Is Seeing Believing?

@noor1 thinks that some viewers refuse to see that Dong Hoon’s words and actions only show understanding, kindness and utmost respect from one human to another human – no more, no less. @ninaanin questions: Is seeing all there’s to it?

@noor1:

DH has been pretty vocal about how he feels – he likes her, is protective about her, has her best interest in his heart and mind and would do anything to make her happy – without crossing any line – that’s why he gets angry whenever anyone suggests a hint of impropriety about his relationship with Ji-An. Whenever someone questions him, he defends his actions as those of a good manager, person, adult. Is he feeling guilty for harboring what he may consider ‘inappropriate’ feelings for an unfortunate, smart, gutsy, pretty girl? Does he think it’s romantic love for a woman? His words and actions don’t show that. He is grateful for her presence, help, and ability to rock his boat. Of course, he has led her on too without rejecting her outright, probably scared to let the support system go, taking her feelings as a mere crush (though he is getting an idea how serious her admiration is, when she keeps telling EVERYBODY that she really really likes him and would do anything for him and now is in a mess trying to save him yet again!). However, he does the right thing, for the right reasons, at the right time. He has his priorities in order: family, friends, job, co-workers, and then Ji-An. The ‘elephant in the room’ is ‘is that all there is to it?’

I think that’s all there is to it. Others of course see something more. I hope there’s more, it seems like there’s more, but I’m not hedging any bets over it. The only reason DH seems Mr. Mysterious is because people don’t want to see what he is showing: complete, selfless, regard and respect for another human being who touched his soul and made him feel alive and well and made him feel beautiful all over again so that he could assert himself and live a full life without fear or regret or indignity. He would be okay if he knew she was okay, wherever she is and remains in contact with him. There has been no indication that he wants anything more. He’s not greedy that way!


3 people responded to the comment above:


@ninaanin:

But I think we see all that!!!!!

The problem is not that we (the “people” you refer to) don’t see it. The problem (if it is a problem) is that we don’t only see it! It is very difficult not to see more when DH’s breaths, gazes and restrained self and gestures whisper to us that there is more than “complete, selfless, regard and respect for another human”. And, after the song that he did sing, not only do I see more, I hear it very loudly.

I do agree that he isn’t greedy. I would say that there are few indications that he wants anything more. But I disagree that he would be OK just knowing she is alright and in contact with him. From the scenes after the phone booth until the scenes he realizes could contact her again (Ep 14), he did show what I see to be longing and missing – and he had no reason to think she wasn’t OK and she couldn’t contact him.

@Wotad:

@noor1 You make some good points but I disagree – the way he wanted those slippers back basically counters what you said. He knows she has feelings for him and got really hurt when those slippers were taken away. He then put those on when she left and was super hurt when she left – him not rejecting her outright already tells me he feels something for her. Also, the fact he didn’t reject her right at the start when she kissed him suggests that he feels something for her (at least in my view). There has been no indication he wants more, but there has been no indication he does not.

He’s mysterious because we don’t fully know what he thinks about Ji-An but hopefully we find out.

If I remember correctly he didn’t even like this job. If he had to pick between Ji-An and the job, I think he would drop it. Ji an makes him happy… while his family, job, co-workers, and friends are the people who put him in that state to begin with. There is a reason she’s able to help him and everyone else wasn’t. They were the cause and she’s the cure.

@40somethingahjumma:

I’m new to this fandom and I saw the romance practically right off the bat. I didn’t know anything about this show before I started watching… never read a single recap… had no idea that this was any kind of intergenerational romance in the making. All I knew was that it was a dark and gritty show and IU was in it. From the moment DH started noticing J’A, it occurred to me that they were building up to some kind of romance. Most telling was when he was on the train looking out for her that first time after finally rubbing shoulders in the workplace. It was like a boy who’d met a girl that intrigued him. Maybe I’ve read LSK wrongly but from where I’m looking, he often brings a boyish nuance to their interactions. Someone on DB mentioned Dan Stevens’ take on Edward Ferrars and I’d agree wholeheartedly with that comparison. In fact, I have thought for a while that there’s something very British about the DH-J’A dynamic. In terms of bleakness, the earliest comparison I went for in my own head was Luther (Idris Elba) and Alice (Ruth Wilson). The dynamic between DH and J’A is no where near as dysfunctional as that one but there are some compelling similarities.

And yes, you’re right. I don’t believe that a man can shower that level of kindness on a woman (bar Jesus Christ) without something else driving him. Especially a man who is generally reticent, who can’t even hold an extended, honest conversation with his own wife or his mother. Even the man I consider my workplace mentor who invested hours on me was never that emotionally invested in me.

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