XO, Kitty takes the youngest Covey sister all the way from Portland to Seoul, South Korea, for an adventure of a lifetime, or a love hypothesis of a lifetime? You can read our full review here before diving into everything that happens in the confusing life of Kitty Song Covey in her short time at KISS. Kitty’s origin story is easy enough to understand, but her love triangle is something that begins to look like a love polyhedron after a certain point. Let’s attempt to break down her story and everything we know about the prestigious school, both in 1993 and in the present day.
Fake Dating, World Travel, And Failed Surprises
Right off the bat, Kitty is explaining to her parents why she needs to go to KISS, the Korean Independent School of Seoul. Reason no. 1: Her boyfriend goes there, and after talking for four years online, she deserves to spend some time with him in person. Reason no. 2: It’s her mother’s alma mater, and Kitty knows very little about her mother, so this would be the perfect opportunity to learn some more. Daddy dearest agrees rather easily, and Kitty is off to surprise Dae, who has no idea that said girlfriend is transferring schools 5000 miles away just to be with him. At the airport, Kitty meets a fancy young Korean man who goes to KISS too, but he claims he can’t speak English, leaving Kitty stunned. Upon arrival in Seoul, Kitty writes to her sisters about everything she’s going through (this is the only time we see her do it with so much fervor until we don’t see it at all) and signs of XO, Kitty, of course. She misses her school bus that would’ve taken her right to the dorms and instead finds herself roaming the streets of Seoul without being able to read the subway maps and ending up lost. She almost gets hit by a car, and it happens to be Yuri Han, the heiress of the famous hotel chain, who also happens to go to the same school (we know where this is going). Kitty gets Yuri to drop her off at school and is her obnoxious, naive, loud self, immediately telling Yuri her plan of action in Seoul. But she doesn’t stop there; she’s also all up in Yuri’s personal love business without realizing who she really is. But Yuri obliges because, to all our shock, she likes Kitty.
Unfortunately, this is where the good turns ugly for Kitty. While she looks beautiful for the long-awaited welcome party, where she plans on surprising Dae and making Dae’s eyes light up when he sees her, there’s something else she needs to know. Yuri is seeing Dae too! Earlier in the day, we saw that Yuri’s mom, Jina, who happens to be the principal of the school, knew Kitty’s mom too, and they might’ve been close because Kitty’s album is filled with their photos. Jina, though, doesn’t seem to remember Eve, and Kitty lets it go for now. After having the most adorable in-person hug with Dae, Yuri shows up and tells Kitty that Dae is her boyfriend. So, Yuri is essentially paying Dae off to be her fake boyfriend, but why? Well, Yuri is actually gay, and her girlfriend Julianna has been shipped off to another country because they were caught. Yuri is just using Dae as a cover-up because of her conservative family and their social position. Kitty finds herself crashing into a cupcake tower and decides to leave for home immediately.
As if that wasn’t enough, Kitty has been assigned a room in the boys’ dormitory because of a name mishap (hmm, definitely an error of convenience), which means she’s rooming with Dae, Min Ho, and Q (Dae’s best friends). She’s already decided to leave, though, so she’s staying over just for one night. Dae and Kitty have another big fight, and she tells him to return her mother’s necklace, which she had given him when his mother died. Kitty thinks Dae is a huge liar, so she wants the only keepsake of her mother’s back.
There’s More To This Than Just A Boy, Or Is There?
Kitty leaves without waking a sleeping Dae in front of her room door and sees a whole bunch of spots in the school where her mom had been. This makes Kitty reconsider her decision, and at the same time, Dae shows up. Kitty realizes Dae has been lying about other things too, but he gets dragged to meet the President of Han Hotels (Yuri’s dad) when he is just about to explain to Kitty how he truly feels. Mr. Han has anger issues and has been treating his employees at the hotel terribly. His redemption is letting Dae, his chauffeur’s son, date his precious daughter and also giving him an internship at his hotel. At a press conference that Kitty happens to see through Min Ho’s laptop because she returns to the dorm room, Mr. Han apologizes and tells the world about Dae’s internship. After the press conference is over, Yuri tries to hold Dae’s hand, but he doesn’t let her. Conveniently, only Kitty notices this fakeness on TV, and everybody else seems to believe the two of them are head over heels for each other.
Dae’s family consists of his cute little sister and his dad, who can’t afford a new pair of shoes for the little one. Dae’s a great older brother, though, and is enduring the fake relationship to help his family (desperation, check). In the dorm room, Kitty asks him about the many lies he’s told her, including being rich, and Dae tells her that it was because he was embarrassed, but before he can tell her the truth about Yuri, they’re interrupted again because they’re going to be late on the first day of school. Dae is really not into this whole fake thing and wants to tell Kitty the truth, so Yuri quickly tells him the real reason they need to continue faking this relationship. Being the perfect sweetheart that he is, Dae decides to look sincere in the relationship for the paparazzi following them around. In the meantime, Kitty keeps bumping into a teacher named Alex, who has also just transferred to Korea, judging from his Australian accent. Her literature professor, Mr. Lee, is also quick to tell her that she’s below the rest of her classmates and has to take tutoring to do well (hmm, wonder who this could be?). Kitty begins her matchmaking business in school too, so she can get close to Q and have at least one friend amidst all the people calling her the “Portland Stalker”. Q has a teeny tiny crush on a boy named Florian, and Kitty has her “Emma” hat on to make it work for them.
Kitty, Learn To Keep Secrets
Unfortunately, while Kitty’s hunch is right, she makes the big mistake of calling Min Ho “poopy baby”, a secret that Dae had divulged to her in confidence. This one small mistake stops Dae from telling Kitty the truth and breaking up with her. Dude, you’ve been lying this whole time; she just accidentally let slip one little secret because your best friend was treating her badly. Now, Dae returns the necklace that Kitty wanted back; he’s been wearing it this whole time because he cares for her deeply, but she missed the chance to know the truth. In the middle of all this, though, Kitty finds another reason to stay back. A bracelet falls out of her mother’s album, and it’s a baby bracelet with her mother’s name on it for a baby born in 1993. Kitty is ecstatic when she realizes she has a brother in Seoul and now begins her quest to find him.
Min Ho gets Kitty shifted to the girls’ dorms, and Kitty can’t sleep, study, or do anything because her assigned roommate spends the whole day playing video games (I mean, someone would be checking on them, right?Wrong). She tries to ask Alex to get her room changed, but there’s no free space in the whole dormitory. On the other hand, Kitty wants to know what’s really going on with Dae and tells Q about her plight. His relationship with Florian is growing, and they might actually become a thing thanks to Kitty, so he’s willing to help his girl out. He’s the head of the “Outdoors Club,” so Kitty can join their hike the next day to spend some quality time with Dae because Yuri would be caught dead before she’s seen on a hike. But there’s one big problem: Q lets it slip to Min Ho, who is feeling alone and distant from Dae, so Min Ho calls Yuri to join them. Obviously, this means things don’t go as planned. Yuri goes as far as to make Kitty take pictures of her and Dae, and that’s when Kitty finds the hospital logo that was on the baby bracelet.
‘XO, Kitty’ Or ‘Meddler Kitty’
We think Kitty needs to stop the meddling, especially when she’s going to break into a hospital’s confidential patient records by matchmaking the nurse and the janitor (Seema Aunty, get some lessons). She finds out that the baby that her mother supposedly had was adopted by Australian parents, leading Kitty to think her brother is Alex, her chemistry teacher. Kitty rushes to tell Q this information asap; we’ll see this happen a lot now, but Min Ho has some more news for her. Min Ho has chanced upon a website where Kitty’s roommate has been live-streaming Kitty sleeping! The only option she has now is to live with the boys again (hmm, more convenience). Kitty plans on telling Alex what she’s found out and finally admits it’s time to stop following Dae around.
Chuseok And Kitty’s Big ‘Friendsgiving’
Maybe asking Alex to have dinner with her during Chuseok in the school corridor could teach Kitty to be more discreet and choose what she’s doing wisely before having to cook a Chuseok feast for all the ex-pats of the school. Obviously, she has no idea how to do any Korean cooking, and Min Ho smoothly swoops in to save the day. They cook together, well, mostly Min Ho does, and it looks like a friendship might be blooming between them. In the meantime, Dae brings home expensive Korean pears that his mom used to love because he has the money from the internship now. Yuri visits Dae because she hates being at home because all her parents do is fight. Friendships are all around as Yuri spends a good day with Dae’s family and his eyes are opened to her goodness. At the Friendsgiving, Professor Lee arrives with Alex to the disappointment of Kitty, but because Min Ho needs saving from Madison Miller, the daughter of some western conglomerate who is doing business with the Hans, he helps Kitty and sits with Lee. Kitty tries to use the opportunity to tell Alex what she’s found out, but he keeps wandering to Lee (we wonder why). Yuri leaves Dae’s home happy on Chuseok day, but Kitty has realized that a gift for Dae might solve everything. This gift arrives just as Yuri is leaving, and instead of giving it to Dae, she sees the necklace (yes, the same one) and keeps it to herself. Why, Yuri, we liked you!
When Kitty finally gets some alone time with Alex, he tells her that he knows that she knows that Lee is his father, but Kitty blurts out that they have the same mother. Now Kitty thinks her mother was in love with Lee back in the day, the teacher who she shares a mutual hatred with.
Confusion And More Confusion
Min Ho has a dream (ahem!) about Kitty and is also hosting a huge party for the whole grade that Kitty doesn’t want to go to because Dae and Yuri would be there. Dae hasn’t thanked her for the necklace, which means she’s “mad.” Q convinces Kitty to come to the party in a fancy outfit and with an open mind to find someone new. Kitty agrees and arrives in true style, making even Min Ho, the playboy, swoon for her until he realizes it’s Kitty (oh boy, the dream and now this). Since Florian is French, he has his own stash of alcohol where underage drinking is strictly prohibited, which Kitty is happy to drink from. In her drunken state from 13 sips of alcohol, she’s reminded of how much she still likes Dae and meets a random guy who insults Yuri to “impress her”. Kitty is absolutely unimpressed, and Yuri overhears her say that she actually admires the girl and wishes they were friends.
Dae doesn’t know what to do at an event like this and can’t keep his eyes off of Kitty. Kitty is reminded of Alex through a conversation with Q and Florian, who are tired of babysitting her, so she gives him a call. He realizes that she’s at a party with other kids. She texts him, saying he’s awesome and that her mother, Eve Song, would agree, but instead of sending it to Alex, she sends it to Lee. Now, everyone is busted for sure. Lee and Jina arrive at the party just before DJ Yuri is about to take the stage. Alex is already there, trying to save the day, but Lee is unimpressed. They figure the only way to stop the mayhem is to unplug the speakers. Yuri begins her set with what seems to be everyone’s favorite song, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” and it’s like a light bulb moment between Jina and Lee. OMG! Alex is Jina and Lee’s son. But wait, there’s a lot left to happen at the party. Kitty finds herself enthralled by Yuri on stage, and Min Ho doesn’t like to see Kitty with Dae, who now knows that Yuri took his necklace and tries to explain it to her, so he ends up giving Madison a chance. Dae confronts Yuri in the middle of her set on the podium and tells her he was mistaken for a bit, thinking they could actually be friends, and the party is over. Everybody runs out, but the paparazzi are already there and get a photograph of Dae and Yuri at an underage drinking party. Yuri should be in big trouble, but instead, the whole grade just gets Saturday detention. Finally, it’s Kitty’s turn to have a dream, and this time it’s the sizzling tension between her and sweet Yuri.
A Long Detention
Dae asks Yuri to meet him before detention and tells her they should break up. Yuri admits she took the necklace because she was jealous and didn’t want to lose Dae as a friend. (Honestly, Yuri, Dae’s clearly a great friend, and this was totally unnecessary.) Yuri asks for another chance and tells Dae she’ll give the necklace back to Kitty. She goes to Kitty’s dorm room to find no Kitty, only the video game lady’s trash, and she knows exactly where Kitty might be. This reveals Yuri’s jealousy, and she decides to put the necklace on herself. Dae can’t break up with Yuri now because she knows about Kitty living with them, and the whole world will know if he acts blindly. Yuri thinks she’s been made out to be a bad person because of Kitty, and she doesn’t like that, which is why she’s doing everything in her position to make people hate Kitty. But before they can have an actual fight, Jina arrives and sees the necklace on Yuri. She thinks it’s her necklace, which is a surprise to all the kids, and she’s rattled it up. Yuri now feels stupid about her decision and quickly asks Kitty to join her in a quest to “destroy” her mom.
What Really Happened In 1993?
Jina used Eve’s name to have Lee’s baby when she was 16 years old, but Lee never knew about it. Alex found Lee through one of those ancestry apps, but Lee never knew he existed. We don’t quite know why Jina pretended not to be close to Eve yet, though. Maybe she was ashamed to use her name. She probably burned their pictures to forget about her pregnancy. Kitty tells Alex that it’s not Eve but Jina who could be his mother. The whole hunt brings Kitty and Yuri closer together, and now that she has dirt on her mom, Yuri doesn’t have to fake the relationship anymore. Alex admits to Jina that he is her son and apologizes for showing up out of nowhere. She asks for time and tells her husband about Alex, who is quick to tell her to get rid of the “problem”.
Love Is In The Air
Dae can finally be with Kitty wholly and properly, and he doesn’t waste a second. They are happy for about five minutes, but Kitty wants answers, and she’s not getting them. At school camp, Yuri bunks with Kitty and tells her everything. Kitty’s super mad at the both of them, but she wants to help Yuri find Julianna too. She wishes she hadn’t been dragged into all of this, but a grand gesture from Dae changes her mood instantly, and even though she’s still irritated by everything that’s gone down, she finds herself forgiving him. But there’s still something confusing for her. Kitty feels hurt when Yuri talks to Julianna, making her feelings real. In school, Kitty is failing all her classes, but she has Dae now, which means everyone else who’s friends with him will also help her. Yuri moves in with them too because she wants to be away from her lying mother after coming out to her. Alex decides to leave, and Jina tells Yuri that he is her brother and also lets it slip that Kitty already knew. While performing in the talent show, Yuri and Kitty argue on stage until Kitty’s hanbok accidentally catches fire. Min Ho saves the day, but Dae is not happy.
Will Kitty Never Return To KISS?
The accident makes Kitty tell Dae the truth about her feelings for Yuri. Dae doesn’t want to believe Kitty and can’t understand how to react, leaving her crying and alone. Yuri, on the other hand, is on cloud nine because her mother has invited Julianna back. Kitty passes the semester, and all is great until she’s seen in the boy’s dormitory in PJs early in the morning. This is a huge offense, especially because Kitty’s a scholarship student, so she gets expelled. Nothing she can do can bring her back now. She leaves the necklace behind for Dae and leaves for the airport. Seeing the necklace, Dae decides to fight for Kitty and rushes after her with the help of his dad. At the airport, Kitty admits to Dae that he will always be her first love, but they have to break up now. Kitty had a great time with Dae, and they would’ve been perfect if it hadn’t been for Yuri. Dae realizes there’s nothing to fight for and leaves, but Kitty meets Yuri at the airport too. Julianna arrives, and Kitty realizes this is not her place to be. Strangely, Julianna seems to sense the tension between Kitty and Yuri even before meeting her.
Seeing Kitty just walk away makes Yuri call her mom and tell her not to expel Kitty. On the flight, Kitty reads a letter that Jina had given her, which was from her mother. In the letter, Kitty reads another name: Simon, possibly Eve’s real first love. The episode ends shockingly with Min Ho sitting next to her in the coach and admitting to Kitty about his feelings for her. Now, from her expression, we know Kitty has to come back to KISS to explore her new loves; whether she is “bi, pan, or fluid”, it will be okay at KISS. More importantly, she needs to know who Simon is and understand herself and her mother a little bit more! With that ending, we expect more misunderstanding, more fun, and more love with a lot of drama in season 2 of XO, Kitty.