Episode 10 of A Love So Beautiful begins with Jin-Hwan singing (the A Love So Beautiful theme song no less!) for all he’s worth, earbuds in place. Sol-I’s device runs out of juice so she asks to borrow his – but he can’t do that. His MP3 player is a part of him.
She turns to Heon but Hui-Ji is delivering a box of homemade cookies to him. Sol-I turns back to beg Jin-Hwan as Dae-Sung arrives, immediately handing over his player. Anything for his Brother. Looks like Heon had been about to offer his, but too late.
During class, Sol-I is trying to finish the last few pages of her book instead of paying attention. She gets caught, of course, and loses the book plus the MP3 for a week. She tries to get the player back, but no dice.
At lunch, Jin-Hwan is annoyed that Sol-I tried to save Dae-Sung’s player but not his book. She says she’ll pay the book late fees but how can one survive without music? Dae-Sung accepts her apology and doles out hand warmers to the group. Jin-Hwan presents one to Ha-Young because the flu is especially bad this year. Dae-Sung gives Sol-I an especially warm one. Heon can’t watch and skedaddles but Sol-I chases after him.
In class, Mean Girl Su-Jin is coughing a storm and Hui-Ji seems to have caught it as well. The teacher pauses the session to take them to the medical office. A perfect opportunity for Se-Hyeong to jump up and spread the news of this year’s deadly flu strain – it’s even been on the news. Another kid backs up his story with – don’t you watch the news? People overseas have died.
Sol-I sneezes. Oh dear. Kids move their desks away, as Se-Hyeong pronounces that she’s next. She sneezes again into the hand warmer, which now has a hole. Jin-Hwan says she doesn’t look well and Dae-Sung offers to take her to the medical office. Starting to worry, she takes herself there.
Mr Lee takes her temperature and confirms Su-Jin has already gone to the hospital. To stop the spread, he suggests she take some medicine and rest in the office. Hui-Ji is there resting too.
In the staff room parents are calling to see what’s happening. Mr Lee makes a report and suggests they send the class home while those in the medical office should remained quarantined until the rest depart.
Home run! Kids pack up to head to the internet café or other hangouts. Ha-Young and Jin-Hwan invite Heon to go along to the medical office to check on Sol-I. He doesn’t respond right away and they don’t wait, annoyed with him for having to think about it.
Dae-Sung is already in front of the medical office when Ha-Young and Jin-Hwan arrive. They sneak in to check on her. Sol-I assures that she’s well and wonders where Heon is. Ha-Young makes an excuse. They tell her not to worry, she’ll be fine soon.
Heon stops in the staff room and picks up Sol-I’s confiscated book. Outside the medical office he’s caught by Mr Lee and gives him his MP3 player to give to ‘her’ then runs off. Not knowing which her, Mr Lee tells the girls he’s got something from Heon. Hui-Ji says she’d asked to borrow it and Sol-I looks upset.
Hui-Ji listens to her prize while Sol-I thinks she’s hearing voices, certain she’d just heard Heon.
Outside kids are told to go straight home and nowhere else. Yes, that will happen. Ha-Young checks in with Mr Lee on Sol-I who uses a space analogy to tell her all she can do is wait. They hear Heon’s voice over the speaker system, reading the book. The Dean races in to find the culprit.
In the broadcast room, Heon continues to read. Ha-Young predicts that Sol-I is all better now. Heon finishes with his own line, ‘he said, don’t worry.’ Sol-I squeals while Hui-Ji looks more unwell. Heon steals the bookmark, a Sol-I original drawing. The Dean bangs on the door to find Heon but continues seeking the real perpetrator.
Mr Lee declares both girls are well enough to go home. Su-Jin is getting better in hospital as well. Hui-Ji ponders over Heon’s MP3 player.
At home, Sol-I happily texts Heon to see if he needs help with his apology letter. He says he’s nearly finished so she calls him, not waiting a second. She tells him he should consider a career as a radio host or even a singer and waxes on about his voice as he silently smiles. She mentions a new book she’s reading and asks if he’ll read it to her. He says he’ll think about it. Whoa. He didn’t say no. He said he’d think about it. Sol-I is beside herself with happiness.
Flashback to Heon recording a message on his MP3 player for Sol-I with reassuring facts about the flu. In the next stall over Se-Hyeong suggests he re-record the message.
The Episode Review
The flu. More poignant than ever, worrying about minor cold and flu symptoms has become a thing, allowing paranoia to grow in your head. A year ago, who could have imagined a whole class sent home for a couple kids coughing and sneezing? But that feels pretty realistic now, with worried parents calling in as the news travels. It’s all pretty relatable.
Aside from the threat of rampaging flu germs, a sweet spoonful of medicine this episode, with Heon – perpetually behind the curve – finally catching up all on his own. Now he’s making resolves without needing a full-on push, actively choosing instead. I suppose a green monster will do that.
Sol-I likes everything about Heon, so no surprise she’d want to hear more of his voice. Never underestimate the power of a good set of pipes – there’s a reason audio books are all the rage. For Sol-I it’s just one more string in his bow.
Meanwhile, what a supportive group of friends braving the health office to check-in on Sol-I. Hardly a wonder that Dae-Sung got there first – the one who can least afford to be ill with his swimming obligations. But they’re all valiant little solders, not wanting to leave a man behind. I wholeheartedly believe my friends would do the same.
There’s always at least one class clown and Se-Hyeong continues to amuse. Think he has a future as a tabloid journalist? What a way with words and such an ability to frame a sensationalized report. He’ll be a web sensation before long, a gossip guy seeking the next great story. Bet he’ll make a mint.
Whether a valid concern or not, worrying is of course the most useless and pervasive of activities. Yet still so difficult to let go. While ‘don’t worry’ – such unhelpful words – can be equally frustrating to hear. Or conversely, completely comforting coming from the right person delivered well, it may just be soothing enough to allay your fears. In this case, it certainly worked for Sol-I.
In an earlier episode Sol-I notes that she believes Heon is waiting for her to catch up to him. It struck me in today’s episode that it’s Heon who’s struggling to keep up.
While the other kids respond instantly and openly, Heon seems to consider things on a deeper level. You have to respect those who hold back in order to think things through. Which is maybe how he managed to take the prize with the idea of reading Sol-I’s book to her over the air. What better confinement treat?