Open Thread: Queen In-hyun’s Man Episodes 11 & 12

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I luff – luffluffLUFF – this phone booth scene, which is why I had to have it headline our post today. Melt. 😍❤️

SOME IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:

ZERO SPOILER POLICY

1. We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.

The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD. 

ANY AND ALL SPOILERS WILL BE REDACTED to protect first-time viewers in our midst (although, I’d appreciate it if you would save me the trouble of having to redact spoilers, heh 😅).

This includes, but is not limited to, how characters &/or relationships develop, later in the show.

We need to protect the innocent! 😉

SPOILER ZONE

2. HOWEVER!! If you’d like to discuss spoilers from a rewatcher’s point of view, I’ve created a SPOILER ZONE for you, where you can discuss all the spoilers you’d like, without the need for spoiler warnings. You can find it here!

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 11

It takes Hee Jin a while to figure out that Boong Do is indeed real, and is indeed right there in 2012, but she does figure it out, and this episode works out to be so satisfying and squeeworthy. Eee!!! 😍

It’s hard to watch Soo Kyung tell Boong Do that Hee Jin has a boyfriend, and to therefore leave her alone, because while it’s technically true that Dong Min is dating Hee Jin, she didn’t actually agree to this version of events! Well, not consciously anyway?

Gah. It’s complicated, isn’t it?

I was so hopeful, when Hee Jin follows her gut and runs out there to look for Boong Do. She really does have a passionate nature, and I can’t help but feel touched by her earnest desire to find Boong Do.

So how sad is it, when Hee Jin gets to the phone booth in the park, and doesn’t find Boong Do there?

Show really had me going for a while there, with Boong Do showing back up in his study in our Joseon timeline, and Hee Jin heading back to the awards venue, alone, in that taxi, but PHEW that Show’s just teasing, and they’d met at the park after all.

AND! They’d even shared a long-overdue, tearful, heartfelt hug. YESSS.

HUZZAH!!

My gosh, what a rollercoaster of emotions. And I’m so happy at this development, that I’m not even mad at Show for teasing with what had felt like a sad version of events.

Boong Do’s plaintive question, as he looks at Hee Jin with sad eyes, “Did you follow me here?,” makes me heart wobble, no lie. And I find Hee Jin’s tearful, overwhelmed expression in response, so affecting as well.

It feels like the two of them have gone through so much, and have overcome such difficult odds, just to find each other again. Ahhh. I’m so, SO glad that they’re together again. 🥲

How very responsible of Hee Jin, to tear herself away from Boong Do, to go back to the awards show (Soo Kyung should be proud), and how handy, that Boong Do’s amazing memory makes it easy for him to remember Hee Jin’s rattled-off address, so that he’ll be able to meet her again, in a couple of hours.

Of course, I didn’t expect Boong Do to be sitting in Hee Jin’s living room waiting for her, either, and how like Hee Jin, to start getting out of her uncomfortable formal wear, before registering that he’s sitting right there, and she’s undressing in his direct line of sight.

Muahaha. Boong Do’s twinkling eyes tell me that he’s not sorry at all, that this accident happened. 😆

On a more plaintive note, my heart can’t help but go out to Hee Jin, when she tells Boong Do that he doesn’t know how it feels to be the person waiting around, not knowing when he’s going to return.

I just love how Boong Do hands over the talisman to Hee Jin without hesitation, even though that’s literally his only way home.

He has so much trust in her to keep it safe, even though she’s a bit of a flaily mess in so many other ways. That’s quite remarkable, and really quite swoony.

It’s a bit of a bummer that Dong Min shows up right about then, and eventually causes such a ruckus, but I can’t deny that I got quite the thrill, from seeing Boong Do essentially throw down the gauntlet, and thwack Dong Min into submission with the very golf club that Dong Min had tried to hit him with.

And, it feels like some form of poetic justice, doesn’t it, that Dong Min gets himself locked in the shower stall, in exactly the same fashion that Boong Do had once been locked in the hospital shower stall?

I feel a bit mean for saying this, but I got a fair bit of gratification, from seeing Dong Min getting imprisoned like this. 😅

Backing up a bit, I do so love that little conversation that Boong Do and Hee Jin have, while Dong Min was working to dry off his clothes in the bathroom.

When Hee Jin gets all huffy at the historical record that she’d read, about Boong Do being set to marry the Prime Minister’s daughter, the way Boong Do asks if it’s ok if he takes responsibility for her, is so matter-of-fact and swoony, at the same time.

And when Hee Jin asks him how he plans to take responsibility, his answer is so smoothly matter-of-fact, “I’ll come again after considering it, how I should take responsibility. Just to see Queen In-hyun’s face, I risked my life to come here. What else can I not do?”

Hee Jin’s right. Boong Do really is a natural-born player. Like, all the words that come out of his mouth are so effortlessly swoony. 😅

I can understand Hee Jin’s reluctance to allow Boong Do to go back to his Joseon timeline, because what if something prevents him from coming back to 2012 again, right?

So I can understand why she’d take custody of the talisman, and check him into what looks like a pension. At least this way, she knows where he is, and assured of seeing him again the next day, after all.

But gosh, the way Boong Do looks at her so plaintively, and asks if she means for him to sleep there alone, in a strange place, is heart-wobbly stuff.

The fact that Hee Jin’s able to pull away from Boong Do’s kiss, and inform him that she’s got her head on straight, and needs to be practical and solve the mess that they’ve created, is quite impressive, honestly.

And, she even quotes him back to him, reminding him that he’s said before, that her impulsive personality was a big problem.

But ahhh, Hee Jin’s no match for Boong Do’s heartfelt smooth lines, is she?

“Looks like I forgot to tell you something.. That impulsiveness of yours is very attractive.”

Well, that just cut down Hee Jin’s last line of defense, it looks like, because this time, when he kisses her again, she gets up on her tippy toes – and then her tippy toes get on his toes – so that she can lean into his kiss, as close as possible. Omona.

Squeee~!! Flail. Swoon. 😍😍

Episode 12

Love is in the air this episode – but so is uncertainty, and danger, and.. it’s a lot to process, for our sweet OTP.

Gosh, I want nothing more than for them to be able to live happily together in the same timeline, but it looks like there’s quite a lot to sort out, before that can plausibly become a reality for our happy couple.

In the aftermath of all that lovin’ (rawr 🔥), I’m glad that Boong Do and Hee Jin get to have some fun couple time together, before reality comes calling.

It’s so cute that Boong Do’s now much more savvy when trading in his family heirloom sword, and is able to finally get a fair price for it.

And how endearing is it, that the first thing he wants to do, now that he has money, is to buy Hee Jin whatever food she’d like to eat? Aw. He’s a sweetie, he is. 😍

I sniggered appropriately at the various miscommunications between Hee Jin and Boong Do.

First, we have her misunderstanding his handwritten hanja for a letter, when it had been her address (ha!), and then, we have her sending him to the store with a grocery list, written in English, just so that he can understand what it feels like to be dealing with a language thing that he doesn’t understand.

It’s played for laughs, but it does bring out some of the practical gaps that exist between them, I feel.

It’s great that Boong Do’s such a quick learner, though, and I find it super endearing that he spends all morning learning how to ride a bicycle, just so that he can take Hee Jin for a ride out to get coffee.

Awww. And it really does look like they have an adorably fun time too, out on that bicycle ride.

That is, until Hee Jin pretends to throw the talisman into a nearby fire, thereby low-key sending Boong Do into a panic.

Again, it brings out the pathos inherent in their situation, because as it stands right now, there are no guarantees that Boong Do would be able to stay in Hee Jin’s timeline, to pursue a serious relationship with her.

It’s just really awkward that they aren’t ready to talk about that, because Boong Do can’t hide the panic in his eyes, when he thinks that he’s maybe lost his only way back to the Joseon timeline, and neither can Hee Jin hide the disappointment in her eyes, that he’s not ready to stay.

That just creates this layer of pathos that neither of them can really ignore, I think, and I feel that that does mar their happy bubble, unfortunately.

Back in Joseon, Lord Min Am’s still scheming to kill him off, and now that he knows about the talisman and how it works, I worry that he’ll find a way to trick Boong Do into actual mortal danger.

Eep. That’s would not be good.

This is where I’m with Hee Jin, in wanting Boong Do to just stay in 2012, from here on out. 😅

And in the present, Dong Min’s throwing such a fit over being snubbed by Hee Jin (and humiliated by Boong Do), that he’s a Royal Nuisance, in every sense of the word.

Worse, he takes it out on Hee Jin, in the most childish, degrading way, by spraying her with water and throwing that cushion at her – on top of complaining to the PD, and demanding that Hee Jin’s character in the drama be killed off.

Sigh. I hated watching Hee Jin be humiliated like that, particularly since she really didn’t do anything wrong. 😔

Poor Hee Jin. It just feels like she just can’t ever catch a break – aside from meeting a dreamy sweet man from Joseon, that is.

And I do love that that sweet man from Joseon makes that phone call to Hee Jin from that phone booth, and asks her to spend his sword money for him, while making the most swoony confession that I might ever heard.

“I should stop using a pay phone now. I don’t like to keep wearing other people’s clothes. Nor do I like that every time I see you, we have to hide in the countryside.

I hope to find a house near where you live. Of course, I’d not only need a hand phone, I’d need some clothes as well. That money should be enough, right?

It’s because I said I’d take responsibility for you.

To take responsibility for suddenly interrupting your life and making things difficult for you, just becoming your boyfriend temporarily… or buying you an expensive car… or spraying water at that friend… I realized that it’s not enough.

I realized that to take real responsibility is to stay always by your side.

What do you think? I couldn’t come up with any other conclusion.”

Oh. My. Goodness. How very swoony is that?!? I’m speechless, is what I am.

He’s basically saying that he’d like to stay in Hee Jin’s timeline with her, long-term, and the enormous implications of that, and how that reflects just how deep his love is, for her, just has me in a swooning puddle. Faint.

I’m with Hee Jin on this one, when she answers, with that sheen of tears in her eyes, “It’s an extremely… an extremely good conclusion.”

YES. YES IT IS. 🤩🤩

Also, I really appreciate that Show gives us that flashback to Boong Do’s meeting with the monk at dawn, where he’d gone, while Hee Jin had been asleep.

I find it very meaningful, that Boong Do’s desire to live in Hee Jin’s timeline, isn’t only to do with his love for her.

It also has a lot to do with how he, as an individual, struggles to find meaning in life, when he already knows how all the major events turn out, thanks to his visits to the future.

It actually makes sense, that he would find more meaning in living in the future, where he as yet does not have insight into how things will develop and turn out.

I’m really glad that Show takes the time to fill in this part of Boong Do’s thought process for us, because it makes his desire to live in Hee Jin’s time feel more balanced. Like, yes, he’s doing it for her, but it feels so important, that he’s doing it for himself too.

We end the episode on a note of foreboding, though, with Hee Jin saying in voiceover, that the end of their chance encounter, is drawing nearer.

Ack. I so, SO don’t like the sound of that. 🙈

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