Lovely Runner – K-drama Episode 9 Recap & Review

The 2009 Incident

Episode 9 of Lovely Runner picks up where we left off, with Im Sol watching the news of Sun-jae’s stabbing. She rushes to the hospital and sees Sun-jae’s dad crying. She decides to return to Sun-jae’s place and look for the time-travelling watch. While there, In-hyuk arrives and confronts her. He blames her for Sun-jae’s attack and doesn’t understand why looking for the watch is important. Nonetheless, he tells her that Sun-jae lost the watch a long time ago and couldn’t find it.

A distressed Im Sol heads home and finds her mom watching the news. Reporters claim that Young-soo had a grudge against Sun-jae after he saved Im Sol in a 2009 kidnapping incident. Im Sol has no memory of being kidnapped again by Young-soo. She asks her mom and learns that Sun-jae went out of his way to help the police catch Young-soo.

The next day, Im Sol meets with Tae-sung’s dad, who was the lead detective in the 2009 case. Tae-sung’s dad gives her access to the case files, and she reads Sun-jae’s witness report. According to the report, Sun-jae found Im-sol’s books on the street on May 10th on his way home. He then heard Im Sol screaming, so he called the police and rushed to her.

Upon getting there, he saw Im Sol trying to get away before she fainted. Young-soo spotted him and tried to run away, but Sun-jae didn’t let the pervert get away. A fight ensued, and Young-soo tried to strangle Sun-jae. By the grace of the heavens, Sun-jae was able to overpower him, and the police arrived. Tae-sung’s dad notes that he was to inform Im Sol of Young-soo’s release, but the man attacked Sun-jae first. 

As Sun-jae lies in a comma, Im Sol returns home and goes through the case files. She blames herself for everything but sees a glimmer of hope when she recognises the watch in one of the crime scene pictures. She calls Tae-sung’s dad, and he informs her that all items are typically returned to the owners after the case.

Im Sol starts desperately looking for the watch. She is about to give up when her Grandma walks in wearing it. Grandma has been keeping it safe. She is a real OG but a little suspicious, too. How is she the only one who remembers that Im Sol is time travelling?

After getting the watch, Im Sol heads to the hospital and vows to set everything right before clicking the watch. This time, she finds herself in March of the year 2009. She is in college, but somehow, she is on top of a horse statue at the school. She trips and literally falls into Sun-jae’s arms. He gives her that puppy-love look, and she runs away.

Our chingu, Hyun-joo, follows her and asks why she is still avoiding Sun-jae. Im Sol explains that she has to. Hyun-joo gives her a bag, asking her to bring it the next day. Im Sol rushes away without even checking what is in the bag. 

She heads to the police and finally files a report about her first abduction. The police officer is surprised that it took a year for her to come forward. She explains that she lost her memory, and it has just returned. She gives the car keys she took from the driver as evidence and mentions that the culprit is also responsible for the Juyang reservoir incident. This immediately gets the attention of the police, and they forward Im Sol’s case to Tae-sung’s dad, as he was in charge of the reservoir case as well. 

After visiting the police station, Im Sol stops by the self-defence store and buys a few things. On her way out, she spots Tae-sung talking in the alley to a kid. She immediately misunderstands and accuses him of bullying a young boy. It turns out that Tae-sung was helping the boy find his lost money.

The two exes head for a meal and catch up. Our boy Tae-sung has been good. He graduated and is doing well. Im Sol is so pleased and proud of him. They bicker for a little bit, and Tae-sung leaves. As he is carrying the same bag as Im Sol, he takes the wrong bag. He was on his way to take some underpants to his dad, and unfortunately, they ended up with Im Sol. 

Elsewhere, our whipped lover boy tells In-hyuk that he senses Im Sol is acting weird. In-hyuk insists that Im Sol hates Sun-jae, and that is why she ran away faster this time. Usually, she ignores Sun-jae as if he doesn’t exist. For the record, we would never do that. He is way too good-looking to be ignored! In-hyuk spots the song Sun-jae wrote for Im Sol and teases him further.

Im Sol heads home, and she still hides from Sun-jae, as he is her neighbour. After getting home, Im Geum teases her for being photographed on the horse statue. She asks him about Sun-jae, as they are doing the same course. Im Geum lies that he doesn’t tease or threaten Sun-jae, but of course, he does.  

At Sun-jae’s house, his dad talks to him about getting therapy at a foreign hospital that specialises in treating injured athletes. Sun-jae promises to think about it, but his dad seems disappointed that he didn’t jump at the idea. However, it seems Sun-jae is still thinking about Im Sol and is not ready to give her up. He remembers her rejections but has hope. 

The next day, Hyun-joo is disappointed that Im-sol is not ready for their school trip. To make matters worse, Im Sol also lost her uniform. Hyun-joo helps Im-sol get ready and they leave. The group ends up taking the same train, and  Im Sol tries her best to avoid Sun-jae. Sun-jae notices but also tries to stay out of her way.

During the ride, a student starts talking about a myth that if two people kiss during the trip, they eventually get married. Hyun-joo is happy about it and starts plotting how she will get Im Geum. She thinks there is a chance he got dumped by his girlfriend. She is not the only one happy; the girl sitting next to Sun-jae is too excited and is giving him flirty looks. 

As the trip continues Im-sol does everything in her power to avoid Sun-jae but fails. First, she ends up dancing in front of his group after losing a drinking game. She then tries to leave the trip and accidentally walks into a wild boar area. She is surprised when he shows up and mistakenly hits him.

In the chaos of helping him, she steps on a trap, and once again, he saves her. At this point, Sun-jae is confused by her behaviour and asks why she is trying so hard to avoid him. She doesn’t answer and he helps her get back to the camp. 

As luck would have it, Im Geum sees them and gives Sun-jae a hard time. Im Sol quietly leaves and starts drinking alone. Im Geum continues to tease Sun-jae, pretending to know about love and playing hard to get. He soon finds himself eating his words when his girlfriend dumps him on a phone call. He gets drunk, cries in Sun-jae’s arm and rushes out.

Sun-jae tries to follow, but Im Geum is too fast. Thankfully, Hyun-joo sees him and follows him. She is happy he got dumped but gets angry when Im Geum keeps calling for his girlfriend. As they talk, he steps on a trap and is lifted upside down. Hyun-joo uses this opportunity to give him a Spiderman kiss, and he finally stops crying. 

On the other hand, Sun-jae is outside trying to look for Im Geum when the loud boy starts confessing to the girl he likes. The boy has been gargling mouthwash all day to prepare for this moment. Unfortunately, Im Sol has been accidentally running into him while running away.

Each time, he accidentally swallowed the mouthwash and is now having stomach pains. He pauses his confession and asks Sun-jae to help him close the toilet door. However, in the middle of the process, Sun-jae remembers that the boy was the one who laughed the most at Im Sol when she was forced to dance after losing the drinking game. Out of spite, Sun-jae leaves and the boy is embarrassed in front of everyone. 

At the same time, a drunk Im Sol also leaves, and Sun-jae quietly follows her. Im Sol heads to one of the camp tents and tries to fall asleep. Sun-jae watches her but is scared she will fall from the high camping tent. He runs to stop her from falling and catches her just in time. Im Sol starts crying, asking him why she is always saving him. She asks him to leave her alone no matter what happens. Sun-jae is hurt, especially after seeing Im Sol crying. He asks her to stop doing things that cause him to worry.

After a long trying day, Sun-jae opts to return home. He finds In-hyuk contemplating using his song to enter a competition. Im-hyuk’s group has been having trouble getting gigs. Sun-jae doesn’t hate the idea but doesn’t think the song is ready. He asks In-hyuk if he shared the song with anyone else, and his friend says no. 

Meanwhile, the police use Im Sol’s report and map to find Young-soo’s hide-out. Unfortunately, Young-soo is one step ahead of them. He knew they were coming and burned down the place. He watches, smiling menacingly as the police realise their chance to get any evidence is gone. 

The following morning, Im Sol is also back home. She calls Tae-sung’s dad and is shocked to hear about the fire. One of the detectives points out that it feels like Young-soo knew their plans. Im Sol is scared and grabs a bag to leave. She is worried that Young-soo will come for her and run into Sun-jae.

Unknowingly, Sun-jae is at her door waiting for her to appear. As soon as she does, he asks her where she is going. He then asks her how she knew about his unreleased song. In the epilogue, we learn that when Im Sol got drunk, Sun-jae carried her back to camp. Im Sol kept singing his song and said that she is from the future and would leave soon to return to her time. Also, they accidentally kissed when he was trying to get her on his back. 

The scene cuts to Sun-jae presently asking Im Sol if she is really from the future. The episode ends with Im Sol shockingly staring at him. 


The Episode Review

Lovely Runner does an excellent job of balancing the sad scenes with comedy. We started on a sad note with Sun-jae in a comma, but the trip scenes made us forget our heavy hearts. The show delivers unexpected heart-fluttering moments through impeccable execution. The Spiderman kiss and the accidental drunk kiss were good twists. 

We understand why Im Sol wants Sun-jae to stay away, but her approach only hurts him more. Sun-jae thinks she hates him, and the heartbroken look he gives her when she asks him to leave her alone only proves this. Now that he knows about her time-travelling adventure, will she come clean? Sadly, the trailer makes us think she will only push him further. Poor Sun-jae!

If Young-soo is aware of the ongoing police investigation, it could indicate one of two possibilities: either there is a mole within the police force, or he has been keeping a close eye on Im Sol. Will she be able to prevent a disaster and rescue Sun-jae in the process?”

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