Birdie Buddy: Episode 4

I am officially in love with this drama.

Something about it being an underdog drama, coupled with it being winsome and light, with a dash of rivalry but nothing intense, and a sprinkle of “slice-of-life” simplicity makes this one worth watching for me. I must be weak if I keep reacting the way I do to this drama…

The nightmare proves to be prophetic. For the second qualifying rounds, Mi Soo and Hae Ryung are once again in the same bracket. While Hae Ryung starts out strong (hitting birdies left and right and going under-par for each course), Mi Soo is getting stuck in sand traps and in the rough. Mi Soo’s attempts to get out result in bogeys and penalty shots, especially because she never manages to get out of the rough patch she’s in.

A particularly frustrating shot is when she tries to cut through a course by going over the forest, only to have her ball get stuck in the trees. Though their manager/guide tries to convince her to start back at the tee again, she insists on getting out of the trees. It only results in the ball bouncing among the tree trunks, even hitting her leg, and going only inches more forward.

She’s lost, and Hae Ryung wins the pro-qualifiers.

A week later, Hae Ryung is getting a pro-debut party thanks to her mother. She meets important guests, one of them being Jay Park, an esteemed promoter who’s based in Hong Kong and looks like he exiled himself from the Korean golfing scene. He also seems to have dark ulterior motives in wanting to come back to Korea so suddenly.

Hae Ryung would rather not have this party, and it’s something her mother’s secretary Danny understands. He knows that all Hae Ryung craves is motherly love, and he himself can’t understand why Sae Hwa can’t give it. However he tries to be the bridge between mother and daughter – just like he always was back when she was younger. While Danny is like her surrogate father/uncle, John Lee was the young kid she met at the airport on her way to the States. They befriended each other because they both had a sad past (she a neglected child, he an orphan), and their friendship remains strong to this day.

It’s also clear that Hae Ryung is a bit jealous that Mi Soo has the mother she wishes she has. When John Lee doesn’t show up to Hae Ryung’s debut party and goes to Mi Soo’s place instead, she notes that Mi Soo has plenty of family to comfort her. The “friends” who congratulated her at the party were not the type of congratulations she wanted to receive.

John is already on the receiving end of that love. When Mi Soo’s mother realizes that he’s Tae Gab’s friend and a famed coach, she invites him over for dinner. He takes up on her offer, bringing plenty of meat, because he has also heard that Mi Soo has not left her room since losing.

All of Mi Soo’s friends arrive as well for some dinner, and her mother takes the opportunity to draw her outside of her room. When Mi Soo sees John in her home, calling her “Steamed Bun,” she comes to life – yelling at him for calling her that. Everyone celebrates her coming out to eat dinner, and it’s this familial warmth that makes you feel so fuzzy and wonderfully happy inside…

When everyone’s fallen asleep drunk, Mother tells John about how Mi Soo was always the best, but how the burdens have affected her game terribly. She has nothing to offer (except dinner every night), but asks John to come by every once in a while to check up on Mi Soo’s stance and swing. He agrees readily.

An old friend – Pil Soo – comes by to see John playing with some local school kids. Talking about the past, we learn that both were part of the same golf club under a teacher that John now needs to make amends with. He needs his old mentor’s help, especially since there’s a “Steamed Bun” he wishes to help.

John still “coaches” Hae Ryung as well, but he doesn’t really have to because she’s got all of the state of the art equipment that provide better feedback than he could. All he can probably do for her is “give her some more life” to her swing. I hope he doesn’t mean she should start doing Capoeira or something while on the green.

Now drawn back to reality, Mi Soo goes to the resort course with Gong Sook and learns that a new caddy master is taking over. The caddies are probably all going to have to get teaching licenses, and they will get full use of the open range to practice. That gets Mi Soo thinking…

She spots the announcement about hiring new caddies, and that’s where Hae Ryung sees her again. She comments, “After one day of rest, you know it. After two days of rest, your family knows it. After three days, the whole world knows it. You rested for a week didn’t you?” Mi Soo is annoyed that Hae Ryung thinks she’s decided to retire.

She thinks about it some more, but gets an application to become a caddy, she sees John in the resort’s lobby. She tries to hide from him, but to no avail. He asks if she wants to grab lunch – he’s heard that the area is well known for its noodles. Mi Soo doesn’t want to, but as soon as she’s alone, she goes off to get some.

The power of inception! He he.

John catches her at a local place eating those noodles. He sits beside her (even though the place is empty, and much to her annoyance), and then takes her phone so that he can save his number in it. He tells her to come by once in a while so he can look at her swing. Mi Soo wonders if he actually likes her or something, but he turns it on her – so, why does she dislike him so much?

OK – the cliffhangers aren’t always the greatest for this drama, and I think it’s because of the fast editing that they need to do to make this drama fit the 45-minute time frame. However, I did like this cliffhanger a bit – it’s the start of a new teacher-student relationship between John and Mi Soo! Also, based on Mi Soo’s reaction, it seems like she hasn’t given it much thought until now.

The assistant Danny is so interesting. He’s like a surrogate father to Hae Ryung but not, because he’s not remotely interested in Sae Hwa. It’s crazy how Sae Hwa must rely on him to tell her when to give encouraging words to her daughter, or to know what is going on with her daughter’s life.

He’s also the one who’s trying to be the bridge between the mother and the daughter, trying to explain that he too was an orphan and wishes that Sae Hwa could be a better mother to Hae Ryung. (What’s also crazy is, he’s been by that family’s side since Hae Ryung was a little girl – and he’s never aged. Lol.) I find him fatherly, but I can easily find him annoying too; I mean, what’s a stranger doing, acting like he knows better than Sae Hwa and Hae Ryung about their relationship? (Aside from the fact that he does know better.)

Hae Ryung and John Lee are the friends that have stuck through hard times, but Mi Soo and her family are the family John Lee needs. I kind of wish Hae Ryung becomes friends with Mi Soo so that she and John can receive the proper familial love they’ve gone for so long without. I also prefer this kind of rivalry between the two girls – it’s professional and more personal. It’s Hae Ryung’s issue with Mi Soo about upbringing and skills, and not so much her issue with Mi Soo about being a love rival for John. I’m sure that romantic triangle will come into play soon too, but I hope it follows more of the Kyu Won-Hee Joo path. Kyu Won and Hee Joo were never good rivals over Shin’s love, but they were definitely good rivals musically and personally (personality-wise).

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