Vision, in the sensory sense, not the mission statement sense, plays a part of the story telling for this drama. What does Byung-hee see when she looks at Chul-su? When she looks at herself? What does Chul-su see? We view the world through a filter of our own perceptions, which means we are blocking things that are right in front of our eyes. Humans are notoriously unreliable witnesses. A well-known experiment proved this surprising fact, especially when it comes to change. It’s not only that we see what we want to see. Sometimes we see only what we are ready to see.
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We have a replay of the conversation by the car.
“I wanted to be responsible for you, too.”
She is shocked.
He looks up from where he is working.
“I wanted to be take care of you, too, whatever little I could offer.”
Her mouth stays open in surprise. Chul-su stands up and takes the flashlight out of her hands and stares at her.
He points the light at her eyes, then all over her body, listing her sad facts: she’s 33 years old and would have been an unwed mother, sensitive, impulsive, overly suspicious, petty, who still puts men on a pedestal. She’s so pitiful that he offered to take care of her.
Byung-hee listens, wincing at the light and the words silently, then grabs the flashlight shining it in his eyes and returns the “compliments.”
He’s pretty pathetic, too. A great student who got into a university, yet didn’t attend. He needs to stop the cool act.
At first, Chul-su tries to evade the light, but stands still and takes it – squinting.
The last comment changes the tone of the conversation. Any hint of amusement on Chul-su’s face is gone. He remains stone faced a few seconds, while the words echo in Byung-hee’s mind. She seems to realize she went too far.
“Dad said that, too,” Chul-su admits, quietly. Byung-hee looks a little worried, until he breaks into a little song and dance with hand gestures. “Enjoy life! Live with a smile.”
He stops cold when Byung-hee doesn’t crack a smile.
He’s not as cute and funny as he thinks he is, which upsets him. “Ah, I’ve lost my comic timing!”
Wanting to be serious, she asks him to pinky promise to end this today, that nothing ever happened between them. ( l love this is the equivalent to “Cross your heart and hope to die,” which is the most binding contract you can make…when you are 6 years old.)
He refuses, so she forces him. They will take it to their graves and beyond. From now on, it’s noona-dongsang. Nothing more, nothing less. He stares at her, reluctant to finish the swear, but does in the end. Any amiability devolves into a thumb war as they both fight for dominance. LOL.
They discuss that the car needs work down at the garage, Byung-hee agrees to bring it in, then walks away.
Chul-su has one more question, “Who was the Sunbae you kept calling for in Oido?”
She looks at him blankly, “What night?”
In Oido – that night.
“I don’t understand. Oido?”
Chul-su finally gets it. “Women do adapt fast, don’t they?”
Jun-hee gets a call to get herself down to a venue for a fashion show, but when she arrives, it’s only Bulldog acting like a Lord of the manor.
He offers her breakfast, then makes a proposal to be her sponsor. Jun-hee is not in the mood for his power plays that early in the morning so she asks directly if he wants to sleep with her. He assures he could have the pick of pretty, bustier girls if he wanted. His offer stands. She can be top model, he will use his clout to help her.
She counters that when she is a top model, she will sleep with him then, and leaves.
He manages to bring her back by talking about money. She needs it to eat.
She gets right close to him and asks for cab fare home.
Mom arrives at the real estate office to find her new employee, Pil-Kyo, hard at work. He is attentive to her health. When she tells him about her weak stomach, he takes her pulse and touches her neck.
A red kitted out 4X4 speeds into Chul-su’s garage. The boss complains and yells at a bunch of employees, until a pretty, busty girl comes out of the car.
Another day at C’est Si Bon, another customer concerned how his sex toy purchase will show up on his credit card statement and what the package looks like.
A woman storms in, carrying, then dumping a box of their merchandise
– that she found in her teenage son’s bedroom. Not very politely, she accuses them of selling to underage kids. Byung-hee tries to reason with her, but the woman starts to pull things off desks and out of cupboards. SHE is the VP of the Green Life Association and other Citizen Action Committees, one of which has a mission to stamp out indecency. Yong-gil arrives mid lecture with Bae. Byung-hee defends their business, citing their what they do is legal. Fighting ensues; Byung-hee takes the brunt of it. Bae drags her out of the office by the waist as she is literally kicking and screaming.
They go to a conveniences store, where she continues to rant about parents, and he cutely buys what she buys and struggles getting the straw into his drink pouch. They walk along together drinking their drinks. She mentions it’s ironic that this mom attacked their comparatively tame magazine when kids can get much harder stuff online.
Bae has been listening, not needing to respond, but then out of nowhere asks if she wants to go drinking, as in alcohol. He is openly flirting with her, but she is clueless. Her response is that she can’t drink when she’s working, so Bae pouts a little saying he feels rejected, then asks for her business card. He wants to get to know her better: her personality, weight, …sexual preference. Byung-hee doesn’t like this line of questioning and says she is very normal and walks away.
The fortune teller’s words ring in her memory “Don’t look far. Just look around you,” and stop her.
She has given him the GO ahead sign for a personal relationship.
The litte red 4X4, driven by Chul-su in his cute green jumpsuit, weaves in and out of traffic. Busty (character’s real name is Joo-hee, but why bother?) sort of listens as he instructs her on taking better care of his sporty vehicle. Her interest is with him, not the car. She reminds him that they have met.
Flashback to a club where Chul-su and two buddies stare-open mouthed, drool dripping at Busty busting the moves on the dance floor.
A very enthusiastic, younger looking (like that is possible) Chul-su and she dance and chat. There is some misunderstanding about where he goes to school, and she slapped him because he’s a high school student, not a college boy.
When they return to the shop, Busty confidently asks him out to eat, while Chul-su is not interested. “Who wants to go eat with you?” She is very surprised.
Byung-hee creeps back into the office and apologizes. The Boss tells her she did a good job and calls her “Reporter” Go. She smiles. Sung-ha is weeping crouched on the floor, so Byung-he apologizes to her, too. Turns out, it isn’t from sadness, but residue from an open condom pack got in her eye!
Seung-hye is piecing together all the interactions between her brother and Byung-hee, certain that something is going on. She reviews the dinner, the almost confession and the victory cheer. Byung-hee had some hold on Chul-su but it was released. Money? Not possible. It is driving her crazy.
Byung-hee and Chul-su arrive at the corner store at the same time. He tells her the car would be ready the next day.
They decide on a 5PM appointment as they go to pay for their food. A small re-allignment of power has started. Chul-su wants to pay for his own stuff, but Byung-hee insists she buys, maintaining the noona/dongsaeng status quo as the reason. Their bags were mixed-up and trade them back.
Joon-hee is working out at a gym when a call comes in about a delivery.
Bulldog has sent her a gorgeous, expensive black gown with Coach shoes with a card, which makes her angry. The Lord is in his manor acting like a jerk with his staff when she calls him. She wants him to come get the box, but he refuses to fetch it, telling her to bring it to him.
Someone is awarding Bulldog a fake Citizenship award so they take fake photos of him reading in his fake library.
Joon-hee goes up to his penthouse apartment to confront him. How did he find out the exact shoe she likes? But Bulldog says it must be they have the same taste, he didn’t investigate her. He drags her into his library, and she calls him a lunatic, speaking in banmal. All of this attention is suspicious, Joon-hee is trying to figure out what the heck Bulldog’s deal is. Bulldog, meanwhile, has found the person he wants to impress and please, and he is showing off his latest toy to her: the high-class library with top shelf goods (He hasn’t seen Grampa’s library in Shark, though.) He has everything she needs, and she can stop by anytime. She insults him more and refuses his largesse, going to the door to leave. Bulldog followed her over to the door, says “Open Sesame,” and the door opens. Using his cane to block her exit, he squirms by, and closes the door with
Mom is at the real estate office. A rash has developed on her wrist. Before her Pil-Kyo comes in, as she looks at his family portrait. Wife is pretty. He arrives and they argue, again about a property. His conscience won’t allow him to market a house to a family because of its poor condition. Mom’s like – just sell the damn thing.
Byung-hee gets Pil-Kyo’s Eastern Medicine diagnosis/prognosis by pulse.
Pil-Kyo informs Byung-hee that her chi is out of balance. (I also could have told her that because everyone’s chi is out of balance, except those people at the park who move in slow motion adjusting their Chi with their Tai.) (Suddenly, all I want is a Chai tea frappachino from Starbucks.) The uterus and the stomach are connected. She needs to take care of both. Pil-Kyo wisely advises that she continue to treat the tumor with medical science, however, acupuncture could stop the fibroid’s growth. He takes out his needle kit, but Byung-hee has to take Mom’s car in to be fixed. She seems very relieved to have an excuse to skedattle.
Chul-su is finishing up the work on Busty’s red 4X4. Joon-hee, who by now has given up calling for help at Bulldog’s locked door, is trying to get him on his cell, but he cannot hear it over the roar of the engine. She tries her version of Bulldog’s voice to get the damned door open, but it won’t budge. (I replayed that a number of times. I wonder how many NG’s she had doing it.)
The library wall is filled with expensive bottles of wine and liquor, and she drops and smashes a 30 year old bottle of Scotch. She discovers a hidden storage room off the library, as her friend calls on the cell. At the same time her friend tells her, the mystery of why Bulldog has taken a keen interest in Joon-hee is uncovered. Joon-hee finds a lifesize portrait against the wall that crashes to the floor. Bulldog’s ex looks exactly like Joon-hee. Creepy creepy creepy.
Chul-su and Byung-hee are looking under Mom’s car up on the lift. Byung-hee wants to know right away how much work is needed. Chul-su bristles when she asks “Can’t you tell by just looking at it what is wrong?” Even a mechanic with 30 years experience wouldn’t be able to do that he says. Byung-hee makes threatening moves behind his back.
Busty catches her in the act, and demands to know why the Ajummah is being disrespectful to her Chul-suah. Chul-su plays dumb about knowing Byung-hee, and enjoys the discomfort that Ahjumma is suffering while defending herself. Busty wants to know “Who is this?”
Busty’s no dummy about brown-nosing the right people, so she brings Byung-hee coffee, and asks polite questions, while revealing her interest in dating Chul-su. Byung-hee agrees that Chul-su is special and mature, and he knows the right things to do.
Busty’s use of “my Chul-su” hits on Byung-hee’s first and last nerve. Byung-hee asks what she likes about him, and they agree he’s cute, though Byung-hee’s inner voice adds that he is rude. Then Busty calls him macho – way better than the kids who take money freely from their parents. Again, Byung-hee agrees saying he’s been like that since high school.
But it’s his eyes, the younger woman says, is what she loves the most – like a deer caught in the headlights, Byung-hee gags. LOL.
Busty gives Byung-hee her card – she’s a secretary – and asks a bunch of questions about Unni’s magazine job, which Byung-hee evades.
Byung-hee, despite herself, cannot remain indifferent to a woman near Chul-su, especially a pretty, sexy one wearing revealing clothing. She watches Chul-su and Busty talk about her car with a death stare.
They flirt; he does a little dance that evokes loud laughter from her. He’s like “I AM funny, aren’t I?” Byung-hee is not amused, saying he’s trying too hard.
Bae calls her and wants this round’s questions for the men’s health column, her eagle eye trained on the younger couple. She starts to say she’ll email them, but as Busty laughs and laughs at cute, funny, macho, mature, doe-eyed Chul-su, Byung-hee changes her mind.
This woman is so amazingly not self-aware, it is ridiculous. She confronts Chul-su, who is working on her mom’s car, asking him if he likes this girl. Can’t he tell by looking if he wants to date her? After all, Busty is totally into him, but Chul-su says all women are. Byung-hee is disgusted.
He gives her bad news about the car door and its repair, but she immediately goes back to asking him about the girl. Is she really his type? It’s her big chest he likes, right? He says he likes her personality, too. But Byung-hee says bad things about the girl, which Chul-su defends. He tells her Byung-hee has no confidence, setting her off more.
Bae arrives, beeping his horn, and Byung-hee smiles HUGE, which Chul-su notices, asking if she has a boyfriend.
She doesn’t have a girlfriend, is her snarky reply.
He whooo-hoo’s, impressed by the car, the clothes, the looks…That must be Byung-hee’s ideal man.
He pops back out to get a look as the two greet each other. Even though she is not with him, she teases Chul-su, telling Bae the lad’s a little clumsy. She gets into the car as Chul-su watches – they make faces at each other across the sidewalk.
Chul-su asks “What are YOU looking at? Just go, quickly!” and returns to working on the car. Not at all caring about her as she drives away, just like she doesn’t care at all. Bae takes her away, and she frowns.
A bit later at a restaurant, Byung-hee is tipsy talking non-stop to Bae. She complains about her poet friend – he makes fun of her a little.
Chul-su goes home, grumpily ignoring his sister’s friendly (for once) offer to eat with him. He goes to his fridge and opens a beer. Stormy expression on his face.
Byung-hee continues her rambling about college, then notices what she has been doing. Bae gets serious on her, and asks if she wants to sleep with him. She misses the point, of course, and says it’s too early. She determines he’s a player, and shocked at first, says nothing. When he backs down a little, she’s all fake bravado, “Why not? Let’s go do it now.” She excuses herself to use the ladies room, but goes out the back door instead. (I am not sure Bae is buying her act.) She’s walks in the alley, berating him for thinking she’s that type of woman, and for thinking he’s so great she would fall into his clutches immediately.
“It didn’t feel painful but it felt like my soul had left my body. Is it a concussion? I can’t die. If I had known, I should have tried falling in love. But what am I afraid of? Because the man is a stranger? Because it’s not someone I love? What is the problem? I’m 33. Healthy and normal. Its normal to sleep with a man. It’s just that I lack the courage. I want to take it off. Take off this disguise I’ve had for 30 years. I want to destroy this deep well I’ve dug for myself.”
She holds her hands to her head, telling a cat “I’m OK. No problem.”
Bae is taking her down a hall to a hotel room, asking about which color condom she prefers.
She stalls going into the room, but gets her courage up and grabs him by the tie. She changes her mind, though, almost immediately, again. Not with him, not a player. He has her against the wall, and she still manages to back-pedal: she has her period, she wants to
see his family record, but nothing slows his attack at all. He keeps pushing. Finally, he tells her, you’re no expert because you talk too much. When he points out the bump on her head, she tells him it is a sign she is aroused. This is more than he can take, and he breaks down laughing in her face.
Chul-su is working at the video rental store arguing with a regular customer over fees. Chul-su chases him outside, and spots Byung-hee and Bae saying good-night and talking about their fun date.
Chul-su is not happy.
Seung-hye comes up the stairs and witnesses an exchange of looks between the pair.
The two ladies go into the store, talking about Bae. Sure he’s a player and took her to a hotel room, but he let her go without doing it. He can’t be that bad. Byung-hee wonders why he changed his mind so suddenly. Seung-hye tells her to take advantage of having an expert of that quality around, and Byung-hee should go for it. Isn’t she longing for it?
A noise interrupts their talk.
Seung-hye gets an idea. All three of them need to sit down and hash out this whole kneeled-down-in-front-of-Omani event. Chul-su is alarmed, but Byung-hee, fortunately escaped. Seung-hye calls out for her, surprised at how quick like a bunny she disappeared. When she turns back, Chul-su is also nowhere to be seen. All of this evasive behavior makes her even more certain there is something nefarious between them.
Byung-hee is striding home, muttering, loudly, about dongsangs listening to conversations, Seung-hye bringing up things that were settled. She realizes she left her sweater in Bae’s car about the time we see he finds it.
He picks it up, and (does something so very normal and natural, but that characters NEVER do in shows) smells it. Then smiles.
Byung-hee says to herself, “Fine. I’ll pretend I lost it.”
Chul-su comes around the corner calling, “Miss Go, I have something to say.” He grabs her wrist and pulls her while she protests his familiarity and the fact he is dragging her.
When they get to the playgournd, he faces her and yells, “You went to a hotel, what are you nuts?”
She tells him he shouldn’t be listening in like a rat.
Can’t she be more wary? Does she know what happens at hotels? Doesn’t she know what that guy’s thinking?!
Byung-hee fires back, “What’s it to you if I go to a hotel or not? Who are you do grab me by the arm and ask about that?”
He tells her he wants her to get married as quickly as possible to help him forget the nightmare in Oido.
She yells back “Didn’t I say we have to forget it even happened?”
Does she want it that badly? Why doesn’t she settle down and get married as soon as possible instead of ending up in hotel rooms with a jerk like him.
“Hey, you Oido jerk!” LOL “If I just sat around waiting, would men fall down from heaven for me? I need to go to a hotel to get experience.”
“Get married, than gain experience,” he advises.
“I don’t wanna!” she yells back.
He calls after her
“Being a virgin for so long, you’re willing to try anything now? You started late so you want it so bad you can’t wait? How did you bear it all those years?”
His interference angers her. She goes after him, hitting him with her purse. “Yes, I’m having an affair, so what?” She is deprived and she does regret not doing it before. She is going to do it every day from now on if she feels like it.”
“Didn’t you say you don’t remember what happened? You only remember the good parts?”
She calls him a jerk. While were at it, she’s been meaning to ask him something that she can’t seem to let go.
He says he has something to ask, too.
No matter how much she thinks about it she can’t figure out he was sober, how could he have done it with her?”
He asks “Are you really that cheap and vulgar?” How could she not remember? Or was she pretending to be drunk to seduce him?
She hits him with her purse again. Does he think she had nothing better to do than seduce him? Why would she give her first time to a still-wet-behind-the-ears bastard?
He yells back. Is it that it was her first time that makes her so arrogant?
“Yes, I’m arrogant! Give it back. Return it, you bastard!”
“Then you return my first time, too!!”
This makes her step back – dumbfounded
He turns his back on her and says how embarrassing it is. “I didn’t want to admit it.”
Her eyes are wide with shock.
“It was my first time, too!”
Still speechless, she looks at him.
“Why are you so shocked? Feeling guilty?”
Finally, she speaks, “You’re kidding, right?”
“Were you kidding?”
Then she asks “Then what have you been doing all along?” He laughs at that.
And gives the question back to her, “What have you been doing?”
He leans in, “As a dongsang, I am warning you. Don’t run after any man. Just settle down and get married.”
He leaves her open-mouthed. Considering what he just said.
I see a turning point for Byung-hee in this episode, but, as I have mentioned, Byung-hee isn’t as aware of how things have changed for her and Chul-su. Maybe she hadn’t been supportive of his girlfriends when they were all younger, either; we don’t know if this is new for her. Between looking for Busty’s flaws, however, and making Bae come to the garage so she could “in your face” him to Chul-su, she is clearly staking a claim. Chul-su is as affected by the arrival of the spiffy doctor, but I think he is slightly more honest with himself about his feelings, but only slightly. His little speech about taking responsibility because Byung-hee is so pathetic on her own? Notso honest. In my shallow understanding of the expression “Take responsibility,” what he is saying is tantamount to: “Of course I’ll marry you and live with you for the rest of our lives. I may as well, since nobody else will.” It only sounds reasonable to someone who is also as confused as him.
Chul-su’s confession about him being a virgin surprised me, big time. This is a guy who has traveled all over the place for three years. He should have experienced love under all different stars, but didn’t. Byung-hee asks him “What did he do?” I want to know why didn’t he do it?
Loss of virginity is often connected with a loss of innocence (especially with women) and in a larger way, it is the end of childhood and where you officially become an adult. In a lot of ways, Byung Hee had been shouldering adult responsibility before she graduated high school with doing the cooking and cleaning. There is kind of a “myth” for girls about making your first someone you are truly in love with, and it looks like Byung Hee never had that connection (well, one that wasn’t completely one-sided anyway).
As for Chul Soo . . . women clearly find him appealing (duh!), and to not have hooked up during his freewheeling backpacking through Europe time? That’s interesting. Because nobody would have to know, it could be a “no strings attached” situation with another tourist. Maybe it is just another way to put off growing up, like not going to college or completing his military service. And maybe because his parents are both gone, he associates growing up with a certain mortality. We don’t quite know where Chul Soo is coming from yet, but I want to know more.