Lovely Runner – K-drama Episode 3 Recap & Review


Episode 3 of Lovely Runner picks up where we left off. Sun-jae and Im Sol are in the middle of the road as it rains. After calming down, they finally find a place to sit.

Sun-jae apologises for misunderstanding her intention before. He promises to win the gold medal and asks for her trust. It turns out Sun-jae confided to his bestie, In-hyuk, that he would win the gold medal and confess his feelings to Im Sol. Being a young cupid, In-hyuk advised Sun-jae to find the perfect time.

After winning the medal, Sun-jae thinks it is time to confess and even finds the perfect restaurant. However, Im Sol thinks he is grumpy since he is hungry and chooses a different restaurant as she thinks of Sun-jae’s health. She is extremely pleased that Sun-jae won without hurting himself and thinks she changed his fate.

During the meal, Sun-jae asks if she likes Tae-sung, and she is adamant that she doesn’t. Sun-jae starts to hope that he can win his heart. They later take photos and have a sweet day. Throughout the day, Sun-jae tries to find the perfect time to confess, but something keeps happening. Even on the bus, he was thoughtful when she wanted to alight and help herself, but the timing was off.

Upon returning home, In-hyuk sets the perfect stage for Sun-jae to confess, but Im Sol misunderstands his intention and asks to be friends even before he can complete his sentence. Nonetheless, In-hyuk points out that Sun-jae has yet to be rejected. Technically, he hasn’t confessed his feelings yet.

Meanwhile, Im Sol is happy that Sun-jae is doing well, and she even got to have a meal with him. She believes herself to be a successful stan- we are jealous.

Away from our budding love birds, we have Geun-Seok. He secretly returns the movie Sun-jae borrowed and even pays the fine. Bok-soon doesn’t see him but knows it is him.

The next day, Im Sol sneaks into Sun-jae’s school to watch him swim but doesn’t see him. Instead, she runs into Tae-sung, who has started to have feelings for her. Initially, he rejected her, but things have changed. On her way back, she meets another student who informs her that Sun-jae was rushed to the hospital; he had an incident.

Unfortunately, the doctors inform Sun-jae and his coach that he needs another surgery. His arm condition worsened, and he would need a 2-3 year rehabilitation after the surgery. Sun-jae is heartbroken as this means the end of his swimming career. He later goes home and is surprised to find his dad throwing a party to celebrate his last win. His dad also paid for him to go for training abroad.

Sun-jae is unable to tell his dad what is wrong. He lashes out at Geun-deok for planning everything without his knowledge. He says he is considering quitting swimming, and they get into an intense argument. His dad slaps and threatens to kick him out if he mentions quitting swimming again. Im Sol overhears the fight as she was heading to Sun-jae, hoping to comfort him. She had spent the whole day trying to find him.

Unfortunately, Sun-jae walks away, and she remains unsure what to do. Sun-jae heads to school and packs his stuff while crying. Sol realises she hasn’t changed fate. She tries to mark her calendar, but every time she writes about her future accident, the words disappear. She starts questioning why she travelled to the past if she can’t change anything.

Soon after, Sun-jae’s dad learns of his son’s condition and is hurt. He reaches out to Sun-jae and apologises. Sun-jae is also sorry for hiding the truth, and they patch things up. Geun-deok advises his son to at least get the surgery and decide his future later.

Elsewhere, Im Sol attends school and runs into In-hyuk. She gets angry at him because she knows in the future, his solo stans will bully Sun-jae. She gets hit with a ball while she talks to In-hyuk about Sun-jae. The hit triggers her memory as it happened before. She remembers it was the day her house burned down and her mom got injured. She tries to call her mom and brother, but no one picks up.

Im Geum forgets to turn off the gas while cooking and leaves to unclog a toilet as instructed by his mom. He later fights with Hyun-joo and fails to notice the fire until it is too late. By this time, Hyun-joo faints from smoke inhalation, and Im Geum carries her outside. He is about to give her CPR when she gains consciousness and punches him. He is struck, and his tooth falls off.

Thankfully, Im Sol convinces Tae-sung to give her a lift on his motorbike to stop the fire. They arrive just in time and quickly put it out. This time, Im Sol’s mom is not hurt, and the fire doesn’t destroy the family picture. Im Sol is grateful and offers to treat Tae-sung, but he thinks she is still trying to seduce him.

A few days later, Sun-jae has his surgery, and though Im Sol doesn’t show up before him, she finds different ways to take care of him. She delivers food for his family and patients in the same room with him. At one point, Sun-jae spots her crying hard and marvels at how she cries harder than him. Things for Sun-jae are hard as even after the surgery; the doctors have no hope that he can return to swimming.

A week later, we see Im Sol delivering food to Sun-jae’s house after he has been discharged. To thank her, Geum-deok gives her Omija syrup. Im Sol drinks it all, not knowing it is alcohol. She then sees Sun-jae leaving his house and follows him to the school. He is shocked to see her drunk but finds her cute demeanour endearing as she tries to cheer him up.

He asks her to sit since she is drunk, and she suggests they listen to music. She starts to fall asleep, and he brings her close to lie on his good shoulder. However, she leans in closer, forcing him to pull away. She is startled and wakes up.

Unfortunately, she is still drunk and thinks he is the poster in her room. She nearly falls, and he pulls her close. He confesses his feelings, and she asks him always to smile. She promises to be there for him no matter what. The sweet words of assurance are too much for our handsome Sun-jae. He pulls her even closer, and they kiss.

The next day, Sun-jae misses the bus and cannot sit with Im Sol. Our girl is nursing a hangover and can’t remember what happened the previous night. Sun-jae rushes to catch the next bus. Simultaneously, Im Sol realises that her iPod recorded her conversation with Sun-jae the last night. She is mortified as she listens to it. Sadly, before she can get to the juicy part where Sun-jae confesses, and they kiss, she is interrupted by Tae-sung.

Tae-sung is on a mission to prove a point to his ex, Choi Ga-hyun. He asks Im Sol to go out with him. At the same time, the recording continues to play, but Im Sol doesn’t have her earphones in. She is shocked by Tae-sung’s proposal, and even Sun-jae, who had managed to catch up, seems caught off guard.

Suddenly, the watch twitches and another time slip occurs. Briefly, Im Sol returns to the future, where she is still in the river, watching the news of Sun-jae’s death.

Again, there is another time slip, and she returns to the past. In a shocking twist, she says yes to Tae-sung’s proposal. No one is more shocked by this response than Sun-jae.

The Episode Review

Lovely Runner is getting too good with these twists and cliffhangers. We didn’t see the time jump coming and were as shocked as Sun-jae. What does this mean? It is possible that the future Im-sol was only co-habiting in the past Im-sol’s body.

When the sudden time slip happened, the future Im Sol returned to her time, and the past Im Sol remained infatuated with Tae-sung. That is the only theory we have for now. All we know is that Im Sol must return to save Sun-jae.

It is interesting to think that all these events are happening in parallel worlds at the same time. To handle what is coming, Im Sol should first figure out how the timeslip works.

On a light note, she must have been too drunk if she forgot that Sun-jae kiss. Who forgets their first kiss with their idol/ man of their dreams? It can never be us!

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