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School 2017: Episode 10

It seems impossible for our heroine to go one week without finding herself in trouble at that darn school of hers, and this episode is no exception. Thankfully, she’s got a knack for getting the right people on her side, and even if they may not be the most powerful or influential, they’re enough to keep her spirits up and make sure she stays true to herself—and what’s worth more than that?

 
EPISODE 10 RECAP

Tae-woon confronts Dae-hwi, calling him out for ruining a girl’s life while pretending to be upstanding in front of all their classmates. Dae-hwi tells Tae-woon to stay out of it, adding that he’s not going to get involved this time.

Tae-woon just warns Dae-hwi that he won’t let the same thing happen again: “It means that if you mess with Ra Eun-ho, I’ll kill you.”

As Dae-hwi watches Tae-woon walk away, he gets a call from Hee-chan, but ignores it.

Hee-chan’s in a meeting with Teacher Shim and Eun-ho but barely acknowledges them, remarking that he doesn’t need to talk because lawyers will speak on his behalf. Eun-ho says they don’t need lawyers—all Hee-chan has to do is admit that he pushed her. Hee-chan refuses, of course.

Teacher Shim tries to convince Hee-chan that he and Eun-ho could still work things out as friends, but Hee-chan tells him that’s why the school violence committee exists. Looking frustrated, Teacher Shim refuses to let Hee-chan go to his tutoring session, noting that what they’re doing now is far more important for Hee-chan’s life.

Dae-hwi marks off exam prep questions for Hee-chan as usual, but Hee-chan brushes it off and instead asks Dae-hwi what he plans to do about Eun-ho. Dae-hwi says he can’t persuade Eun-ho, but Hee-chan persists, asking why he can’t do to Eun-ho what he did to Bo-ra.

We flash back to a year ago, when Dae-hwi had chased down a roughed-up Bo-ra at the hospital. He’d told her that she couldn’t win against Hee-chan, and that she’d be the only one who got hurt. When Bo-ra wondered how much worse things could get, Dae-hwi handed her an envelope of cash and said Hee-chan was sorry.

Bo-ra grabbed the envelope angrily and asked, “If he’s so sorry, why doesn’t he apologize?” Before Dae-hwi could figure out an answer, Tae-woon walked into the hospital, hurt from a minor fight of his own, and did a double take at the two.

Tae-woon moved to walk past them, but Bo-ra stopped him to give him the envelope. She told him to return it to Dae-hwi, along with the message that she hopes he’s happy with himself after selling his soul and conscience.

After looking inside the envelope, Tae-woon immediately guessed Hee-chan’s involvement, then threw the envelope down at Dae-hwi’s feet, telling him he feels embarrassed for him.

In the present, Hee-chan offers Dae-hwi a membership card for access to summer lectures in preparation for Seoyul University’s entrance exams. In exchange, he asks Dae-hwi to handle Eun-ho.

Dae-hwi accepts the card (noooo!), but wonders why Hee-chan’s taking things this far when it’s clear he’d prevail over Eun-ho in the school violence hearing. Hee-chan just complains about things getting complicated, then tells Dae-hwi to think it over carefully.

Hee-chan’s mom shows up at Eun-ho’s place with her lawyer, where she tells Eun-ho’s family that they can put a stop to all this by making Eun-ho apologize. Eun-ho’s mom just snidely remarks to her husband that she hears dogs barking, and both Dad and Eun-ho’s older brother back her up, because they’re awesome.

When Eun-ho arrives home, Hee-chan’s mom doubles down on her threat, telling the family that she’s confident that Eun-ho will get punished. Eun-ho doesn’t cower one bit, responding that she’s confident too—confident in proving that Hee-chan really did hit her.

As Hee-chan’s mom gapes at Eun-ho’s “rudeness,” Eun-ho assures her that she’ll never give in, and tells her not to come to their house just to take cheap shots.

Later that evening, Dae-hwi swings by Eun-ho’s place with ice cream. He tells her that things must be tough, and Eun-ho honestly tells him that she’s worried and feeling hurt. When she asks how he’s doing, Dae-hwi simply says things aren’t going too well for him either, and Eun-ho laments at how hard life is at eighteen.

After a pause, Dae-hwi starts to ask Eun-ho a question, but he struggles with his words, and ultimately decides against saying anything. So Eun-ho asks him a question instead: Why would Bo-ra stay silent after witnessing what happened between her and Hee-chan? She wonders what could have happened between the two, but Dae-hwi can’t say a word.

Meanwhile, Tae-woon calls Eun-ho again and again, frustrated that she won’t pick up—that’s because her phone’s inside the house while she’s outside hanging with Dae-hwi.

Naturally, Tae-woon rushes over to Eun-ho’s place. He storms up to Dae-hwi and asks if he’s there to convince Eun-ho to back off Hee-chan, and Dae-hwi gets testy at the accusation (but… aren’t you?). Eun-ho slams her hands on the table and tells the boys that if they fight here, she’s never going to see them ever again.

That’s Dae-hwi’s cue to leave, so Eun-ho bids him goodbye fondly, which doesn’t go unnoticed by Tae-woon. Tae-woon says the reason he came by was to make sure Eun-ho’s not smiling at other guys (literally “meeting eyes”), which leads to her threatening to meet her fist to his eye. He weaves and bobs his face around her fist playfully, and they laugh and tease.

Dae-hwi turns around to watch them, then pulls out the membership card that Hee-chan had given him, staring down at it pensively.

A little later, Eun-ho wonders if she should just give in to Hee-chan and apologize. Tae-woon protests that giving in isn’t like her, and that she shouldn’t have to apologize for something she didn’t do. Eun-ho says her family’s a mess over this, and that she has no choice but to give up if she doesn’t want her family to sell the house just to get a lawyer if this goes to court.

Tae-woon crouches down in front of her and says that even if she gives up, he won’t, because he doesn’t want to see her suffer. He tells her that he won’t let her fight alone, and that he won’t let her be lonely. “So trust me,” he says. “Be strong, and let’s fight, together.” So sweet.

Eun-ho doesn’t seem convinced, so Tae-woon throws himself on the ground in a mock hissy-fit, demanding to know what happened to the Eun-ho that he liked—the one who was willing to fight to the bloody death. She finally cracks a smile, and when he puts his hand on her shoulder, telling her to be strong, she rests her head against his arm.

The next day, Eun-ho asks Bo-ra one more time if she won’t testify in support of her. Bo-ra refuses and tells Eun-ho that she should give up, as she won’t be able to win against Hee-chan. Undeterred, Eun-ho says that she’ll do what she needs to do to clear her name, and asks Bo-ra to testify for her when she finds Eun-ho to be trustworthy.

Teacher Shim drops by the coffee shop where Bo-ra works in an effort to reopen her case with Bit-na. Asking her to trust him, Teacher Shim asks Bo-ra for the truth, but Bo-ra simply says she doesn’t trust teachers.

In their hideout, Eun-ho struggles over what to write on a big sign calling out Hee-chan. Tae-woon watches her with a big ol’ smile on his face, pleased that she’s back to her old self and ready to fight. In between their usual bickering, Eun-ho ponders which words would have the most impact for her sign, while Tae-woon starts doodling on a fresh piece of paper.

Eun-ho looks over at his drawing in surprise, commenting that he’s not bad. He jokes about his all-around awesomeness: “I don’t know whose boyfriend I’m gonna be, but whoever she is, she must’ve saved the universe in a past life!” making Eun-ho laugh. But it seems he’s inspired something in her, as she starts writing out a message next to his drawing (which happens to depict a fiery Eun-ho).

The next morning, Teacher Gu notices a big piece of paper taped up on a window—it’s the sign that Tae-woon and Eun-ho worked on together. Teacher Gu reads over the message with a stern face, but ends up smiling and signing a tiny “09” (the number nine is “gu” in Korean) at the bottom of the poster, which is an open letter from Eun-ho. It reads:

“To you, the one who lies without batting an eye: Some say you were blessed with good parents, but I don’t envy you. Preferential treatment and shamelessness that mocks fair, hard work… I’m actually grateful. Thanks to you, I realized just how beautiful my life is. I don’t succumb to injustice. I can fight together with my friends, and that makes me happy and proud. It’s too bad you’ll never get to experience this.”

Soon enough, classmates gather in front of the poster in awe, and many others have either signed their name to the message or left post-it notes with words of encouragement. Sa-rang grabs Eun-ho to show her the response, and as they’re puzzling over the “09” signature, Eun-ho squeals to see a post-it with the words, “I’ve liked you for a while. Be strong!”

Tae-woon, however, has the opposite reaction to the note, and HA, he immediately storms into their classroom to compare every boy’s writing to the one on the post-it. When he’s unable to find match, he heads towards the next class to continue his search, while Eun-ho tries in vain to stop him.

Outside, Eun-ho shyly accepts a soda from a male student—is he the post-it guy? Tae-woon’s not far behind, and he immediately inserts himself between the two. Eun-ho’s suitor is not at all fazed, and as Eun-ho gazes adoringly at the him, he lays it on thick with Eun-ho, telling her that he wants to be her strength.

Tae-woon goes off on a jealous rant, saying things like, “By the way, our Eun-ho likes lemonade. You don’t even know the basics and you’re confessing?!” He tells the rival that he’s not needed since Eun-ho has lots of guys after her (“A really good-looking guy just recently confessed to her!” Heh). But Eun-ho pushes Tae-woon away in embarrassment and tells the new guy she’d like to see him again, much to Tae-woon’s horror.

Tae-woon follows Eun-ho all the way home, pestering her with questions about the post-it guy. She’s giddy about her new prospect, but Tae-woon’s more concerned about fending off confessions from more guys: “There should be a law to prevent confessions. Or should I just start threatening one on one?” When Eun-ho says she’s not that popular, he disagrees, repeating Eun-ho’s offhand comment from way back about her “crazy big” presence. Eun-ho cutely observes that he remembers all sorts of things.

At school, Nam-joo pulls Dae-hwi aside to ask him why he dated her when he was so cold towards her. He responds that he did like her—but that his feelings changed as he started to suspect that she was lying to him. She argues that he should have broken up with her then, but he says that he didn’t want to believe that she was lying, because she looked like she was having such a hard time.

Officer Han watches from a distance as Teacher Jang and Bo-ra have another one of their uncomfortable run-ins. Afterward, she and Teacher Shim confront Teacher Jang about her relationship with Bo-ra, asking if something happened last year.

Observing that it seems like Bo-ra’s avoiding Teacher Jang, Officer Han says that Bo-ra’s actions around the incident with Bit-na seemed off. Teacher Jang gets defensive, saying that Bo-ra just doesn’t like her, then asks to be left alone.

Teacher Shim presses her one more time, telling her she can help clear Bo-ra’s name. Still, Teacher Jang insists that she didn’t see anything.

Later, Officer Han and Teacher Shim pore over old files, looking for counseling records that might shed light on Teacher Jang and Bo-ra’s relationship. After a while, Teacher Shim finds Teacher Jang’s write-up of Hee-chan assaulting Bo-ra last year—but they’re both disturbed as they read the document.

They confront Teacher Jang with the records, and Teacher Shim looks horrified as he asks how she could have sided with Hee-chan after Bo-ra reported the assault to her. Officer Han questions whether or not the teacher conducted a proper investigation, pointing out that Teacher Jang’s initial report was completely different from the supplemental report she filed just one day later.

Teacher Jang retorts that teachers aren’t cops—they can’t listen to what all the students have to say if they’re to get anything done. Looking furious, Teacher Shim asks why Teacher Jang bothered to become a teacher.

Teacher Shim continues that if Teacher Jang really did cover up the truth, he won’t forgive her. He promises to uncover what really happened in the Bit-na incident, along with Hee-chan’s assault.

Eun-ho waits in the pouring rain for Bo-ra to get off work, while Tae-woon watches Eun-ho from afar. When Bo-ra finally appears, she looks at Eun-ho warily and refuses the umbrella that Eun-ho offers, saying she’s just being nice because she wants something. Eun-ho says it’s not true, and wonders why Bo-ra is so unwilling to let others in.

When Bo-ra responds that Eun-ho doesn’t know anything, Eun-ho agrees, but says she’s thought about how lonely Bo-ra must have been, and hard it must have been for her. She says it would be less difficult if they tackled things together, and though Bo-ra asks her to stay out of her business, Eun-ho refuses.

She tells Bo-ra not to testify for her, but instead invites her to be friends. As a tear trickles down her face, Bo-ra tells Eun-ho the same thing she told Teacher Shim: She doesn’t believe in friends or people who say they’re going to protect her.

Bo-ra walks home in the rain, drenched and despondent, when Tae-woon suddenly appears in front of her. He holds his umbrella over Bo-ra’s head, says tersely that it’s raining, then takes off. Swoon!

The next day, Eun-ho plops down next to Bo-ra during break time, cheerfully clinking her soda can against Bo-ra’s. Later, after returning Tae-woon’s umbrella, Bo-ra runs into Dae-hwi. The two exchange loaded glances and continue on, but Bo-ra looks unwell, and she doesn’t get far before collapsing on the ground.

Dae-hwi takes her to the hospital, where the doctor says Bo-ra’s overstressed, and that she shouldn’t take her antidepressants for the next two days. Surprised by this news, Dae-hwi thinks back to his encounter with Bo-ra at the hospital a year ago, and looks down at her worriedly.

As Eun-ho reads through the signatures in support of her poster, she zeroes in on new name: Bo-ra’s. She catches Bo-ra lurking not too far away and runs after her.

Bo-ra tries to play her signature off as a meaningless gesture, but Eun-ho sincerely thanks her, saying it was meaningful to her because it showed that Bo-ra’s cheering her on. Eun-ho grins, and Bo-ra returns a tiny smile.

Elsewhere, Hee-chan lashes out in frustration, asking Dae-hwi why kids with nothing “don’t know their place.” Dae-hwi asks Hee-chan if he doesn’t feel bad at all for what he did to Bo-ra, but Hee-chan doesn’t show one ounce of remorse, asking Dae-hwi what exactly he did wrong. What a piece of work.

Dae-hwi tells Hee-chan that Bo-ra sought psychological help after the assault, but Hee-chan couldn’t care less. Looking pained, Dae-hwi says he’s scared that what he’s seeing in Hee-chan now is what he himself is becoming.

On their way home, Hee-chan’s mom directs him to worry only about his finals and nothing else. She then mentions some intel she’s gotten from a recent meeting, saying that Director Hyun’s looking to expel or transfer Eun-ho to get her away from Tae-woon, as he thinks she’s a bad influence.

Having filed away that info, Hee-chan sneaks into ex-Principal Yang’s office the next day and examines the clues pasted up on the wall related to his search for X. In voiceover, Hee-chan narrates that X is in their class, and that Eun-ho seems to be the main suspect.

Looking at ex-Principal Yang’s whiteboard of suspects, which include photos of Tae-woon and Dae-hwi, Hee-chan continues, “If Eun-ho’s not X, she may be an accomplice.” He thinks back to X’s most recent prank, then wonders if Dae-hwi could be X, given that he ended up winning the math competition.

Hee-chan finds Dae-hwi and puts on an apologetic act as he requests another favor. Hee-chan notes how suspicious Eun-ho is, given that she was framed for X’s pranks, and now she’s drawing a webtoon about X.

He wonders if Eun-ho could be X’s accomplice, then says that if that were the case, they wouldn’t even need the school violence hearing since she’d be expelled immediately. He says that X must be someone close to Eun-ho and asks Dae-hwi to find out who it is.

Hee-chan then approaches Eun-ho in class and tells her that he’s enjoying her webtoon. Dae-hwi and Tae-woon are both on edge as Hee-chan asks if X’s webtoon is made up, noting how realistic the story is. Sa-rang asks if Hee-chan’s accusing Eun-ho of being X, but Hee-chan looks past Eun-ho straight at Tae-woon, commenting that Eun-ho can’t be X, as X is someone who’s got plenty to spare.

Later, Hee-chan tries to sort out the mystery, murmuring to himself that Eun-ho must be modeling X after someone. He decides it’s Tae-woon, only to be thrown off by the fact that X sold out Tae-woon when he exposed the math competition. He wonders if it was a fake-out, and tells himself that things could get interesting.

Hee-chan corners Tae-woon next and asks him who he thinks X might be. Smirking, Tae-woon taunts Hee-chan about beating around the bush: “Do you think I’m X?” Without giving him a chance to respond, Tae-woon adds, “If I am, what are you going to do?”

Back in the hideout, Tae-woon and Eun-ho discuss Hee-chan’s evilness and agree that it’s probably best for them to be careful for the time being. Eun-ho wonders why Hee-chan’s suddenly fixated on X, and Tae-woon guesses that he must be after something important.

The next morning, Tae-woon waits for Eun-ho by the bikes and pokes fun at her swollen eyes. When she says she didn’t get any sleep because she was worried about her school violence hearing that day, Tae-woon sweetly tells her that everything will work out.

But things are looking bad at the hearing, where Vice Principal Park announces that the committee found no proof to support Eun-ho’s story. Just as he says that Eun-ho is guilty, Tae-woon’s voice rings out, asking them to wait.

Eun-ho turns around in surprise to see Tae-woon marching in with Bo-ra. Yay! At first, even Bo-ra’s testimony doesn’t seem like it will be enough, but Bo-ra seals the deal when she produces a video recording that clearly shows Hee-chan attacking Eun-ho.

The committee members murmur at the decisive new evidence, and Teacher Shim takes the opportunity to request a new hearing on Bit-na and Bo-ra’s incident.

Afterward, Eun-ho’s worried to find out that Tae-woon exposed his X identity to Bo-ra. Tae-woon explains that he wanted to show Bo-ra his sincerity, since he was asking her to do something difficult by testifying for Eun-ho.

In flashback, we see that Tae-woon had brought Bo-ra to his hideout, and told her that if he didn’t protect her or if he lied to her, Bo-ra would be free to turn him in as X.

Back in the present, Eun-ho still looks worried as she asks him what he was thinking. At that, Tae-woon gets reeeeeally close, flicking away something invisible on Eun-ho face. “Don’t you get it?” he asks. “I want to make things work with you.” He breaks out into a slow smile, and ha, this time it’s Eun-ho who tells him not to smile, averting her eyes nervously.

Tae-woon feigns innocence and asks why, but she just keeps turning away from him, ordering him not to smile. He can’t help laughing as he follows her around, asking if he’s making her heart flutter, while Eun-ho hides her face in embarrassment. Can these two get any cuter?

With Tae-woon and Eun-ho behind her for moral support, Bo-ra fills out a new report on her incidents with both Hee-chan and Bit-na.

She meets up with Hee-chan next to tell him that she’s not giving up. Predictably, he becomes violent, grabbing her by the shoulders and screaming at her to stop.

Thankfully, Dae-hwi interrupts the altercation by rushing in and punching Hee-chan squarely in the face. Dae-hwi then pulls out the membership card and throws it at Hee-chan’s feet.

Over coffee, Dae-hwi offers Bo-ra a long overdue apology. He references what Tae-woon had said to him earlier, telling Bo-ra that someone asked if he had to hit rock bottom. In response, Bo-ra recalls Eun-ho’s words, telling him that it might be hard doing things alone, but together, there may be a way.

Dae-hwi says this is the time when he probably needs to be brave. Bo-ra assures him that he already was, and says that she’s going to try to be brave now, too.

In the hall, Bit-na confronts Bo-ra about submitting a new incident report to the Board of Education. But she’s unprepared for Bo-ra’s new attitude, looking shocked when Bo-ra tells Bit-na to wait for her punishment, saying she won’t give in so easily this time.

Bo-ra even gets a jab in about Bit-na running to her mommy for help, which sends Bit-na over the edge. Bit-na tries to hit her, but this time, Bo-ra grabs Bit-na’s arm in midair, then pushes her away.

Hee-chan’s two cronies marvel at Bo-ra’s newfound strength. Bo-ra turns to face them next, and says she knows that they started the rumors about her and Hee-chan.

When the guys try to deny it, she acknowledges that she dated Hee-chan for a while, so she collected some interesting information about his friends during that time. She threatens to start a few rumors of her own, scaring them off, and her classmates look to her in awe, telling her how awesome she is. Uh, where were you guys when she was being bullied?

Eun-ho (and a hilariously reluctant Tae-woon) pop out of their classroom to give Bo-ra a thumbs up, and later, we see the three of them hanging out happily in Tae-woon’s hideout.

Eun-ho narrates that rumors start in strange places and come up in unexpected ways: “Just as rumors don’t start on their own, we are not alone. Being together doesn’t resolve everything, but being together at least lets us withstand it.”

That night, Hee-chan tells Dae-hwi that he told X to meet him in the hall at 10 P.M. and that X is definitely going to show, since the message also said that Eun-ho would pay if he didn’t.

As Eun-ho and Tae-woon leave their hideout, Tae-woon checks his phone with a worried expression, causing Eun-ho to ask if something’s wrong. He plays it off with a joke, but checks his phone again after Eun-ho leaves.

A hoodie-clad Suspect X heads toward the hall where Hee-chan waits, ready to capture the evidence. The hooded figure (but maybe not the same one?) pauses at a bench outside and rereads the message from Hee-chan.

When X arrives in the hall, Hee-chan approaches, all the while pointing his phone in X’s direction. “We meet at last,” Hee-chan says, then warns X not to even think about running away, since he’s got him on video.

The figure removes his hood and turns around… and it’s Dae-hwi. Hee-chan can’t hide his surprise when he sees Dae-hwi instead of Tae-woon, and he mutters in disbelief that it doesn’t make any sense.

Dae-hwi walks towards Hee-chan slowly, asking how others will react when they find out Hee-chan had forced Dae-hwi to carry out pranks disguised as X. Hee-chan gapes at Dae-hwi, but then looks down to see that his phone’s still recording. He quickly shuts it off and storms out.

Meanwhile, the other X, aka Tae-woon, is still sitting out on the bench, pondering the second message he received about a change in meeting location.

He gets up and walks toward the school building, but startles at the sight of another figure in X gear—Dae-hwi— coming down the stairs towards him. Tae-woon pulls his hoodie down to conceal his face, but Dae-hwi slows to a stop in front of him.

As the two Xs face off, Dae-hwi takes off his hood, revealing himself to Tae-woon. After a beat, Tae-woon follows suit, and they stare at each other, a mix of emotions running across their faces.

 
COMMENTS

While I wasn’t necessarily waiting with bated breath for new updates on the Suspect X plot, I found the storyline of Hee-chan looking for X surprisingly riveting, mostly because it was a vehicle to go deeper into Dae-hwi’s continued and compelling struggle against the dark side. Just because Dae-hwi decided to do the right thing last week by confessing to breaking into the teachers’ office doesn’t mean that he’s all of a sudden this perfect guy making all the right decisions, and it’s so realistic that he’d still be waffling back and forth on his alliance with Hee-chan. After all, he still needs to do what he needs to do to get into Seoyul, and he’s trying to ride that line between taking advantage of the access and money that Hee-chan offers, while trying desperately not to sink to Hee-chan’s level of being an all-out awful human being.

It may have been more advantageous for Dae-hwi to stay in the grey zone and try not to get more involved in Hee-chan’s shenanigans, but I was so happy to see that in the end, Dae-hwi’s conscience won. I cheered out loud when Dae-hwi punched Hee-chan (so satisfying!), and then again when he threw that membership card back at him. And if that wasn’t enough—I couldn’t believe how badass Dae-hwi was when he intervened in Hee-chan’s plan to expose Suspect X. At this point, Dae-hwi knows that Tae-woon’s X, right? It seemed pretty clear that Dae-hwi was trying to protect Tae-woon and Eun-ho from being outed for their involvement in X’s pranks, and I love him so hard for that. The bromance is still alive!

It remains to be seen what Dae-hwi’s real connection to this whole X business might be, but I still think there’s a chance that Suspect X is an identity that Dae-hwi and Tae-woon might have shared at one time. What I know for sure is how glad I am that this show doesn’t waste time dragging out the reveals and secrets—you can now add Dae-hwi and Bo-ra to the list of people who know that Tae-woon is behind X’s recent activities, and Tae-woon knows that Dae-hwi just happened to be running around in X gear that night, coming from the direction of the hall. Whether or not Dae-hwi actually admits to what he did for Tae-woon, I’m excited to see what comes from their confrontation.

Though I did think that there was a high likelihood that Tae-woon and Eun-ho would join forces to help out Bo-ra, I didn’t anticipate that they’d do so separately—and completely free from the guise of Suspect X. Eun-ho, of course, may have initially been driven to involve herself in Bo-ra’s life because she needed Bo-ra to testify, but true to her character, she ended up getting what she needed by putting Bo-ra’s need for trust first and being her friend, regardless of Bo-ra’s decision to get involved in her case.

Eun-ho didn’t get there alone, though—Tae-woon showed another side to him this hour as an unwavering source of hope and support that helped Eun-ho get her spirit back in the face of a tough situation. I don’t know how Kim Jung-hyun does it, but he goes back and forth flawlessly between leading man with all the right moves to flailing high-schooler blinded by jealousy—and I love every minute of it. I always thought it was easy to see how Tae-woon would fall for Eun-ho, but this week, I was completely in Eun-ho’s shoes as she got closer to realizing her growing feelings for Tae-woon. I mean, how can you not fall for the guy who not only makes you laugh, likes you for who you are, and offers you his unconditional support, all the while looking at you like you’re the most beautiful girl in the whole universe? Seriously!

What I loved most about Tae-woon’s arc this hour is that it showed how much he’s grown since we first met him—he’s gone from a guy whose motto was to not get involved in other people’s lives to someone who’s actively going out of his way to not just help the girl he likes, but others who need his help. Not only that, Tae-woon’s not even hiding behind his X identity to carry out these acts of justice as he’s done before—he’s now taking a stand on his own, and he’s more willing to let others in on who he really is. That, combined with his hilarious and squee-worthy courting of Eun-ho, has cemented a place for him on my list of all-time favorite rom-com heroes—I think we can all agree that by this point, he’s more than earned his nickname of Tae-swoon.

 
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