Winter Sonata – Episode 8

It was a dark and stormy night. No really, it was a dark and stormy night. A sudden and gusty snowstorm has locked our couple together in the highest area of the resort. On a clear day you can see forever, but what can see in the dark confines of the heart?



Lee Min-hyung is asleep in front of the fireplace. Jung Yoo-jin gently pulls off his glasses and searches his face. He awakes with a start, and she stammers that he looked uncomfortable. As she turns away, he asks her with perfect frankness, how long will she keep the dead alive? She turns to leave, but his question stops her.

“If Kang Joon-sang was still alive, would you still be in love?”

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She flashes from hurt into anger as he continues:  Does she still cling to his memory because he is no longer around? He tells her that she is right, he doesn’t understand what love is, but clinging to the dead isn’t it. He grabs her by the shoulders and tells her to face the reality of his death. Her voice gets louder as she throws out the question why does it matter to him.

“Because I like you!” His sudden declaration freezes her for a moment, and he goes one step further. In a gentler tone he tells her that he thinks he loves her. That snaps her out and she bolts from the room down the stairs and out the door.

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At the base of the mountain, the gang is huddled by the non-running gondola when the final verdict comes in: the pair are stranded until tomorrow, Sang-hyuk freaks out and runs out into the storm, determine to walk the entire way if need be. Our vet tackles him for the suicidal loon that he is, ultimately punching sense into him.

It’s very quiet in the tower, and Min-hyung decides to look for Yoo-jin. He checks outside, but she isn’t anywhere in sight. We see that she is in the observation deck, a little sighing ball of unhappiness. Min-hyuk finally comes inside, only to find her asleep in front of the fireplace. His shoulders slump in relief, and he spends a few minutes staring at her before covering her with his coat (which technically should be icy-cold from being outside).

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Finally dawn breaks and a pale sun makes it over the horizon. Yoo-jin wakes up, still covered in the coat. She wanders outside through the white-draped trees, finally looking over a clearing. Our blunt engineer follows her there and tells her he was worried. He also knows her confession pained her, but he doesn’t regret it.

She finally opens up. She wonders how Joon-sang would have grown up, and is happy to see that never-happened future in Min-hyung. But she has no feelings for the living man in front of her. He repeats her words as if to test them.

The cable car has finally reached to the top, and Sang-hyuk and Chae-lin leap out of it and go on a frantic search for their respective partners.

Yoo-jin calmly replies no one can replace her first love in her heart, but he tosses back then what is her fiance to her? She tries to pull away, but he wants an answer of who she really loves.

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Suddenly a voice rings out, and Sang-hyuk shows up. He shoulder-grabs his fiancee and starts dragging her away, but Min-hyung isn’t finished and challenges Sang-hyuk to hear her answer. Sang-hyuk gets into his grill – why does it matter to him? The answer rolls from Min-hyuk and infuriates the man in front of him: “Because I love her.”
Sang-hyuk grabs his collar but Min-hyuk is unyielding. She tries to pull them apart, but Sang-hyuk grabs her arm and hustles her away. And all this is seen by Chae-lin.

An exhausted Min-hyung makes it back to his hotel room, only to find a fuming Chae-kun. He’s calm through her histrionics, quietly telling her the heart finds a link that can’t be returned, and that they need to break up.

In the other hotel room, things are much crazier. Sang-hyuk is yanking Yoo-jin’s belongings out of the closet and throwing them on the bed, commanding her to quit the job. She refuses, so he storms off. She catches up with him in the parking lot, and he asks the same question that Min-hyung did. She doesn’t answer, and when he sees Min-hyung exiting the building, he jumps in the car and takes off. Yoo-jin sees Min-hyung in the parking lot, and storms over to him. Her answer to his question is Sang-hyuk and that’s it.

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Our cute vet and his girl are wondering where the engaged couple is. He is trying to entice her into a snuggle on the couch when crazy-eyed Chae-lin rushes in looking for Yoo-jin. Not seeing her, she heads for the door, just as her enters the room. She hauls off and give Yoo-jin a solid face slap, and accuses her of telling Min-hyung to break up with her. After a final snarl that she’s never take her man, Chae-lin leaves. The other couple decides to head back to Seoul immediately.

Sang-hyuk has his phone turned off, forcing Yoo-jin to leave an apologetic voice-mail message. In Seoul, he listens to the message, but doesn’t call her back.

At the resort, she’s wandering around outside, and Min-hyung asks for a moment of her time. Once in front of a fire, he tells her that he broke up with Chae-lin tonight, thinking it’s best to break things cleanly once you decide. But after more thought, it was a selfish decision, much like his choice to to confess to her. But he didn’t realize how it would affect her and her friendships. He sincerely promises not to make things a burden between them. She leaves the building, but not without a backward to see Min-hyung alone by the fire.

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The next morning, he overhears her making plans to head back to the city. After she misses the shuttle, he offers to drive her to the train depot. He purposefully keeps the conversation light; and tells her to come back smiling.

Sang-hyuk is at work , discussing the outdoor jazz concert with his colleague, who mention he’s been sulking a lot. Yoo-jin shows up at the radio station, but the conversation is stilted and cold. She tries to make amends but he verbally throws off her apology, and tells her he will strike back next time. She asks them to share a meal, but he refuses, citing work, and walks away.

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Sang-hyuk ends up alone and nursing a drink at a local watering hole. He staggers home, and drunk-dials her that he was happy to see her today, that he apologizes, and wants to see her again. Then he deletes the entire message before sending it.

Min-hyung is going over blueprints when he spots her in the lobby. They share tea, and she spins a story that her fiance was ecstatic to see her, but too busy to do anything. He sees through it, though, and tells her that he wants to help her find what she wants, even if it’s not him. He takes her outside to the snow-maker; what she really wants to do is cry, and she can do that here where no one can hear her. He leaves her with a smile, watching her until she begins bawling.

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Yoo-jin throws herself into work, having a clumsy moment when Manager Kim mentions the boss is in Seoul. At the office, Min-hyung is finishing some paperwork when Chae-lin shows up, convinced he didn’t mean to break up. He quickly disabuses her of that notion, and she switches to the injured bambi routine, including the back-hug beg, but he is immovable. She leaves crying.


Chae-lin isn’t crying at her office though, just seething and snappish. Ji-sook brings in a package: it’s a present for Sang-hyuk’s mother, who is having a birthday. Chae-lin perks up, and the next thing we see is a mutual admiration group between the two. She tries to convince KimMom to push for the wedding, but we all know that she doesn’t want Yoo-jin for a daughter-in-law.

At the resort, Min-hyung invites Yoo-jin to a company dinner, but she declines, since she has to head to the city for KimMom’s birthday. He offers to drive her to the terminal in an hour. She is done primping and packing when Sang-hyuk shows up to drive her to Seoul. He offers her an apology and they get ready to leave. Min-hyung rounds the corner and stops short at seeing them, but smoothly passes it off. He’s disappointed, though.

KimMom is cold and formal to Yoo-jin, although KimDad is all friendly outgoingness. Prepping for the meal, Yoo-jin tries to help in the kitchen, but KimMom blows her off. The four of them have a quiet dinner. KimDad thinks it is the last time his wife will have to cook for her own birthday; Yoo-jin can take over the task next year. Mom snarks that she probably won’t want to. Yoo-jin follows her again to the kitchen, and KimMom starts throwing back everything Chae-lin told her, wondering if she is seeing someone behind her son’s back. Sang-hyuk overhears and throws a hissy in the kitchen. Mom slaps him and wonders what’s so good about this Jezebel. Sang-hyuk grabs Yoo-jin and they leave.


Manager Kim and Min-hyung are sharing manly times. Kim’s gots a bunch of beers, but Min-Hyung just wants water. Since liquor heats a man and water cools him down; he wants to cool down his heart. LOL

Our fiance’s are glumly looking out over the Han River, which is always a bad idea when talking relationships. He’s ready for a fight – is Yoo-jin attracted to that engineer. She doesn’t answer, so he insists on going to a hotel to spend the night together; after all, she spent the night with him.

Pleasantly three sheets to the wind, Manager Kim wants to talk about whatever is happening with his boss, but he nods off. Min-hyung speaks aloud anyway. He wants to say it all, not wanting to lose her, not wanting to see her with another man, and that he loves her.

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Outside the hotel, Yoo-jin tells him to stop behaving this badly. Just then her phone rings, and he confiscates it. In the hotel room, he’s drinking beer, just sitting stiffly on the couch, with no eye-contact. He will sleep on the couch; she can have the bed. Okay, now I’m a bit confused, but whatev.

She heads to the bathroom as he stares out the window. Her phone rings again. Oh snap, it’s Min-hyung. Sang-hyuk gets aggressive on the phone, telling her boss she won’t be back tonight. Yoo-jin argues, then Sang-hyuk just loses it. He throws Yoo-jin on the bed and starts tearing at her clothes while she screams.

She manages to break free and run out of the hotel, hailing a cab and bolting before Sang-hyuk came to his senses. Once he does, he realizes his actions, but she is long gone.

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Min-hyung is in the crying space by the snow-maker, thinking about his phone convo with with his rival. Yoo-jin is sitting on a fountain somewhere when her phone rings. The moment Min-hyung hears her quivering voice, he knows something is wrong. He commands her to stay put and runs for his truck. Driving like a madman, he goes through all the interactions the two of them have had since he met her at Marcian’s headquarters.

When he arrives, she still sitting, too broken to cry. She turns around and they make eye contact. Without saying anything, he pulls her into a big hug.

A final jarring scene; it’s busy at the airport as a stylish older woman steps off the plane. She calls as soon as she has her luggage, asking the person at the other end how her Joon-sang is doing. Whut??

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All kinds of emotional pots are being stirred in this episode. It appears that ten years of repressed beta-dog attitude imploded inside Sang-hyuk. From feeling second behind a dead kid to feeling third behind a handsome stranger. Still, dude, raping your fiancee is not the way to show how you care.

Min-hyung is pretty straightforward and blunt, which is a good thing in the business world, but not so much when you are muddling through interpersonal relationships. Still, I like that he supportive without being pushy, despite his own urge to step in and take over Yoo-jin’s life.

Yoo-jin is the big mystery, and I have to scratch my head. Even in the most crucial moment, she fails to either react or open her mouth, leaving nothing but ambiguity and questions among everyone, from her friends down to her fiance. Speak! Please!

And who is the mystery woman at the end of the episode?  Another character to shed light on the mystery of the two doppelgangers.  And knowing this for one of the earliest and most popular makjaengs, it can only end in tears.




About Shukmeister

I have a great fondness for chocolate chip cookie dough, 80's science fiction movies, and thunderstorms.

Posted on April 25, 2014, in Recaps, Winter Sonata (2002) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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