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Thanks to everyone in this thread for their excellent analysis! One thing that I think really sets R88 apart is the focus on family. Even the poster says, "My last love is my family," and I think that's the true love story in this show. No matter who ends up winning the husband sweepstakes, I'm sure everyone will remain together and connected. All the sweet bromances will live on.

The most important thing to me is that they maintain this high-quality level of storytelling throughout. However the love triangle ends, that it feels organic, and doesn't leave us feeling manipulated. (I think that was the problem with R94 - it's not that we're so upset about how the story ended, it's that the writers jerked the viewers around too much, to the point where we no longer cared about the OTP anymore.)

And I feel like the R88 writers really understand romantic relationships in a way that feels like it has substance. It's not just attraction and sexiness and fantasy. For example - I love the SunWoo-Bora couple. Sun-Woo has been going through some real heavy stuff, and Bora is able to be there for him in a really significant way.

So for whoever ends up with DS, I hope they are able to achieve this kind of storytelling - a really fleshed-out and loving couple who can emotionally support each other.

--

Having said all that, I really found today's episode to be full of SunTaek goodness. Nothing overt like love confession or kisses, but in more subtle ways. I don't see it as a mother-figure taking care of her baby - although that is how it comes across, with her making sure he eats, and zipping up his coat - but that she understands him on an intuitive level. And I feel like that's an essential part of lasting relationships - your partner just gets you, and understands the real you.

I also love that he gave her his trophy! And she thought it was worth nothing and her mom almost put kimchi in it. Bwahaha.

Can't wait until tomorrow's ep!

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Thanks everybody for your wonderful responses and for all the insightful comments. You guys do so much research and allow me to make so much more meaning than I could have ever done on my own. Sometimes I have to wonder whether the PDs and writers might be laughing at themselves because their viewers are able to elevate the quality of the show just with their curiosity and commitment to it.

Dear @Meliere, thanks for another dose of poetry. Lol. I find it quite amusing that we are able to slip our other love interests (poetry in this case) into our love for the show. And you seem to have a knack for finding the most apt poetic lines to describe what is going on in the show as well as on this thread. Your like our very own DJ. 

Like I said in my earlier post, I’m here to just pen down my thoughts and musings so that I can share them with you guys out here. But it’s so nice to be heard. Thank you.

I love JH’s family. I had never expected to but I like watching both the individuals of the family and them together. And I get what you mean by how she would fit right into the family. Kim sajjang and Sung sajjang (lol when these two do their cute, idiotic routine!) have amazing chemistry. But think about this. There’s already a lot of light, eccentric, bright energy in the Kim household. Move over to the Choi household - which is marked by a sombre aura - as if it is forever in mourning. And imagine what the presence of a bright, sprightly, ditzy and adorable DS would do to it! I feel like she really would be like the sun, spreading her rays and lighting up the lives of Choi appa and son. Yes yes yes, this thread has taught me how to swerve every argument in favour of the Taektanic ship lol.

Oh and the water symbolism that @onlysb1 @hafunohane and @Meliere are talking about. I’m giddy with joy at any mention of water as some kind of metaphor for Taek’s character. I guess I have long been obsessed with the characteristics of water as the foundations for a kind of life philosophy so I’d be happy to share my own findings as well.

The Tao Te Ching, for instance, is filled with a lot of references on the quality of water. One of the most beautiful passages in it. This one’s from Chapter 78:

Nothing in the world is softer or weaker than water
Yet nothing is better at overcoming the hard and strong
This is because nothing can replace it

That the weak overcomes the strong
And the soft overcomes the hard
Everybody in the world knows
But cannot put into practice

Therefore sages say:
The one who accepts the humiliation of the state
Is called its master
The one who accepts the misfortune of the state
Becomes king of the world
The truth seems like the opposite

[Cr: http://www.taoism.net/ttc/complete.htm]

I find these verses quite beautiful in the way they capture for us Taek’s personality, whose is made up of truths that seem like opposites.

Indeed nothing can replace him. Taek is unique not just to the world of Reply, but to the world of kdramas in general. In fact, he would be a unique presence in the real world as well, I’d be glad to have a Taek-like person in my life, in whatever capacity.

He appears weak, but it is his apparent weakness that overcomes the strong. His softness overcomes the hard. I’m quite grateful for the show for giving us a character who isn’t your typical “hero” symbolic of some masculine ideal. There is something undeniably feminine about Taekie, and yet, he is still very much a man, isn’t he? He doesn’t have to become something else to become a man worthy of being called a man. Even his way of caring for DS (the way he taps her hands when she’s lying down in his room, nose bleeding and all) is made up of this softness. Compare this with JH’s bulging veins as he protects her in the bus, this is a quintessential scene for heroism. And yet, why does my heart go out to Taek every time? The way he is able to support her (as in the case after she faces the Burberry man) is without overpowering. He trusts that a gentle presence, a gentle smile, and a faith in the other’s ability to take care of themselves is enough in the way of supporting. If anything, this respects the independence that DS already displays. She doesn’t need to be overprotected or sheltered. This is evident later when he goes to accompany her a second time. I also love how cool Taekie is in both instances at the restaurant. Again, an indication that he’s really seen a lot more of the world. I’m sure if DS was in grave danger, his response would be different. But he is mild mannered and casual in this case because somewhere within he seems to just know that what DS is looking for is some comforting company rather than someone to take charge and try to protect her. 

To add to the water theme, there’s nothing more compelling than the words of Bruce Lee (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAxOHPmITHI), whose conception of Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist) is founded on the strength and characteristics of water. I don’t know if this can be used to understand Taekie or his relationship with DS but because it’s about the coolest quote I know, let me try and interpret it through Taekie.

Here’s a poster from Zen Pencils that puts the same quote in delightful visuals:

2012-04-13-bruce-lee-water.jpg

Now water is so significant in his philosophy because of the very qualities that Lao Tzu describes in the Tao Te Ching. To be like water means to use the path of least resistance. In a strange twist of events, to succumb, to yield, to bend and to surrender results in victory. When we look at this quote in light of Taek’s development as a character, the aura of mystery that surrounds his character is somewhat similar to the shapelessness, formlessness of water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put Taek in front of the Baduk board, he becomes a different sort of person - suddenly a serious professional sort of man. You put him in front of his friends and this is where his innocence and childlikeness shine. You put him around his appa and there’s a new side to him that we discover. In front of appa, Taek is still only a son. Around friends, he is just a neighbourhood buddy, a childhood friend. He brings no haughtiness whatsoever, no self-consciousness of his success or popularity. There is no smugness, rather, he seems to imbue the characteristics of the people or places he is around based on the situation and circumstances. 

Of course, there is always something unpleasant, something dark that is hinted only but never fully explored or expressed with regards to his work and his health. It seems like both combine to make his condition worse and I don’t know how to use the water metaphor to explain this. Nevertheless, as far as his personality and his way with people is concerned, Taekie does appear to display very “waterly” qualities.

@mangachickava Soulmates! Yes! I feel like my long, long long essay from yesterday was trying to explain this very idea. Unfortunately this word did not come to my mind, but that is the very sort of vibe I get when I think of Taeksun. And you mention how JH’s parents’ loving relationship is mirrored in TK-DS relationship. I’ve been struck by how there is a parallel in the scenes where JH’s appa playfully puts his finger in omma’s mouth instead of cake and DS does the exact same thing with the exact same intention with Taekie with crackers at the beach. Of course, omma’s and Taekie’s responses are completely different, as omma gets more irritated with each attempt while Taek complies rather like he’s enjoying it. Anyway, is there supposed to be some significance to this parallel? I can’t help but feel that way, especially as JH’s parents appear to be such an odd couple, but they make it work regardless. In fact their relationship is one of the best in the show. Is this doing any foreshadowing for the odd but adorable couple that Taekson could be? *crosses fingers*

@lovelyrainy! Thank you for your post. I enjoyed reading your personal story. It really resonated with me because ha! that is how life unravels, isn’t it? You go into it expecting something and it surprises you by giving you something entirely different. I can’t help but feel that your story has the makings for a really great drama. We should have some great PD-writer team pick it up and put it into a show. I’d love to watch it! 

And I agree with you about how the greatest poetic justice the show might do is in making our Taekie’s love unrequited, without diminishing his importance in the storyline at all. I’m readying myself for that scenario, so in case that doesn’t happen and Taeksun do in fact get together in the end, why that’ll be an unexpected source of joy. Which’ll be fun as well.

Haven’t watched ep 13 and won’t be able to until tomorrow in the least. Still don’t know if I want to watch it raw but I also don’t know if I’ll be able to wait until tuesday. Why does it have to be so far away? Either way, I look forward to watching and relishing each moment in the next episode and the episodes to come. And then enjoy it twice over as we sift through them bit by bit together over here. Really such a joy being part of this thread.

<3

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6 minutes ago, hien le said:

I thinnk it is ok if the love line doesn't developt now. Thus, when they see others after 5 years, they can talk  friendly like now. If the loveline is develop now, how they can face with others many year later ?

 

That's a good point :) then it will be very interesting to see what kind of events will happen tmr that will lead to the time leap :D 

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1 hour ago, Catherine JeanneT said:

so what happen in ep 13 kekeke 

 

Ep. 13 - the theme was about fathers. It was very lovely. No real movement on the main love triangle, though.

Spoilers:

Spoiler

DS's family - Mom gets a health exam. She has a lump in her breast, and they need further tests. Everyone stresses out about it, but it turns out to be nothing. Dad cries. He loves her so much.

JH's family - Dad tries to fix electronic stuff around the house, but he's bad at it.

Taek's Dad - Everyone in the neighborhood says that Taek's dad is "steel heart" or a "bear" because he's so calm all the time, and never panics.

Taek goes to Japan for a tournament, and there is a plane crash. Fortunately, he's 100% safe. His dad seriously breaks down in front of Sun-Woo and his mom, because Taek's taking a shower and doesn't answer his phone. They finally call his baduk-coach and finds out he's okay. By the time Taek talks to his dad, his dad sounds totally calm. But Taek finds out from Sun-Woo that his dad had a complete meltdown when he thought something might have happened to Taek - this is why he was crying in the preview.

The neighbors don't know that he broke down, they only see him calm, so they are impressed that he is so strong. Later they go to have some soju together, and Taek's dad freaks out and runs away because there is a mouse and he's scared. It's funny.

At the pojang-macha, Sun-Woo and Bora are hiding, and they laugh when they see him, too.

DS asks him for a gift - says that she just wants whatever souvenir he gets from his tournament, like key chains or towels. He ends up giving her his trophy, which is a vase. She doesn't like the present, and her mom tries to put some food in it, until No-eul tells them it's his trophy.

Oh yeah, in the beginning, JH and DS go to that concert. Nothing much happens, except that DS runs into a junior high classmate who seems to like her. JH goes to the bathroom and hears that guy and his friend talking about her while they're peeing - I think the guy says she's pretty and the friend says no, she's not? Anyway, that pisses off JH, so he casually pushes them from behind like an accident so they end up peeing on their hands.

Jung-Bon waits all day outside Mi-Ok's hospital room. DS and the other girl won't visit her because Mi-Ok's dad is very scary - they speculate that he's a mafia boss or something. Finally, the nurse offers to pass along the love letter. It's not a love letter, but a picture of a key, and on the back, I think it says "Free Trip to the Moon" or something like that? Anyway, it makes her really happy.

 

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51 minutes ago, syaiira said:

I noticed that Taek said this same sentence twice in this episode.

  Reveal hidden contents

It's okay if I lose, right?

 

He asked DS/SY this the first time. I feel some sort of premonition because of this. But we'll have to see how it goes.

Let me just share with you my current thoughts about this drama. I believe that this drama, especially this season, excels when it comes to the family stories and issues. It does a great job at showcasing the love and bond of a family and I love how every character has a story to tell. But when it comes to the main love story, it just falls really flat. Especially if they are intending of making the main couple to be DS and JH. Individually, they are awesome. But when they're together, it 's rather bland. It is weird because before the whole "Don't go to the blind date" scenario I truly enjoyed their scenes together. But right now it's kind of meh for me. There is just something missing which I'm not able to pinpoint. But I think it is mostly due to their connection with each other lacking a great amount of depth. I feel that there is not much deep connection between them yet as of now. Sure, you can throw in swoonworthy moments and romantic cliches (typical scenes of jealousy or being in close proximity) but that doesn't translate directly into depth. It's rather unfortunate how the connection between their characters doesn't go beyond simple attraction and is stuck in a standstill. I want to see what is it that the relationship can offer besides the 'you like me and so I like you back". Where are the scenes where they get to mutually know and understand each other in a deeper sense? We got it with the BR and SW. We also got it with Taek appa and SW eomma. So I think this is the reason why I'm getting quite confused because while JH-DS seem like a standard OTP package if we were to view it externally but when you try to see it internally, there doesn't seem much there. And if we were to compare foundation, Taek and DS have a stronger one and makes more sense. But of course this can argued as they are just 18 years old and still has much more to experience. But there are only 7 eps left? If they want to make it convincing, they need to start now. They need to show me scenes that are comparable with DS comforting Taek with a simple "You've worked hard" and Taek comforting Deoksun when she cried by just staying by her side and keeping her secret. That is mutual understanding and that is what I call depth even if it is not in a romantic sense. JH and DS currently have no such scenes yet. So yeah, I wonder if there will be any in the future.

Totally agree with you,very well written thoughts out there.Somehow I feel hyeri is still not sure how deok sun is herself feeling here because they dint build the character with much depth? So,she has been great so far with how it's on the book.But that does not go any further from there.Because they put the family on the front and the loveline got sidelined ,but still the younger generation is the heart of the show.I think they have done injustice to the loveline,and now the relationships are kind of messed up with nothing in the heart to bind them together.Just like the ways the family bonds are created by showing jh's mom illiteracy,or jh's dad's depression on his birthday,those subtle moments are missing in the case of the romance part.And I really wish there was more to it.

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Hey guys, anyway, let's brighten our mood ;)

 

See how similar their clothes are: from the outermost layer inwards, it's a jacket followed by a sweater followed by a buttoned shirt. I love how random it is for DS to meet TK just right before he leaves :D  

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I wanted to add a note about when Taek said, "Can I lose?" He said it to DS, and later, Sun-Woo told him, "Yes, you can lose."

I think he's under tremendous pressure to win, and he really needs someone who he cares about to tell him that it's okay to lose, and theyy won't be disappointed, and will continue to love him. He needs a safe haven.

I thought that was really touching. I also thought it's an indication that he trusts that person a lot. So that's why he asked that of Sun-Woo - who, after all, is his future brother. (Although he doesn't know that, yet.)

Anyway, aside from the whole Superman-Father theme, I thought another one was about being vulnerable in front of your loved ones. Taek's dad really became upset and worried in front of Sun-Woo and his mom, but to the other neighbors, he put up a front. Taek always seems like a robot, but he's allowing himself to be vulnerable in front of a select group of people. Again, regardless of romance, it's just lovely to see, and wonderful bit of storytelling. I was so moved!

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My new ship lol I don't even remember when was the last time I'd played board games that was nostalgic ^^

image.jpg

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I totally agree with you @syaiira 

I feel like JH-DS loveline is too bland.. Just a simple example is their date to concert.. I feel like anticlimax, compare to beach scene, it's so flat (sorry JH ship)..I prefer to see JH with his family than with DS anymore..even though in the concert they're back as the bickering couple again that they used to but it just cliché (sorry again for JH ship)..I love JH..JH as a character is interesting but not with DS

maybe because they want to focus on family that's why they don't invest on the love story but why oh why they can make TK-DS scene more beautiful and deeper compare to the main otp (assuming JH-DS are the otp) :confounded:

at least, SunTaek have so many cute moments that I can reply over and over again, to suppress my frustration 

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Someone in main thread said tk-ds only look like dongsaeng-noona. Lol i dont get it. I mean look at ds face. Its totally different facial expression from what it used to be. When they say they will make the husband obvius, i hope this is what they mean. Smoking, coffee, whats next? ok more childhood flashback or any flashback of tk-ds:vicx:

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As many said, the scenes between JH-DS so far only make me think of how charming JH can be, from him protecting her on the bus, him giving her umbrella, him touching her face telling her to think why he came and paid for McDonalds to him being jealous today... Just so many times but it's all about JH caring/ making swooning actions. I can't see DS's personality, she's just so bland in those scenarios.

However with Taek, I can see who she is, caring, lively, sometimes too innocent but adorable. I can totally see how lovely DS is as herself whever she interacts with Taek

 

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Just got down from the plane and decided to post this here(I posted the same thing on the main thread too before I boarded).

We will all know where we stand tomorrow.

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@lovelyrainy and today we can clearly see that DS respects him a lot when she knocks on the door before entering. Actually, DS has shown that side of hers before when she looks at TK in the elevator before his match, when he smokes and when she trusts him as her guard outside the washroom :D idk, all these things feel precious, and I cant see these things in DS-JH scenes

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3 minutes ago, Phuong Tam Nguyen said:

@lovelyrainy and today we can clearly see that DS respects him a lot when she knocks on the door before entering. Actually, DS has shown that side of hers before when she looks at TK in the elevator before his match, when he smokes and when she trusts him as her guard outside the washroom :D idk, all these things feel precious, and I cant see these things in DS-JH scenes

 

I know right, we see different sides of Taek thanks to DS, and hidden sides of DS thanks to Taek.

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If, and only if, the PD wants to troll us further, this series will show the possibility of close friends of opposite genders who can see and bring out new sides of each other, who have a soulmate level of connection since they were young, who can totally trust each other and be the light/guide for each other, will NOT end up in a marriage :)) In real life, I think this is possible though.

And the end will be something like: "love is strange, at the end of the road, we end up with the least expected ones" :))

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Guest aoikarin

Hello.. after lurking for soooo long I decided to write some post here. I just finished watching ep 11 and 12. Btw, I was thinking about Color’s clues given by Pdnim team. .  So far we know , JH is Green,  Duk Sun Yellow and Taek is Blue or sometimes Red. However, looking at the official twitter reply color, something just like Olympian Ring position : JH is red, Taek Is Green and Duksun is Black. Because of previous experience learning the future husband we have to pay attention at color clue's from the team. Therefore, since beginning we are so much concerned with color theory. We believe that the husband will be green and the female lead will be yellow. But is it true??? what if the team trolling with the color theory. Since beginning, I just noticed we saw so many Yellow,green and blue color together ( and I believe it represent DS, JH and Taek respectively) and really never put attention on black and green color (just like the official twitter color). However, today, i just think about what if DS is black and Taek is Green.. and you know what.. suddenly I also see lot’s of Black and Green Color clue together!! This is really insane.. I think Pdnim is really great person can twist everybody mind in his on game!

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I really love this episode, not only because stable relationship between DS and Teak, it's also because the fatherhood and neighborhood and friendship of old men.

When Apa Choi heard about the crash, he is near to get mad. But when he heard tEak's voice, he keep all of his worries down to lowest rate in order to avoid of making Teak worry.

So touching.

And other families, when they heard the news, they ran out their house and looks like that crash happened on their own son.

Touching again.

 

And at the end of the day, our old men, Sung Apa, Kim Apa, Choi Apa sit together and drank, to calm their feelings down, but never alone.

 

To me, this is the best episode of this drama.

Regarding, Teak and DS, their relationship is moving slowly but deeper. I don't think the writers can change it to normal due to a few episodes left. They need 13 episodes to grow their feelings to be almost like love, how can they can turn down when a half of the left episodes will be used for all of families relationship and issues?

Just in case there is a real air crash but surely no way...:)

 

KEEP SAILING, KEEP FAITH!!!

KEEP PRAYING GOD OF BADUK!!!

The SUN of master CHOI!!!

 

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Guest gerimisore
16 minutes ago, bluesteyes said:

Someone in main thread said tk-ds only look like dongsaeng-noona. Lol i dont get it. I mean look at ds face. Its totally different facial expression from what it used to be. When they say they will make the husband obvius, i hope this is what they mean. Smoking, coffee, whats next? ok more childhood flashback or any flashback of tk-ds:vicx:

I only watched TK-DS clips for this episode and I agree that DS looks rather different here. I don't know how to put it 'tho. Her whole attitude is still bright and lively as usual, but at the same time she looks... gentler(?) When she asks Taek to eat breakfast, she has this genuine concern look which is different from her usual concern-yet-grumpy look. The latter feels more like DS. The friendly DS who sees Taek only as a friend that keeps making her worried. But, this?! This is different. Or am I seeing things now? D:

17 minutes ago, Phuong Tam Nguyen said:

@lovelyrainy and today we can clearly see that DS respects him a lot when she knocks on the door before entering. Actually, DS has shown that side of hers before when she looks at TK in the elevator before his match, when he smokes and when she trusts him as her guard outside the washroom :D idk, all these things feel precious, and I cant see these things in DS-JH scenes

I'm surprised seeing her do this. It's so un-Deoksun! We rarely see this side of her. Even when in China, she still barges in without knocking (in which causing her to take a glimpse of the smoking Taek) and also that time when Junghwan is about to change his clothes.

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