Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Haeundae Lovers Episode 3 Recap

  I've realized I spend each episode waiting for the blow that will cause the impending amnesia. Will this fight be it? Or this one? Is Tae Sung going to get beaned by that stick, or have his head bashed against the ground? It feels like this drama is taking way too long to get to its major premise (the amnesia), and that makes it seem to drag a bit. It is funny how often Tae Sung ends up almost getting hit or actually bashed over the noggin, with no serious head injury to show for it. I think I'm going to start keeping track of just how many times he gets hit in the head per episode.
  Blows to the Head: ☻☻☻☻ (I think we're up to about 10 or 11 in just three episodes.)

  Tae Sung is chasing down So Ra, but loses her when the deliveryman's scooter runs out of gas. So Ra goes to try on wedding dresses, and we meet her skeezy fiance Min Goo, who wants the best of everything and says he can afford it. 

  2nd Uncle and Maknae take Skeezo outside for a "chat." They discuss how they gave him all the money they were supposed to use to pay their debts. We find out that the reason So Ra is marrying him is because her father is set on having a public servant for a son-in-law and he's the only one who will take her because of her past. So the uncles have been giving him all their money for the wedding. However, when it's time to pay, he has conveniently left his wallet behind, and even has to borrow taxi fare and coffee money from 2nd Uncle and Maknae. "So Ra, if you pay for everything today, I'll pay you back after the wedding." Sure you will, cheapskate.
   Tae Sung returns to the house and finds it empty—except for So Ra's dad who is playing hide and seek in a tank of water. He decides it's the perfect time to find the "goods" So Ra had mentioned in her phone call to her fiance, with the mistaken idea that the goods are the drugs. He searches the house but can't find anything, except a container of salt, which makes him excited until he tastes it and realizes it's not cocaine.
  When he tries to search So Ra's room, he notices Gwan Soon, and edges back out. Luckily for him, she has her earbuds in and only sees a fleeting image in her mirror, which she dismisses as nothing. However, as Tae Sung leaves the room, the uncles see him and question his motives for being there. He quickly thinks of the excuse that he's looking for the bathroom, which gets Maknae Uncle in trouble for not showing him around properly.

  During dinner, Tae Sung shows his picky side and refuses to eat family style. Bandanna holds out a plate of still-moving octopus for him to eat instead. Tae Sung gags and settles for rice with water. So Ra and Gwan Soon discuss something they're planning on for that night, but So Ra reminds Gwan Soon that it's a secret. Of course Tae Sung overhears and assumes they're planning illegal activities. Tae Sung tries to figure out the "family" dynamics and decides that So Ra must be the leader of the White Sands gang. Gwan Soon tries to flirt while he's staring at So Ra, but he brushes her off. 

  That night, while contemplating his last conversations with his boss, his dad, and his wife, Tae Sung sees the girls sneaking off together. He follows them to the fishing boat and sneaks on board. The go out to the middle of the harbor and the girls jump into the water for a late-night swim. After staring at the girls in their bikinis (gratuitous boob shots abound) and fantasizing about So Ra for a while, Tae Sung snaps himself out of it and goes inside to search the wheelhouse for drugs. He overhears them talking about the wedding as they dry off on deck, and Gwan Soon gives So Ra a box, which she decides to hide in the wheelhouse, since the uncles won't find it in her private drawer. We see that it's a gift of lingerie, but Tae Sung is of course expecting it to be the drugs.

  When they get back, So Ra remembers she left her phone in the wheelhouse and goes back to get it, catching Tae Sung searching through her drawer, and rifling through her new lingerie (yeah, I'm not sure that's entirely innocent on his part). He flees and she knocks over some barrels of sludge to stop him. They mud wrestle, he accidentally grabs her boobs, and when she finally pins him and realizes it's Tae Sung, she asks why he's doing these things. He tries to think of a good excuse and falls back on the old "I've never felt like this before." She responds that she's already told him she's taken and it can never be.

  Back at the house, Tae Sung takes advantage of So Ra showering to spy on her. Er, I mean, to search her room, leaving muddy footprints all over the place. When she gets out, he tells her to get him clean clothes while he showers. Meanwhile, So Ra has a debate over which is better—a glistening hottie or a skeeze in a suit. Somehow, she lands on skeeze.

  Tam Hee and Joon Hyuk have a discussion about President's will, and the fate of Tae Sung when he's found. Tam Hee tries to bribe him to keep things quiet, and tells him that she can keep Grandma's lips sealed with money. Which is exactly when Grandma walks in and tells her "Bok Ja, your money doesn't work on me." (Interesting. We knew Grandma knows of Tam Hee's past working in host clubs, but there's also an identity change? Hmm.) Grandma promises to do all in her power to find Tae Sung, and mentions that he has a distinctive scar/birthmark on his butt, so no impostor could fool her.
  Apparently, Tae Sung stripped all over the living room while So Ra's gone, because the uncles come home to find clothes strewn all over the place (including some of the lingerie? Where'd you hide that, Tae Sung?) and muddy footprints into her room. They begin to wonder just what happened here, and Tae Sung calls out just then for So Ra to bring him his clothes before the uncles come get back.

  He comes out wrapped in a towel, and the uncles switch to overprotective mode. With the evidence in hand, they decide to administer swift justice. Betoweled Tae Sung takes on all three uncles, and I'm no longer surprised they lost the gang war. They finally rip off his towel, and Tae Sung stands naked while the uncles and Dad make hilariously horrified faces.

  Tae Sung covers his front with a pillow just before So Ra walks in, getting a full view of the, uh, birthmark. As she screams, Maknae hurries to cover her eyes while the other uncles wrap him in the towel. They then accuse him of being a sexual harasser. So Ra backs Tae Sung's story, telling them everything that happened. Tae Sung admits to having seen the girls in their bikinis, and when the uncles threaten violence again, he threatens to drop his towel. "I won't be responsible if she sees!" Which effectively stops them in their tracks. Bandanna warns him to say nothing about the bikinis, or he's dead.

  They hear crashing outside, and run out to find Tam Hee's thugs from the Lamb's Skin gang smashing everything and beating up Dad. The uncles fight back and the Head Thug tells them this is a warning to leave Haeundae. They reply that they'll never leave, and that they'll get their hotel back. Tae Sung saunters out and refuses to help fight, even after Second Uncle apologizes for calling him a "sexual harasser and pervert bastard". So, So Ra makes him hide her dad in his room and goes back to defend her home. She and the uncles all end up in a pile on the ground and Head Thug comes to warn them away again. Just then they all hear Tae Sung calling the police, so the thugs flee.

It's a little late to worry about showing some skin now, dontcha think?
  So Ra brings Tae Sung medicine and plasters for his back, since she kicked him earlier, and there's no way he could take one of her kicks easily. He tries to apply the plasters himself. So Ra runs back in to get her father out of the closet, and for the first time this episode, Tae Sung really worries about his modesty. Now that he's, you know, not wearing just a towel.

  So Ra takes her dad outside on the roof to sleep under a mosquito net, and applies acupuncture to his forehead to help him sleep. Tae Sung comes out and smiles watching her tenderness to her father. He asks about the needles, and she offers to help him sleep by using them on him. He says he's not a mackerel (he saw her use needles on them last episode), and doesn't need acupuncture. She teases him about being afraid of the needles as an adult, and he gives in. To prove he's a man. He fidgets as she puts the needles in, but finally relaxes and falls asleep on her lap.
  Still no amnesia. I may be getting used to Kim Kang Woo's style of straight-man humor, because I actually found him funny this episode. Don't get me wrong, Tae Sung the character is still very iffy for me, but Kim Kang Woo was amusing. I especially loved the whole fight scene with the uncles.

  Speaking of which, the uncles make some of the most hilarious faces. And I still love their antics. Also, I love Gwan Soon when she's trying to flirt. 
  Other than the fact that Tae Sung is married, my major complaint in this show is the focus placed on So Ra's body. I knew that there would be a lot of bikinis and topless men when I started, but this is the first drama I've watched that focuses so much on the female lead's assets. I know that's probably a big part of why she landed this role (I'm not criticizing her acting—she's pretty decent as far as that goes), but there were waaay too many boob/sexy shots in this episode especially. At least Tae Sung's nudity had a purpose other than gratuity. Kind of. Hopefully the director will curb his hormones in the future.
  That being said, I like all the moments our two leads had. From the get-go, Tae Sung has had a definite attraction to So Ra, but this episode he kind of confronted it a little. It's telling that after only three days he has a better connection with So Ra than he has ever had with that other girl Se Na. (Like Tae Sung, I'm ignoring his marriage for now. Once he has amnesia, that won't be as big a deal for me, since he won't remember being married anyway, and it's not like he'd have the same reason to hold back then.) I also like how So Ra is questioning her feelings for Tae Sung, and even allows herself little tender moments with him. She tries to push him away when he tells her he's never felt like this before (which is probably true), but can't seem to help feeling something for this sad sack who followed her to Busan just to be near her.

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