Last week, we left Hye Jin in a crumpled heap at the Seoul airport, pretty certain that her best friend Ha Ri just skipped town to stay with her mother for a spell. (Remember Ha Ri had a pretty rough episode in 11 and Seong Joon wasn’t exactly understanding when he brought the deception to light).

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Anyway, we open with Hye Jin’s tears and Ha Ri’s legs strutting back into our (and Hye Jin’s) lives. She didn’t leave afterall—and all those clues that pointed to her skipping town? Inconsequential, really. She’s turning over a new leaf in life and she’s getting herself OFF of her father’s support. Go, girl!

These scenes were wonderful and I’m so glad the show is repairing the girls’ friendship/sisterhood. Their friendship is just as important to Hye Jin as the one she shares with Seong Joon, so it would have been a major letdown if the writers had just reduced it to a simple romantic rival.

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Seong Joon is starting to crumble under the pressure he’s facing to keep The Most afloat. An American voice lets him know they aren’t hitting the mark yet and failure to do so would mean a shuttering of the magazine and the loss of plenty of careers. He visits Hye Jin in an adorable scene and just wants to see her face for 10 seconds so he can feel better about the world. He also throws in a request for a hug, but knows he’s going to have to wait. Awwww…

Returning home, he’s greeted by a half-naked Shin Hyuk (thank you, television gods!) who’s borrowing his shower and announcing his return to the magazine at the same time. Can we just say SHIRTLESS CHOI SI WON???? Okay. SHIRTLESS SI WON!!!!

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The two bandy back and forth on story and magazine ideas and seem to reach some sort of agreement. “Jackson” and the rest of the staff are really happy to have Shin Hyuk back, too. Before reuniting with the staff, he tells Hye Jin that’s adopted “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over” as his personal mantra moving forward. She doesn’t really get the broader meaning he has in mind,  but whatever….she’s just so happy he’s back!

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During the course of the workday, Seong Joon’s exhaustion is become evident. He has a nosebleed in the middle of an office meeting and Hye Jin notices how pale he’s looking. They are so cute as he appreciates her fretting.

Han Seol is trying to ditch the spicy noodle beau this week after learning he’s the son of a dry cleaning dynasty. Despite that, she still gets a little flustered.

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Shin Hyuk volunteers to help Hye Jin with her story. She hesitates, a little uncomfortable knowing his feelings for her. But he’s really, really good at what he does and she takes notice. He, of course, takes the opportunity to convince her that this new lights he sees him in is a sexier one, which flusters her, of course.

Hye Jin continues to keep watch over Seong Joon, who’s fading and looking more and more worn out. She offers to pay for dinner for the entire team in an effort to get them to leave the office and let the Chief Deputy Editor get some sleep!

Shin Hyuk treats Hye Jin to some coffee and does everything he can to charm her onto his side. Hye Jin might be immune to it (for good reason!) but I’m not! Choi Si Won is adorable as Shin Hyuk!

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Hye Rin visits her unnis and Hye Jin about loses her mind trying to keep her little sister quiet about the fact that Seong Joon and Hye Jin aren’t really dating and Hye Jin is avoiding the situation.

Later, Ha Ri makes good on her earlier offer to buy Hye Jin shoes. They’re fancy high heels and Hye Jin tries to refuse them, saying they suit Ha Ri much better. Ha Ri tells her to remember the saying that a good pair of shoes “can take you anywhere you want to go.”

Hye Jin’s a little slow to catch her meaning, so Ha Ri basically has to INSIST that Hye Jin use these adorable new shoes as a sort of metaphor for life…and to take herself where she wants to go.

“Date Seong Joon, you idiot!” is basically the way Ha Ri has to get the point across.

Meanwhile, Seong Joon himself is struggling with being patient and even spends time with the adorable dog at the convenience store near Hye Jin’s house, all just to be closer to her.

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The next morning, sporting her new booty-kickin’ super shoes from her best friend, Hye Jin finds a present Seong Joon left the day before and sets off for her day. Her wifey Ha Ri picks her up and drops her off at work as she’s on her way to sell the car in Ha Ri’s final act of independence.

Fighting!

Today ends up being the day that Hye Jin is going to make that leap from friend to LOVEEEEER, but it’s just not working out for her—she keeps missing Seong Joon by seconds and he ends up heading out of town for a day-long work meeting. Darn!

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After finding a sketchbook of adorable drawings he did of her during their early days of working together, she decides to surprise him at the airport when he returns that evening, but again, fate isn’t on their side. They miss each other by INCHES!

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Outside the door, poor Seong Joon collapses while inside the airport, Hye Jin has no idea the love of her life is unconscious and waiting for an ambulance!

Agh!

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Hye Jin eventually hears the news that he’s in the hospital and races out to be with him. She has a hard time getting a taxi, so her white night, Shin Hyuk drivers her in his red sports car. In a sweet, sweet scene, he basically frees her from feeling obligated about his feelings and urges her inside to check on Seong Joon.

Inside, she finds Seong Joon asleep. She caresses his face and he wakes up, yanking her down beside him.

He asks if she’s there because she was worried.

No, she answers.

“I came to give you a hug.” (Remember that “hug” he’s been waiting for? That signal that it’s okay to have feelings for each other and see where they lead? THAT hug!)

Have mercy!

It’s the sweetest, heaviest hug in the history of relationship-starting hugs and there’s even the sweetest tear EVER sliding down Seong Joon’s nose. He goes in for the knockout punch on us (his viewers) when he follows up that awesome hug with a super sweet, super smexy kiss on Hye Jin’s lips.  *sigh*

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Final thoughts on Episode 12?

Like I mentioned earlier, I am so so so so so happy that we’re repairing the girls’ relationship. What’s more, we’re seeing Ha Ri’s own character progression from spoiled little rich girl to strong, independent woman who not only takes responsibility for her life, but for her actions, too.

My heart broke (again!) this week for poor Shin Hyuk. I’m not sure how they can fix this for me because I do think he and “Jackson” would be an adorable, quirky match (if not for that blasted “true” love thing she and Seong Joon have going on…) His face, you guys….just….why? I want to hug him AND his half-nekkid body for most of this episode.

I was really glad Hye Jin decided to let her best friend apologize and move on. She deserves to be with Seong Joon (and vice versa) and I really was hoping to avoid three or four episodes of really poor decision making on her point in an effort to be the tragic noble character. Hurrah for chasing down your man in expensive shoes, girl!

We’re seeing a build up around the magazine’s future, and I’m guessing the next few episodes are going to lay the pressure on pretty thick when it comes to those rankings. Other than that, I’m curious to see the direction the secondary characters are headed.

Tomorrow night can’t come soon enough!