Korean Movie Stories

Boys Before Flowers: Episode 5

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Our trend continues: A couple surprisingly good scenes, and then some really bad ones.

Overall, I thought Episode 5 was a pleasant one — not too challenging but had its fun moments — with lots of gorgeous scenery.

Also, folks, since commenting has been prolific with regards to this drama: Keep it clean and keep it to the point, please! Comments are welcome, positive or negative, but when they veer into flaming or trolling territory, they get deleted. I don’t usually mod comments much but I think I’m going to have to start.

Thanks!

EPISODE 5 RECAP

Jan-di’s bike is set on fire, while she is assaulted with water balloons and blasted with a fire extinguisher. Seriously, are these Shinhwa kids all sociopaths? Regular bullying and taunting is bad enough, but they seem to be particularly malicious — like in Episode 1, when everyone watched the guy about to commit suicide and found it entertaining.

After being spurned by Jun-pyo and abused by her classmates, Jan-di tries to maintain a fierce exterior but is near her breaking point. She thinks to herself, “Please stop. Help me.” That plea is directed at Ji-hoo, since he’d come to her rescue several times in the past. She knows he can’t save her now, but pleads internally, “Nobody’s coming. But still… please…”

But she is not alone, because she has Jun-pyo! He bursts in on the scene, furiously shoving her tormenters away and beating them up (rather violently, I might add).

 

Jun-pyo kneels and takes Jan-di into his arms, saying, “I’m sorry.” Picking her up, he walks away from the now-subdued crowd.

Jan-di, thinking of the hotel pictures, tells him, “I didn’t do it, really.” He tells her, “It doesn’t matter. So keep your mouth shut.” She mumbles, “You still don’t believe me, do you?” Jun-pyo, looking upset with himself, says, “I do, I believe you!”

(I’m a little annoyed at how they took this potentially great scene and totally ruined it with ridiculous cheesy music. It’s so tragic and heartbroken, you’d think they both found out they had cancer or something. With 90 days left to live. And are also siblings.)

Back at his mansion, Jun-pyo insists on tending to her wounds himself. When she tries to take over, he asks, “Wanna sit still, or wanna be tied up?” (Why Jun-pyo, you say that like it’s a bad thing.)

Now that she’s safe, they can get back to their mating dance bickering: he reproaches her for not learning from the past and letting herself be bullied, saying she must have the learning ability of an orangutan. They argue some more until he takes a towel to wipe Jan-di’s face, and his heart starts pounding.

 

Rattled, Jun-pyo shoves the towel in her face and tells her to do it, then walks outside, where he clutches his heart and takes a deep breath. (So. Sweet.)

After tracing the guy in the photos to Oh Min-ji (who masterminded the plan), Yi-jung and Woo-bin now deliver Min-ji to Jun-pyo, along with her kindergarten yearbook. Inside, Min-ji’s picture has been scratched out, which takes them to a kindergarten flashback to explain why Min-ji would have done such a thing:

  

Cute Little Ji-hoo — wearing all white, of course! — is playing the violin, and faking it just as badly as Grown-up Ji-hoo. Little Yi-jung is playing with clay, and Little Woo-bin is counting his fake money with the board game Life. HA.

But they don’t have anything on Little Jun-pyo, who is OMG so adorable. And also afraid of bugs. Attacked by a buzzing insect, he tries to shoo it away, when Min-ji joins in and swats at the bug with her sketchbook. She assures Jun-pyo that the bug is gone now and looks at him hopefully. He catches a glimpse of the page she’d been drawing, which shows a couple labeled with their names. (She’s supposed to be ugly, which they’ve enhanced with makeup and freckles.)

Offended, Little Jun-pyo throws the sketchbook down and stomps on it. He demands, “How dare an ugly thing like you consider me for a husband?” It’s kind of weird hearing such harsh words come out of the mouth of babes, but I suppose that’s the point; he tells her to get lost, that he will never like her.

  

Min-ji recounts how that after that day, she was ashamed to be seen. She ended up going to Germany and underwent multiple surgeries and intense pain: “Do you know how I put up with it? That look on your face. The look when you ran away from me like I was some bug or a monster. I haven’t forgotten a moment.”

Jun-pyo has been eyeing Min-ji with cold contempt, but at this, he says, “I don’t remember, but I’m sorry for it.” Min-ji protests, “No! That’s not it. The words I want to hear from you aren’t that you’re sorry!”

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Crying now, she approaches Jun-pyo: “Look at me. Aren’t I pretty? I’ve become so pretty. Don’t you want me? I came back for you. This is the moment I’ve been dreaming of. Tell me you want me!”

 

Coolly, Jun-pyo responds, “I feel sorry for you. Do you know why? You’re still a monster, like you were then. No — you’re worse now. The kid back then still had a good heart.”

(GREAT SCENE. Lee Shi-young as Min-ji is very good, showing how she’s been twisted as a result of the trauma without being over-the-top eeeevil, and the whole exchange is well-played. For those of us who’ve started thinking Jun-pyo is all warm and fuzzy, this is a great reminder that even if he’s not wrong, he can still be so cold as to be cruel. I suppose this means that it’s not as though Jun-pyo is exceptionally cruel to Min-ji when he’s normally so warm; it’s the reverse — he’s exceptionally warm with Jan-di when he’s normally so cold-hearted.)

Jan-di’s been put in a spare room and wears his pajamas. Jun-pyo has taken the liberty of calling her parents (if she went home in her condition, they’d freak out) and throwing away her clothes. She shouts at him for getting rid of perfectly mendable clothing, at which he claps a hand over her mouth and says, “It sounds like you ate the heart of a train.” She corrects his misspoken adage: “It’s a train smokestack!” (He laughs that she’s wrong — you can’t eat a smokestack!)

There’s a moment when he leans over Jan-di, freaking her out, but it turns out he’s not making a pass but grabbing the first aid kit. Again, he tends to her injuries.

By the time he’s done patching her up, Jan-di has fallen asleep. He tucks her in, then leans down and presses a kiss to her forehead.

After he leaves, Jan-di opens her eyes.

In the morning, Jan-di awakens to find the staff at her disposal. Jun-pyo has ordered his butler to find exact replicas of everything that had been thrown away, with the exception of one thing: her bicycle.

 

Unable to find the exact same model, the butler parades a whole roomful of bicycles out for her appraisal. She tries them out with excitement, but then sees the price tag: 18 million won ($13,000). Her bike was much, much cheaper and very ordinary.

To encourage her to accept the expensive gift, the butler diplomatically asks her to be tolerant of the difference (like it’s doing HIM a favor) because they couldn’t find the exact match.

 

While Jan-di eats (a lavish, gourmet) breakfast, Jun-pyo pays a visit to Jan-di’s place.

The family is thrilled (and flustered) to receive him, and serve him a very plain breakfast. The foods are common, everyday dishes, but the Almighty Jun-pyo has never eaten anything like it, and he tries them cautiously after inspecting each one quizzically.

 

At school, the fickle crowd embraces Jan-di again, since (1) Jun-pyo came to her rescue and (2) there’s a new target to gang up on: Min-ji. The Catty Trio (Hateful Threesome? Evil Troika? Wicked Wenches? Vicious Bishes?) crowd Jan-di, faking concern over how much Min-ji hurt her. They rip on Min-ji for her surgeries, saying, “If I looked like her, I would’ve killed myself already.”

Not amused, Jan-di turns to them and points out, “You guys buy whatever you want, but beauty doesn’t count? You’ve all done plastic surgery too, but you mock Min-ji for it? It’s okay for pretty girls to use it to be prettier, but not for an ugly person?”

 

Jan-di turns to leave as Min-ji steps up quietly, eyes lowered: “I won’t ask you to forgive me.” Jan-di slaps her.

Min-ji adds, “I can’t say I’m sorry either.” Jan-di slaps her again and says she shouldn’t expect to be forgiven.

But when Jan-di comes to her desk, she finds the stuffed sheep there bearing a new message: “Jan-di, thanks. Let’s meet again.” Min-ji sings the song Jan-di once sang to make her feel better, which brings a smile to Jan-di’s face.

Jun-pyo has an announcement to make: Jan-di is now officially his girlfriend. The Gin-Sun-Mi trio collapses in disbelief and Jan-di protests, but she’s ignored while the rest of the students clap and hoot.

Jun-pyo adds, “From now on, I’ll take anything you say or do to Jan-di as an act against me, so don’t mess around.”

 

And then, Ji-hoo makes his reappearance.

Though everyone’s glad to have him back, this puts Jan-di into a gloomy mood. Ga-eul wonders if she’s over Ji-hoo now that Jun-pyo’s in the picture, which Jan-di denies is the reason for her distress. She worries that something feels different about Ji-hoo.

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At home, the entire apartment has been crammed full of new appliances and furniture — courtesy of Jun-pyo. The whole family is ecstatic — they even had to turn some of it away because it wouldn’t fit through their doors — but Jan-di finds this wildly inappropriate.

Too enamored of the extravagance, her parents try to justify it through excuses (i.e., returning it looks bad for Jun-pyo, it would be rude), but she’s not having it.

Jan-di storms into the F4 recreation room, which has a few extra female guests today. She yells at Jun-pyo for ordering new things for her family without even telling her, and he completely misses the point by asking, “Was there something you didn’t like? Tell me and I’ll switch it.” After all, he’s her boyfriend.

She retorts, “Are you like that with all your girlfriends? Did you buy them clothes and cars and swap out all their furniture? In a little while you’ll be getting me a new house too, I bet.”

He says thoughtfully, “Actually, I was going to start with the new house, but Mr. Jung stopped me and told me to do it later since it’s attached to the dry cleaner’s.”

 

Jan-di reminds him, “I told you that you can’t buy friends, that you bond through your feelings. I don’t know how you were with all your previous girlfriends, but stuff like this pisses me off!”

He answers, “I don’t have any previous girlfriends.” At that, Jan-di’s ire deflates, and she says she can let it go this time — but he’d better watch it!

Looking around, Jan-di seems perturbed to see Ji-hoo flirting with a group of girls, although Yi-jung and Jun-pyo think it’s good to see him acting like a person instead of just sleeping all the time.

 

Sensing that things with Seo-hyun may have not gone well in Paris, Jan-di asks him when he’s going back. He has no plans to.

Asking whether she’s really dating Jun-pyo, Ji-hoo muses, “Was I too late? I was going to ask you to date me.” Jan-di’s shocked, but he smiles and tells her it was a joke. He suggests, “Then what about dating behind Jun-pyo’s back?” which she again takes for real. He laughs that she’s the same as ever, then says, “I missed you” as he leaves.

 

Jun-pyo sneaks up on Jan-di on her way to her job, laughing to see how excited she is to find a coin on the ground (which he dropped).

Armed with a mysterious mission, Jun-pyo grabs Jan-di and drags her along on an errand, which doesn’t turn out to be an errand so much as it’s a shopping spree. (To ensure that they have the run of the department store, Jun-pyo sets off a fire alarm, which sends everyone running to evacuate and leaves them alone.) He entrusts the next part of his plan to Yi-jung.

 

 

 

I love how seriously Yi-jung bursts in on the restaurant to get Ga-eul. He tells her to hurry; it’s an emergency. Ga-eul guesses, “Has something happened to Jan-di?” She frets over the possibility of an accident, to which Yi-jung tells her grimly, “If we’re late, you might not get to see her. Hurry!”

So when Jan-di and Ga-eul are driven onto the tarmac of a private runway and deposited at a private jet — where F4 awaits — they’re completely baffled. Jun-pyo announces, “We’re going on a trip.”

  

Jan-di sputters, no way! But what about her parents? How can she leave so suddenly?

Jun-pyo replies, proud of himself, that he’s already gotten her parents’ permission, and to keep them from worrying, he brought along her best friend, too. (He’s even made allowances for her job, providing a staff of modelesque waitresses to replace the girls, who bring in a wave of new customers.)

Jan-di can’t believe he wouldn’t even ask her first, or find out when she can make time for a trip. Jun-pyo responds, “I wanted to go someplace nice together, all the preparations were made, and it’s not like Korea will be in trouble without you. What’s the problem?”

And then, they’re in New Caledonia. It really is gorgeous.

 

 

 

After arriving at the Shinhwa private resort, the group goes sight-seeing and browsing.

Outside one particular shop, Jan-di spies Ji-hoo taking a look at a potted flower. After he leaves, Jan-di takes a closer look, so the flower girl gives it to her with the instructions: “Give it to your lover.” (The scene is kind of random, but I mention it because I suspect it will come into play later…)

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The girls wander by a fortune-teller who is purported to be extremely accurate, and have Jan-di’s palm read. The woman foretells, “I see a man. Your future husband.” Not only that, but he’s here with her: “A soulmate.”

Ga-eul thinks that’s great — that means Jan-di will marry her soulmate. But the woman contradicts her, saying, “Two different men” — Jan-di’s soulmate and husband are not the same man.

The woman finishes with one last bit: “You’re losing something important, as a woman.” The girls wonder what that means, then shriek, their minds jumping to (probably) sex.

And then, Jan-di wakes up. It was all a dream!

Still, it’s creepy and realistic, and with the woman’s last words on her mind, Jan-di panics when Jun-pyo takes her away, jumping to the conclusion that he’s just trying to get her alone to make some moves. Jun-pyo asks Yi-jung to watch after Ga-eul, which is how Yi-jung gets reluctantly stuck with her.

 

Following their initial encounter, I think Yi-jung has convinced himself he dislikes Ga-eul. He sees her posing goofily and disdains that she’s acting like a corny tourist. Undaunted, Ga-eul suggests taking a hike to the top of a hill, which does not interest Yi-jung in the least.

Ga-eul goes off anyway but shortly thereafter lets out a scream. Yi-jung runs after her, looking around worriedly, when Ga-eul appears and asks, “Aren’t you glad you came up here?”

 

Ga-eul tells Yi-jung that it’s his punishment for lying and tricking them into coming on the trip, to which Yi-jung says that it wasn’t a complete lie. “It seems like it’s just a matter of time before the two of them get into trouble.” (His wording can mean any kind of trouble, but hints at the, er, hormonally driven variety.)

Ga-eul is immediately concerned: “No!” He laughs at her wild imagination.

 

Meanwhile, Jun-pyo takes Jan-di along a stretch of deserted beach. During the walk, Jan-di imagines all sorts of wild possibilities and warns Jun-pyo not to indulge in any dark, ulterior motives. Thus she is shocked to see him bringing her to a simple, lovely table set for two.

Jun-pyo tells her she acts tough but is pretty shocked at little things. Jan-di: “This is a little thing?” She marvels that it’s like magic: “Are you a genie?” Jun-pyo’s jealousy flares: “Who the hell is he? Is he better than me?” Jan-di clarifies that she meant the genie from Aladdin, who could do almost everything save three things: He couldn’t kill, raise people from the dead, or make someone fall in love against their will.

The last part seems to get through to Jun-pyo, although he’d previously insisted that people could be bought (and his actions all episode long have been proof of that).

 

Jun-pyo puts in a phone call to Jan-di’s family, who urge her to have a fun time and not worry about them. Afterward, Jun-pyo sees her subdued reaction and wonders, “Did I do something wrong?” It looks like she’s about to cry.

Jan-di answers, “It’s because it’s so nice here. I wondered when my parents would have a chance to come to a place like this. My family would love to see it.” Jun-pyo: “Let’s come with them. We can come back with your family.”

And then, Jun-pyo walks toward the water, unbuttoning his shirt, and announces it’s time to get down to business.

COMMENTS

I think one (perhaps unexpected) problem that may be emerging is that Lee Min-ho is so appealing as Jun-pyo that it kind of renders the love triangle moot. It also makes you want to yell at Jan-di for being drawn toward Ji-hoo at all when he has about one-tenth the charisma of Jun-pyo — plus there’s also the added part about how it’s so obvious that Jun-pyo totally adores her. Sure, his courtship is a little clumsy, and I think she was justified hating him through the first two episodes, but now he’s shown himself to be downright sweet (at times).

On the other hand, the “money can’t buy love” issue is something I’m looking forward to seeing unfold, because it usually gets glossed over in the Cinderella dramas. And as much as Jun-pyo’s actions are well-intentioned (and aww-inducing for us viewers), he really is just throwing money at Jan-di, proud of showing her what his name and wealth can give her. Naturally, she’s impressed at the resort (and the plane, and the clothes), but I don’t think she even sees Jun-pyo for his money; she just sees him as a guy.


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