Thanks for tuning into Split Screen! It’s your intro host Madelyn, here with your weekly dose of high school drama in all of its glorious forms. We’ve got final exams. We’ve got unrequited love. We’ve got the mafia. Ah, high school. Those were the days.
(New to Split Screen? Catch up on all the adventures of Boys Over Flowers and My Hero Academia here!)
Boys Over Flowers Episode 18 (up to minute 35)
M: It feels foolish to say, but there’s a lot going on in Boys Over Flowers.
E: There’s a lot of stuff I like, but I also want to recognize that a lot of it feels a little out of nowhere.
M: They’ve been laying groundwork that was too subtle for us to notice.
E: Oh, of course. Our readers have certainly noticed all the subtle groundwork, I’m sure, and have been frustrated with us for missing the clever clues in the writing. Boys Over Flowers is a sophisticated show.
M: We totally called that Woo-bin is in the mafia!
E: Yes, but the whole flashback to his emotional breakdown- whenever that was- was a bit much. I get that they were going for “man, Yi-jung has been there for his bro, Woo-bin and now Woo-bin will be there for his bro Yi-jung.” But I would have believed that even without the flashback.
M: The flashback was definitely heavy-handed and corny, but I don’t think it’s fair to say it came out of nowhere. Woo-bin has been kinda sidelined in comparison to the rest of F4. Is it weird to think he would feel embarrassed about his upbringing as a crime family heir? I think it’s in-character
E: It’s just weird because we’ve seen none of these feelings beforehand, because they are feelings he presumably got over before the events of the series. So it just feels weird.
M: Look, we got confirmation that he’s a crime boss. What more do you want?
E: Fair, who am I to turn up my nose at some sweet Woo-bin backstory. I just wanted an arc not backstory.
M: Don’t look a gift Woo-bin in the mouth.
E: Anyway, this led up to Yi-jung’s alcoholic breakdown in which his hand was broken which ruins him for life because Boys Over Flowers exists in an alternate dimension where there’s no physical therapy or anything.
M: Apparently literally anyone can become a doctor as a third career in this world, so I’m not surprised they’re getting bad advice.
E: I buy it a little more with Yi-jung because he could be over-dramatizing it because he feels bad about himself and also admittedly pottery is a bit more of a delicate task than swimming. And a broken hand is somewhat more serious than being hit with a chair once.
M: Yi-jung is not only a pottery prodigy, but he was specifically chosen by his father. So on one hand (haha), he definitely has some weird ego about his hands, but on the other, he’s doing such specialized work that tiny changes to his hands could make a big difference to his technique.
E: I think I wouldn’t be raising my eyebrows as much if the Jan-di situation wasn’t so ridiculous.
M: Yeah, I agree. I’m overthinking Jan-di’s injury. The doctor recommended that she not swim anymore, and clearly it causes her pain. Maybe she needs to go to a chronic pain clinic. I know a guy. But it’s causing her real discomfort, that should be enough for me.
E: I’m honestly surprised that no one in F3 has forced her to a real doctor yet. Except, oh right, there are no real doctors here.
M: That’s why Jan-di needs to become a doctor!
E: The first doctor in the world!
M: Truly groundbreaking.
E: The rest of this episode was mostly focused on Jae-kyung dealing with her admittedly kind of sucky situation in an admittedly kind of sucky way.
M: She’s better than this. I’m super irritated by her, but only because she’s debasing herself.
E: I understand her desire to actually have something with Jun-pyo. I can’t say I’ve ever been in an arranged marriage as far as I know, but you would at least want to get along with that person, I guess.
M: My problem is that Jun-pyo is now treating the situation mostly like the business arrangement that it is. He’s not going out of his way to be cruel to her, he’s just being honest that he doesn’t love her. It seems like they could have a perfectly cordial relationship on that level.
E: She ate her giant, overly frozen ice cream, she just needs a bit longer to get over it.
M: I hope so. I thought the ice cream to be a real turning point, but instead she went full on child in a doll house. First, she plugs her ears so she can’t hear that Jun-pyo likes someone else, then she weirdly implies a hotel cheesecake situation, if you know what I mean, to Jan-di the next morning, then she’s playing house in Jun-pyo’s mansion.
E: “Hotel cheesecake situation” is a great euphemism that I’m now going to take out into the world.
M: You have my blessing.
E: I really hate when writers can’t write a good bad love interest, if you know what I mean. I get it’s easy to make them annoying and clingy and obsessive and just use them as a two-dimensional obstacle, but it’s just so boring too.
M: I know that they’ve set it up that Jae-kyung hasn’t ever had any real friends, and maybe that’s why she’s so clingy. But also, she’s a billionaire, right? At least a multimultimillionaire. Surely she knows better than to let some stupid guy treat her like this.
E: The fact that there’s no way out for her right now makes that issue a little more complicated, I think.
M: I get it, but then why isn’t she going to her parents to tell them to force Jun-pyo to get in line?
E: Because they only paid her parents for a certain amount of episodes.
M: Word. You’re right though, it’s boring. She isn’t developing. If anything, she’s regressing. It’s going to be even more boring when she starts being actively evil to Jan-di in an episode and a half or so.
E: See, I was hoping, and I’m still kind of hoping, that she would genuinely care about her friendship with Jan-di and end up as kind of a Ji-hoo on the other side- liking Jun-pyo but caring about her friend too. Because this show needs a few more female friendships beside just Jan-di and Ga-eul.
M: One: Ga-eul is queen, she will always be enough. But two: I think the friendship that will develop is between Jan-di and unnie Gu.
E: We haven’t seen her since the beginning of last episode, so I am wondering what she is up to.
M: Something fun but out of nowhere, no doubt.
E: We’ve still got fourteen to fifteen weeks to see! It feels like we’re so close and yet so far from the endgame.
M: I’m interested to see how this Yi-jung plot develops. I like that they’re exploring his genetic alcoholism and his tendency toward womanizing, but it’s hard to see how they have enough time to craft this love triangle successfully.
E: Speaking of genes, somebody come save Kang-san. He just wants to surf the dark web for rumors in a happy, healthy home environment.
M: It looks like the granny at the doctor’s office is going to hook Jan-di up with an apartment. Lame the Ga-eul wouldn’t let Kang-san stay with her.
E: Maybe there’s just not room. Like Jan-di could sleep on Ga-eul’s floor, but maybe there’s nowhere for Kang-san.
M: I’m pleased that their parents are going to be out of the picture for a bit, although I imagine going down to rescue them is eventually going to be a plot point. I’m glad that most of her dad’s nonsense has developed off-screen. As much as I sort of wish I knew more about what his problem was, it could only be ridiculous, so keeping vague was the best choice.
E: I don’t think her parents are gonna last long on a fishing boat, yeah.
M: The endgame of this plot is definitely Jan-di moving in with Ji-hoo though, right?
E: Yes, in his apartment of windows and cages. That’s what I mean when I ask for a healthy, happy home environment for Kang-san. At least he would get pancakes for breakfast.
M: Speaking of Ji-hoo, what the heck was that whole praying thing?
E: Seemed kind of just like a little tourism aside.
M: The show has been teasing them getting back together for like, ten episodes now.
E: I think it’s because they have to in order to please that section of their viewer base. Like, the fans of the actor at the time or whatever.
M: I get that, and you know what? For like five seconds this episode, I got it. He’s a much safer choice for Jan-di. That said, lame reason to get with someone.
E: If this were real life, I would counsel Jan-di away from both of them because Jun-pyo is kind of awful and Ji-hoo is just way too coddling of her. In the context of fiction, Jun-pyo being kind of awful matters a little less- if that makes sense.
M: And he hasn’t really been explicitly awful to her since that Macau incident. The situation is just really bad.
E: That’s why I separated the real life from the fiction. Like, if you were going after a Jun-pyo type, I would not be at all understanding or approving. I don’t think this is a super great example of a typically healthy relationship. But because the fiction can explain all sides and give extenuating circumstances and whatever, it’s able to push at those lines a little. Whereas Ji-hoo’s coddling just comes off as him being a boring option.
M: When do you think he’s going to shoot his shot? You know there’s got to be one last chance for him.
E: I think he’s going to have a very sweet goodbye monologue to her where he tells her that he still has feelings for her, but is going to try to move on from them for their friendship.
M: I want to trust the show. It’s proven to be trustworthy before, but the way they’ve been handling the Jae-kyung situation lately makes me nervous.
E: Yeah, I’m scared of the amount of time they have left for what seems like not enough stuff. And I don’t want them to just continue inventing stuff to fill the time either. This feels like it should be wrapped at 22 episodes right now.
M: Yeah. We’ll see. If some old characters come back, I see how they can stretch it without it feeling too icky.
E: Anyway, we kind of did Romance Tracker, but any other predictions?
M: The granddad is going to have a heart attack and that’s what is going to bring him and Ji-hoo back together.
E: See, I think the opposite, they’re going to come back together, and then the granddad is going to have a heart attack and die.
M: Bold, clashing predictions this week. Which one will come true?
E: Find out next time on Boys Over Flowers!!!!
My Hero Academia S2E23: Stripping the Varnish
M: Who calibrated the difficulty of these exams?
E: You know, I thought about it a little more just now, and while I still think that Kaminari and Mina’s exam has been the most difficult so far, everybody was put up against teachers that they were really not well suited for. Like the strong boys went against immovable wall Cementos. Iida was against someone who made the ground pretty much unusable. Jiro and Kouda this episode have weaker sound-based Quirks matched up against a intensely strong sound-based Quirk. So you at least see why the “stupid” ones went up against the smarty Principal.
M: I get it from the matching perspective, but in those other exams, the student weaknesses could be turned around as strengths, or they at least had the opportunity to fight. Even if they were pretty certain to be crushed unless they came up with something really clever, they at least got to be face to face and fight the teacher villain.
E: I think the idea with this one is that these two have problems thinking and coming up with strategies, and they were trying to get them to do that. However, they ended up not being capable of it.
M: Here’s the deal: I’m pretty smart. I’m not a superhero, but I’m a pretty smart person. I can’t come up with a single idea that even gets those two in combat range with the principal
E: They don’t have to be. They never have to see the Principal if they can make it to the escape gate.
M: I just think that giving him a start position in a crane makes this an unwinnable challenge.
E: Did he start there or did he scurry there with his little dog mouse feet?
M: Regardless, placing him close enough to the crane that 99 times out of a 100 he gets there first? Unfair.
E: I bet there is more than one crane in that whole area. It looked like it was supposed to be a construction zone.
M: Even if it wasn’t literally unwinnable, the difficulty level was astronomically high. So much higher than everyone else’s.
E: Ah, but see, was it? Or are they just not quite at the level of some of the other students?
M: Deku and co. all seemed pretty stunned by how brilliant the principal’s plan was.
E: We’ll move on, but I think the first step would have been getting to higher ground and from there things would have gone a lot easier for them.
M: One final comment though: that’s a fair strategy assessment. The problem is that if you blow that first move in this final, it’s over. As soon as he gets to the crane and you aren’t on higher ground or close enough to a crane, you’re done. That seems a little unfair. Anyway, let’s move on.
E: They could have taken the Uraraka approach and gotten a little too close to danger so that the teacher had to step back to keep them from becoming space dust.
M: This final exam is a mess. How has UA not killed multiple students every year?
E: In that case, I think the two of them needed to be split up so that Thirteen’s attention was split between them. Instead of seemingly just standing together and getting sucked up from the get-go. But yeah, they pass that literally by the skin of their teeth.
M: But it seems unfair, if this is a pass/fail system. Uraraka won by pure dumb luck basically, minus one good move at the end, but if Thirteen had been a real villain, she would have sucked her up.
M: It seems unfair that she gets the same grade as Momo or even frickin’ Mineta.
M: Why are you hmmming at me?
E: I don’t know. Maybe because I know things.
M: Ugh, how annoying.
E: To be fair, dumb luck is probably a decent chunk of being a successful hero.
M: I’m not saying it isn’t. It just doesn’t seem like a cool thing to base your test on.
E: The other two tests are Jiro and Kouda v. Present Mic and Sero and Mineta v. Midnight.
M: I was not okay with Aizawa doing Present Mic’s intro.
E: Present Mic’s too modest to do his own intro. I really enjoy that they made him seem like he was aware of the narration though and was pointing out the things Aizawa was talking about as he talked about them. Since he’s the usual narrator.
M: He definitely wrote the copy, so he knew exactly what was being said.
E: The bugs were pretty, as Deku said, “Harsh, Kouda.”
M: I really thought we were going to get through that fight without me knowing what his power was, but I was wrong!
E: Technically, you’ve been introduced to the powers of every member of Class 1-A now!
M: Well, except that guy with six arms.
E: Well, that seems a little self-explanatory to me.
M: He might have other powers!
E: I am also pretty sure he had his power introduction back in season 1, but I could be remembering incorrectly.
M: It’s too late for me now, then.
E: Oh, right, he did also have his test this episode with Hagakure against Snipe. I forgot about that one.
M: AKA Lawsuit Watch.
E: We’re not quite there yet, but both that test and Mineta’s were rife for possible lawsuits. Not that Mineta himself would ever bring it to court.
M: Those were…I don’t even have words.
E: Midnight is an odd choice to hire as a hero teacher.
M: She would be good for UA University as a real renegade, but not with children.
E: I mean, the dominatrix act appears to mostly be a thing she uses as a hero persona because we’ve seen her be more down to earth- like at that weird interview with her and Mt. Lady a few episodes ago. And, you know, more power to her. It’s just an odd hero persona to throw on when you’re fighting high schoolers.
M: I totally called that Mineta had a plan.
E: I’m glad they didn’t go the full pathetic route for Mineta, but also I get no sense of triumph from his victory.
M: I don’t know, he’s kind of an idiot, and that’s an understatement, but I appreciate the show going out of its way to explain why he’s here.
E: To be popular with girls.
M: I meant how he got into the school.
E: Oh right. Through his powerful desire to be popular with girls.
M: Anyway, shall we discuss more in Lawsuit Watch?
E: Snipe was shooting guns at children. I know they have their waivers, I’m sure they do, but he was shooting guns at teenagers.
M: Remember how last week I made some untoward comments about Aizawa and Momo? Was not ready for that to be more than jest.
E: You know, he was handcuffed to her- that makes it sound worse.
M: And he like, tweaked.
E: No, his wrist just hit her side boob.
M: Still, 100% inappropriate, especially after the whole shooting thing. It makes Midnight look tame by comparison.
E: The winner…and loser…of this week’s Lawsuit Watch is definitely Mr. Snipe.
M: Nothing on Boys Over Flowers even compares, and Yi-jung could definitely sue. His hands are worth more than Rodin.
E: Maybe he could use the winnings to discover physical therapy. That ancient lost art.
E: Are you ready for next week’s episode title? Do you have a guess?
M: Look, I know what it’s going to be about. I almost don’t even need the title.
E: Well, here you go anyway. The title is “Katsuki Bakugo: Origin”
M: Haven’t we had an Origin one before?
E: 2×10 was “Shoto Todoroki: Origin”
M: I don’t remember exactly how that played out. I know there were a lot of flashbacks, but did we also see the fight?
E: Yeah, it was the fight between him and Deku in the sports festival interspersed with a lot of flashbacks, and he used his fire by the end.
M: Interesting. Prediction one: lots of flashbacks. Bakugo probably doesn’t have a dad? That feels like an appropriate root for his issues.
M: Prediction two: It’s twenty minutes of flashback, and then the fight starts, Bakugo blasts Deku and sprints for the exit, All-Might is so freaked that Bakugo makes it and they pass.
M: Why even watch the episode now?
E: That’s basically how it goes. It’s an episode all in emoji, it was revolutionary at the time.
M: Prediction three: everyone talks s#!t about Deku in the control room. Payback is sweet.
M: Prediction four: Deku and Bakugo both do that blast through the air thing, and Bakugo slaps Deku with a copyright infringement lawsuit.
M: Prediction five: I realize this contradicts prediction two, but they’re definitely going to fail. Pretty much no question. They’ll have to go to summer school together, and a bromance will finally blossom.
M: Dekugo forever.
Hello, Emma here! Thanks for following along on our journey through My Hero Academia and Boys Over Flowers. I’m very excited for the next stretch of episodes in MHA (with one notable exception) and very excited for this arc to end soon on BOF. Please let it end soon, just give me some happiness. If you want to watch with us, we’re doing Boys Over Flowers on Netflix and the My Hero Academia dub on Hulu (soon to be Funimation).
Next time! Bakugo and Deku have a lot of trouble against All-Might, defying death several times. And in Boys Over Flowers- weird neighbor hijinks???? Tune in then!