The Dragon Queen Arrives: Love is Drop by Drop Episodes 63-64

Back when I was watching HITTG, I wrote about an experience I had in my early college days, as I watched a fellow classmate deal with parental objections to a potential spouse. It was jaw-dropping to me back then but only merits a sad sigh and an eye-roll from me today. From my Episode 4 recap…

When I was a freshman in college (circa 1982), a male classmate of mine–a white guy–fell in love with a Vietnamese girl. He was absolutely head over heels in love with her. He even learned to speak and read Vietnamese (no easy feat) so he could communicate better with her and her family. Her family hated him, mostly because he was white, but also because he was a student, and only had a PT job like we all did back in the day. They tried everything to break those two up. I didn’t watch Kdrama’s back then, but it was some seriously crazy makjang stuff that went on–her parents arranged blind dates for her and intercepted their phone calls and letters. Of course, the guy’s parents loved her and were thrilled that their son was dating this lovely young lady. I remember the two of them cried–a lot. She broke up with him once for about 3 days, and everyone who knew these two cried with them, me included. Then they got back together and decided to stick it out no matter what. Her parents offered him a “contract”–I’m sure money was involved–to stay away from their daughter. He was furious…and so was she. I never did find out what happened to them. I graduated and left that college, but they were still together after 2 years of crazy parental antics. I hope they made it.

*********

In many Kdramas, the OTP would have already broken up by this point. Thank goodness WH and BW are made of tougher stuff–at least so far. How can anyone complain about the stunning level of honesty seen from WH?

BW starts it off:

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His Momma is a tough cookie; way more than WH had anticipated. Still, he’s not gonna let that derail him from being straightforward with BW:

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The level of open and honest communication is so different than other Kdramas–no wonder I love this show so much! BW asks him to wait for a moment, then she goes into the kitchen and whips him up some soup that would take hours for me to make. (RL parallel–I’ve actually been cooking more now that I have in quite a while because this show inspires me!) Then I get a real treat–WH has dozed off:

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And BW reaches out and softly strokes his cheek! **squeeel**

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That’s the first time I’ve seen her take the initiative and touch him like this! He wakes up, and grabs her hand with a smokin’ hawt look:

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Then he makes sure she knows:

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I could not stop blushing at the lunch table that afternoon! Good thing everyone at my work went out that day. I can’t tell a fib here either–that blush was brought on by my mind going into the gutter with the thought of what else WH might like stroked! 😉

BW must’ve had similar thoughts too, as she quickly gives him the tasty crab soup she made, and tells him to try it. WH comments that it’s too sweet, which confuses BW:

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That WH is one wicked teaser!

 

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The Undisputed King of Cheese!

 

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Another surprise from Writer-nim:

Well, look who’s back in town!  And he’s at WK’s store today!

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It’s Woo Kyung’s ex-husband! (What was his name?) And he’s wearing the same suit he had on when WH punched him out!Anyways, he’s undoubtedly here to give WK some grief–and she is not having it:

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WK gives the jerk a strong dose of reality:

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Well done! WK fighting! Then the bad jerk gets a big surprise as he grabs WK’s wrist…and meets up with WW:

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And he makes sure this bastard knows:

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I gotta love how WK quickly scurries over to WW and grabs onto him!

 

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Oooh, that look in her eyes! A true actress!

 

Awesome! Thanks WW for being there at the right moment. He is appropriately protective without going overboard. WW then finds out this jerk is her ex-husband. For some reason that mystifies me, the three of them go out for coffee, and WK’s ex asks both of them tons of nosy questions. WK is thinking what I am thinking:

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Then the ex dangles a carrot…he might invest in the musical. WW is not down with that:

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WW’s inquiring mind (and mine too) wants to know the scoop:

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And the answer is not one he wants to hear:

 

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#zero chance  #never gonna happen  #no way  #when Hell freezes over

 

Aaaaack! WK doesn’t want anything to do with this guy:

 

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I agree!

 

I believe that similar to other quality Kdramas I’ve seen, there is no wasted scene, no throwaway dialogue in LIDD. Each and every scene, all the dialogue, every single thing including the props, camera angles, and the staging is pertinent to the drama as a whole. So I have to ask–Why did the writer bring this character back? WK has zero feelings for this guy and never did. It was a loveless arranged marriage from the get-go. They have no children in common either. Is WK’s ex just here to harass her and WW? That seems shallow, and not in line with the rest of the story. Is he under pressure from his family to get married and produce a child? Does he want to get some measure of revenge for the divorce and alimony that he thought was unfair? Maybe he wants to flaunt his money, thinking that WK will leave broke WW and go back to him. Talk about delusional…this dude is barking up the wrong tree!

WK and WW have a discussion later on, and it seems to me that WW is rattled by the appearance of the ex. After the ex told WW not to pay for the coffee because he couldn’t afford it, WW went right over and paid for it. WK was a little upset because money is tight, but WW is absolutely correct here:

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WW and WK are pretty good at honest communication too. WW is feeling undermined:

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And WK lets him know in no uncertain terms that is not the case:

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The picture gets a bit clearer when a deliveryman shows up at WW’s rooftop digs later on with a whole bunch of boxes:

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and another unwelcome visitor as well!

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Ah, geez. Can’t this jerk just leave the show already?! He kinda-sorta online stalked them to find out WW’s address from Wan Academy (it is out there as a business, so the stalking thing depends on your point of view) but no matter–WW says whatever the boxes contain, he doesn’t want it. He tells the deliveryman to take everything back. This poor working stiff is just doing his job:

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WK’s ex maintains that he saw the online funding page and figured since he was asking for money, he was broke! Just to add to the mess, the jerk proclaims:

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What’s actually in the boxes? Life necessities!

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For just a second, WK shows a whiff of the family Prick gene:

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Thankfully, she is immediately admonished by WW! She corrects herself and tells the ex to take his stuff and scram, but he chuckles and walks away. That’s more than enough for WW who springs into action:

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Bulls-eye! Right between the shoulder blades with the TP! Good job WW, as WK cheers him on without the need for a subtitle:

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So it looks like the ex will be a thorn in the side of this couple for a while, but I have faith in WW and WK to not let him cause them problems. I think this jerk will get a rude awakening as well–for WK, money isn’t everything. She’s shown that she’s willing to humble herself (sew buttons on stuffed animals) and work hard (calling customers to sell clothes)  and do what it takes to help get the musical on stage. She’s not easily swayed and has not one smidgen of feelings for this jerk.

**************

 

Rubbing salt in Sang Chul’s wound:

If you read the blog post on editing I recommended from the last episode’s post, you will know this scene is meant to grind my heart into pieces. Watch how the camera cuts back and forth to SC and his sorrowful expressions. If you are looking for the scene–Episode 63, at the 16:15 mark. I don’t think the screencaps do it full justice.

WH keeps his word and comes over to visit the Yoon’s and spend time with BW and Byeol.

Camera angle 1–the overall view of the situation. Dad is concerned that Byeol is pestering WH. Note that even here SC is watching WH and Byeol:

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Camera angle 2: WH keeps Byeol on his lap and close to him:

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Camera Angle 3: a close up of SC who is sad and hurting, with a pinch of jealousy thrown in:

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Ahhhhh! Show, you know how to get to me!

Mom then mentions how Byeol used to follow SC around all day, but now he seems to be all about WH! (Another stab to SC’s heart!) Dad is more emotionally aware of the situation because he knows SC likes/liked BW. He gently admonishes Byeol that he should not play favorites, and luckily Byeol saves the day:

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and SC gives us a weak smile:

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Yunno, if this scene was done wrong, and I didn’t have so much empathy for this character, I’d be feeling very emotionally manipulated right now. Instead, I have to put my hand on my heart as if the counterpressure will help the pain. Poor SC. When will he get a break?

Note: After thinking about this, I know the writer wants us to feel empathy for SC. He’s the one who holds the key to exonerating YS and fingering CR as the person who drove the car the night BW’s Papa was hit. Only SC has the knowledge of the necklace besides CR, and she’s not gonna ‘fess up at this point!

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The first of many Dirty Tricks, courtesy of Chae Rin:

BW is getting ready for a food presentation to the bigwigs when she discovers her marinated meat has been tampered with:

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She was sure she put the right ingredients in…now what should she do?

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WH tries to help:

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Good thing WH has a wingman to unload on:

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BW calls Chef Ma to see if he has some more marinated meat over at the restaurant, and he says yes, he will send it by courier. (I fully envy the delivery system in Seoul!) SC goes to the food lab and checks out the story with BW:

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And when she tastes a bit of the marinade (isn’t that dangerous since the meat is raw?) she knows exactly where the problem is:

 

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This makes sense. The increased acidity from the extra pineapple would break down the meat fibers too much and make it mushy instead of tender.

 

WH is able to delay the presentation for a couple of hours, but then he gets another piece of bad news:

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You can bet that OHW has another fit about that!

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She does have a point here–as much as it grieves me to admit it!

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Then she says something I can fully agree with:

 

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Yeah, that….and a new heart from a compassionate and loving guy with a functional moral compass! Those near death experiences tend to change people for the better too. Sadly, WH’s momma prefers her son as a Prick over the new and improved Gentleman version.

 

Wanna bet this will end up happening?

 

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You might just get fired from your job as ‘Mother’ if you are not careful!

 

SC rides off on his motorcycle to fetch the meat from Chef Ma because the streets are tied up from a traffic accident just like here in SoCal! Oh, and cue up the awesome BG music for this scene! We get another quick rear-view mirror pic too–Love it!

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Once again, SC is wingman extraordinaire for WH, and guardian angel for BW. How I love this conflicted and flawed character! He is roasted to a crisp daily on the Soompi board because he hasn’t come clean to his Boss/Bromance partner WH about dating CR. I don’t believe SC is doing it out of malice. He doesn’t feel the need to look like he’s gunning for revenge because he was dumped by CR or that he’s a “kiss-and-tell” type of guy. It’s none of WH’s business anyways, although the info would come in handy. The real piece of info SC has hidden from everyone (except DJ’s dad) is the romantic feelings he has for BW. That needs to stay hidden forever and ever, IMHO. WH would be emotionally devastated and feel betrayed if he knew SC’s feelings toward BW. BW would be super uncomfortable around SC, and not open up to him the way she does now. That would deprive WH of a lot of important info that SC feeds to him about what happens to BW and her feelings. BW is way too good at putting on the overly positive spin or selectively feeding (pun intended) WH info based on whether she believes it will worry and upset him. SC must wonder on a daily basis which small country he pillaged and destroyed in a former life to deserve the level of suffering that he currently endures.

*********

Suspicions that the meat had been tampered with surface quickly during a discussion with the team members. WH asks SC to check the CCTV footage, but that smirk from CR can only mean one thing–she’s covered that possibility. Indeed, SC does some careful observation of the video footage and finds nothing:

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SC then checks out the food lab and finds a fantastic piece of evidence:

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I swear CR has a Hansel and Gretel Complex….she leaves a breadcrumb trail of jewelry wherever she commits a crime! First the necklace at the accident scene, and now this! Can you see the cogs grinding away in SC’s brain?

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Yeah, that’s definitely not BW’s earring! He has to suspect CR, but he doesn’t have 100% proof. SC confronts CR with the earring. She says she’s been looking for it, but SC wants more info:

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and she wiggles out of it again!

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Then we get to see that CR has already paid off the guard to splice out the CCTV footage:

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I hope that somehow the guard who took the bribe will waver and tell SC or WH the real deal. Food tampering is no joke–what if she had put some kind of poison in it and someone got sick? Aish!

As much as I wish SC would voice his suspicions about CR and the earring he found in the food lab, he won’t do it–not until he has an airtight 100% provable case against CR. Let’s face it: if SC ran around crying wolf, and he was disproven time after time, no one would take him seriously. That could backfire at the worst possible moment. CR is cunning and evil, but she makes mistakes–and then lies to cover them up. She will screw up one of these days and not be able to lie her way out of it. It’s frustrating for me as a viewer because I know CR sabotaged the meat marinade–but I am willing to wait in order to see her brought down completely.

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Joseon psychological torture techniques, as demonstrated by OHW:

Here is another turning point in the show for me–and one of the most difficult scenes I’ve watched since the first 12 episodes. WK has begged her mom to let BW come over and continue her cooking classes. OHW reluctantly agrees, and WH takes it as a small win. I can already smell the impending disaster when BW asks WH if he will be there, and he says:

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BW and WK are happily cooking together in the kitchen when CR shows up. Then OHW has a great idea! /sarc

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WK knows her momma is out of line:

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WK tries her best to get BW outta that snake pit, but BW is too darn nice for her own good:

 

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WK and I have mirrored expressions right now!

 

WK doesn’t need a fortune teller to know the future, as she gives her mom the evil eye!

 

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Correction: when he finds out!

 

While BW is in the kitchen cooking, OHW gives CR an advanced course on treachery and humiliation of your enemy. The restaurant isn’t really closed for renovations, so CR wonders:

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Unheard dialogue: “Why yes I did,” says OHW! “I have this little plan–take note, my young apprentice, and future DiL!”

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CR says she had no idea! **snort** She thought the fact that BW was at the house meant OHW had accepted her. It’s clear to me that CR knows now that OHW is fully in her corner. Wonder what will happen when (not if) she finds out CR is YS’s stepdaughter…and a murderer?!

More unheard dialogue from OHW: “Here’s another lesson for your future reference..”:

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Whoa. This is Joseon-level skullduggery by OHW. Certainly,, she has co-opted some historical Queen’s tactics as her own. Then OHW steps up the humiliation–after BW cooked this huge meal and puts it on the table, the Queen wants juuuust a wee bit more attention from her designated servant girl:

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The lunch that makes me want to lose my lunch.

 

I feel like my stomach is gonna turn into a pretzel this afternoon as she treats BW like a scullery maid in a Charles Dickens novel. CR shows OHW that she is a quick study and blabbers all kinds of info that I know will upset and embarrass BW while making her seem as low-class as possible:

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One last thing to complete the humiliation:

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Yeah, way to make her feel like the hired help! OMG. Talk about tainted money…BW tries to refuse it in order to save her last shred of dignity:

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s out the door and then cries piteously outside.

This entire scene feels like it was ripped right out of a sageuk. Now I get it. CR may look like the villain in this show, but the real baddie is OHW. She’s the Evil Joseon Dragon Queen while CR is merely a rookie; an apprentice when compared with the polished and thorough viciousness of OHW. OHW also has more money, more resources, more experience, and more cunning than CR, all of which makes her far more dangerous as well.

BW hardly gets a moment to cry as WH calls her on his way back from Busan. He suspects something’s wrong:

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And then BW flat out lies to him!

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Her wavering voice should’ve been a dead giveaway, but both WH and SC are overly optimistic. WH gets back to the house and wants the 411 from his noona. Gotta give him credit–at least he knows:

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Hey, the Plum Power Suit is back! I love WH in purple–it looks good on him!  WK waffles around for a moment and then spills the beans:

 

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Love her French Provincial Bedroom set (every girl had one when I was growing up) and the Mickey Mouse PJ’s. WK is still 16 in her heart!

 

WH starts to lose his temper–he thinks his mom forced BW to cook for her and CR. WK corrects his assumption:

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The showdown between WH and his Evil Joseon Queen Momma coming up soon!

 

 

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