Anatomy of a K drama Scene: Suzy and Kim Seon Ho's THIS heartbreaking Start Up moment sealed latter's SLS fate

*SPOILERS ALERT* With Kim Seon-ho's Han Ji-pyeong as the latest heartthrob in the 'second lead syndrome' department, we dive deep into Start-Up Ep 9's sequence when Suzy finds out who really wrote the letters.
Anatomy of a K drama Scene: Suzy and Kim Seon Ho's THIS heartbreaking Start Up moment sealed latter's SLS fate
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*SPOILERS ALERT* For many of us, the weekend was blissful owing to new episodes of Start-Up, starring Suzy, Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim Seon-ho and Kang Han-na. Hence, ever since the popular tvN drama bid adieu with its finale, fans have been missing the series for its youthful storytelling and aspirant characters. Moreover, Han Ji-pyeong (Seon-ho) became a talking point as yet another beloved 'second lead syndrome' heartthrob who didn't get the girl.

In today's Anatomy of a K-drama Scene, we go back to Start-Up Ep 9, when Seo Dal-mi (Suzy) finally uncovers the truth about how it was Ji-pyeong and not Nam Do-san (Joo-hyuk) who wrote her those heartfelt letters. In the prior episodes, in a slow burn before the storm manner, Dal-mi starts to question the truth behind the letters, what with Ji-pyeong sharing the same birthday as Do-san and how his handwriting actually matches the letters. However, the real goof-up takes place with the 'typical' switched phones moment as Dal-mi accidentally takes halmeoni's (Kim Hae-sook) phone to work.

In Start-Up Ep 9, we also see Ji-pyeong finally confessing his honest feelings about Dal-mi in a heartbreaking sequence to halmeoni as the latter tells him it's too late. An enraged Ji-pyeong storms out in the rain but when he finally calms down inside his car with halmeoni's umbrella as his 'reminder', our favourite SLS decides to do the noble gesture of removing any doubt in Dal-mi's mind about the letter. How will he do this? By giving Do-san, Dal-mi's recent letter which she had written while on the pursuit to meet her secret admirer.

Ji-pyeong messages halmeoni about his plan and visit's the latter's old corn dogs store where the birdhouse (Dal-mi and Ji-pyeong would put their letters there) still remains. Taking the letter, we're taken back to Start-Up Ep 1, when fans got to read Dal-mi's recent letter to Do-san.

Holding the letter gingerly and reading through, we hear Dal-mi's voiceover: "Do-san, I sometimes wonder. That spring, everyone and everything seemed to be leaving me. Without your letters, what would that spring have meant to me? I would have grieved over fallen flowers rather than enjoying the flowers in bloom. The only thing I remember from that spring would have been losing the person I love more than anyone without even getting to say goodbye. Thank you for being there for me that spring. Thank you for your letters. Back then, I believed that you existed. Now, I want to believe that you exist, Do-san. I miss you. So I think it's time for me to find you, Nam Do-san."

As Ji-pyeong's focus shifts, we see him in shock as lo and behold, we have Dal-mi right in front of him. Remember the case of the switched phones? It's Dal-mi, who ends up receiving Ji-pyeong's message to halmeoni. In a state of shock, Dal-mi confronts Ji-pyeong but the former is too stumped to respond or even meet her eyes. At the same time, Do-san, who was waiting for Dal-mi at Sand Box's train station finds out from halmeoni that Dal-mi has her phone. When he calls Dal-mi, the latter questions him if he knows where the birdhouse is making Do-san realise that she knows the truth. Dal-mi, in agony, asks Do-san why it's Ji-pyeong and not him who is in front of her and when Do-san tries to explain, Dal-mi swiftly cuts the call. Do-san tries to call multiple times but fails, as Dal-mi eventually switches off her phone, and is left in a conundrum.

What's significant about this particular scene and pretty much, for us, sealed Ji-pyeong's fate with Dal-mi being the one that got away, was Dal-mi's reaction to finding out the truth. For Dal-mi, it's the shock of it not specifically being Do-san that wrote her the letters. It's the way in which she pleads with Do-san to prove her suspicions wrong because, in her mind, Do-san is the man she fell in love with all those years ago. Given how important those letters were to her and given how significant Do-san is to her, her dream fairytale would equate the two and two together.

In her reaction, we see her complete disappointment with the knowledge that it wasn't Do-san, who wrote her those letters. In Ji-pyeong's place, it could have been anyone and she would have had the same reaction. It's also through Ji-pyeong's voiceover where he confesses how he wanted Dal-mi to know it was him who wrote those letters but the anguish look he got in return wasn't what he was hoping for. Even when Ji-pyeong has his emotional outburst and then has his moment of solace to think, he realises that Do-san was quick to win Dal-mi's heart whereas he was a little too late. You even see that in his closure 'terrace' moment in Start-Up Ep 16 when he tells Dal-mi that he could have searched for the girl in the letters all these years but Do-san read the letters once and made up his mind to make Dal-mi his dream.

While many of us (this writer included!) was hoping for a JiDal miracle 'SLS tradition-breaking' endgame, we knew pretty early on that DoDal was always going to have their happy ending because Ji-pyeong lived up to his 'good boy' moniker and sacrificed his first love.

Watch Suzy and Kim Seon-ho's letters' truth uncovered scene in Start-Up HERE.

ALSO READ: Anatomy of a K drama Scene: How food was used as a symbol of Kim Seon Ho's love confession to Suzy in Start Up

What did you think of Seo Dal-mi and Han Ji-pyeong's letters confrontation sequence in Start-Up? Loved it or hated it? Share your thoughts with Pinkvilla in the comments section below.

Anonymous 4 months ago

I agreeb that Han Ji- pyeong esse Theo soul of the drama and expected that até the end he and Dal Mi finally remained together.

Anonymous 4 months ago

I think that was the pivotal moment, when the voiceover of Ji-pyeong said that I always wanted her to know that it had always been me who wrote the letter; I always wanted that but this (disappointment in her eyes) is not the reaction I had hoped. The deal was sealed at that moment; the Good Boy already lost.