What I love most about Cheese in the Trap has to be how much happens despite the main couple spending so much time apart. Other shows normally require both people in the same scene, or working towards a common goal to have forward movement in terms of plot but Seol, Yoo Jung, and Inho are off doing different things, and yet a fascinating new set of struggles opens up.
Pride and determination sum up Inho’s arc this episode with him going from “I’m only here because you asked me to” to “I’m here to learn”. And it’s great that Inho realizes that he’s some part responsible for the destruction of his dream, because all he had to do was not give it up. And it took his sister and Yoo Jung (two people he’s not the most fond of) to unwittingly awaken him to that realization. He hasn’t started showing any signs of jealousy with regards to Yoo Jung just yet, but is more envious and regretful of how his life compares to his. The dichotomy couldn’t be clearer, with him now pouring water for his former foster brother. But if there’s one good thing about Inho, it’s that he stay down for long once he’s beaten. And watching him get back up (I’m sure his hand will be fine, this is dramaland!) is going to be such a pleasure. I especially loved his conversation with Seol on the subway. It really shows how maturely he’s handling this for him not to rely on pure talent (which his injury has no doubt affected), but focus on what it means to work hard. The way people in this show learn from each other always gets me right in the heart.
Inho’s putting his life in order; Seol’s life, on the other hand, couldn’t be more chaotic. Young Gon is no master manipulator like Yoo Jung but he knows weakness when he sees it and has no qualms with preying on it. I initially felt sorry for Minsoo, given that she clearly has very low self-confidence and just wants to make herself liked and is going about it the wrong way. It’s natural that she would gravitate towards the advice of someone who wants to make her feel better. But after watching her snap that very creepy picture of Jun, whhheww…She and Young Gon sure are birds of a feather. The preview shows her watching Seol and Jun together, likely with lasers shooting out of her eyes. They’ll probably go the “Seol’s cheating on Yoo Jung” route, which makes me glad it’s Jun Minsoo’s fixated on because that’s an easier misunderstanding to dispel, than say…Inho (that would be terrible). Watching her face down Seol was rather terrifying though. As an introvert, I’m well aware of the power we hold in society. I kid you not. If a quieter kid, teen or university student is picked on, everyone jumps to their defense. There’s something about quieter, shyer people that make you feel protective of them, and to me, that was Minsoo’s true power, more than any of Young Gon’s advice about causing a scene. If this was say Bora versus Dayoung, the outcome would be very difficult, but it’s Bora versus the much quieter Minsoo who’s suddenly raising her voice, so people naturally assume the former is in the wrong.
And the former is in the wrong in many ways. I like Bora, but there’s a time and a place for her brand of confrontation. You don’t have to be rude and condescending. It’s great with people like Sangcheol but awful with people like Minsoo. And Seol is aware of that to some extent, which is why I wish she’d restrained Bora. Seol almost always gets assertive at the wrong moments (when it’s too late and the damage is done) but did excellently with Sangcheol today (though even that was a point for Minsoo to capitalize on). She’s not good at handling being the center of attention as Young Gon noted, while Yoo Jung is, which makes me glad that he’s picked up on Minsoo’s behaviour. But Seol’s problem with face-downs makes me wonder how she’s going to handle the huge bomb Young Gon dropped today.
Yoo Jung sunbae, you were supposed to be better than this. How am I supposed to root for someone who can see into the souls of others and still chose to sic Young Gon on Seol? It doesn’t matter if you knew she disliked you and wanted revenge in some petty manner.
He didn’t have to let Inha run free and wreak havoc. It’s so weird to look at him after this because he just seems fine despite knowing he’s the cause of so much stress and fear in Seol’s life. He’s cute.
He kisses her.
He misspells her name when texting her because he’s drunk and adorable.
He’s sweet with her parents
But he’s done something so cruel, that I wonder how he’s managed to compartmentalize that away. He told the panty-thief that Seol was aware of his dark nature, and she certainly is to some extent but the other part (the larger part) thinks he’s sweetness personified, a complete angel. I highly doubt she’s going to understand or forgive him like she did before. And it’s definitely going to cast doubts on everything else he’s told her. It’s funny because it’s the one thing she didn’t ask him about (Yoo Jung clearly doesn’t have a problem with honesty) and it’s the most important detail of it all. Because Seol’s heart’s involved now and there’s a painful road ahead.