Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Panda and Hedgehog Episode 9 Recap


  We start with Seung Ji asking to kiss Panda. She's a little dumbstruck at first, and he keeps insisting, so finally she asks "are you going to marry me? If we kiss, you'll probably just get bored after a while." She asks if she's like jajangmyun to him—always around, easy to order, but not what he really wants long-term. Seung Ji's all like Buh?! I just wanted to kiss, what's all this crazy talk about marriage? She asks if he thinks he'll be the best father for their children, and if not, why should he bother. She leaves. (I get it. You want to know where things will go, and whether he's willing to take things all the way to marriage, but it's waaay too early to talk about those things. Especially because you aren't even dating. Seung Ji's deer-in-the-headlights-of-death look is totally justified.)
  Panda goes upstairs and complains to herself that Seung Ji didn't set the proper mood. Also, there are steps leading up to that. He just wanted to kiss in the non-romantic studio(?), where Da Na could come in, or any old passersby could see.
  Seung Ji wonders to himself why she brought up kids all of the sudden? "She really doesn't know how to do things right." It's true. You're all pretty clueless in love, but she really takes the cake. Or cupcake. Or macaron. Whatever. He asks "why bring up marriage before we've even kissed? There are proper steps to follow, you know." He realizes that if she really liked him, he wouldn't have to compete against Won Il. He asks himself if she's a panda or a fox.
  Panda tells herself that he was being immature, and reminds herself that she had her first kiss in the first grade. Da Na comes out and asks who it was, and she tells her it was the baker's son in the neighborhood. Da Na asks if it really counts as a kiss if she was so little, and she explains that he said he'd marry noona, and kissed her "intensely for a long time." Sadly, the bakery burned down and the kid's mom was arrested. He ended up living with Panda until his dad came and got him, but he ended up coming back after his dad kicked him out. Panda's dad refused to let him stay again, and he just disappeared after that. He was 6.
  Panda searched for him for days and weeks, but couldn't find him. She was so disconsolate that their parents decided to have another kid to comfort her. Da Na asks "Wait, was I born just so you would stop crying?!" Heh, awkward. 
  Panda backpedals and says it's not so important how or why people are conceived—some are even conceived because their parents get drunk, or from a one night stand, or from affairs. I'm not sure that's helping, Panda. Panda tries again by reassuring her that the most important thing is that they were raised in a loving family, but Da Na counters that Panda was always the favorite child, and she always came in second. Panda wonders again why Seung Ji wanted to kiss her, and how she ended up in this conversation.
  Seung Ji wrestles with the idea of what constitutes being the best father. Does it mean being well-educated, rich, the president of a company? If so, then her choice is obviously Won Il.

  Panda wanders to the bathroom, unable to sleep. She asks if Seung Ji will take responsibility for her insomnia, then wonders if he's crying his eyes out, thinking she dumped him. She sneaks downstairs, and steels herself before opening his door. She peeks around the door, then rushes in, flipping on the light—no Hedgehog. She thinks he must have run away, imagining him at a host club with a hostess, then in the van making out with her. She suddenly feels upset.
  She runs upstairs to send him a text, but can't decide on what to say. She tries to analyze her feelings, but obsesses more about Seung Ji and their earlier conversation. She wonders why she's acting this way, and suddenly has a revelation—could it be she doesn't have divided feelings, but has already chosen Seung Ji? She imagines Won Il in the same situations with the hostess, but doesn't really feel a reaction. This can only mean one thing, she has no feelings for Won Il (poor Won Il-ie), and may already be in love with Seung Ji. (P.S. They totally use music from The Moon that Embraces the Sun at this time of revelation. Perfect, selection, show!)
  The man himself is at Grandpa's, sleeping curled up behind his back with his arm draped over him. Grandpa suddenly wakes up, feeling Seung Ji's arm, and sits up, panicking. Seung Ji sleepily moves his head onto Grandpa's lap, and Grandpa wonders if that girl knows his grandson likes her this much. Such a cute, tender scene! I really love their relationship.
  Won Il meets Glasses in the park and asks about a friend of his who became a lawyer. Could he look up Seung Ji's past and find out about his criminal record? He also asks if Glasses can ask him look up Step-dad's past while he's at it. Glasses notes that Won Il's expression was different when he asked for info on Step-dad—when asking about Seung Ji, he was more concerned and nervous, but with Step-dad, he is angry and hard. He asks if Won Il is doing this to try to understand Seung Ji and fire Step-dad. Glasses warns him to tread carefully around Step-dad, since he won't go quietly.
  He changes the subject and asks how things are going with Panda. Won Il replies that he's actually been spending more time with Seung Ji, and not to block him from getting closer to Panda, as Glasses assumes. It's because they have fun together, and like spending time with each other, even if it makes Panda jealous. Their bromance is just so sweet! When Glasses lectures him about it, he answers that it's because of his advice to put business first, pleasure second. He's learning from Seung Ji first, and pursuing Panda after. Glasses warns him that he'll lose in the romance department if he keeps that up, and tells him to just confess right away.

  Beom Bo calls Da Na to find out what happened, but she's not too happy to talk to Panda, so she passes her phone. (Panda's standing anxiously outside waiting for Seung Ji to show up.) Beom Bo asks why Seung Ji stayed the night at Grandpa's and Panda beams at the realization that he didn't spend the night with some random girl. Beom Bo asks her to be patient with Seung Ji, since he's never had a girlfriend before and doesn't know what he's doing. Panda excitedly agrees.
  Beom Bo reports Seung Ji's progress with Panda to Cherry Blossom, and mentions how nice it is to see her smiling again. He asks what's been weighing so heavily on her mind lately, and she asks him to report to her immediately if any detectives come around. She tells him it's about the father of her child, and it's news to Beom Bo that she has a child.
  Panda giddily returns the phone to Da Na, but Da Na is still mad. However, the conversation quickly turns to Seung Ji, and Panda wonders how she can figure out if she really likes him. Da Na offers to introduce him to a girl he can kiss, and Panda threatens her safety if she does. "See? You like him. Otherwise, you wouldn't be talking like that." She tells her she'd better make the first move and kiss him that night. At the cafe. Panda objects that Won Il's coming in today, but Da Na tells her not to wait, or things will become more complicated.
  Da Na wanders off and Won Il comes in, asking for Seung Ji and if he finished the jajangmyun cake. Panda is very defensive when she answers, and he asks what's going on. The little girl comes in expecting her cake, and Panda's overly excited to greet her, which confuses Won Il even more.
  Seung Ji tells Grandpa that he got dumped and is depressed. Grandpa asks what happened and he tells him about the best dad conversation. He asks how he can be a good dad if he doesn't even know how. Grandpa yells at him that it's not so hard, and blames him for losing Panda. Seung Ji asks if it's just ex-cons who don't know about love, and Grandpa shouts back that it's not about his jail time but he needs to stop retreating behind his walls. "I guess Hedgehog is a good name for you if you won't ever let anyone in!"
  Seung Ji kicks Granpa out of the bathroom where most of this argument has taken place, and finally admits through the door that he was too greedy. Panda was nice and unsuspecting, so he let it get this far, but it was all a mistake. She'd never choose an ex-con over a college graduate. He admits that his score in love was a zero. Grandpa gruffly tells him that in his eyes, Seung Ji is the best choice and will make the best dad. He has 70 years of experience, so he knows. 
  Seung Ji sulks and says he's going to use some of Noonim's lotion. Cut to: Seung Ji and Grandpa lying on the ground with face masks on. HAHAHA! Seung Ji advises Grandpa to start dating, since he's so good-looking. But really, he should do it for Cherry Blossom, since she would give up men so she wouldn't have to abandon Grandpa again. Grandpa warns him not to bring up men around Cherry Blossom, since her husband was the worst. Apparently, he practically kidnapped her and forced her to marry him, then faked his death. That's what the police said.
  At the mention of police, Seung Ji starts to get worried, but Grandpa reminds him that they won't be after him. He asks if he should tell Panda about his past and admits that he feels bad about not telling her something so big from the beginning and just running away. Grandpa closes his eyes, and Seung Ji asks what he's doing. "Praying. That Panda will hear all these things you couldn't tell her. That she can accept you." Aww, I seriously love them!
  Panda works at the cafe, jumping excitedly when she hears a phone ring, but it's Da Na's, and not hers. Won Il comes in and clocks her reaction with a sad look on his face.
  Seung Ji waits outside a random house, and talks to the little boy who comes out. It's his little customer's love, and Seung Ji wants to talk to him. They go to the park, and the kid eventually admits that Seung Ji seems like an okay person. He finds out about the cake and asks if Seung Ji is a patissier. He knows these things because his dad's a patissiere. (Please don't say it's Step-dad. That would just be a few too many interconnections.) Seung Ji admits that he's going to make a black bean cake, but the kid gets upset and finally tells him that his favorite thing is beef.
  Seung Ji takes him out for barbeque, and they talk about the kid's dad. He isn't a good patissier, and never learned well, and his mom won't let him visit his son until he does something with his life. (So, maybe his dad is really Lamesauce. His genes would all have to come from his mother, though, because this kid is pretty cute.) He says that he pretended he liked jajangmyun because that's what his dad could afford, and he didn't want him to feel bad. 

  Won Il takes the little girl out for ice cream. She tells him that Panda doesn't like him and is waiting for Seung Ji, can't he tell? She likes Seung Ji better, too, since Won Il is boring and not very attractive. "I'm lots of fun! Plus I have longer legs than Seung Ji!" "Does that matter? Why don't you wear a skirt to show them off, then?" Haha! This little girl is so hilariously straightforward! She tells Won Il that the most attractive thing in a man is his player-ness. That's how her boyfriend acts. When guys give you dirty looks, it makes you wonder about them more and so you're always thinking about them. I love that he's getting lessons on how to be a player from a 9-year old!

  Seung Ji offers to teach the little boy a song to give him strength. He recites his mantra. We see Won Il back at the cafe looking through Seung Ji's sketch book. He finds a drawing of Panda and smiles to himself. But the next page has "cartoon ideas for ugly Won Il." A few pages later he finds drawings of the insects of the mantra. Seung Ji tells his little friend in voiceover that "if the short lives of these insects are valuable, how much more valuable are our lives?" Seung Ji says that this helps him when he's alone.

  Panda is poring over that list of her favorites, answering each one for Seung Ji. His voiceover continues, saying that he doesn't remember when he was a kid, but it helped him to think that someone had to be looking for him. It's his way of saying You can do it! Be strong! At the bottom of the page, Panda writes down the mantra. Seung Ji promises to make a great cake. The kid leaves, and Seung Ji sees Lamesauce. He swears that Lamesauce is dead, but freezes when he sees the kid call him dad, and how excited Lamesauce is to see his son.
  Panda cleans up after their last customers, and Won Il decides this is the right time to tell her how he feels. She sees him checking to see if anyone is around, and realizes that though she spent all day with him, she missed Seung Ji. They approach each other and say "Let's talk." They each insist on talking first, which leads to a mini fight, and Won Il brings up the fact that she's been avoiding him all day. She tells him that it's because she felt her conscience pricked by him. He asks if he's Hedgehog; why would he prick her? He then bemoans the fact that he didn't come back just one month earlier, before she met Seung Ji. 
  And, just as they're about to get somewhere in their conversation, Eun Bi and Aunt show up. The women go inside, and as she passes Won Il, Aunt says he's looking good. He must be dating. Poor Won Il! Eun Bi interrogates Panda about her conversation that looked so serious with Won Il. Eun Bi confesses that she likes him, but can't speak in his presence. "You don't like him, too, do you?!" Panda nods, but explains that it's Seung Ji she likes. They even kissed—well, almost. 
  Won Il complains to the panda head about not getting his date, and Seung Ji walks up with his new assistant, Lamesauce. He explains to him and Panda that Lamesauce is the kid's dad, and as such, should make his son's birthday cake. After the patissiers have gone inside, Won Il asks "Then the worst baker is the best dad?" which makes Panda think of Seung Ji. 
  Eun Bi decides to interfere some more and tells Seung Ji that Panda regrets not kissing him, and that she's unsure what to do, so he should help her out. She complains that she's the same way about Won Il, and asks him to make a Notting Hill Brownie (a prize for the most pathetic after a game of truth or dare). But it can't be cake. As she leaves she adds "Please kiss Panda." Haha!
  Seung Ji teaches Lamesauce how to make cakes. Panda brings in the panda head and starts talking to it, saying she's grateful Seung Ji came back. "He's like the sun on a rainy day and the rain during a long drought." 
  On their way home, Eun Bi tells Won Il she's like a comfort cushion—he can lean on her. She invites him to a brownie game with her, Seung Ji and Panda, since Panda needs help saying what she wants to say. 

  The little girl presents her cake to the kid. He realizes who made it and becomes a bit sad. She tells him to close his eyes, and kisses him. Seung Ji, Lamesauce, and Panda watch from a distance. Lamesauce drags them away, since it's uncomfortable for a father to watch his son's "kiss scene," and Panda grabs Seung Ji to ask how long he's going to ignore her.

  She drags him away by the wrist, looking for a romantic spot. She finds a lonely spot on a trail and tells him they should kiss. He keeps his distance, and she insists that he take responsibility for making her think about him all the time, even losing sleep. He answers that he needs to tell her something, but he needs time to figure out how. She begs for at least a hint, bu he sighs and walks away. He stops and asks if he has the right to like her, and he needs time to figure that out. 

  Host Club and Beom Bo show up at the cafe to find a mopey Panda. They go downstairs and find a sad Seung Ji as well. "What's with everyone being so gloomy? Even Grandpa and Cherry Blossom are depressed." Beom Bo explains that they met with detectives about Cherry Blossom's child's father. None of the guys knew before that there was a child. Host Club warns Seung Ji that he needs to tell Panda, since the detectives will want to talk to her too. 
  Won Yi has been watching the patisserie, since Mom and Step-dad have gone to the photo shoot. She teases Won Il about being dumped and fired, and he explains his current situation. 

  At the photo shoot, Mina walks out as the model. Everyone oohs and aahs to see her. Step-dad offers to put her photo in front of his store for advertising, but she corrects them and says she's not advertising for Saint Honore, but for the cosmetic company. They try to persuade her to take some photos for them, but she's firm in her refusal. They notice a Cafe Panda box, and she informs them that she likes their products.
  Won Il reads Seung Ji's record which says that in 1999, from age 13-16, he was injuvenile detention for arson, attempted murder, and went back at 20 for 2 years. Won Yi runs in with the advertising and shows her brother how Mina repayed Cafe Panda. A newspaper article shows her praising Seung Ji's macarons as the best she's ever tasted.

  Panda runs into the studio area to show Seung Ji the same headline and Won Il pulls up. Panda and Hedgehog look at each other. She gives him a peck, which surprises him and he straightens up. She leans in and kisses him again—the most adorably awkward kiss ever, because he just stiffly stands there, staring at her in surprise. Haha!
  Won Il sees it all through the window. 
  I love how this kiss came full circle. At the beginning of the episode, it was Seung Ji who tried to initiate things, but in the end, Panda's the one who finally did something about her feelings. Also, after all her complaints of him wanting to kiss her without setting up a romantic scene (under an umbrella during a rainstorm, in the moonlight, at a romantic spot), she kissed him in the same place he wanted to kiss before. Where anyone (and a specific someone) could see. (That makes it sound like she wanted Won Il to see it, but they don't know he's there, I promise.) I'm glad she realized that it's romantic not because it was planned, but because it's with the person she likes, at the right time, and it's a natural expression of her feelings.
  Can I just say how grateful I am that Panda's trip to Crazytown only lasted one episode? I would have had serious problems with this show if she had decided to take up permanent residence. Or even a summer home there. She does seem to be more self-aware now, though, which can only bring good things, I think. Especially to her confidence. She's starting to show a new level of maturity, and maybe is turning into more of a well-rounded and likable character. 
  On the other hand, while Panda's character seems to have taken on a bit more depth this episode, Eun Bi's became more confusing. Suddenly she's nice again? I really don't like her, but I think we're supposed to. I always knew there was a possible set-up of her ending up with Won Il, but I hate that idea. My Won Il deserves someone less crazy, and someone who is genuinely nice. Not someone who is such a fair-weather friend. I actually could see her with Glasses (even though I love him, too), because he wouldn't fall for her manipulations and could handle her.
  This episode was way too light on the relationship between Seung Ji and Won Il, also. I love all their interactions and missed seeing them get more screen time together. *Pout* Hopefully in the next few episodes we'll get more bromance action. 
  I am glad to see things start falling into place plotwise. I'm really hoping Seung Ji is the one who gets to tell Panda about his past, but we know dramas love to make the angst as dramatic as possible, so it's highly probable he won't be the bean-spiller. And although it would be out of character for Won Il to tell, it would be interesting to see if he does it as a way of lashing out. Or trying to protect Panda. I could see it as a possibility. 
  I'm also anxious to see how they reveal Seung Ji's relationships to everyone else. I love the scenes with him and Grandpa—they have such a prickly, yet deeply loving bond. Honestly, Seung Ji, you'll make a good father, especially with Grandpa's example to look up to. Just make sure you also listen to his advice. 


  1. <3 I am just loving this! As you said, I really don't want this to go all makjang a la bachelors' vegetable store. I don't know much about the PD or even channel A for that matter (I've only ever been interested in colour of a woman and gave that up instantly!) so I'm not sure what to expect BUT seeing how I didn't see the ending to episode 9 coming, I am going to be optimistic.

    Thank you for an excellent recap.

  2. Now... if only they show in flashback, that little boy, whom we think is Seung Ji kissing Panda for an "intensely long time" ^^

    Panda is cute/weird wanting to set the whole kissing episode and kiss him in the same scenario which she gave up earlier...
    Also I am glad Panda stopped her whole 2-boys-fighting-for-me for the regular Panda back... though still the oblivious silly Panda... Can't wait to see her growth in upcoming episodes...

    Wondering about Won Il finding out about Seung Ji's past... I wonder is because he emphatize/sympathize with him or he want to convince Panda that Seung Ji is not a good guy? But he really does show his conflicted feeling very well. Props to the actor!