Erm… Okay, first let me state — for the record — there is no way I bought Lee Jung-suk as a high school student.
Spoilers below — but not too bad. I got a little distracted so things are kept fairly vague. But if you want to remain unspoiled probably safer to not read.
You can stick him in the uniform, but you can’t hide those shoulders…
Or those arms…
Or… let’s just lay our cards on the table, shall we?
And seriously, I’ve seen Lee Jung-suk when he was closer to Park Soo-ha’s given age and he was much, much more boyish. (Secret Garden where he played a slender, young songwriter. In his twenties, mind. But he was tiny enough then that when Yoon Sang-hyun slung him over his shoulder, I wasn’t worried about back injuries.)
He’s filled out now. Yes, his face is still youthful (I’m not sure I’d call it babyish — it’s hard for those cheekbones to swing babyish) but he just does not read high school.
So with that out of the way…
I think we can thank the heatwave that S.Korea was going through at the time of filming — and also Lee Bo-young’s and Lee Jung-suk’s amazing arms — but there were a lot of sleeveless outfits going on. And not just sleeveless as in, “good professional blouse for this heat,” (though they were there) but sleeveless as in, “just got out of the shower, will probably wear this to bed,” lazing around the house sleeveless.
Which, for some reason, felt incredibly intimate to me. The way Hye-sung and Soo-ha just let their hair down, as it were and slipped right into domestic bliss like they’d been living together forever. (Soo-ha did have his moment of newlywed shock when he got his first look at Hye-sung in her just-rolled-out-of bed best. Complete with drool. And yes, I adored the role reversal where he’d primped before a mirror before showing himself and she was all — what?)
The comfort level those two had with each other — staring into each other’s eyes when they spoke, sitting practically on top of each other as they did their work — even the way they naturally split the household chores with the barest of comments… intimate is the only word I can think of.
I definitely think Soo-ha played the little-brother card initially. And Hye-sung’s bravado (oh — I adored her bravado — how she’d get at her most strutty when she was at her most nervous) kept her from drawing careful lines. Because why draw lines with a kid you couldn’t possibly be physically attracted too?
But I think there was also a genuine lack of masks with those two. Usually, when you’re courting, you’re careful about how much you share and when. And that can be a delicious dance as a couple draws closer and closer to each other. But with Soo-ha’s mind-reading, it’s pretty darn hard to wear a mask. And Hye-sung’s bravado meant she pushed him to drop pretenses as well. I mean, in a way their comfort was its own sort of mask (we’re comfortable because we are not, and never will be, lovers — per Hye-sung). But I think they also got each other, as fellow victims of Min Joon-gook (who was terrifying by the way). And I think that was unique enough for each of them (they were both loners in their own ways) that they grabbed for that connection when it was offered.
(I think Soo-ha was very honest about that. Hye-sung played some games with herself about her whys and wherefores. But she genuinely understood Soo-ha — what drove him — and was honest about that. And she appreciated having someone who got her as well. That’s where Attorney Cha stumbled and then spectacularly — and heartbreakingly — fell.)
It’s part of the reason I so deeply regretted Hye-sung’s mother (oh, her adorable, adorable mother!) not getting to meet Soo-ha and see how he and her daughter interacted. I think she would have been thrilled to see her daughter so loved. And she would have mothered Soo-ha like crazy — which he would have soaked up like a sponge… and I’ve just made myself sad.
What was I talking about? Oh yeah — sex. So yes, that comfort level, though not obviously sexy (we’re talking grungy sleepwear here — not a bit of lace or silk in sight), shows such a deep level of trust and understanding and belonging that, with two characters falling in love it was… well… Okay, I thought it was hot.
The story itself was good, too! It got a tiny bit padded at the end there — but that’s to be expected with extensions and it honestly wasn’t bad. I loved the overall theme (reason versus revenge) and the various characters. And, of course, the love story. This was a blast to marathon. I’m really glad I waited.