Winter Sonata – Episode 10

Now that Sang-hyuk has shown extreme jealousy and aggressiveness in their relationship, does Yoo-jin really want to stick around, especially with someone who ignores her requests, whines a lot, and basically tries to railroad her into matrimony?



Lee Min-hyung and Jong Yoo-jin arrive at his family’s villa, only to be greeted by his mother. The three of them share an awkward moment when Mom starts asking questions over tea. He deflects them by stating they are there on business, but she clearly knows her son isn’t telling her the whole story. He tries again; since the villa is located on a famous fishing lake, he thought he might relax a bit with a rod and reel. Lee Mom doesn’t like the idea so much, since he nearly drowned in that lake when he was a child. Or did he? Min-hyung remembers that it happened in America, not Korea.


Mom is surprised (and not in a good way) to find out that Yoo-jin is from Choochun, and decides it’s time to end this line of conversation and head back to Seoul, leaving the pair behind. As she is leaving, she stops to chat with an old neighbor.

Once she is gone, Min-hyung loses no time in holding hands with Yoo-jin, happy that he is able to comfort her. They share a park bench near a lone tree, snuggling under his coat. It’s a cloudy night so there aren’t any stars, but Yoo-jin relates the time when Joon-sang taught her the steadiness of the North Star. Min-hyung wonders aloud if she feels lost, and she admits she’s bothered by the number of people she hurt tonight when she ran away. He promises that even if everyone misunderstands, he will stand firm by her side, like Polaris, if she will let him. She tearfully nods, and he kisses her forehead as it begins to snow.


At the hotel, everyone is waiting for news on the pair, and Sang-hyuk’s mom can’t resist the dig of “that woman” running off with Chae-rin’s boyfriend. Sang-hyuk decides to let everyone know (including his friends) of the night when he tried to force his fiancée the night of his mother’s birthday. The gang is shocked, and Kim Dad apologizes to Yoo-jin’s mother for his son’s behavior.

Once everyone goes their separate ways, Chae-rin corners him in the hallway. Did their respective partners run off together for real? Sang-hyuk stonily states that Yoo-jin left the resort to go back to Seoul. He fires back – didn’t she implicate the two of them to his mother? He takes her silence for a yes; and bitterly states the outcome wasn’t exactly what she wanted – to separate the two.


In her hotel room, Yoo-jin’s mother is packing up to head back to Seoul. Sang-hyuk apologizes for his behavior, but she just wants to go home and talk to her daughter. He’s forced to admit that Yoo-jin didn’t actually go home. Jong Mom practically flees the hotel, despite his entreaties to stay.

At the villa, Min-hyung makes sleeping arrangements putting them on separate floors. The next morning dawns bright and sunny. Yoo-jin wakes up to a trays of fruits and a note from Min-hyung that he would return. She turns her phone back on and sees all the calls, but chooses to shut the lid and take a stroll to the Lone Tree bench. She’s there when Min-hyung pulls up. With live, flapping fish. Did he catch them? With a cheeky grin, he replies: They got caught, and he bought them!


Together they make a meal; Min-hyung nurses his cut finger while commenting how wonderful it feels to have a woman fuss over a meal for him. They share a companionable feast, and he’s happy to share a meal rather than eat alone again. Once they are done, though, it’s time to head back and face the music. Yoo-jin calls her boss and finds out Mom left for Seoul, and decides to head home to talk with her mother. Min-hyung drives her to Seoul.

Sang-hyuk’s parents leave that morning, and Manager Kim comments that, even though it’s snowing, the storms of last night have passed. He wonders out loud if the pair ran off together for real, but Boss Jung-ah cuts him off to focus on work.

In Sang-hyuk’s car, they are all talking about the events, but Sang-hyuk doesn’t say anything during the entire drive.

The white truck arrives in front of Yoo-jin’s apartment building. Before she heads in, Min-hyung hugs her and exacts a promise that she will return to the resort soon. He watches her until she’s inside.


When she unlocks and enters her apartment, however, her mom is sitting at the dining table. Without raising her voice, she upbraids her daughter for hurting Sang-hyuk’s feelings. Yoo-jin all but remains silent as her mother continues her quiet yelling. Yoo-jin finally has a chance to say something. With a halting voice, she finally admits something she has known for a while – that she doesn’t love Sang-hyuk. That’s the end for Jong Mom, who leaves, wondering what kind of daughter she raised.

Yoo-jin is left alone at the dining table, when Jin-sook and Yong-gook arrive. Oh, and Sang-hyuk. The vet and friend stay in the living area while the affianced couple hash it out in her room. Does she really love this engineer? After all, he’s not her first love. Yoo-jin can’t explain it, but she wants to break up. They both cry, but before he leaves, he promises to never forgive her.


Since he is in Seoul, Min-hyung meets up with his mother as well. He tells her over coffee the strange circumstances of his first meeting with Yoo-jin; how she went to high school in Choochun, how he reminds her of his first love from that school. Her hands begin to shake, and she spills her coffee, rushing out to clean up.

He makes it back to the hotel and wonders about his mother’s strange reaction. Yoo-jin is at her place, thinking about Sang-hyuk’s parting words. When she leaves her bedroom, Jin-sook is packing up to leave. She can’t stay there anymore with a friend who hurt another friend. Um, so you are going to stick with the ‘friend’ that tried to sexually assault his fiancée?


Jin-sook heads over the Chae-rin’s shop, and finds the owner drinking herself senseless. She drunkenly accuses the younger woman of causing the whole fiasco by telling Min-hyung about Joon-sang. She yells for Jin-sook to leave, since she was never really a friend anyway. Jin-sook hugs her as Cha-rin begins to cry about her lost love.

Yoo-jin sadly puts away her engagement ring, and wishes that her fiancé doesn’t forgive her.

The next morning, Min-hyung pulls open the drapes at his hotel room at the resort and smiles to see a familiar face walking from the bus stop. He runs out to meet her, finally catching up and slowing as Yoo-jin wanders across the snowy landscape. She stops when she realizes someone is stepping in her footprints, and smiles at her shadow. He takes the smile as consent, and they play in the snow. He tosses her a snowball, only to have her throw it back over her head. He hurriedly retrieves it and tosses it back – he tells her there is a present inside! She squishes the ball and finds a necklace of stars. Later, she sticks glow-in-the-dark stars on the roof of his truck. Manager Kim finds them amusing.


Their idyllic time comes to a halt with a phone call from Yong-kuk. The vet tells her that Sang-hyuk is in the hospital after quitting his job and refusing to eat or sleep until he collapsed. Yong-kuk wants her to visit him, but she refuses and hangs up.

Min-hyung sees her sad face and correctly guesses that she has information about Sang-hyuk. She honestly tells him about the situation, but believes he will be better once some time passes. It sounds false to her own ears.

At the worksite, Yoo-jin is working with her boss and Manager Kim when Sang-hyuk’s mother shows up at the resort. Over coffee, Mom tries to convince her to go see her son in the hospital. Also, to return and marry the man, even if she keeps her life separate from his. Yoo-jin naturally refuses, but the older woman presses the point, smearing on a layer of guilt to her request and calling her heartless.


Manager Kim and Min-hyung are going over the day’s plans when Kim starts a story about a man and a dog. After owning the dog for ten years, he gave it up when his new place wouldn’t allow pets. The dog died a short time later of a broken heart. How much worse is it for humans who have been together for ten years? Min-hyung finds out about the visit from Sang-hyuk’s mother, and Kim observed that Yoo-jin looked confused and guilty at the time.

Min-hyung is wandering around outside and sees Yoo-jin inside the café staring into space over her reports. That night, he drives to the hospital to personally check on his rival’s condition. He peeks into the room, and sees Sang-hyuk’s mom pleading with her unresponsive son to eat something. Min-hyung is thoughtful as he quietly closes the door without going in.


In the dark, Yoo-jin is going over everything in her head as Min-hyung approaches her. He tells her that he is jealous of the time she has spent with Sang-hyuk. She refuses to admit she’s worried about him. That night, Min-hyung makes a decision.

The next morning, he drives her to the hospital and urges her to go in. Yoo-jin admits to being worried about Sang-hyuk, but is more fearful of not returning to the man by her side. Min-hyung tells her that returning to him is better than seeing her in pain, and promises that, like the North Star, even if time passes, she will only have to look and find her way back to him. She promises to return, but both have tears in their eyes.


Outside Sang-hyuk’s hospital room, she pauses before going in. Our ever-present ionizer is smoking in the room as she quietly says his name and wakes him up. He tells her not to feel sorry, since his mother and their friends contacted her to force her to show up. Then he does a complete turnaround and begs her to stay – is he faking it? She walks out of the room, and he yanks his IV out of his arm. Min-hyung is still waiting in his truck for her return, but she sits down in the waiting area outside the room.

A flurry of activity pops her out of her reverie, and the doctors tell her that, without the IV, he could have become critical. She sinks to a chair beside the bed. Min-hyung is still waiting in his truck.


She is still in the room when Sang-hyuk wakes up, and she breaks down crying and calling him stupid. She hugs her just as the gang shows up. In the parking lot, Min-hyung sadly drives away.

Later, at the resort, we find out that Sang-hyuk is getting ready to be discharged and will be going back to work. Boss Jung wonders how Min-hyung is doing; Yoo-jin deflects the question as rhetorical. In the parking lot, the sidekicks are bickering as Min-hyung arrives. The pair head off a bit for a heart-to-heart talk.


Yoo-jin tells him that, while he has her heart, Sang-hyuk gets the rest. She’s wearing the ring as they hug a final time before she runs off.

boom mike

Another Boom Mike scene


Aggression is described as “overt, often harmful, social interaction with the intention of inflicting damage or other unpleasantness upon another individual”. When Sang-hyuk acts like an ass, why is Yoo-jin the culprit for running away? I will be charitable with her friends, and surmise that they perhaps had never seen this side of their childhood friend.  But I am appalled that even her own mother won’t stand by her when she makes the decision to stay away from Sang-hyuk.

I’m even more surprised that she would return to him, after some very clear signs that the relationship is rapidly becoming dysfunctional.  Hopefully, she will see the light before it’s too late, and chose the person that makes her happy, rather than the one that makes her feel obligated.



About Shukmeister

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

Posted on July 15, 2014, in Recaps, Winter Sonata (2002) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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