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Manhole: Episode 10
Another day, another timeline, but this one is a real doozy. Pil finds himself in a situation he never imagined possible, but with all the shifting realities and rewritten histories, he’s losing hope that anything he does will make a difference. What started out as a straightforward trip to the past to stop a wedding has turned into a convoluted ride through ever-changing possibilities. At least one thing has stayed constant: Pil will always love Soo-jin. But is that enough?
EPISODE 10: “Love never goes your way”
It’s an idyllic morning, and we zoom in on Jin-sook’s rooftop apartment. Except, when the door opens, it’s Dal-soo who emerges. Soon after, Jung-ae arrives bringing food, and the two enjoy a cozy lunch together.
Dal-soo scarfs down his food, teasing that both his appetite and luck have grown since moving up to the rooftop. Jung-ae eagerly encourages him to use the luck to make a lot of money, but Dal-soo tells her that being rich only brings unhappiness, promising to make her happy without needing riches.
The two of them wonder how Jin-sook is doing, but Jung-ae figures that she’s the type to adapt to any situation. That’s slightly ominous…
On the other side of town, Pil wakes up in his bed, lazily scratching his leg from a pesky mosquito. Except, Pil starts to panic when he can’t feel his own hand on his leg. Just then, a voice groggily asks if he’s awake and Pil flips out, rolling off onto the floor to reveal the owner of the leg that he had been scratching: Jin-sook.
Pil yells at Jin-sook, wanting to know why she’s in his bed, but Jin-sook seems completely unconcerned, yawning that she came in this morning. She tries to get up close and personal to put itch cream on Pil’s mosquito bites, but Pil frantically pushes her away and flees.
Pil dashes downstairs and barely manages to stutter out to his parents that Jin-sook is in his room — however, Mom just answers that Jin-sook must have missed her husband. (Say what?) Pil’s brain completely stops at that, and behind him, Jin-sook skips downstairs to greet Mom and Dad like the in-laws they seem to be.
Both Mom and Dad address Jin-sook warmly, with Mom telling her that if she misses Pil so much, they should just live together. Jin-sook smiles, saying they can’t since they’re not married… yet. Pil stutters out a terrified, “Married?!” then beats a hasty retreat to the bathroom.
Pil sits fully clothed in the bathtub with a cold shower beating down on him. As he wonders how on earth this happened, a passing chyron gives us the date: September 7, 2017.
Pil tries to convince himself that this is all some terrible dream he’s having while traveling through time, but Jin-sook’s call to come eat breakfast shatters the illusion, and Pil curses the darn manhole for letting this happen.
At breakfast, Mom and Dad fawn over Jin-sook, both of them thrilled with their soon-to-be daughter-in-law. As Jin-sook laughs with his parents, Pil stares confounded at the lot of them, barely even twitching when his apparent fiancé places food directly in his mouth (which had been left open in shock).
Over at Dal-soo’s DVD store, Jung-ae is tending to the book section when Gu-gil comes in asking for Dal-soo. Snapping that he’s at the sauna, Jung-ae chucks a book at Gu-gil, telling him to read it and go home. He grumbles that he came to see her, not read, but quickly shuts up when she turns back to him.
Soo-jin enters a moment later to return some DVDs. Jung-ae remarks at her taste in foreign movies, and Soo-jin answers that she’s watching them to get ready for her upcoming trip to study abroad. After checking to make sure that the two of them are coming to Jin-sook’s wedding photoshoot later, she heads out.
Gu-gil watches her go, wondering if Pil has ever gotten over Soo-jin. Jung-ae tells him to stop spouting nonsense, but Gu-gil sighs that Soo-jin is probably unhappy too.
Soo-jin is hard at work at her boss’s studio when Jae-hyun arrives with coffee. She’s friendly toward him, but it’s clear that the two are not dating.
Jae-hyun mentions her going abroad to study, but when he jokes about going with her, Soo-jin looks distinctly uncomfortable. She answers that if they’re meant to be, they’ll meet again, then dashes out, saying she has to go to the study abroad agency.
After she leaves, Soo-jin’s boss (Jae hyun’s friend) sighs that no matter how hard Jae-hyun tries to catch her, Soo-jin is still flying away. Creepily, Jae-hyun mutters, “I should have broken her wings sooner. Now I’m too late.” Oh yes, because that’s how one starts a healthy relationship.
At the study abroad office, Soo-jin’s sponsor congratulates her on getting accepted into the prestigious art school in England. After promising to help Soo-jin find housing when she’s abroad, the woman walks Soo-jin out… right past Jae-hyun, who is sitting in the waiting area, doing the old hide-your-face-behind-a-magazine trick.
When Soo-jin leaves, Jae-hyun pops up and approaches the woman. He casually mentions overhearing their conversation and asks after the school that Soo-jin is going to, claiming he wants to study art abroad as well. Creepier and creepier…
Catching back up with our engaged couple, Pil stands in his room looking lost while Jin-sook actually picks out his clothes for the day. He tries to ask how they ended up getting engaged, but she immediately asks if he regrets it.
Remembering Jin-sook’s heartbreak from when she had cried in front of her apartment (in another timeline), Pil quickly says that rather than regret, he feels like he’s dreaming. Jin-sook grins and hands him a shirt to wear, adding that they have a lot to do today.
After giving Pil a motherly butt pat, Jin-sook goes to get ready herself. Pil sighs that he has to try not to hurt Jin-sook like he did before, though he does whine slightly over the pink shirt she picked out for him.
Hah! Turns out the pink shirt is part of a matching set. Wearing their couple shirts, Jin-sook and Pil walk right past Seok-tae, who is out working for the city. The poor guy stares sadly after the pair.
Seok-tae goes out to lunch with his coworkers later, but when one of the men tries to set him up with a girl, he answers, “I have only one heart, and it already belongs to someone else.”
Jin-sook’s busy day consists of the two of them going shopping for apartment stuff for when they get married. Pil tries to be supportive, but he looks like every new appliance is making him die a little more inside.
Elsewhere on a park bench, Soo-jin looks at her passport and ticket to England, forcing a small smile.
Pil and Jin-sook take a PPL coffee break, and Pil apologizes for not being much help today. Jin-sook brushes it off since most men don’t like shopping, and instead changes the subject to picking out a farewell gift for Soo-jin before she goes abroad.
Pil blanches at the news that Soo-jin is leaving for England, and quickly asks if she’s traveling alone or if the pharmacist is going with her. Jin-sook says that she’s going alone, mentioning that Soo-jin doesn’t seem interested in Jae-hyun. Pil totally smirks at that, but Jin-sook frowns at his reaction.
Out on the street, Pil and Jin-sook run into Jae-hyun, and the pharmacist sweetly congratulates them on their wedding. Jin-sook nudges Pil to make him say thank you, but Pil is too busy glowering at the bag Jae-hyun is carrying, which has the study abroad agency logo stamped on it.
Jin-sook drags Pil off, and Jae-hyun sneers after them, noting, “Now, I don’t have to be bothered by him anymore.”
Jin-sook takes Pil to a photography studio, reminding him that Soo-jin rented the space to take their wedding pictures today. Just then, Soo-jin pops out to greet the couple, smiling at their matching shirts.
Soon, the rest of the gang arrives, giving wedding congratulations and sympathy from Dal-soo, who says he’s come to watch Pil dig his youth into a grave. Pffft.
Soo-jin takes Jin-sook back for make-up, and the friends talk about the difficulty Jin-sook had making Pil go shopping today.
In another room, Pil is fumbling with one of the male populace’s greatest challenges: the bowtie. Soo-jin finds him struggling and takes the tie to put it on for him, leaning in close. With both of them looking anywhere but at each other, Soo-jin tells Pil to find his own way to support himself instead of making Jin-sook do all the work.
Finished with the bowtie, Soo-jin is smoothing the front of Pil’s jacket when Pil reaches up and gently grasps her hand, holding it against his chest. She freezes and Pil looks down at her, thinking, “I experience inexplicable happenings every day. But there’s one thing that I can explain. That you and I like each other.”
They both look into the other’s eyes, and Pil silently entreats, “Don’t give up. Because I haven’t given up yet either. We’ll see each other again as different selves soon.”
The two continue to stand there, and outside the room, Jin-sook walks by, stopping dead to see her friend and fiancé gazing almost hopelessly at each other.
Soo-jin finally tugs her hand away and reminds Pil that Jin-sook is waiting for him. Looking pained, she sincerely congratulates him on his wedding.
Dal-soo finds Gu-gil in a staging room and wonders where Jung-ae has gone. No sooner does he ask does Jung-ae emerge from a dressing room wearing a beautiful wedding dress. She does a happy twirl, and both boys’ jaws hit the floor. They whip out the cameras, and soon all three are having fun posing together.
Soo-jin sets up the camera equipment, pausing to remember Pil’s face when he held her hand. Her musing is interrupted when Dal-soo and Gu-gil drag in a reluctant Pil, followed soon after by Jung-ae, escorting a glowing Jin-sook.
Everyone comments on how pretty Jin-sook is, but when Pil is noticeably silent, everyone stares at him. Recovering, Pil quickly stutters out that Jin-sook always looks pretty. Nice save.
Soo-jin quickly assembles the couple and starts to take pictures, but while Jin-sook is smiling happily, Pil can barely manage a slightly sickly grimace. The friends all try to coach Pil into smiling at Jin-sook, with Gu-gil eventually yelling out the suggestion that Pil kiss her.
Pil balks at that, but Jin-sook laughs at him being shy and says she’ll kiss him instead. She leans in, but Pil instinctively flinches back. Everyone freezes, staring at him. He tries to explain, but can only stutter as Jin-sook’s smile slowly dies.
Quickly pulling Jin-sook into a hug, Pil tries to say they can just do this instead. Jin-sook manages a nod, and the two of them force out smiles while Soo-jin resumes taking pictures.
After the shoot, Soo-jin escapes to an outside stairwell and quietly scolds herself for not being happy for her friends.
Jin-sook looks at pictures of her and Pil, but when she clicks back through to the earlier shots, she stops to see the miserable, panicked look on Pil’s face.
Meanwhile, Seok-tae and his team go to inspect the magical manhole.
Jung-ae and her boys walk back to the DVD store, but Dal-soo halts to see a fancy car parked out front. He tries to pull Jung-ae away, but the driver jumps out and calls Dal-soo “young master” (a title generally reserved for children of chaebol families). A richly dressed woman also emerges, glaring at Dal-soo. Looks like Mommy Dearest has come calling.
Jung-ae, Dal-soo, and his mom sit down in the store. Mom gets right to the point, firmly telling Jung-ae that while she seems like a pretty and nice girl, she and Dal-soo can never be together.
Outside the store, Gu-gil questions the driver and gapes to learn that Dal-soo is actually the youngest son of a company chairman, making him a chaebol.
Inside, Mom breaks it down for Jung-ae, saying that her relationship with Dal-soo is unacceptable to their family. But Dal-soo resolutely tells his mother that he doesn’t need approval from “that family” and asks her to go.
Mom gets up angrily, but gives some parting advice to Jung-ae, “No matter how hard you try, you can never have him. I’m sorry to say that people can’t always be together just because they are in love.”
Mom leaves, and Dal-soo tries to comfort Jung-ae, but the stunned girl quietly pulls her hands out of his and asks, “Oppa, who are you?” Dal-soo insists that he’s the same as he was before, but Jung-ae looks devastated.
Back in their matching pink shirts, Jin-sook and Pil leave the studio. Pil wants to head home, but Jin-sook reveals they have one more stop to make: registering their marriage.
Gu-gil confronts Dal-soo over his family and how he’s been lying through all their years of friendship. Dal-soo says that he hated his family and just wanted to live on his own, but Gu-gill is angrier about how Jung-ae must feel. He says that Jung-ae innocently believed that love would make everything work out, and now Dal-soo has shattered her dream.
Dal-soo tries to argue that he won’t let that happen, but Gu-gil yells that if Dal-soo really wants Jung-ae to be happy, he should leave her alone and go back to where he came from. Harsh.
Seok-tae is at city hall, discussing the manhole with his coworkers. Apparently it’s clogged with old cigarette butts, and Seok-tae wonders if they should just get rid of it. (Nooo!) Just then, Pil and Jin-sook walk by, and Seok-tae follows after them. He finds them in a waiting room, and his face falls to hear that they’re registering their marriage.
Still, ever the friend to Jin-sook, Seok-tae rallies and congratulates them, but Pil sighs that it’s not really a big deal (since for him, this timeline isn’t real). Awkward silence ensues until Seok-tae offers to help them, bringing over the basic information forms.
Jin-sook hands it over to Pil, and Seok-tae takes her to get their marriage registration application. Except, when Jin-sook leaves, Pil falters when it comes to filling out her phone number or birthdate.
Before Pil can remember, Jin-sook returns and sees that her fiancé doesn’t even know the most basic information about her. Seok-tae quickly grabs the paper and fills out Jin-sook’s information while she sits there, hurt. She looks over at Pil, but he can’t even defend himself.
Later, Jin-sook asks him to go somewhere with her before they head home. She takes him to their old high school, and as they look out over the grounds, Jin-sook admits that she has actually liked him for a very long time and regrets taking so long to tell him.
Revealing that she first fell for him over by the school gate, Jin-sook tells Pil about how she saw him helping her grandmother collect recycling. She says that it was the first time she felt grateful to someone, so she wanted to become a person that Pil could be grateful to as well.
Pil smiles at the memory, but Jin-sook turns to him and confesses that she likes him a lot, “But I think I should end my feelings for you. Let’s not get married.” Pil starts to say something, but she cuts him off, saying that her grandmother once said that a woman should love a man who wants her to be happy. Looking at Pil now, she tells him that he’s not enough for her.
Holding back her tears, Jin-sook decides that this is better than getting a divorce later and losing both love and friendship. She takes out their wedding registration application – which she never submitted – and rips it up.
Jin-sook sadly says that she’s not ready to be a married women yet, and jokes that when Pil sees the amazing man she’ll eventually marry, he will regret losing her. With nothing he can say, Pil sits quietly beside her as the two end their relationship.
In his office cubicle, Seok-tae remembers when he took Jin-sook to submit the marriage registration, but at the last second, she’d yanked it back, saying she couldn’t do it.
At the BongBong Pub, Jin-sook sits alone at the bar, drinking. She flashes back to a time when she’d cleaned Pil’s room and found Soo-jin’s letter to him (from when he was in the army) under his pillow. Jin-sook also thinks to earlier today, when Pil had held Soo-jin’s hands.
At that moment, Soo-jin sends her a text with her and Pil’s final wedding picture. It’s all too much, and Jin-sook starts breaking down. Just then, Seok-tae arrives at the bar looking for her, and through her sobs, she asks him to just stay with her tonight. She leans against him as Seok-tae wraps an arm around her, holding her as she cries.
Soo-jin reviews Pil and Jin-sook’s wedding pictures, looking resignedly at the happy couple’s faces. She texts the final photo to Pil, along with a message to please make her friend happy. Pil receives the text while walking back from breaking up with Jin-sook. He wonders how everything got so messed up, saying that he doesn’t even understand what’s going on anymore. (You and me both, pal.)
Pil starts to text back that he and Jin-sook broke up, but in the end, he just sends a simple message asking Soo-jin to be happy. Soo-jin gets the text as she leaves her studio and seems relieved. She heads out and unknowingly crosses paths with the woman who had been Jae-hyun’s girlfriend in previous timelines.
Speak of the devil, Jae-hyun is working late at the pharmacy when a man comes in with a phony prescription form. Jae-hyun tries to tell him that he can’t fill this out without a real doctor’s prescription, but the man angrily grabs Jae-hyun’s jacket and demands the drugs.
Jae-hyun’s face goes eerily blank, and in a quiet voice, he tells the man to let go of him. Scared off by Jae-hyun’s creeper face, the man flees. Jae-hyun immediately checks his appearance in a mirror and his fist shakes with rage when he sees that the man tore off one of his shirt buttons.
That night, Jae-hyun locks up the pharmacy, but seems to sense someone nearby. Shaking it off, he leaves, but as soon as he walks away, we see the girl (his maybe girlfriend) peek out from around the corner.
Later, the man from the pharmacy wanders down the manhole tunnel, unaware that a man with a black face mask is following him. (I think we can assume this is Jae-hyun.) The man turns around, and immediately, Jae-hyun punches him to the ground.
Not twenty yards away, Pil also makes his way down the tunnel, heading to the manhole. As Jae-hyun repeatedly kicks the downed man, it draws Pil’s notice and he sprints at them, knocking Jae-hyun away. Jae-hyun starts to run, but Pil delivers a flying kick to his back, and he goes sprawling.
Over at the manhole, construction workers are getting ready to excavate and a countdown chyron shows us that it’s 11:00 p.m.
In the tunnel, Pil pins the masked Jae-hyun to the ground. He wrenches an arm behind his back, and in the struggle, Jae-hyun’s sleeve slips up, and Pil sees a nasty scar on his inner wrist.
Suddenly, everything freezes, and the magic time-travel light bursts out of the soon-to-be demolished manhole. It zips away to the tunnel and wraps around Pil, making him vanish, then ducks back into the manhole.
Time resumes, and the freed Jae-hyun jerks upright, looking around for Pil. But Pil is now swirling down the manhole slide, yelling this it isn’t midnight yet and wondering what the heck is going on.
Epilogue. Boarding her flight to England, Soo-jin settles into her seat. She stares pensively out the window, not seeing that on the other side of the aisle, another person sits down: Jae-hyun.
He looks across the plane at Soo-jin and grins.
Ack! Creepy, creepy, creepy! How can such a beautiful man look so damn disturbing? It’s not right. I shouldn’t have to feel guilty for admiring the pretty psycho.
So I had asked early on for a timeline where Jin-sook and Pil are together, and I’m glad that it did actually happen. Seeing them together convinced me that while they may be great friends, in the end, they’re not right for each other. I know Pil wasn’t really invested in the engagement since (for him) this was merely another passing timeline, but the way Jin-sook treated Pil was very telling. With everything from feeding him breakfast to picking out his clothes, she seemed like more of a caretaker than a girlfriend.
I appreciate that Jin-sook’s crush originated from her desire to thank him for his kindness towards her grandmother, but it doesn’t look like their relationship ever evolved into something deeper than that, making Jin-sook more of a parent figure rather than an equal partner in their marriage. Long-lasting relationships are all about learning to grow and change with one another, but instead of pushing Pil to do or become anything, Jin-sook was happy to support him as he was. That makes a great friend, but not the best life partner.
As much as it was a painful scene, I was really relieved that Jin-sook came to her senses and broke off the engagement. That strength and respect for what was best for her hearkened back to the way the character was in the beginning of the series, and it was great to see the old Jin-sook again. Still, even though it was a very moving scene, it felt a bit hollow because I know that at the end of the day, everything will get reset.
It’s getting a bit frustrating, because as much as I want to engage in the characters, I don’t really see a point to it. There were some great developments in this episode with Jin-sook letting go of Pil, the revelation of Dal-soo’s chaebol roots, and Jae-hyun’s increasing spiral into psycho land (not to mention the girl that seems to be stalking him). But none of it makes a difference, because once Pil pops back out of the manhole, it will have never happened. It’s making me feel a lot like Pil did about his marriage registration with Jin-sook: It doesn’t really matter because this timeline won’t last.
Much like the old “tree falling in the forest” adage, I have to wonder, if something happens in the manhole but no one remembers it, did it actually happen?
"Thought it was a wedding photo shoot"
[Cjes IG] Our Bong Pil has changed! Want to see him in tux all year long, 365 days Superior Physique Limitless Charms
Manhole: Episode 9
With missing snail mail sparking some serious misunderstandings, Pil is determined to simultaneously clear the air and keep heartaches to a minimum. But making his love abundantly clear carries the risk of losing the friendship of someone near and dear to him. Pil must now choose between love and friendship, but it seems like someone may have beaten him to it…
EPISODE 9: “Sometimes, friendship hurts more than love”
As quick cuts of Pil rescuing Soo-jin from various situations (from gangsters, a beach fire, etc.) appear, Pil narrates about the futility of it all: “Even if I save you from danger, you can’t remember any of it.” Despite his video confession and Soo-jin’s in-person confession, Pil narrates that it’s as if neither happened, since everything that transpires gets reset, and ironically, his past actions actually made Soo-jin grow closer to Jae-hyun. “Soo-jin, what should I do now? How can I get you back?” Pil wonders.
We find Pil suspended beneath the manhole where it’s dark as light pokes in through the holes of the manhole lid. He’s puzzled by his current state, and even more so when scenes from Soo-jin’s wedding day play out in front of him, complete with Jae-hyun beaming at the sight of his pretty fiancée. Pil panics, figuring that the wedding is taking place in the present, but all he can do is yell his discontent into a dark void.
Next, we see Pil murmuring about the wedding in his sleep before waking up and finding himself in the familiar study hall. Seok-tae’s studying right next to him and pointedly informs Pil that it’s the year 2014 when Pil frantically asks. Pil remembers 2014 as the year of his military discharge and wonders why he witnessed Soo-jin’s wedding all of a sudden.
As Pil’s wrapping his head around this new trip to the past, Seok-tae carefully drafts a birthday card for Jin-sook. Pil asks for an update on Soo-jin, and Seok-tae answers that she’s working as an assistant at a photo studio. Seok-tae then asks what Pil’s getting for Jin-sook’s birthday, and Pil frowns, reminded of her tearful admission that she liked him ever since high school.
Pil frets, since he needs to change Jin-sook’s mind and is wary of facing her. Meanwhile, Seok-tae writes in the birthday card that he really likes Jin-sook and asks if if she’d marry him, heh.
Elsewhere, Jin-sook is sleeping at home, and Soo-jin’s there to cook up a meal for her best friend.
Pil returns to the manhole and complains that he wasn’t transported to his high school days when he really could’ve made a difference. Now he sighs, unsure where to even begin.
Back at Jin-sook’s place, Soo-jin surprises Jin-sook with a homemade breakfast spread. Jin-sook’s touched by the sweet and generous gesture, especially since her grandma worried that she’d spend her birthday alone, but Soo-jin assures her that she’ll celebrate every birthday with her. Jin-sook quips that Soo-jin shouldn’t, since her boyfriend (whenever she acquires one) will take over birthday duties.
While the two best friends laugh and enjoy their meal, Pil sadly watches them from a distance. He leaves and wonders how he’ll clear Soo-jin’s misunderstanding and change Jin-sook’s mind. He also worries about how he’ll retrieve his letters from Jin-sook, but then remembers that he’s in the past, which means her interception may have reset.
He runs into Soo-jin’s mother, who says that ever since he returned from the army, Soo-jin bristled at every mention of his name. She requests that the two patch things up and get along again.
Pil concludes that Soo-jin’s anger stemmed from never receiving any replies to her letters, so he decides to go and retrieve those first.
Soo-jin’s outdoors, eagerly directing a married couple to pose for pictures, which is when Jae-hyun arrives with lunch and greets Soo-jin’s boss. He then steps in front of Soo-jin’s camera, surprising her with his sudden appearance.
Despite Soo-jin’s protests, her boss encourages Soo-jin and Jae-hyun to grab lunch together, and Jae-hyun mentions that he brought food. It’s clear, however, that Soo-jin feels uncomfortable that she’d solely be dining with Jae-hyun.
After Jin-sook steps out of her home, Pil heads to her rooftop and searches for the spare house key. He remembers what it looks like and locates it under some nearby bags.
He steps inside Jin-sook’s home and feels apologetic for going this far, but he vows to not invade her privacy too much and leave as soon as he finds his letters.
He pulls open a drawer and finds pictures of him and Jin-sook together during their high school days, wondering aloud why Jin-sook likes a guy like him.
Suddenly, Jin-sook enters, and Pil quickly grabs a pot. She wonders what he’s doing here, and he says he came to make her seaweed soup for her birthday. Jin-sook sees the empty pot devoid of seaweed, so Pil explains that he left the seaweed at home and plans on going back and getting it.
Jin-sook doesn’t buy it and reaches for his pockets to see if he’s really here to steal her secret savings, but in doing so, the two fall to the floor and end up locking eyes with each other, their faces mere inches apart. Pil quickly leaves, and Jin-sook touches her flushed face. She walks over to different set of drawers, and underneath her sweaters are the filched letters from Pil to Soo-jin.
At Gu-gil’s home, his father (who’s alive in 2014) coughs severely and takes deep swigs from a soju bottle for the pain. Yeesh, soju is not medicine. Gu-gil snatches the bottle away and pleads with him to get treated at the hospital, but his father stubbornly refuses.
Gu-gil trudges up the steps to his billiards room and finds Dal-soo and Jung-ae waiting for him. They ask about his father, and Jung-ae (who’s not as glued to Dal-soo as before) shows concern for Gu-gil’s weight loss and suggests that they eat lunch together since she brought food.
While Soo-jin’s munching on Jae-hyun’s homemade sandwiches, Jae-hyun can’t take his eyes off her. He says he put in extra effort in making lunch knowing that Soo-jin would eat it, and Soo-jin coughs, discomfited by his comment. She asks him what he does on his days off since working at the pharmacy can be stifling, and Jae-hyun answers that he doesn’t do much.
Soo-jin suggests he take up some hobbies so he can go out more, but Jae-hyun says he’ll need a companion for that and asks if she’ll join him. His directness catches her off guard, but then her phone rings, so she gets up to answer it.
While she’s on the phone, Jae-hyun spots her diary poking out from her bag and takes it. (Uh… excuse me? RED FLAG.) He opens it and finds a group picture of her, Jin-sook, and Pil sitting on the bleachers as high school students.
He drops Soo-jin off at her studio and tells her he decided to follow her advice. He asks if she’ll watch a movie with him tonight, but Soo-jin apologizes and explains that tonight is her friend Jin-sook’s birthday party. He remembers Jin-sook as the restaurant owner and sheepishly admits that the party sounds fun before asking if he can attend, too. Wow. This. Guy.
Soo-jin’s slightly thrown by this, but agrees to call Jin-sook to check and figures that more may be merrier. Pil arrives, still worrying about how he’ll get his letters back, but his mood sours further when he spots Jae-hyun around Soo-jin. Pil places his arm around her shoulder in front of Jae-hyun, but Soo-jin pushes him off and asks if he’s crazy.
Unfazed, Jae-hyun introduces himself and extends a hand. Pil grabs it and clenches tightly with all his might, and the two men grimace while enduring the painful handshake. With neither relinquishing, Soo-jin breaks apart their grip and tells Jae-hyun that she’ll keep him posted.
Pil follows Soo-jin to her studio and explains that he knows why she’s upset at him, and that it’s all due to a misunderstanding. He admits that he did send responses to her letters, but that she never received them because of delivery issues, which Soo-jin finds hard to believe. She wonders if someone stole the letters then, and Pil says yes; he can’t reveal the perpetrator, but he promises to bring her evidence before the day’s over. Fed up with him, she orders him to go study and stop wasting her time.
It appears that Jin-sook has transitioned from a food truck to a brick and mortar establishment. She supervises while her employees set up before opening and calls the headquarters for more shipments of the popular “Bong Pil skewers” dish.
Pil returns to Jin-sook’s place, but the keys aren’t in the usual spot. Meanwhile, his parents stop by the study hall and are dismayed to find Pil’s desk neatly empty, even though Pil said he’d be studying there all night. Seok-tae’s also absent, and they figure Pil’s negative influence is to blame.
Seok-tae’s picking a birthday cake for Jin-sook at a bakery when he receives a text saying he passed his civil service exam. He’s ecstatic and can’t wait to share the news with Jin-sook.
Over at BongBong Pub, the owner worries about paying bills and rent and is less than thrilled to see Seok-tae’s dad arrive, order his usual cheap beer, and try to woo her.
Meanwhile, Pil arrives at Jin-sook’s restaurant and is impressed by her booming business, as customers ask for more Bong Pil skewers. When he spots Jin-sook, he asks if they can talk.
Outside, Pil asks her why she locked her house when he said he’d come back to make her seaweed soup, and Jin-sook replies that he never had seaweed to begin with — plus, they’ll be celebrating her birthday tonight at the pub with the whole gang.
She assumes he feels bad for not being able to afford a birthday gift, but he tells her he left something behind at her place, so Jin-sook readily gives him her key so that he can retrieve whatever it is. After he runs off, she smiles and wonders if he’s planning a birthday surprise of sorts.
Once inside Jin-sook’s place, Pil locates the letters in the correct drawer, much to his relief.
Meanwhile, Jae-hyun decides on an outfit in his ominously lit room. He stares intently at the photograph he stole(!) from Soo-jin’s diary before ripping it down the middle to separate Soo-jin from Jin-sook and Pil. He sticks the photo of Soo-jin on the wall and crumples the other half before leaving.
The camera pulls out from the photo of Soo-jin to reveal a whole collage of photos featuring Soo-jin that Jae-hyun stealthily snapped when she was at the outdoor garden, at a cafe, and walking home at night. Yikes.
We find Gu-gil, Dal-soo, and Jung-ae at the BongBong Pub setting up for Jin-sook’s birthday party. Pil arrives soon after, and Jung-ae yells at him for showing up after they finish decorating. Seconds later, Soo-jin arrives with Jae-hyun. Pil glares at Jae-hyun, and Gug-il warns him not to ruin this night for Jin-sook, but Pil replies that on this birthday, someone will definitely die, lol.
Jae-hyun steps out to answer a call, and Pil follows him. Pil confronts Jae-hyun and says his travels through time and space have confirmed that Jae-hyun is truly evil. Pil warns him to get away from Soo-jin if he doesn’t want to be humiliated tonight.
But… Jae-hyun rejoins the party inside, and Pil continues to give him the stink-eye, which makes him and everybody else feel uncomfortable, haha. Everyone’s weirded out by the awkward atmosphere, and Soo-jin shoots him warning looks, but Pil doesn’t let up on the intense stares. Sensing everyone’s discomfort, Jae-hyun eventually offers to leave, and the gang scolds Pil for his impertinence.
Soo-jin follows Jae-hyun out and apologizes, but Jae-hyun smiles and says her friends seemed like a fun bunch, even denying that Pil said something to upset him. Jae-hyun explains that he has to leave due to obligations, but Soo-jin doesn’t believe him, since he was the one who asked her if he could attend the party. But Jae-hyun continues to be a good sport and says he’ll get to know her friends better next time.
Birthday girl Jin-sook finally arrives, but Seok-tae’s still absent. The gang sing “Happy Birthday” to her and shower her with love. Meanwhile, Seok-tae, dressed in a suit, carefully hurries over with a cake in his hands, eager to see Jin-sook.
At the pub, everyone gives Jin-sook a gift, and Pil panics when he can’t locate his. Everyone think’s he’s fibbing since he’s broke, but Pil insists he brought a gift. As he’s looking for it, Dal-soo plucks the letters sticking out of his pocket and inquires about them. Dal-soo announces that it’s military mail, letters from him to Soo-jin, and Jin-sook’s face falls while Soo-jin appears befuddled.
Everyone’s confused by the letters, and with the party atmosphere ruined, Jin-sook leaves, ignoring Seok-tae just as he arrives and informs her that he passed his exam.
Outside, Jin-sook concedes to Pil that she stole his letters and urges him to swear at her if he wishes. But Pil apologizes to her instead, which angers her even more, since she’s the one at fault. Without a trace of bitterness, Pil says he knows why she did it and apologizes for not realizing her feelings sooner. As she’s exiting the pub, Soo-jin overhears their conversation.
Jin-sook tears up and asks if Pil’s plan was to show Soo-jin the letters. She says that even if Pil knew how she felt, he would’ve continued to hurt her, because he’d still only have eyes for Soo-jin. Jin-sook admits that she’s too ashamed to face him right now and too sorry to face Soo-jin.
As she leaves, Pil turns around and finds Soo-jin standing there, reeling from what she overheard. Pil says he hasn’t the slightest idea where to begin explaining, but starts off by handing her his letters that should’ve gone to her. She now understands what transpired, but asks, “What’s the use of getting these now? These letters are nothing.”
Pil explains that they drifted apart because she never received the letters and wanted to clear up her misunderstanding, but Soo-jin calmly tells him that he truly knows nothing, because there’s never been a misunderstanding between them. Pil doesn’t understand, and Soo-jin tells him that Jin-sook has liked him for a while. “I want you to not break Jin-sook’s heart,” she says as she fights back tears.
Pil wonders if she gave up on him because of Jin-sook, and Soo-jin answers, “Sometimes, friendship hurts more than love. Let’s end this here.”
Seok-tae arrives at Jin-sook’s rooftop and finds her sitting dejectedly on the bench. She feels sorry for ruining the mood for everyone, and Seok-tae says he’s disappointed in her because he bypassed his father just so she would be the first to hear about his passing the civil service exam and congratulate him.
Jin-sook sincerely apologizes and congratulates him, but Seok-tae says she doesn’t care either way, since she wouldn’t be this way with Pil. Seok-tae says he wanted to become a public official because she once said she wished her future husband would be one, and that he even wore insoles because she preferred tall men. “My world revolves around you, but why aren’t you giving me a chance?” Seok-tae asks.
Jin-sook tears up and reminds him that he already knows who she likes, but Seok-tae says that just like she can’t let go of Pil, he can’t let go of her, and he thought she’d understand him better. But then, he takes her hand to show her something.
Jin-sook waits outside his house, and Seok-tae hands her a thick stack of letters that Soo-jin wrote to Pil since high school. She asks him why he has them, and he says that at the time, he hated Pil because he felt like he was getting ignored because of him, which is why he intercepted the letters. He says that if Jin-sook reads the letters, she’ll know that Pil’s crush isn’t one-sided and wonders if she could just give up Pil for her best friend’s sake.
Jin-sook answers frustratedly that she can’t control her feelings and would reverse them if she could: “I didn’t know I’d be so sorry to so many people for liking someone.” With that, she thrusts the letters back to Seok-tae and walks away.
In her room, Soo-jin opens Pil’s letters, and we glimpse Pil’s army life. He wrote that training everyday was tough, but his tone was optimistic as he mentioned that he missed Soo-jin the most. He kept a picture of her in his uniform, and looking at it made him smile.
Soo-jin wrote letters to Pil while he was in the army and had expressed concern since he never replied to her. She even decided to visit him one weekend and asked him to call her when he received her letter.
The day of the visit, Soo-jin cooked up a storm and brought lunch to the army base, figuring that Pil never responded to her letters because he was busy. She wrote “girlfriend” under the relationship section of the visitor form, but reconsidered and crossed out “girl.” Unfortunately, while waiting, she was told that Pil was already out with another visitor.
Disappointed that she came for nothing, she had wondered about who had come to visit him on her way out. As she had walked outside, she spotted Pil and Jin-sook down below, enjoying each other’s company over grilled meats. Stunned, Soo-jin watched in silence as Jin-sook fed Pil lettuce wraps, and with that, she had walked away.
Back in the present, looking utterly defeated, Soo-jin reflects on that memory and starts crying. “Pil, it’s just too late for us,” she says internally.
Pil returns to the manhole, crestfallen that Soo-jin already decided to give up on him. “What else can I do at this point?” he wonders. The lamp post flickers, and Pil turns transparent before fully disappearing.
Jin-sook returns home and talks to her grandma on the phone, assuring her that she had a good birthday with her friends and that Soo-jin made her food. She brings up the idea of moving out and living with grandma, saying that she’s tired of her neighborhood.
After Jin-sook hangs up, she spots a gift bag on the counter. Inside it, she finds a box containing a pretty hair accessory, and the card indicates that this was a gift from Pil. Earlier, Pil had entered her home with the gift and had forgotten to take it with him after he located the letters.
With Pil’s gift in her hand, all Jin-sook can do is sigh.
Epilogue. We flash back to one evening, during which Jin-sook and Soo-jin happily drank beer on the rooftop. Soo-jin had asked if Jin-sook had any plans this weekend and if she wanted to go somewhere with her — aw man! — but Jin-sook answered that she had a prior engagement, so Soo-jin decided she’d just go alone. Jin-sook asked her where she was going/if she was off to meet a guy, but Soo-jin had quipped that she’d reveal everything after she returned.
Every single episode of Manhole has been so unpredictable, and even though we’re past the halfway mark, I still have no idea which direction the show is heading. Unexpected and oftentimes arbitrary character and plot developments take place, and all I can do is accept them — albeit not readily or as eagerly as I’d like — just to keep up with the meandering story.
Fortunately, in spite of some seemingly pointless trips to the past, this trip to 2014 made a lot of sense to me, and the stolen letters situation finally came to a head, and not a moment too soon. I would’ve hated if this conflict had been dragged out even longer, and it was a relief to know that the feelings of Soo-jin, Jin-sook, Pil, and Seok-tae were finally out in the air to the people they mattered most to.
I know people were shipping Jin-sook and Pil for obvious reasons, but the maturity Pil and Soo-jin — especially Soo-jin — exhibited in this episode with regards to Jin-sook showed me that the two aren’t an incompatible pairing. I was touched by how much Soo-jin genuinely cared for Jin-sook, and her deep bond with Jin-sook only made Soo-jin’s relinquishment of Pil that much more difficult to watch.
Soo-jin did what only the best of best friends do by going the “sistas before mistas” route, even though it pained her tremendously to do so. I also respected Pil’s understanding of Jin-sook and his refusal to out her as the letter thief. When an apology was the first thing he uttered to Jin-sook, who probably felt so rotten and embarrassed in that moment for stealing his letters, it was clear to me that Pil may be a directionless slacker, but his heart is definitely in the right place.
The switch from Jae-hyun the pretty cheater to Jae-hyun the pretty stalker was abrupt, but it does raise the stakes for Soo-jin’s upcoming marriage to him if Present Jae-hyun is Stalker Jae-hyun since that would mean that Soo-jin’s life and not just her future is in danger. Admittedly, I’m not clear on what’s transpiring in the present timeline since it’s been so long since we were there, but the thought of Soo-jin marrying a stalker with access to drugs is unsettling. The choice to paint Jae-hyun as a full-on villain does gives actor Jang Mi-kwan more to do, which I appreciate, and if Jae-hyun’s stalker tendencies remain intact for Pil’s next manhole trip, then it sets up the perfect parameters for Pil to rescue Soo-jin again. However, I don’t know that another rescue mission will bring Pil closer to Soo-jin’s heart, since as it stands, Jin-sook is the one standing between Pil and Soo-jin.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this episode, and I feel as though our four main actors shine the most in dramatic moments. I thought the love vs. friendship theme was explored sufficiently, and it was poignant to see how each character suffered differently and/or similarly all because of a tricky little thing called love.
JJ IG and Twitter Updates
[IG] Get sunlight and live long
Trans by crystalmoon0213
[Trans] TV Asahi Dream Festival 2017
Jaejoong on Indonesian weekly tabloid Wanita Indonesia for this week edition
"Kim Jaejoong: Most handsome Mall CEO in 2 countries"
Jaejoong's drama has the lowest rating but amazingly it got many praises from netizens: beyond expectation, very funny, not monothon
[Cjes IG] This private smells rather like a sergeant...
click on link and give hearts...
How do you feel about coming to army again? Feel good, get nostalgic, because it's just filming for drama
How about enlisting again? Absolutely no! I should do what I wanted and hoped to do
You've got textbook shooting form! I always shoot either 19/20 or perfect 20/20
First thing first, Sujin's photo into the pocket! His visual is of a career soldier
Translations via crystalmoon0213
After Soojin confessed, look at
Cuteness that is
Photo by BongPil
...and this should have been in a cover jus' sayin'
JJ and CJES IG Updates
He's such a goofball sometimes! LOVE our
We LOVE singer/rockstar
SCAN-The Rebirth of J photo book
Kim Rinko @Rinmaze
2017 TV Asahi Dream Festival in Japan from Oct. 26th, 28th & 29th
Kim Jaejoong will Perform on October 26th, 2017 (Thu)
Venue: Saitama Arena
Open / Start. 18:00 hrs / 19:00 hrs
Kim Jaejoong will Perform on October 26th, 2017 (Thu)
Venue: Saitama Arena
Open / Start. 18:00 hrs / 19:00 hrs
More Information: http://dreamfestival.jp/
October 26th Performers:
Kim Jaejoong, Generations from Exile Tribe and Miura Daichi
Kim Jaejoong, Generations from Exile Tribe and Miura Daichi
JYJ Japan News:
[1Click Scene] Uie tells Kim JaeJoong, "Friendship hurts more than love sometimes" (Manhole Ep.9)
[Cjes IG] Don't give up on us yet, I haven't given up yet." Pil's faithful love Sexy veiny hand
【JYJ FB】https://www.facebook.com/CJESJYJ/videos/1394512763977417/ …
Translations by crystalmoon0213
JJ IG Update
Exhausted boy. Gain strength from our support
Jung Hye Sung IG update
Translations via crystalmoon0213
Uee gives up hope of relationship with
Jung Hyesung calls off the wedding and
Need to overcome Jang Migwan for
Manhole Episode 10 Highlights
Is this man happy? Don't think so.
JJ IG Update
Oh hello there! BongPil from
CJES IG Update
[Cjes IG] Pil's playful side never gets turned off even during breaks, pouty lips(appears when concentrating) are the focal point
JunHyeSung IG Update
junghyesung91 ins https://instagram.com/p/BYvTGr9DbdQ/
PilSook in Manhole
Manhole Episode 10 preview
KBS 한국방송 (MyloveKBS)
Ep 10 Preview [TR]
Ep 10 Preview: Only thing I can do is time travel through the manhole
Translations by crystalmoon0213
[IG] Thank you for the snack again tonight at this late hour
JYJ's Jaejoong is back in a military uniform for his new role https://www.allkpop.com/article/2017/09/jyjs-jaejoong-is-back-in-a-military-uniform-for-his-new-role …
On September 6, JYJ's Jaejoong posted a snapshot from the set of his newest drama KBS 2TV's 'Manhole'.
The idol star can be seen wearing a military uniform out in the woods acting out a scene as a solider, causing fans to have a deja-vu moment regarding his military service. The caption reads, "Reenlistment gone real..."
Meanwhile, Jaejoong is currently starring in 'Manhole' playing the protagonist Bongpil.
Are you enjoying the drama so far?
On army visiting form, there's a "relationship" column and Sujin wrote "
Manhole episode 9 Highlights
Translations by crystalmoon0213
I came to cook you birthday soup(seaweed soup)
Totally entangled love square!
Can relate to
CJES and JJ IG UPdates
BongPil in the military...
CJES IG update.
JJ IG Update
Our favorite soldier
[맨홀 OST Part.5] U-KISS(유키스) - RUN A WAY (Official Audio)
[IG] Done w work! If I get to sleep after washing up, could get about 2 hrs of sleep. It's been a long time since I befriended sleep
170905 Manhole EP 9 PREVIEW #김재중 #ジェジュン #金在中 #jaejoong
[TR] Ep 9 Preview
I didn't want to go this extreme but I have no choice...
What are you up to theses days? -Jinsuk #김재중#맨홀 ep 9 Pil being suspicious
Happy b-day Jinsuk! Friendship is more important than work, right? - Sujin
You really don't understand it, there was no misunderstandings in our relationship from the beginning-Sujin
I can't give you up... As much as you can't give up Pil -Seoktae
While traveling across time and space, I've figured you are close to a devil -Pil
[Cjes IG] Bong Pil's love for script continues till deep of the night
Manhole drama Update
More than friends? What does this eye contact mean?
Somewhere in between friendship and love? Dangerous eye contact
Will Pil decide to go back to past to fix present again or stay? Love triangle intensifies
Translations via Crystal Moon'◡' @crystalmoon0213
JJ IG UPdate
[IG] My Share
[Photographer IG TR] "Because he loves her too much"
Crystal Moon'◡' @crystalmoon0213
[IG] Happy~ How long has it been since I received roses
"To Jaellery(not Jellery) Was so delicious~ I'm energized! Was my 1st meal of the day indeed! Feels like 1st meal in 5000 days Thank you"
via K-drama 맨홀 MANHOLE @Manhole_KBS
Advertisement in 105 Korean Convenience Stores
JYJ3’s Note: As we previously informed about “Studio Jay and Oneyebu” Fansupport here, Studio Jay recently shared the 2nd full support report done to ManHole Drama
(1st Fan support report can be found here)
(1st Fan support report can be found here)
On August 15th, 2017
Manhole bts scenes...Full of cuteness...
KBS 한국방송 (MyloveKBS)
Kim Jaejoong can transform his face at the drop of a hat!
On September 3, his agency C-JeS Entertainment released behind-the-scenes cuts from the KBS drama “Manhole.” In the photos, his facial expressions range from the intense focus of his character to the more relaxed and puppyish vibe he has with the rest of the cast and crew.
“Manhole” is a time slip drama about a man (Kim Jaejoong) who attempts to finally confess to his unrequited love (UEE).
Watch the latest episode below!
Source (1) (2)
Previous Week's News:
JYJ CAFFEINE: JYJ News Week of 8/28- 9/3/2017 http://jyjcaffeine.blogspot.com/2017/08/jyj-news-week-of-828-932017.html?spref=tw