agree with you that PilJoo is the best character and probably my favorite character of this drama but as celest1al pointed out, the chemistry between them is like that of friends.

    The sad truth is, AeJung has never felt anything romantic whatsoever for PilJoo. Well, I don’t think she has. I’m Team Pil Joo but I’m cheering for the future of his character not for the fact that he and AeJung should get together.

    I think by the time the end of the year polls come out, I’m gonna vote PilJoo as my favorite second male lead. But I’m not gonna vote his and AeJung’s relationship as the “best second OTP” because frankly, I never saw them in a romantic relationship to begin with. I’m reminded of my Dream High craze when I was all Team GookMi. That second OTP made sense because at one point they both had mutual feelings for each other whereas AeJung can never consider Pil Joo as anything more than a friend.

    • I’m happy to hear your POV, because it really is about perception and reception. I sense it differently, but it doesn’t make my opinion immutable fact. I do agree with you that Pil Joo-Ae Jung is friends chemistry. But GHJ-YKS is NOT friends chemistry, and all I meant is that the actors have more chemistry than GHJ-CSW. I can’t explain more, because it’s just my feeling when I watch them together is all. 🙂

      • I think I see where you’re coming from. Great love triangles are born from the idea of emotional chemistry vs. physical chemistry. Usually the OTPs have the “emotional” chemistry down but sometimes not the “physical” aspect. I remember watching Lovers in Paris and thought that the leading character had great emotional chemistry with Park Shin Yang’s character but oozed physical chemistry with Lee Dong Gun *sigh*.

        But strangely enough, in my case with the Dream High example I gave, I thought that HyeMi had better emotional chemistry with JinGook but better physical chemistry (towards the end) with Sam Dong. *another sigh*

        I’m also glad to read from the previous comments that you shipped JungWoo/YooRin in My Girl! The reason why I never liked My Girl was because I just wasn’t feeling it between Gong Chan and YooRin. I just thought that Jung Woo’s character was so much more complex and better written than Gong Chan haha

    • “While I find all four main leads well-cast, and have good chemistry, sadly I have to concede that I personally find Gong Hyo Jin has much better chemistry with Yoon Kye Sang. I can’t explain it, but it’s clear in every scene they share. Chemistry is intangible, and not a factor of the ability to act or looking good together in the same shot.” +100000000000000000000

      Much kudos to ockoala genuine comments and insight about Pil-joo, and I cannot agree with ockoala more on the undeniable chemistry between GHJ and YKS. I’ve been a (male) fan of GHJ since “Snow Man” in 2003 and I have to say that she has the least chemistry with CSW, although in general she has great chemistry with every lead she collaborated with–except CSW. In Best Love, from Episode 1, I was a bit worried already since CSW and GHJ seemed to act like two parallel lines without sparks. And then in episode 2, when GHJ and YKS first encountered each other in the bar, I knew that I would have difficulties believing the love story between Jin and Ae-jung since obviously GHJ and YKS exude this natural and convincing chemistry between them, and it’s definitely not “friend” chemistry (at that time PJ and AJ don’t even know each other). Also, cordiality doesn’t mean unromantic, and conflicts doesn’t necessary lead to fatal attraction. Both YKS and GHJ are very astute in responding to the “cue” the other party is giving and act accordingly in subtlety. Frankly, in episode 10, when they were doing the camping in AJ’s house, my girlfriend, who only watched episode 10, mistook them as the main leads since GHJ clearly wears glittering smile and eyes when she talked to YKS–and her body language was way more relaxed when she interacted with YKS. In fact, even on MBC drama DC and on Taiwanese ppt and plurk, quite a few audience also recognize that the sparks between GHJ and CSW are lacking and they are hoping that GHJ and YKS can collaborate in the next project together–as the main leads of course.

      While most people tend to see”chemistry” as necessarily lovey-dovey and a term reserved for OTP or an alternative OTP, for me chemistry is a dynamics that derive from the interaction–whether it’s tangible or not–of the actors who share in the same scene. Similar to ockoala, I adore the chemistry between rain and GHJ in Sangdoo, Let’s Go to School. At the same time, I also love the chemistry between Rain and Lee Dong Gun in Sangdoo!!! I wouldn’t just simply define the chemistry between Rain and LDG as “friends.” The (male) bonding they have cultivated on and off the screen has made Sangdoo a love story beyond the conventional the main male and female leads.

      In Best Love, CSW has the greatest chemistry with Ding Dong, methinks. And I also think CSW has the best romantic chemistry with KSA. I am not a fan of City Hall and I have to say their pairing is the one of the most memorable in adult Korean dramas.

      Thanks again for ockoala’s recap and comments!!

      • Cha Seung Won is probably Hyo Jin’s co-star with the least chemistry ————> WORD. Absolutely agree. IMO, the best natural chemistry for Hyo Jin was with Lee Seon Kyun in Pasta. But the most intense chemistry she ever shared with any actor was IMO Rain in Sang Doo. It’s so weird, because two of my fave male stars (CSW and Jang Hyuk) have the least chemistry with Hyo Jin. I was so hard to watch Thank You only in the sense that Hyo Jin burned up with screen with that douchebag played by Shin Sung Rok.

        Best chemistry in BL is between Ding Dong and Jin ————-> Ahahaha, also WORD.

        The Rain-Lee Dong Gun bromance in Sang Doo ————> Best Bromance in ANY DRAMA I have ever watched. Hands down. Unbelievable that you loved them together so much. Not homo-erotic at all, but the true and genuine love, respect, and camaraderie between two men. Even though technically they each stole Eun Hwan from the other person. When I wrote the Sang Doo review, I got comments that I didn’t discuss the bromance enough. I can devote a post just to them.

        KSA-CSW in City Hall ————> My #1 OTP of all time.

      • wow!!! ockoala, I agree with everything you say here again!! I love Pasta simply because the real chemistry between GHJ and Lee Seon Kyun. In fact, sometimes when my girlfriend wanted me to cook, she only needed to say “yes Chef”. LOL. If only it’s HJ speaking to me!!! (Fortunately my gf is not really into Kdramas and she won’t find your blogs. )In Thank you, I actually find Jang Hyuk has sizzling chemistry with Choi Kang Hee and even with Seo Shin Ae! (Frankly, I think Jang Hyuk has the greatest chemistry with Choi Kang Hee among all the costars he collaborated with,even though Choi only appeared briefly in the very first episode!!)

        Yes, Please! Can you write a post on Rain-Lee Dong Gun? As a man myself, I actually can totally identify with the relationship between Min-suk and Sang Doo since they really care about the well-being of each other,of Eun-hwan, of Bo-ri, which was why I got a bit disappointed at the bromance in 성균관스캔들. LOL. Oh well. I guess I have a preference for the writer Lee Kyung Hee since she gave us Sangdoo, MISA and thank you.

        Anyway. Thanks again for your response!

  22. Pil Joo <333. AHH. he's breaking my heart </3. it's so bad, but i'm not that much of a fan of the OTP because of Pil Joo D;
    oof. i don't know what it is about the Hong Sisters but their second leads always break my heart. (esp. My Girl)
    Pil Joo ]:

  23. i just had a very sad thought – Jin can’ live without AeJung literally. so when they grow old and if Ae Jung dies first Jin will die right after or they may even die together- its going to be like The Notebook.

  24. OMG!!! I just read your recaps & I’m all tearing up already!!!
    I agree with your analysis Ockoala, esp the OTP thing…
    BL & LTM has spoiled my initiative to watch the other dramas showing these past few weeks…I used to watch @least 5-6 dramas a week, but all the other drama offerings PALE in comparison to BL & LTM!!!

  25. the beauty of watching dramas – bringing joy to the viewer and letting them choose which ones rock their world. I haven’t been bored with any of the episodes thus far, which usually happens when I reach the midway point. For me, there is chemistry between Ae Jung and her love interests. Perhaps more with PJ versus DKJ or vice versa. That isn’t as important to me, since the three leads are selling their characters and making the witty writing come to life. The plot is different from the dramas i’ve watched recently (not that I don’t love my fair share of fake marriages and girl pretending to be guy plot lines.) and honestly, who can resist CSW + car? haha Time to rewatch CH and check out let’s go to school sang doo!

  26. For me, this is also not my favorite episode of BL. As of now, Ep 10 is my favorite. I believe that YKS and CHW have chemistry with GHJ. Why else would a lot of us go flip-flopping from one team to another? This is what makes BL a unique drama watching experience for me. I have never been wishy washy in who to root for in any drama. It is only now, with the past couple of eps, that I have been firmly rooting for AeJin team.

    I enjoy watching this drama because of the solid story and script as well as the wonderful portrayal of the the actors/actresses.

    Thanks for the recap.

  27. I am so glad that this episode wasn’t aired on an even number, otherwise I’d die of waiting…. Thanks koala!

  28. Such a brilliant to see all the drama lovers here share their thoughts about what they think and feel for BL. These provoke me to be more enjoyable watching this greatest love drama. Thanks koala for the recap and YES! CAR Seung Won is incredibly hot in the car scene hehehe.

  29. About Se Ri: “She tells Jin that she likes Pil Joo, hoping that maybe Jin can make it work for Ae Jung so she can have a chance with Pil Joo. If only other second female leads can be this way.”

    The reason Se Ri is this way is because she is romantically after the second male lead and not the first one. If it were so, she would have been making life for Ah Jung a living hell like the other evil second female leads.

    Nice twist by the Hong Sisters.

  30. awesome recap!!! I was flailing on the last 15 mins or so of the drama. Watching it i have my hand over my mouth while i was ranting ” OMG.. OMG.. OMG” nonstop.

    Thank you! you’re the best!

  31. sorry to disagree but for me you’re beautiful’s JKS and PSH is the best OTP the hong sisters created…

    as to the chemistry, i dont know but i prefer CSW and GHJ than GHJ and YKS ….although i have to admit that she had more awesome chemistry with RAin(lets go to school) Jang Hyuk (thank you) and Lee Sun Gyun (pasta)…

    anyway, i love the story, excellent script and acting of the 3 leads so its enough for me to be addicted to this drama…lastly, i love the kiss scene, CSW is hot and GHJ as usual acts so convincingly…

  32. wow..i kept replaying the car kiss scene..awesome…
    i think that we will see the chemistry of GHJ and CSW in the succeeding episodes….
    anyway, i believe that a good script and good acting of the leads overpowers the chemistry of the OTP…. i have watched the dramas of GHJ and she really acts the natural way and so convincingly, i love her in Lets go to school with RAin, Thank you with Jang hyuk and pasta…

    as for the OTP of hong sisters’ drama, HTK and GMN of YAB tops my list..i also love YAB’s other couple- shinwoo and minam…their being comfortable with each other shows on the screen

    thanks for the recaps..

  33. Speaking of City Hunter I’m left with the dilemma, Lee Min Ho is damn HOT and the gal is so cute freaking chemistry, and yes I love the grappling, woman throwing hunky good looking man on the floor….I’m, so breaking apart, anyway Lee Min Ho breaks me up like Best Love, he reminds of the Actor in Best Love, awkward action star, man I never saw a guy exchange shots with a villain so sophisticated as him….he has got to rough it out man!!!!
    Best love is good in casting, this drama is playing tricks in my mind I may end up in a loony bin….it’s a tug of war between crying and laughing…. and tight now I’m seeing the doctor walking the steps to see them kissing in a car window!!!! Winner!!!! 😉

  34. Dokko Jin is very borderline sometimes…but I think the HS did an excelent job in writing him. He is clearly the core of this drama, just for his controversial personality…I love him!!! He can be everything and nothing… he can be rude, selfish, arrogant, childish and, in the meantime, the sweetest man in the world, the most passionate lover I’ve ever seen in my life. This imbalance makes him so imperfect and also so human in my eyes..and I think that this big weakness is also his greatest strength. He completely caught me, so I don’t see anything else.

    I like very much Pil joo but simply I don’t feel any emotional connection with him (maybe he’s just too perfect for me 🙂 )… Now I only see azaleas, so I can’t see this simple (and of course beautiful) clover.

    Thank you Koala for your hard work and for the recap…I really appreciate ^^.

  35. I almost hated PJ in this epi when he held AJs hand to help her walk past DJ. Poos DJ, my heart was really crying for him. PJ just redeemed himself when he showed AJ the potato photo which he didn’t delete! Thanks for your recaps Koala….. you always make my day with them. 🙂

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