Encounter: the symbol of Cha Soo Hyun’s love

After reading the definition of “encounter”, 

adj.

  1. unexpectedly be faced with or experience (something hostile or difficult).”we have encountered one small problem” 
  2. meet (someone) unexpectedly.”what do we know about the people we encounter in our daily lives?”synonymes : meet by chance, run into etc
  3. nounan unexpected or casual meeting with someone or something.”she felt totally unnerved by the encounter”

you come to realize the ambiguity of the title “Encounter”. Moreover, it also reveals why JWS can never become a part of CSH’s life.

If we take the first definition (facing some difficulty and hostility), it is referring to the adversities that CSH and JH have already faced and will face together. So far, CSH had to deal with a few bad experiences:

  • the article and picture about a possible romance which forced to hear bad comments from her ex-mother-in-law and mother
  • the anonymous message on the bulletin board;
  • the gossiping
  • the terrible question from the reporter
  • the terrible comments from her own mother
  • the incident with the contract (Hotel in Cuba)
  • the arrival of Jung Woo Suk as second CEO (episode 12)
  • her meeting with KJH’s mother (episode 13-14)

The same happened to JH:

  • the gossiping and the weird gazes from his co-workers (episode 5, 9)
  • the harsh words from chairman Kim (episode 6)
  • the harsh words from secretary Jang (episode 6)
  • his meeting with director Choi (episode 7)
  • his demotion to Sokcho
  • his meeting with JWS (episode 11-12) which made our hero feel insecure

But now let us focus on the second meaning of encounter. It implies an unexpected meeting and if we look back at the different events between CSH and JH, we will notice that they had a lot of unexpected meetings:

– Cuba :

  1.  The accident with the taxi. If JH hadn’t been asked to change the seat, CSH would have never noticed him.
  2. The taxi was supposed to bring her to that place in order to watch the sunset but it broke down. She had to take the ferry… by walking on the street, she caught JH’s attention which led him to follow her.
  3. She almost fell from the wall therefore JH had to intervene. I doubt that he would have approached her without her mistake.
  4. At the airport.

Striking is that they missed each other at the café the next morning. And this was not an encounter but a planned meeting (rendez-vous).

– South Korea:

  1. He becomes her employee.
  2. After reading his letter, she wants to visit the playground he had mentioned to her before. But she is caught there red-handed which triggers JH to invite her to look at the pictures from Cuba.
  3. JH is drunk and CSH sees him standing all sleeping. She decides to bring him home.
  4. When he followed Jang to Seokcho, this meeting was not planned by JH nor CSH. Our heroine was surprised to find him there. But even if we consider it as a planned meeting, there was a casual meeting in all this, especially if we compare it with JWS.  CSH was not at the hotel, when JWS and JH arrived at the hotel. JWS kept waiting and missed her. The opposite happened with JH. CSH  was walking around, until she saw him. They could have missed each other like JWS but it didn’t happen.
  5. After arriving home, JH listened to radio and the message of a listener which made him realize that the listener was CSH. They met “through the radio”.
  6. Then we have got the car accident. If she hadn’t been involved in that accident, she wouldn’t have received her birthday gift from JH and even become closer to him.
  7. CSH saw JH a little depressed at the café as she was on her way to a meeting. She changed her plan in order to cheer him up.
  8. Then at the end of the episode 5, they meet in front of that painting. JH wasn’t expecting to see her there too.
  9. In the episode 6, she goes to teacher Lee’s place, although she is not even sure that KJH will be there as she had told him that she wouldn’t come.
  10. He runs to her house as he is depressed. He needs to be close to her house in order to overcome the future separation. She catches him there.
  11. In the episode 8, Driver Nam picks him up so that he can be at the ball.
  12. Episode 9: She is able to meet him near the lighthouse, she could have missed him.
  13. Episode 10: KJH meets her at the café where he was supposed to meet her in the first episode. She finally reads his note and discovers the question he wanted to ask
  14. Episode 16: she is able to find him at the playground.

I could have mentioned more encounters between our protagonists. Nonetheless all these encounters had a huge impact on CSH and JH and their relationship. Because it was always unexpected, CSH couldn’t be like an ice princess. Her guard was down, besides she got sometimes caught red-handed, where she was unable to behave like a CEO. Furthermore, through these casual meetings, JH was able to see CSH in a different light. Only through encounters, KJH could break down her walls and her resistance. Then she was forced to do new things with him. It was refreshing for her and she could see how natural and simple their meetings were. The encounters in the later episode have a different function: she lets KJH enter her heart and mind completely.

However, in the beginning of my post, I wrote that the title gives us an explanation, why JWS can never be a part of CSH’s life. If you look back at all their meetings, JWS always tries to meet her. He needs to get an appointment. But if an encounter occurs, then either the one leads to create a misunderstanding and put JWS in a bad light or he is destined to witness how Kim Jin Hyuk gets closer to Cha Soo Hyun. The first case was, when he enters the shop in order to retrieve the ordered suit. He wants to impress a picky lady. Unfortunately, his ex-wife hears his words and thinks, he has another woman in his heart and mind. As for the second case, the fateful encounters are the following:

  • episode 4: He witnesses KJH bringing CSH with the old truck. He witnesses how KJH’s present is accepted. On the hand, his gift (the expensive dress) is later rejected.
  • episode 6: He sees, how CSH puts the bought necktie to KJH
  • episode 9: the kiss at the ball
episode 6: this is what JWS sees
This is his reaction, when he sees them kissing

CSH has never had any encounter with JWS:

  1. The meeting at the restaurant before they got married.
  2. In the first episode, JWS meets her at his mother’s birthday. JWS knew that CSH had to appear there.
  3. In the episode 3, she wants to meet JWS in order to protect JH. JWS is waiting for CSH at the bar.
  4. He drove to Seokcho in order to meet her but he missed her and when he had an encounter with her, she was with JH coming back from the beach.
  5. He meets her again at a restaurant in order to resolve the problem. 
  6. The press conference (episode 6): he received an invitation.
  7. He couldn’t find her at the ball despite knowing how she was dressed. (episode 8)
  8. Then in the next episode, he asks her to go a restaurant where he proposes to her again.
  9. In the episode 10, he wants to meet her at the sky lounge but she refuses for the first time to follow his request.

JWS represents the exact opposite of “encounter”/JH. Every meeting he has is organized, even with JH. Let just take the episode 6. He wanted to help CSH but also see if JH was the one who received the necktie. That’s the exact reason why CSH can not fall in love with him. JH is natural and simple, whereas JWS is sophisticated and artificial. We shouldn’t forget that CSH doesn’t come from the same world than JWS. She only entered it, when she was young… like her friend and secretary said, she used to be different in the past: more natural and carefree. Through the different encounters, the viewers realize that human beings are powerless since time and nature are the real forces. Cha Soo Hyun was destined to meet Kim Jin Huyk and Jung Woo Suk couldn’t stop it as money means nothing to time and nature. He could never win over them. When the time was right, her path crossed his and this time, she could notice him, unlike in the past.

The episode 5 shows that they missed each other in the past. They were not ready.

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