Winter of ’18 and everyone is working on holiday gifts for their crushes. Episode 11 of A Love So Beautiful begins with Ha Young cross stitching a present for Mr Lee and Sol-I has a card for Heon. When they spot rival Hui-Ji knitting a winter scarf, Sol-I decides to up her game. She wants to knit one too.
Walking home, Jin-Hwan asks Ha Young if she’d like a star for Christmas. She tells him she’ll make him see stars. Dae-Sung notices Sol-I rubbing her hands and gives her his gloves. Heon drags her away from him, claiming it’s to avoid danger – an old lady slowly passing with her cart. Sol-I mentions her wish for a Christmas snow.
Sol-I’s Dad shows the girls how to knit and her parents find the heart card Sol-I bought. Her father freaks out that she’s written: ‘Dear My Honey.’ Her mother blocks him from asking her about it.
But when she spots Heon, she checks in on whether Sol-I is hanging out with any guy in particular. Of course, Heon plays dumb. She’s not surprised he doesn’t know as he’s always studying.
Se-Hyeong makes fun of Hui-Ji’s knitting, saying its old school. Sol-I shows her progress to Ha Young, who believes it looks more like a doormat. She gives Sol-I the idea to make a wish bracelet instead.
Ha Young sneaks into the medical office to leave her gift for Mr Lee – only to find a stack of beautifully wrapped tributes. She pockets her offering and makes haste.
Se-Hyeong blocks her way, offering a chance to be his girlfriend – ‘this Christmas’ he says. She declines but, friends lined up to watch, he tries another tack. She’s more adamant this time and he becomes a bit mean asking who else would like her, if not he. Enter Jin-Hwan, saying he does. He puts his arm around her and they walk on.
Ha Young thanks him for the save and treats it as a friendly gesture. He surprises her with her gift, a star in her name. She accepts it even though it isn’t really a recognized name.
Sol-I witnesses Hui-Ji offer a wrapped box to Heon, hoping he’ll refuse it. Dae-Sung notices her distress and she drags him outside. Heon notices, of course.
In English class, Sol-I is still sweating over Heon accepting the box – she can see it in his bag. Ha Young notes that it’s Christmas Eve tomorrow night and Sol-I decides she just won’t give him anything.
At home, when Sol-I can’t find the heart card her Dad hands it over. The parents ask her about it and she makes excuses, which they gleefully accept. Meanwhile, the card is suspiciously cold and smells like kimchi. She’s about to throw it away but leaves it on her desk.
At school, Sol-I spots Heon wearing a new knitted scarf and gets angry just looking at it. Heon sees she’s angry but remains clueless.
Dae-Sung is intently watching the window, expecting the snow they’re meant to have. Jin-Hwan tells him not to rely on weather reports and Dae-Sung gets an idea.
Everyone is cleaning the classroom and Jin-Hwan can’t stand Ha Young standing on top of desk – she might get hurt. So he sends Sol-I up instead. Heon helps Sol-I back down and offers another solution.
Suddenly it’s snowing outside and even though they figure it’s not the real deal, everyone thinks it’s pretty. Cut to Dae-Sung on the roof spraying fake flakes. The Dean comes in to tell them to clean that up too, but then it does snow. Dae-Sung is thrilled the forecast came true for her but isn’t there to see Sol-I’s reaction – while Heon reaps the benefit, watching her smile.
Ha Young walks outside and Jin-Hwan appears with a yellow umbrella to walk her home. She gives him the cross stitch she made for Mr Lee and he can’t stop smiling.
Sol-I and Heon walk home and he wraps his scarf around her. She says she doesn’t want to wear something Hui-Ji gave him but he says it’s from his mother. Now everything is fine. She gives him a Christmas tree card and the wish bracelet, wrapping it around his wrist. They wish each other Merry Christmas, chuckling together.
At home, Sol-I’s parents have decorated for the holiday. They notice her scarf but just nod when she says its Heon’s, thinking its nothing. Sol-I gives her Dad the ‘Dear My Honey’ heart card and he falls for it, beyond delighted.
Flashback to Sol-I’s Mom chatting with Heon – as she asks about guys around Sol-I, he thinks to himself: ‘It must be me.’ He blags to Sol-I that they talked about the weather.
The Episode Review
That flashback – you saw it coming, didn’t you? How does he keep such a straight face? It does seem like Heon is slowly being converted to seeing Sol-I with interest and maybe nearly ready to accept her feelings. And he’s also building a little understanding of her as a person. Sounds like decent boyfriend material!
But there’s someone even more connected to Sol-I’s thinking, who turns her heart-felt wishes into reality. If not a boyfriend, someone should at least hire Dae-Sung. That’s some skills, right there. That thing with the snow? Pretty magical. Almost as fabulous as his Hawaii project from episode 6 but on a less-likely-to-be-grounded scale.
Oh, and Jin-Hwan, you hit the bullseye too, with your suave rescue of Ha Young and thoughtful Christmas gift. Ha Young was even a little touched. You’re on your way Jin-Hwan. Thinking about it, Se-Hyeong’s girlfriend invite was a bit of a surprise, wasn’t it?
At first, I presumed he was joking as he had his peanut gallery lined up, but the ask seemed genuine. Which made it all the cooler for Jin-Hwan to swoop in as his sweet self.
Sol-I’s parents’ reaction to the card was brilliant – wanting to know, but not wanting to acknowledge her growing up; wanting to give her some privacy but panicking at thought of her some-day marriage. Even innocently checking in with Heon. How did they never notice her obsession with him? And the dismissal – he’s probably too busy studying. Ha! Normally the parents are a bit over-done in this series, but this time it felt spot on.
The display of emotions behind the actions of all the characters were on the money this episode, really clicking. As the next show puts us at the halfway mark, it could be that the elements are gathering and crescendo is coming. Are you ready?
*If you’re curious, a wish bracelet, also known as a friendship or misanga bracelet, is a good luck charm. It’s said that if you make a wish when you tie it, your wish will come true by the time it naturally falls off. Created as a gift, whether to a friend or sibling, the concept seems to have a history in more than a few countries from Japan to India to Arabia to Brazil.