Some viewers were disappointed by Dong Hoon’s restraint after finding Ji An in Episode 15. Shouldn’t he have hugged her? Consoled her? Here’s another view.
“Hold your horses” by @Justamom
1) The scene where Dong Hoon runs to Ji An and finds her injured.
It’s practically a love confession from Dong Hoon. It cut so deep. The only thing he didn’t do was hold her. Or hug her. That would have been nice. But has he hugged anyone in this show so far? So Ji An, on the defensive, goes on the offence: you’re an idiot to have helped me. She’s a wounded street cat ready to claw. But what does he do? He sits down a cautious distance from her and says:
DH: “Thanks. Thank you. You’ve heard everything about me, but you’re on my side. Thank you. I’ll be happy with whatever happens from now. You–I don’t want to see you suffering because of me. You, and me….how can you …(someone like you) pity an adult like me? It hurts my heart so much. If I don’t become happy, you’ll continue to hurt because of me. And if I think of you hurting because of me, my heart will also hurt. So look! Look! You must watch how I live happily. None of it matters. I’ll get humiliated? People talking about me? It’s nothing. I can live happily. I will be happy. Let’s be happy. Let’s be happy.”
JA: “I…Ahjussi…I really wanted you to live happily.”
2) The hospital bed scene.
JA: Do you really not hate me?
DH sits on the bed, by her side, next to her feet
DH: If you know someone, if you know that person. No matter what that person does, it doesn’t matter. I know you.
JA: (sighs) Ahjussi’s sound – I like it all. Ahjussi’s words, thoughts….the way you walk. All of it. What does it mean to be human? It’s the first time I felt it.
3) The three brothers all have difficulty expressing love through physical touch. Look at that kiss between Ki Hoon and Yura — he had so much difficulty even with that! And when Yura hugged him, it was so hard for him to hug her back at first. IMO, in (1) and (2), DH has expressed an intimacy with Ji An that’s even closer than anything he has with his wife or anybody else in this world.Below: Yura attempts to hug Ki Hoon. Look at the discomfort on that man’s face!
I think Dong Hoon needs to sort out Ji An’s case first and he needs Yoon Hee’s help. Once that’s cleared, they can decide what to do next between themselves. Given what Yoon Hee knows about Ji An’s feelings towards Dong Hoon and what she’s done to protect him, compared with what she’s done….even if DH does nothing I think she’ll be too ashamed to stay in the marriage. And that family! I mean, you’ve got to remember they’ve been married 12, 13 years. He’s not going to kick her out immediately. Plus they have a son.
The number one, two and three upvoted comments on Naver for that preview: “Hug her!” “Please hurry up and hug her!” “If he doesn’t hug her…!” We got a far deeper emotional confession here than I ever expected. To me, Dong Hoon expressed the greatest love he possibly could, within the confines and restrictions of who he is: a conservative, reticent, married man. He said he wouldn’t care about what others think anymore, or about being humiliated — because for her, he will become happy.
While no one else on Naver seems to be shipping them romantically, they’re all in tears. I think this drama has really shaken many in S Korea. What this show has done, I think, is to comfort people. To show them how human kindness works, and encourage them to be kinder to one another. How often do we lend a helping hand to someone outside our families? I’ve felt so alone all my life. This show has really comforted me. That perhaps I should try to reach out. This drama, this story has hit me so deep in the heart. It’s never happened to me before. I must try to be happy too. These are just some of the many many comments pouring in.
Life is hard. People’s hearts have hardened. But a single show about human kindness (and love) has showed them all how it could be so, so different. I know some of you might feel disappointed now. But I think it’s going to be okay, after those leaked scenes and watching #15. This show is super realistic. And I think given where Ji An is right now (criminal investigation) and where Dong Hoon is right now (broken marriage) it would have been unrealistic for them to start up. But they have all those feels between them. And that great declaration of love. I think, that’s why we have a time lapse. The dust needs to settle first… And then–they meet again, and open ending.
[Continued in Part 2]