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Boys Before Flowers: Episode 4

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Episode 4 was much better than Episode 3 — although really, like that was hard. Episode 3 was funnier, but 4 was more grounded in reality, which makes it much more watchable, imo. Is this going to be a pattern, with Tuesdays outshining Mondays? I suppose if we must have it one way or the other, I’d rather the good episode be on Tuesday to leave us with a better impression to last us till the next installment.

EPISODE 4 RECAP

After Ji-hoo yells at Jan-di for interfering, she walks off with tears in her eyes. He looks upset with himself, but the next day, when everyone gathers at the airport to send Seo-hyun off, Ji-hoo is conspicuously absent.

 

Jan-di is in a mopey mood, thinking of Ji-hoo. She asks Jun-pyo in a dejected voice, “Can I ask you something?” Jun-pyo responds, “If I said no, are you going to not ask?” Referring to her (formerly assertive) attitude, he tells her, “Just act like you did before. This doesn’t suit you.” For what it’s worth, Jun-pyo has said this a couple times before, which I think is telling — he might complain about how she always talks back but that’s obviously why he likes her. He’s got no use for weak, defeated girls.

Jan-di asks if it’s a good idea to “push down your feelings and not show any emotion” when you like somebody a lot. He tells her that’s crap; it’s the same as ignoring them. If the earth caved in the next day, wouldn’t she die of regret?

A little surprised, Jan-di responds, “You know, you may not be an idiot in everything.” He acts as though that’s a compliment, and says he’d rather regret doing something than regret not doing something.

 

Seo-hyun says her goodbyes to F4 (I suppose it’s F3 right now), and it’s nice to see them acting like longtime friends. She hugs Jan-di and asks her to remember her request (to make Ji-hoo smile again).

As she walks to her gate, she looks around, hoping to see Ji-hoo and disappointed when he doesn’t appear.

Just as the guys sigh that Ji-hoo’s acting pretty cold by not coming, he appears. He’s actually been here for hours.

Jan-di thinks Ji-hoo’s being a coward, and takes him to task: “What are you doing? Is this all you can do? Follow her!”

At that, Ji-hoo produces his ticket and passport: “I’m taking the next flight.” Woo-bin wonders what made him change his mind; Ji-hoo says that Jan-di did.

 

Before leaving, Ji-hoo turns to Jan-di: “Thank you. It’s because of you that I realized I’d have to be honest. You taught me that sometimes you need the courage to hang on. I’m glad I got to know a girl like you.”

He leans forward and kisses her on the forehead — Jun-pyo watches, bothered — then leaves.

 

Afterward, Jun-pyo and Jan-di stand outside his car, watching airplanes take off. He breaks the silence by facing her, leaning over her to say something. Unlike the last time he tried (and failed) to kiss her, this time her heart starts pounding.

Jun-pyo: “I’m only going to say this once, so listen up.” She nods nervously, and he continues: “Geum Jan-di, ___ with me.”

And just when he says that bit, a plane flies above and drowns out his words. BWAHAHA. (I think he says, “Go out with me,” but we can’t be sure.)

Jan-di blinks uncomprehendingly, not having heard those crucial words. But Jun-pyo straightens and smiles in satisfaction to himself.

 

So while it’s no surprise to us, it is to her when Jun-pyo walks up to her in the lunchroom and says, without preamble: “Saturday, 4 pm, in front of Namsan Tower.”

He starts to leave, then turns back: “If you’re even one minute late, you’re dead.”

Jan-di looks after him, a little confused but mostly unimpressed with his high-handedness. She doesn’t notice that Min-ji is looking on with a stricken expression on her face.

 

 

Since Jun-pyo doesn’t give Jan-di any chance to respond, she dismisses it from her mind, going shopping with her mother instead on a bargain-sale hunt. And I do mean hunt. They grapple with other thrift-loving ajummas for the massive discounts, and by the time they leave, it’s evening. It’s also snowing.

Feeling guilty pangs for ignoring Jun-pyo, Jan-di asks her mother if anyone would wait in the snow for four hours for a promise that was never made. Her mom says that’s crazy, but Jan-di isn’t reassured. Making a sudden decision, she tells her mother she has to go somewhere and runs off, heading toward Namsan Tower.

 

Jan-di looks almost disappointed to find the courtyard empty, until she spots Jun-pyo huddled on the side, shivering in the cold.

She holds her umbrella over his head; he asks where the hell she’s been: “Didn’t I tell you not to be late?” He isn’t outright angry — irritated might be a better word. Jan-di returns, “When did I say I would come?” He replies, “You’re here.”

She protests, because she wasn’t intending to come. He persists, “But you did.”

 

Feeling bad, she offers to buy him a hot drink and helps him up. He staggers to his feet and leans heavily into her. Misinterpreting his intentions, she kicks him to get him off.

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Indoors, she buys him coffee from a vending machine and calls it “thirty thousand won coffee” (about twenty bucks). By way of explanation, she tells him to follow along.

On top of the building, they look at the cityscape from the observation deck — this is just like watching from the expensive Sky Lounge.

She marvels at all the stars. Jun-pyo laughs at her, “Those aren’t stars, those are satellites, you stupid girl!” Jan-di retorts, “Aren’t you the idiot? You think there are that many satellites?”

 

The watchman comes up to the doors to lock up for the night. He only gives the deck a cursory look and is distracted by a phone call, so he misses the two of them.

The lights shut off, alerting Jan-di and Jun-pyo, and they hurry to the doors. The handles have been chained together, and there’s no way to get out.

Jun-pyo doesn’t panic, since they can always call for help. Unfortunately, he left his phone behind, and Jan-di doesn’t own one.

Now worried, he blames her; she says it’s his fault for waiting foolishly for hours. He protests, “This is the first time I’ve ever waited for anyone.”

They wander into an enclosed area, which offers a little shelter but is still freezing cold. Jan-di tries to keep her distance while Jun-pyo starts to cough, and says, “Sorry.” When she asks where his driver is, Jun-pyo answers that he sent him home — he wanted to try things commoner-style.

Shivering, Jun-pyo asks, “Can I be honest?” She eyes him warily as Jun-pyo leans in her direction, then collapses on top of her.

 

Thinking he’s trying to get fresh, Jan-di shoves him aside, then realizes he’s burning up with fever.

She takes out some of her new purchases — a woman’s scarf and shawl — and wraps him with them. They fall asleep like that until morning, when they are let out.

 

Fearing her parents’ reaction, Jan-di declines Jun-pyo’s offer of a ride home; she’ll use the bus ride to think of an excuse to tell her mother.

Jun-pyo moves closer to tell her the excuse he’d make: “Since we spent the night together, I’ll take responsibility.” (That phrase, used in that context, is misleading and suggests that something actually DID happen between them. Jan-di kicks him in response.)

Unbeknownst to them, they are seen, and photos are taken.

When she gets home, Jan-di falls on her knees and begs forgiveness, but her family is in fantastic spirits. The guy she saved is the heir to Shinhwa Group! Of all the people to help!

Furthermore, they’ve received a whole slew of gifts in gratitude. Jan-di is bewildered — how did they know? Where did this come from?

Her parents rave about Jun-pyo, who dropped by — taking advantage of her slow bus ride home, no doubt — to ask them not to scold Jan-di because she’d been helping him all night.

News spreads quickly, labeling Jan-di as Jun-pyo’s new girlfriend. Suddenly, everyone is eager to befriend Jan-di (except the mean girls, that is), and the unexplained attention creeps her out.

Jan-di discovers the reason when she comes to the TV screen in the lobby. Displayed onscreen are the pictures of her and Jun-pyo that morning, making them look a lot chummier than they are. When the F4 guys arrive, Yi-jung asks Jun-pyo if the rumors are true.

 

Jan-di hurriedly insists, “No, it’s not! It’s not what you think at all!”

Jun-pyo ruins that by interrupting, “Yes, it’s true.” Everyone gasps in amazement, and Jun-pyo slings an arm around her shoulders and steers her (unwillingly) down the hall. The students gossip in excitement, with one notable exception: Min-ji, who watches tearily.

Min-ji goes home early that day, so Jan-di drops by with the same consolatory stuffed sheep that Min-ji had previously given her. Withdrawn and depressed, Min-ji asks cautiously if the gossip is true.

Jan-di hesitates, then answers that it’s all a coincidence and an accident. Min-ji says, “But it looked like he liked you.” Jan-di says no way — even the idea is absurd. Jun-pyo was just playing around. At the denial, Min-ji laughs in relief, suddenly much cheerier. She hops out of bed and announces that she’s all better now. She wants to go out and have some fun.

While Jan-di waits for Min-ji to get ready, she looks around and spots a Shinhwa Kindergarten yearbook. Curious, she pulls it from the shelf just as Min-ji walks in. Panicking, she grabs it from Jan-di, yelling at her not to go through other people’s things.

Taken aback to see this side of the normally demure Min-ji, Jan-di apologizes. Min-ji recovers, saying more calmly that she’d written weird comments in the book, so she doesn’t want anyone to read them. She apologizes.

 

Whereas Woo-bin and Yi-jung took a lot of amusement in Jun-pyo’s clashes with Jan-di, now they ask more seriously if he’s “for real” about her. Yi-jung reminds him that where they’re concerned, their parents have final say in their relationships.

Jun-pyo scoffs, as this is a bit weak coming from two supposed players:

Jun-pyo: “Were you just calling yourselves men in name? Were you acting all cocky without being real men?”
Yi-jung: “What’s a real man to you?”
Jun-pyo: “A man takes responsibility from the beginning to the end.”
Woo-bin: “To the end?”
Jun-pyo: “Yeah. To the end.”

 

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Min-ji takes Jan-di to a club featuring live performers and suggests they dance. Jan-di declines, so she sits out while Min-ji goes out on the floor. When Min-ji looks back, she sees Jan-di wandering around, and is bumped by another woman.

Unexpectedly, Min-ji slaps the girl. Suddenly she’s no longer sweet and shy, but a stone-cold bitch. She sneers, “If you’re ugly, you should at least dance well.”

Worried about Jun-pyo’s latest comments, Yi-jung drops by the restaurant looking for Jan-di. Ga-eul tells him Jan-di’s not working today, so he asks if she’s her friend, and how long they’ve known each other.

At her answer (“Since kindergarten”), he smiles and figures that’s good enough: “So you’re best friends. Then let’s go.”

 

At his pottery studio, Yi-jung explains that he’s afraid that Jan-di will get hurt, and asks Ga-eul to advise her friend. Initially dazzled by the tall, handsome, rich guy, Ga-eul’s opinion drops once she gets his drift: “What kind of advice? That she can’t climb that tree, so don’t bother trying?”

Yi-jung ups the charisma, smiling at her and saying that cute girls like her are scary when angry. She sees through the charm and tells him that he must have thought he could fool everyone with his pretty face, but he misjudged her. She’ll pretend this conversation never happened.

Ga-eul gets up to leave, but stops and comes back for one last word, temper flaring. After all, Jun-pyo’s the one who likes Jan-di, not the other way around: “Jan-di doesn’t care to climb that tree.”

As she’s exiting, she runs into Woo-bin, who wonders what that’s all about. Yi-jung says it’s nothing, and that she’s exactly the type of girl he dislikes (backwards and unfashionable). And yet, his eyes say otherwise…

Jan-di roams the club, feeling bored and out of place. She encounters one of the performers, who senses her discomfort and suggests they head outside, where he plays her a song on his guitar. (I don’t think she really cares for the stranger, but appreciates the reprieve from the club.)

Seeing that her water bottle is empty, the guy hands her his. She sips the water, her vision goes blurry, and she blacks out.

In the morning, Jan-di awakens in an unfamiliar hotel room with no recollection of the night before. On the mirror, written in lipstick are the words, “Thanks for last night.”

She frets all morning about those words, trying to convince herself that nothing happened, wondering why she can’t remember anything.

 

Of course, this is also the day that Jun-pyo decides to make a little change in his appearance. He remembers Jan-di’s rant against him, when she said she hated “everything about him” from his curly hair to the fact that F4 always dresses in normal clothes when the rest of them are required to wear uniforms.

So that morning, he takes an extra two hours to get ready, wearing his uniform for once and having his hair straightened.

 

Jan-di is accosted by students, but whereas her reception the day before was sycophantic, today the Bimbo Threesome are furious at her for insulting Jun-pyo and therefore, by extension, everyone at the school.

Jan-di is totally baffled at their attitude until they drag her to the television. On it, photos are splashed of herself and the strange guy from the night before — in bed, half-clothed.

F4 arrives to see Jan-di surrounded by hostile faces, and Jun-pyo steps forward to defend her. Ginger tells him, “Don’t be fooled! Look at this and come to your senses!” And she points at the TV.

Jun-pyo glances over. Jan-di jumps in front of the screen, trying to block it and insist that it’s all a misunderstanding. He pushes her away and stares grimly at the photos, then turns to her: “What kind of mistake could lead to these pictures?”

Jan-di shakes her head, confused, and says, “I think someone set up a trap for me.” In a hard voice, he asks, “Was this all you were?”

 

Hurt that he’s so quick to condemn her, Jan-di fires back with tears in her eyes, “I don’t care whether you believe me or not. I don’t even know why I have to explain such an absurd situation to you. But this isn’t the truth.”

Jun-pyo grabs her shirt and clenches his jaw. He says in a low voice, “I’ll just ask one thing. Is the girl in that picture you?” Jan-di can’t say no, and a tear falls.

He shoves her back and glowers, “You said you didn’t care whether I believe you or not. You’re right. Geum Jan-di, from here on, I don’t know who you are.”

After he leaves, the mob descends on Jan-di, but you get the sense she doesn’t really care — the damage has been done with Jun-pyo’s dismissal of her.

 

Jun-pyo’s fury is so extreme that his friends worry about him, never having seen him so upset about anything before. They decide that they’d better get to the bottom of this before someone winds up seriously hurt, and head over to solve the mystery.

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Woo-bin, Yi-jung, Ga-eul, and Jan-di look closely at the photos and ask if Jan-di can remember anything odd about the night before. Jan-di recalls the message scrawled in lipstick, which is odd, since it wasn’t hers. Why would a guy be carrying lipstick around?

Furthermore, the way the pictures are shot requires a third person to have taken them, which means there was somebody else involved. The guys take note of the mystery man’s tattoo, and use a combination of their brains and lots of money to get information.

 

The music club owner isn’t as helpful as they’d like, so the guys use a form of polite blackmail. If they aren’t pleased with the guy’s cooperation, they might as well run him out of business. Yi-jung: “Two weeks should do it.” Woo-bin: “We’ve got our reputation. We’ll have to make it a week.”

Woo-bin owns the neighboring building, which would make a nice venue to set up a competitor to drive this guy bankrupt.

What follows is some of the most ridiculous tomfoolery I ever did saw. To prove their point, Yi-jung displays some of his saxophone skills (to prove they’d be willing and able to make good on their threat). So now the pottery genius is also Kenny G? Look, I ignored the atrocity that is Ji-hoo’s violin-playing, but here I cannot remain silent. THAT’S NOT EVEN THE RIGHT KIND OF SAXOPHONE.

Woo-bin does his part by dancing… is that the Charleston? To cha-cha music?

 

Naturally, the two guys are successful. (Oh, the power of elevator jazz and ballroom dance!) They track down the guy in no time.

 

On the other hand, Jun-pyo is still working out his aggression. First it was guns, now it’s a sword.

Min-ji shows up unannounced to hand him a hotel key, which leads him to the room where Jan-di’s photos were taken.

The photos are piled in the center of the bed. Jun-pyo recognizes the familiar setting in the pictures, and his temper erupts. He throws things around the room — pillows, bedcovers, sheets — and after his tantrum, Min-ji steps into the room and tells him, “Please don’t be hurt. It’s ridiculous for you to be like this over a bitch like her.”

 

Min-ji appeals to Jun-pyo to calm down, saying this is too unfair for him to be so hurt over Jan-di.

Glaring at her with contempt, Jun-pyo grabs her and asks, “Weren’t you her friend? Can a friend talk like that?”

Min-ji whispers, “She stole you from me.”

Jun-pyo shoves her to the ground and heads to the door. Min-ji grabs him from behind and begs him not to go. He breaks free of her grasp and she cries, “Why her, but not me?”

He walks away, remembering Jan-di’s insistence that she was set up and that this is all a misunderstanding.

 

At school, it’s a free-for-all as Jan-di is knocked from her bike and jeered at. It’s like she’s come full circle, back to how she was tormented as a result of the red card, only this time the harassment is more malicious because she dared make a fool of the Great Jun-pyo.

Jan-di yells back at them, “Is this all you can do? Do more! Go on!” So they do, pelting her with water balloons shooting a fire hydrant at her, till she collapses on the ground.

COMMENTS

I think it’s obvious that the characters show some differences from previous versions. Do you think we could maybe get past that now, since we’re four episodes in?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not decrying comparison-making — I think comparisons are fair. But if half of the comments are purely “This is different from the Japanese/Taiwanese version!” I think the discussion starts becoming irrelevant to this drama itself, which is what I’m more interested in. Gu Jun-pyo is based on Doumyouji, but it’s clear his character diverges in some key points. He is a little thick-headed, but he’s not as blatantly stupid as Matsumoto Jun’s portrayal. He’s not as violent or hot-headed, either. This Jun-pyo is cold, hard, and can be cruel, but he’s not a cartoon character.

Kim Joon is doing really well as a Casanova, but Kim Bum, I think, is hampered by his baby face, which makes it odd to see him hitting on women who are clearly much, much older than him. It’s not the acting that is his problem, just the contrast between his appearance and his behavior. That’s why I was happy to see that he has good chemistry with Kim So-eun (Ga-eul), because she’s age-appropriate and was cast (most likely) with him in mind. She’s also a pretty good actor, and their scenes hold up well. Phew!

Also, he does much better in scenes that have no romantic overtones, such as when he coerced the club owner into giving up information. Nice to see a flash of the Kim Bum I’d been excited to see, because he hasn’t really shown much of his actual acting ability so far.


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