Recap, Review, and Reality Rating: We Got Married Taemin/Naeun Episode 7

In this episode, Naeun and Taemin bungee jump together to celebrate Korean Coming of Age Day, write letters to each other that will arrive in one year, and prepare for a visit from the SHINee hyungs.

[We Got Married episode 173 airing 130608]

Where to watch with English subtitles (as of 6/12/13): KShowNow (parts 4 and 5)

Previous recaps: episode 1episode 5episode 6

What’s in Each Section of this Post

I’ve broken my recap into distinct sections with headers so you can skip the parts that don’t appeal to you.

Recap: a straight recap of the episode with very little opinion or interpretation

Review: my highly opinionated review of the episode

Reality Rating: a completely non-serious +/- rating of the most realistic-seeming and scripted-seeming moments of the episode

Recap

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When last we left Taemin and Naeun, Taemin was about to guess his third Coming of Age Day present. He had already received the traditional flowers and perfume, so all that remained was the last gift—usually a kiss.

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Taemin writes his guess on a piece of paper. Is it a kiss (spelled in English)? Naeun says no. Taemin writes kiss, this time in Korean. Naeun says no. Taemin guesses kiss a third time—this time using the Korean word “popo,” a kiss given to family members and friends. Naeun says no and asks if this is what Taemin really wants to receive. He insists no, that he meant that his dog gave him a kiss to congratulate him today. Naeun wonders why he is talking about a dog.

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In his interview Taemin admits that his face became red and he feared that he had become a pervert. He worries that he has ruined his image due to bringing up a kiss so many times.

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Naeun asks Taemin to continue guessing. Taemin wonders if it’s something that he has mentioned before. Taemin realizes that perhaps it’s something related to extreme sports. Naeun tells him to be more specific, so Taemin guesses bungee jumping. He is correct. The WGM panel in the studio notes that it looks like Taemin wanted something else.

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Naeun says that in New Zealand bungee jumping was part of the traditional coming of age ceremony, so it’s appropriate as a Coming of Age Day gift. She says that New Zealanders would tie a vine around a person’s legs and throw him or her off a cliff. Taemin asks if that’s what Naeun is making him do. She says yes. He wonders what he did wrong. Taemin nervously asks if they’re bungee jumping today. Naeun says yes, and that she will push him. Naeun giggles, and then notes that her laugh sounds scary. Yes, scarily adorable!

Taemin wonders if Naeun will be bungee jumping, too. She says that she will. Taemin nervously hops up from the table and stretches. The WGM panel notes that Taemin seems nervous. In his interview Taemin admits that he was nervous about jumping, but was most nervous about doing so with Naeun because they hadn’t even held hands yet and couples who bungee jump together often hug and end up being very close to each other during the jump. Naeun says during her interview that she planned to jump alone, but Taemin came up with the idea of doing a couple jump.

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As Naeun and Taemin ride the elevator up to the jumping platform, the couple freaks out over how nervous they are. They look at pictures of other people who have jumped, and Taemin points out a woman who was so calm that she jumped while wearing high heels. When the couple arrives at the top of the platform they look down and squeal over how high it is.

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Taemin and Naeun meet the bungee attendant and ask him if they are jumping alone or together. He says it’s up to them. Taemin asks if Naeun can jump alone, and she says that she will know when she walks to the edge of the platform. Naeun looks down and both she and Taemin note that they feel dizzy while seeing the enormous drop. Tell me about it. Taemin asks if Naeun feels like she can jump alone, and worries that she might not be able to handle it.

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Taemin proposes that since the two of them came together, they should jump together. Naeun agrees. Taemin says that it’s very good weather for jumping—Naeun wonders why he is talking about the weather all of a sudden. Taemin paces around all nervous-like. He asks if they should hold hands or jump arm in arm or perhaps he should hold her up. The attendant says to hold hands. The WGM panel squeals over the couple’s first skinship.

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In his interview Taemin notes that Naeun’s hand felt soft, but not like his mother’s hand or a friend’s hand. Naeun says in her interview that they had never held hands and all of a sudden it was happening. She says that it was comfortable and warm, and that his hand fit hers perfectly.

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Back on the platform the attendant moves something, provoking a giant mechanical noise and a squeal from Naeun. Taemin exclaims delightedly that he isn’t the only one scared of jumping. The couple approaches the edge of the platform where they will jump and look down. Taemin asks the attendant not to push them, and he replies that it is only meaningful when one jumps of his or her own free will.

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Taemin and Naeun both feel nervous. The attendant asks if there is someone they are thinking of right now. Naeun responds that she’s thinking of her mom and dad. Taemin responds similarly. The attendant informs the couple that there is a saying that if you make a wish while jumping, it will come true. Taemin says that he has something to say to Naeun and wonders if he should tell her while jumping. She says yes.

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The attendant says he will start the countdown. The couple holds hands at the edge of the platform. The attendant asks if the couple is scared. Taemin quickly replies no because he and Naeun are together. Naeun then wraps her other hand around Taemin’s arm. The attendant begins to yell out the countdown and Taemin yells out “Naeun, I’ll protect you!” Naeun grabs his arm at the last moment and backs away from the platform, provoking cries of “no no no!” from Taemin, who has just said what he wanted to say, but is not sailing away from the confession as he had planned.

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The attendant asks Taemin and Naeun to back away from the jumping place. Naeun apologizes for embarrassing Taemin due to her cold feet about jumping. Taemin says that he thought for a long time about what to say as the couple regroups. When they walk out to the edge of the platform again the attendant tells them to breathe deeply. He starts the countdown again (in English!). At the end, Taemin and Naeun hurl themselves off the platform. Eventually they are lowered onto a small boat that takes them to the shore.

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Naeun asks if they should do it again once they are on the boat. Taemin says that he was more nervous due to Naeun being right beside him. Naeun says that since Taemin oppa was right next to her she felt better. They note that they held each other’s hands tight and giggle, Taemin remarking that he thinks of it as a gift for turning adult age.

The WGM panel agrees that it was the perfect gift, although some panelists think that a kiss would have been better.

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After the jump Taemin and Naeun happen to walk by a slow mailbox, where a letter deposited inside will only arrive one year later. They sit down at a library or bookstore to write letters to each other. They hide what they are writing from each other. Taemin distracts Naeun to sneak a peek, although he only sees the words “Taemin oppa.” Taemin finishes his letter and Naeun admits that she’s curious.

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Taemin proposes that they each pick one line from each other’s letter and read it out loud. He selects the last line from Naeun’s letter, which she says reads “Take care and I will always feel thankful.” Taemin wonders why the line is so short. Naeun asks for the eleventh line. Taemin starts to read, but interjects that this feels cheesy and he’s going crazy. He continues, “A year later of my wife, Son Naeun. Your pretty heart and bright smile…I hope you show them a lot now, too.” Taemin attempts to pick another line from Naeun’s letter, but she tells him that he already chose the one at the end. Taemin feels regretful. Naeun lets him pick another line, but he keeps changing it. He ends up selecting the 21st line because that is how old he is according to the Korean way of counting ages. Naeun says that the line reads “I thought I came up with something to say, but when I’m about to write it the letter is filled up already.” Taemin is shut out!

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In his interview Taemin says he thinks that Naeun’s letter actually has nice words in it that will make him feel happy if he reads it later. He says that he wants to read the letter with Naeun in one year. The interviewer reminds him that Naeun’s line said that she hadn’t written anything important, and Taemin admits that she may have written nothing of significance in the letter after all.

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In her interview Naeun says that she wrote a lot of things that she couldn’t tell Taemin in person, so he does have something to look forward to! When the interviewer asks if she thought that Taemin was disappointed by the last line of the letter that she shared, Naeun admits that it wasn’t actually the last line and giggles, saying that she was too embarrassed to read the last line, so she read the one right above it.

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The couple sends their letters and hopes that they will arrive safely in one year. They next see a WGM mission mailbox and pull out a card informing them that the SHINee members will be coming to the house to celebrate Coming of Age Day. Taemin looks less-than-happy because the members will tease him. Naeun looks nervous and squeals that she knew this would happen. Taemin wonders if they should lock the door and pretend that they aren’t home. He is worried about being attacked.

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They return to the WGM house and start to prepare. Taemin wonders where the fridge is located and pulls nervously at the wrong door. They find the fridge and decide to take everything out in order to determine what to make for their guests. They look at the food and try to decide what to make. Naeun proposed braised short ribs. She pulls out a cookbook and they see that they have all of the necessary ingredients. Naeun says that she can handle the cooking and both Taemin and the WGM panel are surprised.

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They begin to wash their hands and Naeun asks Taemin if they should make egg rolls. Naeun wonders when the SHINee oppas are coming to the house, and Taemin isn’t sure, estimating that if they’re fast it will be another hour. The pair wiggles into their aprons and get cooking. Taemin attempts to peel a pear, but Naeun takes over and peels it quite competently. Taemin goes over to wash rice, but he pours it into a colander, causing some of the rice to escape through the oversize holes. Naeun cooks quite proficiently, leading Taemin to ask if she’s sure that she hasn’t cooked before. She responds that she hasn’t cooked, but instead just looked at the recipe.

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In his interview Taemin remarks that Naeun is suddenly better at cooking than last time. He wonders how she suddenly got better at peeling fruit and cooking—he thinks it’s cool that she is suddenly knowledgeable in the kitchen. In her interview Naeun says that Taemin is really slow at recognizing. But recognizing what? We shall discover next week!

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Review

While the last episode soared as Taemin and Naeun showed off the compatibility of their personalities in quiet moments at home, this installment featured more action, but less of the authentic-feeling adorable. The writers’ most problematic slip would be Taemin’s fear of bungee jumping in this episode. The discrepancy between Taemin’s supposed fear of bungee jumping and his previous actions was noticed by Korean netizens, who recalled that Taemin delightedly hurled himself off a bungee platform on tv several years ago and yelled happily the whole way down while skydiving in Switzerland for the Wonderful Day SHINee vacation show. Taemin did explain in his interview that he was less nervous about jumping than jumping with Naeun by his side. Yet when it came time to jump, Taemin stretched out and soared like a man in his element.

What continues to be surprising is that Taemin seems to have found someone just as willing as him to participate in extreme sports. Naeun keeps shattering the stereotype of a pretty girl who is scared of action. Whereas I, for example, had to do some breathing exercises after just seeing the camera look down at the water from the jump platform, Naeun quickly recovered her nerve after a momentary panic and went through with the jump like a champ.

Since the writers have been so focused on the theme of fated first love, they lost the ability in this episode to compare love to the act of throwing yourself off of a platform with only the promise that your partner will manage to hold on to you at the top, but may very well lose hold while hurtling through time and space. In my mind, the idea that Naeun and Taemin are going to have to struggle to make it as a young “married” couple makes for far more compelling television than watching a couple bound by fate. Yet this may just be the product of me being schooled in the Western philosophical tradition, which tends to emphasize free will far more than fate.

The segment where Taemin and Naeun wrote letters to each other seemed to come too early in the course of the couple’s stay on the show. Given that these two people have only met three times as “spouses” it might be a little early to pour out the feelings in writing. That said, Naeun’s reluctance to share certain bits of her letter seemed genuine and totally understandable. The couple’s cute letter-snatching play seemed somewhat scripted, but cute enough to work for the pair.

The segment in which the SHINee hyungs are announced to be stopping by for dinner on short notice promises great entertainment in the next episode as ships collide and Taemin no doubt struggles to retain his role as an adult male with a group of four elders who have known him since childhood.

Reality Rating

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-5 for the five times I facepalmed while seeing Taemin’s outfit in his interview segments. There’s NO WAY that a guy who walks around teasing fans in muscle shirts would voluntarily wear a blouse so frilly my mom would want to burn it before allowing it to hit her closet. This seems to be the work of the notorious SHINee cordinoonas, a crew of hateful unnies who seem to love putting SHINee in a horrifying array of ladies’ pants that either squeeze their manbits or result in strangely-paced tents in the crotch-al region.

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-10 for the 10 different food items in the WGM fridge that happen to be the ingredients for braised short ribs. There’s no way that two people who just went bungee jumping and presumably haven’t had time to shop are going to have that kind of variety of food in their fridge.

-2 for the number of times we’ve seen Taemin delightedly fly while participating in extreme sports that involve falling from great heights long before he says that he’s scared to jump on WGM.

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+3 for the three times I spotted Naeun touching Taemin’s arm or shoulder at times the WGM panel didn’t point out. These little bumps and touches seem to be natural reflection of how comfortable Taemin and Naeun already feel around each other.

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+1 for the one time Taemin tugged at a cupboard while trying to open the refrigerator; that seems to be a pretty plausible thing to do when rushed while cooking in a new kitchen.

Total: -13. Please, writers, feel free to let Taemin and Naeun just hang out and be cute together.

One response to “Recap, Review, and Reality Rating: We Got Married Taemin/Naeun Episode 7

  1. Pingback: A Recipe for (a better version of) Taeun’s Galbijjim | fanserviced·

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