With the cat out of the bag, Hong-jo and Sol-Ah have to navigate this new chapter in their relationship and separate lives. Have things changed? Can things go back to like how they were previously? What’s going to happen to them in the future?
Meow, the Secret Boy: Episode 10 Recap
Sol-Ah calls out for Hong-jo’s name while sleeping in her bed at her house, but her cat is nowhere to be found. She realizes that he’s not with her. Instead, human Hong-jo is staying with Jae-sun for the time being. Sol-Ah doesn’t want to leave Hong-jo behind with Dad so she ultimately takes him back to town. However, Hong-jo is staying with Jae-sun to give Sol-Ah some time to rest and recover. Doo-sik and Ji-eun continue to spend time with each other. Along with Sol-Ah, the three catch up at Doo-sik’s parent’s restaurant for some food. It’s there that Doo-sik updates Sol-Ah on the latest and greatest news between him and Ji-eun. Doo-sik and Ji-eun are dating! Sol-Ah gasps in shock, but she’s happy for the new lovebirds.
“No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch.” – Leo Dworken
Sol-Ah makes her way back home after eating with Doo-sik and Ji-eun. She encounters Hong-jo on the way home who’s outside hanging out in front of the cafe. He’s curious as to what she’s so happy about, but Sol-Ah refrains from telling him. It’s obvious the two are still awkward with each other. Doo-sik steps inside of Ji-eun’s studio apartment for the first time. He wants to eat some brackens with her, but Ji-eun grows hesitant. She’s certain his mom wouldn’t like it if she found out that they were dating. Ji-eun encourages Doo-sik to visit another time and pushes him out of her place.
CEO Park begins to treat Doo-sik, Sol-Ah, and Ji-eun differently after Doo-sik’s confrontation last time. She transfers the project they were working on to another employee in the same company. She also attacks Sol-Ah with harsh comments about her work performance and even compares Sol-Ah to Ji-eun during a talk with Sol-Ah. Unlike Ji-eun, Sol-Ah isn’t desperate and passionate when she’s at work. She doesn’t seem to enjoy or have fun with the projects she’s given, but Sol-Ah begs to differ. Sol-Ah tries her best in everything that she does. CEO Park pushes Sol-Ah away so Sol-Ah returns to the meeting room where Ji-eun is located. When Sol-Ah witnesses Ji-eun working on CEO Park’s wedding invitation once again, she grows upset. This is why CEO Park views Ji-eun as a pushover! Doo-sik comes to Ji-eun’s defense; this is Ji-eun’s way of solving tensions and issues with CEO Park so Sol-Ah should just be patient.
Life without Hong-jo is too different and unfamiliar for Sol-Ah. She doesn’t seem to like the loneliness and often finds herself doing things out of habit. Jae-sun is almost finished finding all the stray cats that were discovered in the studio apartment a few episodes back their respective caretakers. However, there’s one last cat that hasn’t been adopted yet and Jae-sun’s struggling to find it a home. Hong-jo suggests that Jae-sun can be the cat’s caretaker.
Sol-Ah doesn’t seem so happy. She’s not in good spirits even at work. Ji-eun assumes Sol-Ah must be upset at her which is why she didn’t reply back to her, but Sol-Ah clarifies the misunderstanding. Sol-Ah just forgot to bring her cell phone to work, that’s all. Ji-eun shares with Sol-Ah the reason as to why she had Doo-sik’s eraser from high school this entire time. She intended to give it back to them back during their art class in high school, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it or to bring it up to them so she just kept the eraser ever since. Sol-Ah feels similar to Ji-eun. Instead of bringing her cell phone with her, she accidentally brought Hong-jo’s cell phone to work instead – the same Hong-jo who she cowardly pushed away.
Meanwhile, Hong-jo assists Jae-sun in finding a caretaker for the last remaining cat. However, none of the customers at Jae-sun’s cafe is interested so they resort to one last person: Jae-sun’s dad. Now that Jae-sun’s dad has retired from his position at his company, he might have more time to take care of the cat. Jae-sun is hesitant in meeting with his dad who he doesn’t have the greatest relationship with. But Hong-jo encourages the cafe owner to confront his past and to harbor the courage to meet with his dad so Jae-sun does so.
At first, the reunion isn’t so smooth and great. Jae-sun’s Dad first takes a while to appear and when he does, he’s not so happy with the caretaker request that Jae-sun proposes to him. Jae-sun concludes it was wrong of him to even ask his dad to take care of the cat so he walks out of the room. However, his dad interrupts just in time to clarify his actual feelings. He thanks Jae-sun. He thanks Jae-sun for finally asking his dad for a favor after many years of being away and not being in contact with him. This is what Jae-sun’s dad had truly wanted all along and he’s so happy to have finally gotten it at last. Jae-sun cries in his dad’s lap upon hearing the relieving news from his dad; Hong-jo watches silently as the father and son make amends.
Sol-Ah opens up to Ji-eun about her conflicting thoughts about Hong-jo. Now it makes sense as to why he was crying on the bench near their workplace a while back. He was already trying to tell Sol-Ah the truth back then at that time that he wasn’t the reak Guk-bong, but Sol-Ah didn’t take him seriously. Ji-eun grows confused upon learning that Hong-jo isn’t Guk-bong; if he’s not Guk-bong, then who is he? Hong-jo is Hong-jo and he’s both a cat and a human being. Sol-Ah still remains in disbelief that she was in love with a cat.
Hong-jo stares outside the window at Sol-Ah’s house from inside of Jae-sun’s cafe. His vision suddenly becomes blurry so he rubs his eye to double check. Later on that night, Hong-jo and Sol-Ah chat again outside on the street. He shares that Jae-sun’s with his parents which is why the cafe closed early. Sol-Ah is shocked upon hearing the news and grows thankful at Hong-jo for encouraging Jae-sun to meet with his dad. Sol-Ah still isn’t entirely comfortable with Hong-jo just yet. She takes a step back when Hong-jo approaches her in concern of how exhausted she looks. She rushes home to get some rest, but it’s obvious Sol-Ah’s mind is still occupied with Hong-jo. She takes a glance at the photos in his cellphone and notices the photos of her that he secretly took at their favorite bench. Now it all makes sense to Sol-Ah. Hong-jo had always been by Sol-Ah’s side the entire time every time they were at that specific bench in the park.
Hong-jo sneaks inside Sol-Ah’s house that night to check up on her. While she’s asleep, he checks her temperature and her body and notices that she seems cold. To keep her warm, he pours hot water into a bottle and tucks it quietly under her arm. Unlike what Hong-jo assumes, Sol-Ah isn’t asleep this time. Unlike all the other times, she’s awake and was actually listening to Hong-jo this entire time. She’s curious as to how long he’s been following her to which Hong-jo answers since Sol-Ah started to live alone. He liked her for her caring personality and just how thoughtful and generous she always was. Sol-Ah’s eyes are full of tears upon listening to Hong-jo speak on his observations about her. Now that Hong-jo has transformed into a human being and is next to Sol-Ah’s side, he can do something he wasn’t able to ever do as a cat: give Sol-Ah a hug. So he places his arm over Sol-Ah and comfort her while she’s on her bed. The two take comfort in each other’s presence. Aww.
Doo-sik pays a visit to Ji-eun to pick up the empty container that he handed her last time with bracken inside. But that’s not the only reason as to why Doo-sik came to visit Ji-eun. He hands over to her his eraser that she had kept for ten years. She can keep both this eraser and his heart. Hahaha. So cringy!! Doo-sik is excited to be dating Ji-eun, but he also understands that it might be her first relationship so he’ll take things slow with her. But to his surprise, it’s not Ji-eun’s first relationship. She’s dated plenty of times before. Just because she kept his eraser for ten years doesn’t mean that she couldn’t date. Haha, too funny!
Sol-Ah and Hong-jo slowly find themselves back to like how things were before everything was revealed. Hong-jo’s seen Sol-Ah in all kinds of scenarios and situations, but there is one thing that he didn’t tell her yet. It’s yet another harsh reality and truth for Sol-Ah to face and process: Hong-jo is still a cat so his lifespan is much shorter than hers. He’ll grow older way faster than she will and will eventually have to one day leave her. However, they won’t have to worry about this just yet. Hong-jo plans to stay next to Sol-Ah’s side for as long as possible. It’s up to Sol-Ah as to what she wants to do.
Doo-sik, Ji-eun, and Sol-Ah are assigned to work on the same project they were working on together before. In a chat with CEO Park, she clarifies that it’s not because they’re qualified or anything, but rather that the client of the project just really enjoyed controlling our trio. Lol, suuuuure. She also clears up another controversial topic in regards to Ji-eun: she actually does like Ji-eun. She thought they were close friends just because they grabbed cake and tea with each other at times. So if CEO Park and Ji-eun are so close, then Ji-eun can speak up right? She hands CEO Park the wedding invitation that she had been working on and wants to be compensated through money for her work. Sol-Ah and Doo-sik are shocked at the demand, but they’re also proud of her for advocating for herself and stepping up. YAAAS, JI-EUN, YAAAAS!
Hong-jo’s vision continues to worsen while working his part-time job. However, that’s the least of his concerns. Hong-jo shares with Jae-sun the honest conversation he had with Sol-Ah the night before. He told her how he’ll have to eventually leave her first since his cat age will eventually catch up to him and he’ll grow way older way faster than Sol-Ah. Hong-jo jokes around that he might need to stay with Jae-sun for a little bit longer.
While walking home, Sol-Ah notices a strange car tailing closely behind her. She doesn’t think too much about it once it eventually passes her by. Back at the cafe, Jae-sun requests for Hong-jo to take care of the cafe for him so that he can go visit his dad. However, Jae-sun’s plans are interrupted when his ex-girlfriend stops by the cafe to demand for cat Hong-jo back. She wants Sergei back (Hong-jo’s old name) and attempts to search for him at the cafe. Hong-jo transforms back into a cat in the presence of Jae-sun’s ex-girlfriend, but she pities him after noticing just how old he’s gotten. Who would want such a cat now?
But Sol-Ah does. She storms into the cafe to pick up cat Hong-jo. She’s going to take care of him and stay with him and he’s going to do the same with her. While she leaves to head back home with cat Hong-jo, Jae-sun’s ex-girlfriend grows confused. She assumes Sol-Ah is simply taking care of the cat to be around Jae-sun, but Jae-sun argues it’s the other way around. He’s been the one checking up on Sol-Ah and to be frank, he’s going to be doing it even more often now. When Sol-Ah and Hong-jo arrive home, Sol-Ah waits for Hong-jo to turn into a human being. However, she grows confused when Hong-jo stays as cat Hong-jo. She assumes Hong-jo is unable to transform into a human being even with her presence. Something is wrong.
We just never get a break, don’t we? Just when we thought everything was okay and that everything was going to slowly wrap up, things take a sharp turn. To be fair, we still have two more episodes to go, but that’s also two episodes that could be used to watch Hong-jo and Sol-Ah spend more time with each other before their inevitable farewell. I don’t know how to feel about the sudden predicament that appeared at the very end of this episode.
To be honest, it wasn’t even something that I thought of. It never once passed my mind that Hong-jo wouldn’t be able to transform into a human being even with Sol-Ah next to him. I just always thought that as long as he was with Sol-Ah or had Sol-Ah’s belonging with him that he would be able to transform as much as he wants and for as long as he wants. However, it seems like that isn’t so much the case now and it’s concerning as to why he remains in cat form even though Sol-Ah is there with him. Also, it’s obvious that there are conditions that is catching up to Hong-jo every passing day. As we saw in this episode, Hong-jo’s vision isn’t so great and it affected him from doing simple things such as making coffee. Too many things are happening all at once. I just want a happy ending for our two leads T___T
I think a part of me is also just in denial about the possible issues that are going to arise during our finale next week. I don’t want to believe that Hong-jo can’t transform into a human being. I don’t want to believe that he will have to stay in cat form until the end of his life. I don’t want to believe that Hong-jo is going to have to leave Sol-Ah first and that their time together will be shortened by so much. Hong-jo has attempted many different things to stay as a human being for as long as possible, such as drinking coffee so he doesn’t fall asleep as a cat. However, there’s only so much he can do to fight these things off. At the very end of the day, he is still a cat and that’s something that I think he and Sol-Ah are having a difficult time accepting.
I loved the slow relationship development in this episode between Sol-Ah and Hong-jo. It’s not like they entirely started from square one again as part of the aftermath. They obviously know each other and how Hong-jo is both a cat and a human being. This episode was more focused on how the two bounced back after the whole showdown and I loved it. I loved the insight that was provided on how Sol-Ah felt. Because yes, she was in love with both a cat and a human being and this was something that she should have figured out a lot earlier after all the hints that Hong-jo was trying to give her. But she also feels conflicted because she can’t ignore all the good things he’s done for her and how much he cared about her and how strong of a connection they’ve built with each other over time. Sol-Ah still has feelings for Hong-jo because she’s become so used to having him around and be there for her.
Her new lifestyle so heavily involved Hong-jo it’s become difficult for her to imagine a life without him. I can see why Sol-Ah slowly opened back up to Hong-jo in this episode even though she at first tried to deny it and tried to push him away. She still wants him in her life and the same applies to Hong-jo. It was heartbreaking to see Sol-Ah feel so conflicted in keeping her distance from Hong-jo, but also wanting to keep him close to her. There was a lot of back and forth in this episode, but I think we can ultimately confirm that she wants him around for as long as possible.
Two extra screenshots in this episode~