Pick Me Up
Last episode, Sol-I cared for a sick Heon and we pick up episode 3 of A Love So Beautiful at the bike rack where he seems to be waiting for her. She asks if he’s feeling better and he offers a surprised Sol-I a lift.
In gym class, Jin-Hwan is staggered Sol-I is running for class president, given she’s not exactly an ideal student. Ha-Young is all support so Jin-Hwan immediately changes his tune, as no one else is class president material anyway. Hui-Ji asks Heon to review her election speech. Ha-young suggests that Sol-I shouldn’t quit if only to prevent Hui-Ji and Heon getting closer.
Outside, Sol-I is practicing her speech but struggling to get past her introduction. Dae-Sung arrives to both tease and assist her. Her speech oddly mirrors that of opposing candidate, Se-Hyeong, so Dae-Sung suggests she focus on her strength, sincerity. He mocks her some more and she chases him around the school grounds. Heon spots it, straight-faced.
In class, there’s a list of the three candidates on the board. Sol-I asks Heon for whom he’ll vote, but quickly backtracks, saying it’s meant to be anonymous. She promises that she’ll do her best.
On election day, Sol-I gives her speech to encouragement from the back of the room. Dae-Sung holds up a sign, much as she did at his swim meet.
In the hallway, Hui-Ji offers a gift to Heon for helping with her speech. He doesn’t accept at first but Hui-Ji’s friend pressures him to take it. Sol-I shows up and Hui-Ji’s friend remarks that she got lucky to make it as Vice President, embarrassing her in front of Heon.
Dae-Sung steps in and defends Sol-I then asks Heon why he didn’t vote for her. What? He utters ‘she’s not it’ and walks off.
Backtrack to the election, there’s a tie between Hui-Ji and Sol-I. Heon enters, saying he votes for Hui-Ji, effectively crushing Sol-I. After class, Sol-I chases Heon outside, asking why. He says she’s not president material so she kicks him in the shin.
Ha-Young is impressed to hear Sol-I injured her precious Heon. But she’s already regretting her impulsiveness. Separately, Jin-Hwan is shocked to hear Heon was booted. As they walk past the girls, Heon scowls at Sol-I.
Se-Hyeong hands Sol-I some cash, noting that Hui-Ji has designated her to collect for field day t-shirts. Sol-I worries about having to ask Heon for his share. Ha-Young suggests a headlock to get the job done.
In the classroom, Sol-I approaches Heon and, still annoyed, he slaps down the cash. Hui-Ji approaches to ask Heon for English book suggestions while Sol-I thwacks his change on the desk, feeling defeated. She sticks the envelope in her notebook and puts her head down to sulk. The sulking doesn’t go unnoticed.
Later, Hui-Ji checks Sol-I has collected the money and confirms her deadline. Sol-I can’t find the envelope and after inspecting every cranny, recalls handing in her notebook as homework, with the dosh inside. Oh dear – first duty in office. Ha-Young suggests getting it back before Hui-Ji finds out.
Sol-I says she won’t be able to retrieve it from the staff office. Ha-Young and Jin-Hwan sneak in on her behalf but fail the mission. Jin-Hwan is over the moon to have been in on the caper with Ha-Young – while she’s unfazed, he looks like he might not recover.
Dae-Sung notices something is up, but Sol-I claims it’s a stomach-ache. He heads to the medical office, declaring gut pain. The doctor spots he’s faking it, noting that the solution depends on the symptoms as well as the gender of the patient. When he asks to be considered a girl, the doctor gives him something – likely, a few Nurofen or Midol. Bless.
Sol-I is squirming on the stairway when Dae-Sung appears with the pills. Embarrassed, he strolls on as Heon approaches. Heon questions Sol-I about losing the money but she denies it. Within seconds Sol-I gives up and apologises for kicking him, asking for help. She confesses that the money is in her homework notebook. He suggests she go kick a teacher in the shin as well.
In front of the office, she’s rehearsing what she’ll say and Heon rocks up, catching her. He asks her to move out of the way and goes on with his business.
The class bell rings and their teacher requests the collection. Sol-I fidgets, trying to figure out what to say. Heon drops a notebook on her desk as he passes – money envelope inside. Instead of faking it, Sol-I tells the truth, crediting Heon with retrieving it.
She apologises and says she shouldn’t be class officer and the other kids agree she should resign. Miss Moon notes anyone can make a mistake, but it takes bravery to admit it. Her friends say the money was found, so there isn’t a problem. Heon’s micro-smile says he agrees.
Episode 3’s rewind takes us to the moment Heon cleverly displays a little sleight-of-hand in the staff room, getting Sol-I’s envelope back.
The Episode Review
Another cute episode as Sol-I ambitiously runs for class office. One can only presume she’s aiming for Heon’s attention. It’s Dae-Sung, however, who quite rightly points out that her sincerity will win it for her. Doesn’t that seem like the key to all beautiful relationships?
I love the express 25-minute instalments, making A Love So Beautiful (ALSB in the trade) an enjoyable bumper three times a week. Poignant and easy to follow, the high schoolers feel both familiar and so very green. Except for Dae-Sung – he must have swum around the block a few times.
Ha-Young is quickly becoming one of the most enjoyable characters to watch, as she encourages brute force to solve any and all conundrums. Played with aplomb by Jo Hye-Joo, she also appears in Memorist (Viki), A-Teen and Search: WWW (Netflix, Viki).
As the affiliation between Sol-I and Heon continues its measured evolution, they navigate their day-to-day as it comes. Friends one day and acquaintances the next, whether he intends to or not, Heon does have a relationship with her. Even as he avoids other extraneous connections.
Has he always been a loner or is it because he feels burned over of his family history? We’ll have to wait and see what else we can learn about Heon. But if he takes too long to figure it out, Dae-Sung may get there first, winning over Sol-I with his own earnestness.
Sol-I, meanwhile, is a girl of the people. Not great at much except pulling people in, she’s not cottoned on yet to how significant a skill that is. For now, she’s got friends willing to do all sorts of silly to help her – and that alone is pretty damn great.