Birdie Buddy: Episodes 5-6

Double header today! But it’s also because these two episodes are so intertwined.

So what does Mi Soo hate exactly about John? (Or shall we call him Jung Woo, as that is his Korean name?)

Well – it’s his smirk, and his attitude (calling her steamed bun all the time), and namely his hair. And guess what? The next day – the dreadlocks are gone. (Yippee! The dreadlocks are gone!)

His friend comes by and notes that he must be serious about starting a new golfing school as he’s cleaned up to look like a coach. He borrows his friend’s car and drives up to the mountains to a secluded area, where an old white man with white hair and ragged peasant clothing works on his woodwork.

Some backstory: John was/is Jung Woo, an orphan at a small church. The priest there was friends with Fabian (the white guy), who was a European golf prodigy but was exiled and ousted from his homeland for being part of an illegal golfing gambling ring. The priest wanted him to teach some of his kids so that everyone could benefit.

Fabian tests the kids first – he makes all of them hold golf clubs outstretched before them for hours, and all collapse one by one save for Jung Woo and his friend. The two pack up and head to the mountains, where they start doing “basic training” – cutting down trees (swinging aces help your golf swing apparently) and carrying buckets of water from the streams. The two become frustrated quickly because they don’t even touch a single golf club, but it’s clear both stick it out to the end as both become very well-known in the golfing world.

So when Jung Woo visits Fabian again, Fabian refuses to acknowledge him. There’s signs of regret between the two as Fabian was the one who sent Jung Woo to the States. However, Jung Woo steals Fabian’s ginseng – and that gets his mentor talking again.

As for Mi Soo, she practices at her old golf center when her former coach accidentally spills the beans that her mother is going to send her off to Jeonju for training. That program is incredibly expensive, and her mother has to go through friends to borrow money. She even considered going to loan sharks, and the news reaches Tae Gab’s ears.

Tae Gab informs Mi Soo about their mother’s plans, and he even starts sounding like their father. He asks if it’s necessary for Mi Soo to continue golfing, and if so, he will procure the money needed. Mi Soo becomes incredibly disturbed and so when her mother “surprises” her with the news, she storms out of her room.

She cries that she loves golf, but her mother’s actions are making it far more burdensome. It’s so difficult for her family to support her and they’re all clearly sacrificing their lives just for her. It’s too much for her to bear. Her mother snaps; they’ve done all this because they believe in Mi Soo, but if she wants to just quit, she should just say so rather than make up the excuse that it’s too “burdensome.”

Mi Soo decides that it’s time to take matters into her own hands. She applies for the caddy position.

Because of her status as a semi-pro, she is immediately hired and skips the 6-week training (that would have gone without pay). One of the things she learns right away is to never call the Chief Caddy “unni.” Her first days are a little rough, but she makes Gong Sook swear never to tell anyone. Little does she know, her mother just got a full time job as a kitchen’s assistant at the resort.

She wonders if she should go seek out Jung Woo’s help, as he had promised to give her, and arrives with a bag of steamed buns (ha!). But no one’s there except for Hae Ryung. Mi Soo is reluctant to be around her, but Hae Ryung doesn’t really seem to mind her. They sit together in awkward silence, eating the buns and drinking coffee, until they finally go home.

Side stories – there’s a reporter Park Eun Joo who’s interested in the golfing gambling ring – the very same one that Fabian used to be part of – but her editor wants her to stop. As for Sae Hwa, she’s going to launch more golfing ventures and have Jay Park be their promoter. She also rehires her father’s mentor, Jung Ran, to be the new caddy master (basically the manager of all caddies).

The reporter visits Jung Woo, wondering if she ca get a word with him – and a few pictures. However, he kindly shoots her down and tells her to get off his property. I don’t know if this side story with the reporter is even necessary at this point, but I hope she is used to great effect rather than being a side character that does nothing to the storyline.

Meanwhile, Mi Soo has been warned of Jung Woo’s flirtatious advances; her golfing friends told her that he ends up in a relationship with any of his students that look “half-decent.” True enough, when the Chief Caddy and Gong Sook go to the training center to practice, he’s already all over them, straightening their backs and touching their waists.

He’s surprised to see her be introduced as a caddy by the Chief Caddy, and chases her out. He offers to help Mi Soo, as he is thinking of coaching her. But Mi Soo doesn’t want his help.

It turns out Jung Woo really wants to train her though. He’s spoken to Fabian about it – that he wants Fabian to train this new girl that can most likely accomplish his “Fabian Shot.” It’s that trademark shot that led to Jung Woo’s injury on his wrist, and also stopped him from playing professionally.

In another world of coincidences, Jung Ran is Mi Soo’s mother’s sunbae when the mother was a caddy herself. They catch up during lunch time, and the mother gushes over how her daughter is a wonderful golfer. Jung Ran gave Mother that golfing club as a parting gift so that during her eldest’s first birthday, she could present that golf club as one of the items the baby could pick. (What the baby chooses is supposed to determine what the baby will do in the future.)

However, Mother doesn’t expect Mi Soo to come in as a caddy. Argument ensues. Mother is utterly pissed that Mi Soo would waste all their effort to become just a caddy. She thinks Mi Soo is making excuses when she explains that as a caddy she can practice on the greens as well. Mother even slaps Mi Soo in the face.

That evening, she kicks Mi Soo out of the house.

With no choice, Mi Soo moves to the caddy dorms – and rooms with the Chief Caddy. But all is not lost though – Mother actually asked Jung Ran to watch over her daughter, and Jung Ran promises to.

So many people are on Mi Soo’s side!

The next day, Mi Soo is sent to clean the training center even though it’s her day off. There is a purpose as to why Jung Ran gave her this order; Mi Soo ends up admiring all of the high-tech equipment in the room, and bumps into Hae Ryung. Hae Ryung lets her try the machiens, and helps analyze Mi Soo’s swing. She asks if Mi Soo gave up golf again, and notes that Mi Soo can’t be a proper rival if she just does “this and that” all the time. It’s enough to get Mi Soo annoyed that Hae Ryung is being so haughty. After all, Hae Ryung doesn’t understand what it feels like to have an expensive hobby when your family is poor.

But Hae Ryung is only needling Mi Soo because – ! *drumroll* Jung Ran told her to! It was the only way to push Mi Soo into perhaps going back to training seriously.

Tae Gab finds out belatedly through Joong Ki’s mother that Mi Soo is working as a caddy, and so he storms to the golf club with a megaphone and calls for Mi Soo. He wants her to stop working as a caddy too; everyone wants to see her succeed and that’s why they’re sacrificing so much. Her actions in wanting to “not burden anyone” is condescending towards her family, and it’s also causing their mother a lot of pain.

However, Tae Gab’s little stunt lands Mi Soo with a punishment. She is to pick up all the lost balls in the 18 courses. Mi Soo ends up enjoying the “punishment” and even finds one of her own golf balls. When she returns to the golf club center, Jung Ran notes that Mother used to train Mi Soo by making her pick up all the lost balls. She reminds Mi Soo that lost balls can be easily recovered, but not lost dreams…

As much as Mother is hurting though, she can’t do much but wait for Mi Soo to come around. She also can only support her daughter. So she brings over more of Mi Soo’s things and some practice gear, as well as a diary that she wrote tracking Mi Soo’s progress. Reading through that diary brings back happy, emotional memories for Mi Soo.

That evening she wanders around the course again, this time barefoot. She comes across Hae Ryung practicing her putting. Hae Ryung notices Mi Soo’s oddly colored feet as well. Through Mi Soo’s questions, she reveals that she’s been learning golf ever since she was four because her mother set her up with the best of the best instructors. Money really did buy her victories in this case.

But it’s interesting to note that these two seem to have a budding friendship rather than a rivalry. Hae Ryung doesn’t hate Mi Soo, or vice versa, and it’s more like Hae Ryung just doesn’t know how to interact with anyone other than Jung Woo. I think it’s more juicy if the two become friends, and then are rivals because of the sport and because they both want Jung Woo.

After her chat with Hae Ryung though, Mi Soo makes a definitive decision. She quits being a caddy and returns home.

By the way – the Chief Caddy is really annoying – but I think she’s one of those shallow side characters that’s meant to be a scene stealer (kind of like the Three Angry Girls in Heartstrings).

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