Thinking about my review for Episode 10 yesterday, I realised I completely forgot to capture the scenes with Song-hwa and residents, which were some of my favourite scenes in the episode!
At the end of the previous episode, we were led to believe that she was meeting only Chi-hong for dinner, i.e. it was a date. However, we learn in this episode that it’s it’s not just two of them as Seok-min and Seon-bin join them as well. We see a lot of the four of them in this episode and besides our 5 friends, this is the next group of people I love in this show. At the restaurant, they take turns to tease each other – first poking fun of Song-hwa for her speed of eating, then there’s a fun exchange where Chi-hong and Song-hwa call Seok-min and Seon-bin out for dating, which finally leads to a confession. Their interactions are so natural and relaxed that it’s fun to watch.
Later on, after a discussion is over, they tell her about the intern who got scolded, which leads to yet another cute exchange where they challenge her to swear. She gamely takes up the challenge, yet her ‘swearing’ is so sweet that Seon-Bin and Chi-hong teasingly tell her that they feel blessed by it. Her saintliness is then reinforced by when they realise that she is actually taking the intern out for dinner. And that isn’t all! Later on, when they see a full moon, she asks them to make a wish and her wish is not for herself, but the intern to become a good surgeon. Her only self-centred wish is to get a good spot for her weekend solitary camping.
Seok-hwa’s almost overwhelming goodness and kindness could easily come off as unconvincing and bland in another show, yet somehow it’s believable and we buy it in this show. This is because of how the dynamics have been set up, such that the show does not overly exalt her goodness and uses her residents to mimic our reactions to her. In some strange way, the fact that the residents tease her for her goodness and find it amazing makes it easier for us to accept. It’s both heartwarming and funny to watch.
A show that is willing to poke fun at its own characters is always fun, and while we know Song-hwa is virtuous and selfless, she’s also has quirks that both bewilder her friends and endear her to them, like the ravenous way in which she gobbles down her food. She’s also human in the way she takes care of herself by buying a wood stove for herself, and then a rack for logs. These little touches of characterisation make these characters more complete and relatable.
Although I know the show is moving towards a Song-Hwa and Ik-joon relationship, I’d be equally satisfied if Song-hwa ends up in the series without being paired with someone. Not because I feel she does not deserve it, but because I know she’ll continue to be happy and fulfilled leading her life the way she wants to, as she knows how to care for herself. It’s no wonder that almost every mother wants their child to be with her!