This episode is all about communication—what can happen when you don’t have it, and how crucial it is to any relationship. As usual, this show does a great job subverting my expectations, changing situations from merely amusing to laugh-out-loud funny, while still making me sigh happily at the emotional moments. I had a feeling that Dong-gu and Yoon-ah would hit an early snag, but what actually happens is so much funnier and sweeter than I anticipated.
EPISODE 17: “For new couples/Can love be translated?”
Yoon-ah confesses to Dong-gu that she likes him, and asks him to date her. He’s all smug smiles as he tells the rest of the housemates the following day, and they all genuinely congratulate him.
But when Yoon-ah comes downstairs with a basket of laundry and Dong-gu offers to help her, she looks uncomfortable and answers all of his questions with a muttered, “Yes…” The housemates think it’s strange, but Dong-gu assures them that Yoon-ah did ask him out.
Joon-ki points out that if Yoon-ah didn’t actually say they’re in a relationship, they aren’t officially official. He gives Doo-shik a winky-face to go along with his teasing, so Doo-shik suggests that Dong-gu go ask Yoon-ah for clarification.
It works, and Dong-gu finds Yoon-ah in her room with Sol. He nervously reminds Yoon-ah about her video and in-person confessions and asks if they’re actually together now, and she blinks at him and gives him an emotionless, “Yes…” Uh-oh, something is wrong.
Joon-ki and Doo-shik go to their room to giggle like children over their little prank. Dong-gu finds them and tells them triumphantly that Yoon-ah said they’re a couple. The guys fan Dong-gu’s insecurities by saying that Yoon-ah should be happy, like he is, but instead she seems upset, so they wonder if she’s regretting her choice.
Joon-ki tells Dong-gu to take Yoon-ah on a date and win some points before she changes her mind. Dong-gu freaks out and runs off to lock Yoon-ah into a date.
Later Doo-shik, Sol, and Soo-ah glare at Joon-ki as he tells Seo-jin over the phone about their prank on Dong-gu. Soo-ah gets fed up with his cringe-worthy aegyo and hangs up on Seo-jin, earning a high-five from Doo-shik, though Doo-shik wishes he had a reason to act so childish.
Joon-ki grumbles that the two lonely people in the room could go on a date, but both Soo-ah and Doo-shik loudly reject the idea. A little too loudly, if you ask me.
Doo-shik leafs through the newspaper and spots a flyer for a baby massage class. He falls in love with the pretty young teacher’s picture on the spot, so hard that even Joon-ki can hear his heart pounding. Doo-shik drags Joon-ki to the class with him, determined to meet his soul mate.
Yoon-ah continues to be quiet and monosyllabic on her date with Dong-gu, making him worry that she really does regret confessing to him. Every time he tries to talk to her, she just answers, “Yes…”
Worried, Dong-gu takes Yoon-ah for her favorite lunch, soondae. He suggests they go to an amusement park after they eat and asks if she likes rides, and she just mumbles, “Yes… yes…” Dong-gu spots a couple at a nearby table happily feeding each other, so he holds out a piece of soondae to Yoon-ah.
She insists she can feed herself, but Dong-gu persists, and they grapple over the fork until the bite of soondae flies off and hits Yoon-ah in the eye. She runs to the restroom to rinse the salt out of her eye, leaving Dong-gu feeling like an idiot.
Doo-shik drags Joon-ki to the baby class, where they’re the only men there with a baby (Joon-ki: “Do you think they’re getting the wrong idea about us??”). Doo-shik just wipes something off Joon-ki’s lip, reinforcing the impression that they’re a couple, ha.
Another dad (cameo by Kim Kang-hyun) comes in with his son, a baby about Sol’s age. He explains that he runs his own business and is often too busy to spend time with his baby, which is why he’s here.
When the instructor finally arrives, Doo-shik and Joon-ki are startled to see that she looks nothing like her picture — she’s much older and not nearly as pretty. Awww, poor Doo-shik. He grumpily declines the teacher’s request to sign up for the regular class, yelling at Joon-ki to grab Sol so they can go. Joon-ki does, but in his hurry, he accidentally takes the other baby’s stroller, leaving Sol behind.
The guys don’t noticed the switch until after they get home, when Joon-ki finds something in the little boy’s diaper that he wasn’t expecting. He and Doo-shik stand there yelling and blaming each other until Soo-ah finally screeches, “Shut up and go get Sol! NOW!!”
Dong-gu is still apologizing for flicking soondae into Yoon-ah’s eye when they get to the amusement park. He asks if she feels like riding the rides, and she continues to just answer, “Yes…” He takes her on the Viking ship, hoping he can lighten the mood and show how brave and manly he is at the same time.
At least, he starts out brave, telling Yoon-ah to lean on him if she gets too scared. As the ride starts, Yoon-ah perks up and throws her arms in the air, but Dong-gu entirely loses his cool.
Terrified, he screams for the ride to stop as he buries his face in Yoon-ah’s lap. She signals to stop the ride, and he comes up looking sheepish and apologetic. And then he vomits in her lap. EWWW.
The father of the baby boy is at the store with his wife, who seems very stressed and unhappy. Joon-ki calls him to tell him about the baby switch, and the dad does his best to hide his alarm from his peevish wife. They arrange to meet, but when he shows up to collect his son, Sol isn’t with him.
He confesses that he’s actually been unemployed for two years, and his wife considers him incompetent. He’s scared she’ll divorce him if she finds out the babies got switched, so he asks the guys to help him switch them back without her finding out. Oh boy, this’ll be fun.
They position themselves strategically around the store and try to smoothly switch the baby carriages, but the mother never lets go of Sol’s carriage. A few minutes later, the dad begs Joon-ki to try to help him a bit longer, promising that he’s got a better plan.
He figures that the best place to switch the babies back is at the register, where his wife won’t be paying attention to the carriage. When she takes her hands off the carriage to pay, they’ll have fifteen seconds to make the switch.
When the crucial moment arrives, the dad pushes Sol’s carriage past the register, where Joon-ki and Doo-shik smoothly grab the babies and twirl around to put them in their correct carriage. But at the last second, the little boy lets loose a noxious fart, causing Joon-ki to lose his footing.
He gets caught putting the boy into his carriage, but to the mother, it looks like he’s trying to steal her baby. Joon-ki looks to the father for backup, but he says he’s never seen him before and threatens him for touching his son.
He yells that his wife works hard to support their family, and tells Joon-ki to kill him before he hurts his precious family. HA, way to make the best of a bad situation. He gives Joon-ki a tiny nod, pleading internally for him to go along with it.
Joon-ki nods back, and he tells the wife that she should be glad to have such an amazing husband. He and Doo-shik leave with Sol, and the man’s wife throws herself into her husband’s arms.
That evening, Yoon-ah is still barely speaking to Dong-gu. He apologizes for throwing up on her and asks if she’s angry, worried that her one-syllable answers are proof that she’s regretting her decision to date him. He steps away to get them some drinks, and he sinks to the floor in the convenience store, convinced that he’s blown it and she’s going to break up with him.
While she waits, Yoon-ah gets a call from Seo-jin, curious how the date is going. Yoon-ah talks a mile a minute, admitting that she’s so nervous around Dong-gu that she doesn’t know what to say, so she just keeps saying, “Yes… yes…” That is so adorable.
She hangs up, and belatedly realizes that Dong-gu is standing nearby and heard everything she said. He looks stunned, and his voice catches as he says, “So that’s why. I didn’t know.” He shocks Yoon-ah by bursting into tears, and he wails, “Since you didn’t talk much and had a grim look on your face, I was worried you were regretting dating me. It was all I could think of all day. I was so worried. I was worried we might break up!” Awww, this sweet boy.
Yoon-ah says that of course she’s not going to break up with him, because just standing beside him makes her heart flutter. Dong-gu sobs harder, saying that she should have told him so he wouldn’t worry. He confirms that this makes today their first official day as a couple, and he asks if he can hold her hand.
She takes his hand, and he breaks into the biggest smile ever. He asks her to go on a better date with him tomorrow, and she accepts, making him realize that she’s still just saying, “Yes” over and over again. He asks if that’s all she can say, and she grins at him, “Yes,” but he’s okay with it now that he knows what it means.
In anticipation of some new houseguests, the housemates clean the place up. Doo-shik gets annoyed at the way Dong-gu and Joon-ki fawn over Yoon-ah and Seo-jin, so they tease him for being jealous. When he snaps that he’ll meet a girl better than Seo-jin or Yoon-ah, they just brag on their girls even more.
Seo-jin suddenly realizes that Soo-ah isn’t helping clean, and she finds her in her room goofing off. Soo-ah looks guilty, but she complains that she’s here as a guest. Yoon-ah shows up to break up the fight, but they just escalate, Seo-jin complaining that Soo-ah doesn’t respect her authority in her house and Soo-ah telling Seo-jin to have more respect for her unni.
Downstairs, the guys finish cleaning just as the first guest arrives, a beautiful young woman from the Ukraine named Angela. Doo-shik, as usual, falls in love, and when Joon-ki protests, “Again? You fall in love with everyone,” Doo-shik swears that this time it’s for real-real.
Doo-shik takes Angela a drink and tries to communicate with her in English, but she only speaks Ukrainian. He uses a translator app to tell Angela that he fell for her at first sight, but it translates his words as, “Would you like to split the first snowball in half?” He tries again, asking if she has a boyfriend, but the translator asks her if her friend has her ovum. LOL.
Seo-jin is on a vacation from work, but a sunbae keeps sending her documents and making her do her graduate school homework. Soo-ah grumbles that Seo-jin can’t say no to her sunbae, but she has no trouble bossing her around.
In desperation, Doo-shik tries to teach himself Ukrainian, but Dong-gu and Joon-ki come to tell them they have a way for him to communicate with Angela. With giant grins, they beckon three more houseguests into the room and explain their complicated plan.
The first guest, Marco, is from Germany and speaks Ukrainian, Bruno from France speaks German, and Hanako from Japan speaks French and Korean. Joon-ki says that Angela can speak to Marco in Ukrainian, who can speak to Bruno in German, who can speak to Hanako in French, who can tell Doo-shik in Korean what Angela said. Oh sure, there’s no possible way this could go horribly, hilariously wrong.
Willing to give it a shot, Doo-shik leads the guests to find Angela. Dong-gu and Joon-ki agree that there’s no way Angela will fall for Doo-shik, but at least they’re helping him give it a shot.
With everyone watching, Doo-shik tries to speak to Angela. He blurts out to Hanako that he fell in love at first sight, and the message passes through the translators. Marco tells her, “I fell in love at first sight,” but Angela misunderstands and turns her doe-eyes on Marco, not Doo-shik. Uh-oh.
Everyone points to Doo-shik as the lovesick puppy, and he asks what she thinks of him. Angela says she likes him and thinks he seems nice, but Hanako translates it as, “She likes you!” and Doo-shik gets his hopes up.
LOL, Dong-gu and Joon-ki are enjoying this way too much. Then Angela surprises everyone by agreeing to go on a date with Doo-shik, which makes his entire year, and he jumps up to happily hug his shocked friends for helping him.
Seo-jin takes a break from doing her sunbae’s homework, and Soo-ah walks into her room unannounced, crashes into her, and makes her drop her phone under the bed. It takes both of them and a backscratcher to get the phone back.
When they get out from under the bed, their hair is snarled together in the brush that Soo-ah was using on her hair. Yoon-ah has no luck untangling them, so they get the idea to go to a hairdresser for help.
Dong-gu and Joon-ki are grumpy that their plan to embarrass Doo-shik backfired on them. They watch as Doo-shik feeds her snacks, and Joon-ki remarks that Angela has pretty low standards, lol. They whine that Doo-shik and Angela look weird together.
Yoon-ah says they’re just jealous that Doo-shik has a beautiful girlfriend. No fool, Dong-gu says that’s not possible when he also has a beautiful girlfriend, but on the inside he admits to himself that he’s totally jealous. Joon-ki is so jealous it hurts, though he says that Seo-jin has all the beauty he needs.
Unfortunately, the hairdresser the girls go to can’t untangle their hair either, and she says she’ll have to cut the hair of one of them to get the brush out. They argue over who should make the sacrifice, but Seo-jin’s sunbae calls and demands to see her within a half hour, so she drags Soo-ah out by the… well, by the hair.
When Doo-shik comes to the guys’ room, Joon-ki says that a beautiful woman like Angela must have a boyfriend somewhere. He and Dong-gu get Doo-shik worried that Angela is two-timing, so he runs off to ask her if she has a boyfriend. Dong-gu and Joon-ki laugh evilly, though they tell each other that they’re just worried about Doo-shik.
Doo-shik sets up the translation train again to ask Angela if she’s got a boyfriend back home, and she says that Doo-shik is her first. He reports back to Joon-ki and Dong-gu, who grudgingly congratulate him but pick petty fights with him, so jealous they could spit.
When Seo-jin turns up at Sunbae’s house with Soo-ah attached to her head, Sunbae gives her an outfit to exchange for her. Soo-ah is surprised to see Seo-jin meekly taking the abuse, but Seo-jin just sighs and pulls her along.
Joon-ki is practically shaking with jealousy as he asks Doo-shik if he can handle being in a long distance international relationship, and Dong-gu purrs malevolently that Angela will probably get lonely and find someone else. But when Doo-shik asks, he discovers that Angela is an exchange student who may decide to stay in Korea.
The guys try the parental approval angle, but Doo-shik’s parents couldn’t be happier that he’s dating someone. They resort to personal attacks, criticizing his gummy smile and flaring nostrils, but Doo-shik just agrees not to smile and to plug his nose. Hee.
When Seo-jin brings back the exchanged outfit, Sunbae just barks at her before storming inside. Soo-ah is angry that she didn’t even thank Seo-jin, and she asks Seo-jin why she’s so meek with her coworker when she’s always yelling at Soo-ah.
Seo-jin pouts that she’s punched her sunbae thousands of times in her imagination, and Soo-ah gets an idea. They make a trip to a convenience store, then stake out Sunbae’s house in Rebecca until she leaves. She grabs her car door handle, and her hand is instantly stuck to it.
She screams in fury as Soo-ah and Seo-jin laugh at their superglue prank. Seo-jin belatedly worries that she’ll get caught, but Soo-ah tells her not to be a ninny and urges her on to the next part of the prank. They lower their heads, hit Rebecca’s gas, and strafe Sunbae, spraying muddy water all over her new outfit.
They drive off cackling, excited at having given Sunbae her comeuppance for treating Seo-jin like a servant. Soo-ah asks if she can take a milk bath, but Seo-jin refuses, and Soo-ah demands some sort of payback for helping Seo-jin.
Yoon-ah finds Dong-gu and Joon-ki looking pale and depressed, but they perk right up when Soo-ah and Seo-jin wander home, Seo-jin missing her bangs. Oh no, she cut her hair as payback! The guys point and laugh as Seo-jin darkly informs Soo-ah that they’re even.
Upstairs, things aren’t going so great, with Doo-shik urging the guests to stay up late and party while they’re all exhausted from the lengthy translation process. When Doo-shik asks them to convey to Angela that he’s going to pee, Hanako purposely passes along that he’s going to poop, and Angela gets disgusted.
While Doo-shik is gone, she tells Marco that she’s tired of not being able to communicate, but he says that he’s just happy it gave him an excuse to be with her. She says flirtatiously that she likes him, too.
In the morning, Dong-gu and Joon-ki slump into the living room, having been unable to sleep all night. Doo-shik runs downstairs, frantically searching for Angela, who’s gone missing. Hanako tells him that Angela and Marco stayed up all night talking, then disappeared together.
Dong-gu and Joon-ki experience miraculous recoveries, crowing that Angela and Marco must have fallen in love and run off together. Doo-shik runs out of the house screaming Angela’s name, and the guys claim, not at all repentantly, that they were so hoping this relationship would work out for him.
Within minutes, they’re both fast asleep in a big contented pile, snoring happily. Yoon-ah wonders what’s causing their big sleepy grins, figuring they must be having one hell of a good dream.
Aww, poor Doo-shik and his little broken heart. He’s one of those guys that you just want to protect and make sure he never gets hurt, though he’d probably object to being coddled. But he just wears his emotions right out for everyone to see, so it’s difficult to watch him get his hopes up then have his heart broken over and over again. I really hope that something happens to advance things with Soo-ah soon, because they’re just so oddly perfect for each other. She needs someone who won’t mind her bossing them around but who can also stand up to her, someone who is supportive but firm when her ideas go off the rails, which Doo-shik has already proven repeatedly that he’s more than capable of. They already run a business together and have a pretty great rapport — now if they could just get over their “Ew, cooties!” reactions to each other, they might just realize that real love is right in front of them.
I love that we’re getting to see the three Waikiki boys interacting with each other more lately. As hilarious as they are separately, they’re at their funniest when they’re pranking and teasing each other, teaming up two-against-one just for fun. I love that it’s never truly mean-spirited and they all take turns being the butt of the jokes. They spread the abuse out evenly, with Doo-shik and Joon-ki give Dong-gu a hard time one day, then it’s Dong-gu and Joon-ki coming up with ridiculously convoluted plans to “help” Doo-shik’s love life. They do get jealous and angry with each other, and act out in petty ways, but never have I seen any of them actually disrespect each other or do anything that would cause a true rift in their friendship. And as willing as they are to throw each other under the bus, they’re equally willing to throw themselves under the bus for each other. They never play a joke that truly harms one of the others, and when it’s needed, they’re genuinely supportive and would go to the mat for each other.
If I didn’t already believe that Dong-gu’s feelings for Yoon-ah are sincere, his bursting into tears when she admitted that her odd behavior was just nerves would have convinced me. He was so worried and scared that she regretted her decision to be with him that he’d wound himself up like a top, and when he found out she was as nervous as he was, he just exploded. I love that he feels that intensely for Yoon-ah, and on top of that, that he trusts her enough to unabashedly cry in front of her. For a guy who would rather yell at someone than say he cares for them, his being willing to cry and put all his tender little guts out there for Yoon-ah to see speaks volumes about how he feels for her. Plus he looked about five years old, and as adorable as I’ve ever seen him. Who could resist?
Speaking of which, I take back my annoyance that we didn’t get a kiss yet (though I would have liked a bit of relationship cuteness in the second half, instead of Dong-gu envying someone else his beautiful girlfriend when he just got one of his own). Normally I’m annoyed when grown drama characters act like kissing is something scandalous (especially when one of the couple has a child), but Woohoo Waikiki never makes me feel like the characters treat each other so carefully because they’re too shy or unnaturally innocent. It’s more that they have so much pure respect for one another that they understand that it’s the feelings that count, and that the physical part of their relationship isn’t the most important thing. It’s just another way that this show takes my usual personal preferences and turns them on their ear, making me perfectly happy with situations that I would normally find frustrating. I can only conclude that this show is magic, because it’s the only reasonable explanation.