Thursday, July 12, 2012

K-Drama Review: Big, Episodes 11-12

Read episode reviews for:

Big--Episodes 1-2
Big--Episodes 3-4
Big--Episodes 5-6
Big--Episodes 7-8
Big--Episodes 9-10
Big--Episodes 11-12
Big--Episodes 13-14
Big--Episodes 15-16

Contains Spoilers for Episodes 11-12

The previous episode ended on a less than emphatic note, but a few things had been established: Da-Ran has very strong feelings for Kyungjoon and none for Yoonjae, which has her worried that she's going nuts. Also, Yoonjae and Kyungjoon are secretly brothers, which no one knows except their birth parents.

Kyungjoon has decided to find his birth father, and in a nice ironic twist he actually does meets his father, but only knows that it's Yoonjae's father.

In a conversation with the aforementioned Dad, the evil, evil, evil Mom of Yoonjae says she never needed "that child"--Kyungjoon--she only needed his umbilical cord to harvest stem cells in order to save her precious Yoonjae's life when he suffered from his childhood illness.

That's Beyond Sick, Madam.

Newsflash for you, Yoonjae's Mom: Kids aren't valuable because you need them for some particular emotional or practical purpose. They're valuable because they are human beings. Period. I begin to understand why Yoonjae's Dad split with her; she only cares about people when they are necessary to her comfort, and if they don't fulfill a neat role like a cog in a machine, they become utterly disposable.

Kyungjoon has some awkward interaction with Dad, who seems like a nice if weak-willed man. Then the four of them, young couple and older couple, have a dinner where Yoonjae's Mom hints that Da-Ran needs a new wardrobe and a snazzy car of her own. To keep up appearances and bolster Yoonjae's reputation, don't ya know? She also says between gritted teeth that if Da-Ran had come to the marriage with enough money for decent clothes and a car, they wouldn't be going through this mess right now. Kyungjoon gives Mom the wittiest, most brilliant-est set down ever, then goes out and buys a car for Da-Ran with Mom's money.

Rarely Gets Mad, But Is Very Good At Getting Even.

Kyungjoon and Da-Ran go through some more bonding when he tries to get her to smile at home by dramatically singing the Pororo theme song and strumming a frying-pan guitar. Da-Ran has to flee from the room because she's way too happy in his company. She wants to clear her mind and settles on obsessive needlework as a kind of zen activity. She even imagines herself as a Joseon-era housewife, sewing away as she waits for her husband's return!

I Kind Of Love Her For This Daydream.

Kyungjoon's 20th birthday is coming up quickly, and when that day comes, he'll inherit $4.5 million dollars (that's, like, 70 trillion won!) left to him by his mother, whose restaurant business must have been very successful indeed if she socked away that much money...hmm. Interesting. For the moment, let's just note that Kyungjoon's Mom had way more money than she should have. Kyungjoon gets his current body, Seo Yoonjae, signed on as Kyungjoon's trustee, so that his soul can use the money while his body's in a coma. He always was a smartie.

Kyungjoon takes Da-Ran out for a high-end Chinese dinner, then feeds her a wrap by hand, without even thinking about it. Da-Ran however is flustered beyond belief and nearly chokes in her rush to move past the awkward (for her) moment. She says that she's warm, so he fans her, which only makes things worse as she realizes how much every little gesture endears him to her. Da-Ran bolts from the restaurant and heads home to brood.

Brooding Always Helps!

She sets aside her needlepoint, which hasn't worked her at all, and begins obsessively ironing out a comforter in order to keep her thoughts off Kyungjoon. But then she burns herself on the iron and Kyungjoon comes to her rescue to treat the burn. Da-Ran understands that he needs to take care of her--he kind of gives away that he's worried that Yoonjae won't appreciate her or treat her well when they switch back. Aw.

At an art museum, Kyungjoon alllllmost makes the connection that Yoonjae's parents are his parents as he talks to an old friend of the family, but fate foils the attempt again. Kyungjoon  brings some of Da-Ran's favorite flowers home and puts them in about 10 different locations, trying to find the best place for them.

The Stairs Are Not the Best Place, Kyungjoon.

Elsewhere, Da-Ran learns that Yoonjae never cheated on her; he was just massively inattentive. The audience knows that this is because he was constantly looking for his lost brother, Kyungjoon. I'm glad it's revealed that Yoonjae is a pure good-guy, because it makes our central problem more difficult. It's not a Bad Yoonjae vs. Good Kyungjoon love triangle, but (potentially) a Good-Yoonjae-Who-She-Doesn't-Love vs. Good-Kyungjoon-Who-She-Does-Love. A much better conflict, and a much harder choice, if it comes to a choice at all.

Faced With a Vast Dilemma.

Da-Ran meets with Yoonjae's Mom, who encourages her to let Yoonjae go. Mom is willing to stoop very low indeed. When Kyungjoon finds Da-Ran, he's furious that Yoonjae's Mom has made her cry, and says: "She made you cry, so she has to pay for your tears." They get into a screaming fight over whether or not he has the right to interfere in the situation. Somewhere during the fight, Kyungjoon clearly admits that he still loves Da-Ran. He says that if she ever takes off Yoonjae's ring, he'll take it as a sign that she's ready to love him, too. "When we switch back, if you want to see Kang Kyungjoon, take that ring off." The line in the sand has been drawn.

The Yoonjae Parental Units are discussing their kids again--Dad wants Yoonjae to see coma-Kyungjoon, and Mom doesn't, so no surprises there. Mom says Dad will never see her or Yoonjae again if he helps Kyungjoon now. Um. He already never sees either of you, so what's the difference?

Flummoxed Da-Ran begins to throw away every object that reminds her of Kyungjoon. The art museum program, the jar with a random root in it, the sunflowers he brought her, the little pandas...

No! Put Those Pandas Right Back Where You Found Them!

But then she can't do it. She can't throw away her memories of Kyungjoon--they're all very precious to her, and she takes the trash bag back into the house.

To bring back the comedy in the story, we've got a camping trip set up with the whole Gil family. They all want Kyungjoon to come along, but Da-Ran stubbornly insists that he can't go. Da-Ran drives the Gil family vehicle away and her mom, dad, and little brother all begin to text Kyungjoon to beg him to come! Hee. That guy is popular. And in a cute twist, Da-Ran and Kyungjoon are left alone at the camping site without a car, because the Gil family left, hoping they'd iron out their tiff. It works. The two of them go for a walk, then Kyungjoon photobombs every picture Da-Ran tries to take of herself with a timed camera.

The Master At Work.

Kyungjoon has another back-to-body experience, and at night he muses that whenever this happens to him, he's always glad that Da-Ran is by his side when he comes back. But he knows that when he and Yoonjae switch permanently, he'll be alone again. Da-Ran pretends to be sleeping as he says this, but she hears every word and cries silently.

The next day, Mari goes to visit coma-Kyungjoon in the hospital and HOLY COW, YOONJAE IS AWAKE!


Actually, no, he's not. Mari just dreamed that he was awake. Oy. I'm mad at the writers for that fake-out--I really am. Now when Yoonjae really does come back, the scene will lose its shock and impact because we've seen it happen before. Poorly played, I think.

Kyungjoon's 20th birthday arrives. Da-Ran makes his favorite foods as well as the traditional Korean seaweed soup everyone eats on their birthday. She tells him to meet her for dinner, and she buys him a watch engraved with his own initials--KKJ. Old rival Seyoung sees Da-Ran buying the gift and assumes she's cheating on Yoonjae. Seyoung meets with Kyungjoon and tells him Da-Ran was buying a gift for another man, and that she took off her ring. Contrary to Seyoung's assumption, Kyungjoon is thrilled at this, because it means Da-Ran's giving up Yoonjae and choosing him.

On Cloud Nine!

He rushes off to meet Da-Ran and asks her what she plans to do now that she's made her decision. Kissing ensues. YAAAAAAAAYYY.

Things I Loved:

1. Shoe-Tying. As part of an unusual metaphor, Kyungjoon ties Da-Ran's unlaced shoe and tells her to be ready to walk far away from him someday. The shoe-tying itself is so sweet! It seems like every other K-drama I see has some scene of the guy putting the girl's shoe back on, Cinderella style, but I always find it precious. So long as the heroine is usually strong and capable, a little bit of babying is not a problem--especially if she has some moments of babying the guy, too.

Showing That He Cares.

2. Mari. The grins, the stalking, the jaunty hats! She is marvelous. She's had a smaller role lately, but that's because we're focusing on our two principal characters and their journey.

So Presh.

3. Da-Ran/Kyungjoon. Who could get enough of these two? They're my favorite age-discrepancy pairing since Eun-Bi and Chi-Soo from Flower Boy Ramyun Shop.



1. Shopping Montage. I really, really don't like shopping montages where the guy is buying clothes for the girl. Tying her shoes? Cute. Buying out an entire department store for her? Oversteps some boundaries. Granted, Kyungjoon is buying Da-Ran the clothes with Yoonjae's Mom's money as a way to get back at her, but still.

Episode Evaluations: Awesome, awesome! Such good conflict, and such intense emotions. Normally, I'm really ready for a series to start wrapping up at about this point, but for Big it kills me that there are only 4 episodes left!


  1. Replies
    1. I was way too excited over this. :-D It took so much waiting and angst to get to this place!

  2. Yeah, MaRi bounced right back into her lovable, crazy self in these 2 for me. I'm feeling more and more sorry for her tho, cuz she's so sincere and being so used at the same time.. They'd better give her a good ending! On that camping part where KyungJoon said he was so alone I couldn't help but think,"And what's MaRi, chopped liver?" I mean, he may not be in love w/ her, but she OBVIOUSLY cares about him enough that it feels kinda wrong to me that he feels like he'd be alone. Anyway, that dream MaRi had felt like some kind of horrible forshadowing to me.. This show better have a happy ending, I'm too invested in these characters!! :s Also, the ending made me squee like a preteen, lol.

    1. It does hurt that poor loopy Mari is destined to have her heart broken over and over. I don't think Kyungjoon has led her on at all, though--he has never pretended to like her romantically, though he clearly has a lot of fondness for her, like she's a sister or something.

      But yanno, she treats Choongshik the same way--letting him hang around and then using him when it's convenient. I'm hoping she'll change her attitude toward him.

      I squeed, too. This show has the lowest lows and highest highs I've felt in a K-drama for awhile!