“Lovely Runner” Episodes 7 and 8 Recap

Changing the future comes with consequences. And when you gain something you lose something in return.

Our fangirl might have prevented the accident and kept her idol safe. But this isn’t the end of the road. Another sad tragedy catches up to them. And it seems like our heroine might have to ponder on whether this chance to travel to the past is a blessing or a test.

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Episode Recaps: 01 & 02 | 03 & 04 | 05 & 06 |

Lovely Runner

Lovely Runner Episodes 7 and 8 Highlights

“Did I miss the last bus? Should I ask Mom to come and get me?”

We get the full version of Sol’s accident in the original timeline. It wasn’t a coincidental hit-and-run but intentional. Before getting hit by the car, Sol was kidnapped by the suspicious taxi driver from last week. She managed to free herself and run away, but Taxi Driver relentlessly chased after Sol and eventually ran over her, sending her down the reservoir. And as we already know, it was Seon-jae who jumped into the water and saved her.

The question now is why Seon-jae happened to be there. Stumbling across a dozing off Sol on the bus, Seon-jae attempts to wake her up, so she won’t miss her stop but refrains himself at the last minute. Unluckily things happened, and Sol got off the bus before Seon-jae could notice. Worried, he stayed by the bus stop to check if Sol was safe. Spotting the chase, Seon-jae rushed over for Sol’s rescue but she had already fallen into the water.

Persistent, Taxi Driver goes after them and gets into a fight with Seon-jae that ends up with the Taxi Driver getting arrested and Seon-jae taking Sol to the hospital. What if he woke her up earlier? What if he told her he likes her? What if….?  The poor guy kept blaming himself and feeling guilty throughout his life. This explains In-hyuk’s words about Seon-jae feeling sorry for Sol.

“ I am in the Joseon Dynasty?”

Now, Taxi Driver still kidnapped Sol. Yet with knowledge from the future (Luckily, Sol remembered everything just before getting kidnapped.), Sol buys herself time by stealing the car keys. But it seems like Taxi Driver is a little bit obsessive with Sol as he still chases after her in a van. Luckily, things don’t go his way and Seon-jae arrives before Taxi Driver can harm Sol.

The catch is: just as usual, Sol is transported back to the future at the worst timing ever. And once again, 19-year-old Sol takes over, having no idea about anything. Opening her eyes, Sol finds herself in a hanbok. But no need to worry, it isn’t Joseon Dynasty, but a drama set. Our girl has achieved her dream of becoming a film director though I have mixed feelings about her joining the two-storey production company from before that rejected her without even an interview.

“I no longer have a reason to go back anyway, so I don’t need it.”

The accident was prevented, Sol can walk just fine. But what about Seon-jae? Did he make it through too? The worried and hesitant look on Sol’s face before hitting the search button and the sigh of relief and the tears she sheds after making sure he is still alive are surely telling about how much she cares about Seon-jae.

With everything solved, Sol won’t need to go to the past again, right? But aside from the watch and the third trial, Sol has more urgent problems to deal with. You see, she got mistaken for a serial stalker who tried to sneak into Seon-jae’s apartment. And though this matter was settled after Seon-jae dropped the charges, we have a little problem here.

Seon-jae’s manager recognizes “the stalker” as the one who came to drop off a film scenario for Seon-jae to read. Hence, assuming she got a job at the production company to get closer to Seon-jae. And now Seon-jae wants to back out of the movie to steer clear of “that stalker.”

“Make sure she pays for my clothes because she said she would, including the cost of the underwear. Okay?”

As if there is not enough trouble going on for Sol, she accidentally pushes Seon-jae into the water, getting his outfit ruined. And now she has to compensate him for the total cost. It is hilarious how these two keep getting entangled together wholly clueless about the other person’s true identity.

Luckily, it doesn’t take long for Sol to realize that the person she accidentally pushed is none other than Seon-jae himself. She wants to meet him and apologize. But the problem is: Sol had to sign a restraining order entailing not to come within 100 m of Seon-jae or his residence. And the most she can do is pester Seon-jae’s manager to deliver him a flower basket with her business card on it.

“How did you know I’d come here?”

It was already New Year’s Day when Sol got back to the future. But unlike before, the Eclipse concert was pushed back by a few days. And seeing how everything unfolds on the concert day as it did in the original timeline, Sol resolves to give it a shot, waiting for Seon-jae at the bridge they originally met on before his sudden death.

Sol is equal parts excited about finally meeting Seon-jae and hoping he won’t come. The long wait under the snow pays off as Seon-jae indeed shows up. Reading the name on the card, Seon-jae realizes “the stalker” was Sol all along. So, he rushes over to see her. He doesn’t know if Sol will really be there but Seon-jae gives it a try too and goes to the bridge.

Giving us a parallel of their first meeting as high schoolers, Sol once again holds her umbrella over Seon-jae. It is the reversal of their past meeting on the bridge where Seon-jae put his umbrella over Sol. Instead of pretending her car was stuck in the snow, Sol admits to having waited for Seon-jae to come.

“Do you remember the promise? Did you go there that day?”

Being the last person Seon-jae met before his sudden death, Sol is scared that tragedy will repeat itself again. She won’t risk letting him go once again. Thus, Sol suggests they stay together for the night. Seon-jae can’t be any happier to follow through with it. Who needs an after-party when he can spend the night with his first love?

Instead of playing it cool and pretending to be doing just fine, I hoped those two would admit to their true feelings. Sol might be healthy indeed and get her dream job, but she misses Seon-jae and their time together. Likewise, his success and fame aside, Seon-jae only smiles genuinely when he reminisces on his memories with Sol while looking at their photo.

They both remembered their promise to meet again on New Year’s Day to dig up the time capsule but missed each other. Due to the time travel issues, Sol was late. And with Seon-jae not there and the area already redeveloped, Sol thought it was over. And she should be thankful that Seon-jae is still alive.

But unbeknownst to her, Seon-jae went to retrieve the time capsule before the redevelopment and kept it with him all along. As promised, Seon-jae went to the bridge at midnight. But with Sol not showing up despite the passing time, he thought she might have forgotten about it and left. Frustratingly enough, when Seon-jae brings up the time capsule, both of them deny going to the bridge that night.

“Anyway, I am not going home tonight. So, don’t look for me.”

With reporters on his tail, Seon-jae has no choice but to cut this beautiful reunion short. But Sol isn’t about to let the reporters get in her way. Through her usual hilarious and reckless antics, Sol makes sure to drive Seon-jae home safely. But this isn’t enough. Sol needs to stay by Seon-jae’s side all night.

It isn’t time to worry about one’s image. If embarrassing herself and saying she needs to use the bathroom ungently means she can get into Seon-jae’s place, then all is fine. After that, she might as well ask for a tour around the house and stall for time.

After checking every single room and making nonsensical comments, the only place left to see is Seon-jae’s bedroom. And it doesn’t help the situation that Seon-jae has overheard Sol telling her mother she is with a man and won’t be going home tonight. Also, Sol gets him more confused after mentioning eating ramyeon.

“Whenever you are drunk, you’ve come back to old Sol’s house site to act pathetically for ten years.”

Spilling food over her clothes, Sol makes it into Seon-jae’s bedroom to change her blouse. Things happen and we almost get a kiss here only for our leads to be interrupted by In-hyuk. Talk about the worst timing. I am glad Seon-jae and In-hyuk are still on good terms unlike their fallout in the original timeline but I hope In-hyuk will give Seon-jae a call before dropping by next time.

In-hyuk is okay with Seon-jae dating any woman but Sol. How is Seon-jae still helplessly in love with her even after all this time, keeping their photo, revisiting Sol’s old house, and making a scene every time he gets drunk? He is now over 30 but Seon-jae can’t date other women because he is still hung up on Sol.

“You said you missed me Then tell me, how about now?”

The upside of this sequence is Sol stumbling across the time capsule and realizing Seon-jae has been keeping her in his heart all along. Mustering up the courage, Sol admits to having gone to the bridge that night. She couldn’t make it in time though which caused them to miss each other.

One more thing. Back then, Sol liked Seon-jae too, but she had no choice but to lie about it. It might be meaningless now, yet Sol apologizes for hurting Seon-jae. Sol has always wanted to tell Seon-jae she liked him and missed him with all her heart if they crossed paths again. Not willing to let this chance slip through their hands, Seon-jae asks Sol if her feelings are still the same. And after confirming it, Seon-jae leans in to kiss Sol. Our ship is finally sailing.

Unfortunately, this brief happiness doesn’t last long. Seon-jae gets attacked in his hotel room. By the time he was found, Seon-jae had lost a lot of blood. He might be still alive, but his life is hanging by a thread. Disclosing the assailant’s picture, Sol figures it was Taxi Driver. Hearing the news, Sol is dumbfounded. How come Seon-jae ended up getting hurt once again despite all her efforts to change their future? Also, why on earth did Taxi Driver target him?

Lovely Runner Episodes 7 and 8 Musings

Things might have unfolded differently but another accident happened to Sol a year later in 2009. We don’t get many details yet except for Taxi Driver attacking Sol once again and Seon-jae being her savior. Since seeing Seon-jae reminded her of the incident, Sol from the past thanked Seon-jae for saving her and then cut ties with him. And that was how they drifted apart this time.

It looks like someone was murdered too. Taxi Driver was imprisoned for murder and only got out a few days ago. He has been lurking around our leads, biding his time to get back at Seon-jae for ruining his plans and saving Sol.

I knew it. Seon-jae hasn’t committed suicide but was pushed into the swimming pool by Taxi Driver. Back then, he was the one who saved Sol as well and got Taxi Driver arrested. But while I understand that the drama needs a source of tension to keep us intrigued, I am not fond of this twist of having a psychopath on the run targeting our leads just because he has fun killing people.

I thought there would be some sort of connection between Sol and Seon-jae as teenagers. But Sol only knew Seon-jae as her savior whom she berated after waking up and realizing she wouldn’t be able to walk anymore. Sadly enough, Seon-jae was outside her room, crying and blaming himself for the accident.

Further, Sol forgot everything afterward. Be it the accident or Seon-jae. The poor guy was the only one left to remember everything and feel guilty though he was never at fault. No wonder Seon-jae looked depressed. With a heavy burden like this and the lonely life as an idol, Seon-jae suffered too much.

After crossing paths with Future Sol and spending time together, the Seon-jae we met this time was palpably different. When Seon-jae almost got the wrong idea that Sol only went to his place to convince him about starring in the movie, Sol had to come clean about doing that out of worry he might die. You see, celebrities often suffer from depression and insomnia. And they might harm themselves because of it.

Seon-jae assures Sol this isn’t the case for him. And seeing how the anxiety medications from before are now replaced by nutritional supplements speaks volumes about how much their time together has changed Seon-jae’s life for the better. Sol might be happy that Seon-jae is still alive and his time hasn’t stopped flowing. But without her by his side, Seon-jae felt like his time was standing still and only started flowing after meeting her.

Sol and Hyun-joo’s conversation about turning the time back and changing one’s fate is giving me some ominous vibes. I agree that change doesn’t always bring good results and that we never know how the future will unfold. But does this mean we should sit on our hands and do nothing when we or our loved ones could be in danger? Or does this mean that we can’t be in control of everything and we should accept the result after giving it our best?

Twinkling Watermelon introduced a similar theme but unlike the case there, our leads are in danger because of a thirsty-for-blood psychopath wreaking havoc on innocent people. If the real cause of Seon-jae’s death was suicide, I would agree that Sol should just stay by his side and comfort him. But how can she stay still when she knows he was murdered?

While it definitely won’t be easy to defeat Taxi Driver, I am rooting for Sol to beat the odds and rewrite her happy ending. As long as our leads end up together, I am okay with anything. Those two innocent souls have done nothing wrong and they deserve to be together after suffering for so long.


Photos and Videos: tvN Drama