Que Sera Sera: Episode 6
Good news! MBC has extended Que Sera Sera by one episode, bringing the final total to a 17-episode count. I’d been wondering how they’d wrap things up with the schedule askew as it is, because a soccer game pushed everything back an episode, thus forcing a week’s wait between the last two episodes. This is good to hear, because now the series will be able to wrap things up with two episodes in its final week.
(Random) SONG OF THE DAY
Tim – “이별앓이” (painful farewell), Tim’s new digital single [ zShare download ]
EPISODE 6 SUMMARY
Tae Joo is installed into a fancy apartment furnished by Hye Rin, in keeping with his “position” as her successful new boyfriend. It’s got all the latest fixtures and is fully equipped even down to his wardrobe. Hye Rin is quite specific in her instructions of what to wear and how, since he’s got an image (hers) to uphold now.
Now that Tae Joo has accepted the terms of the agreement, it seems Hye Rin has assumed complete control of their relationship, ordering him around freely. Personally, I find it somewhat emasculating for Tae Joo, but given their temperaments, I’m sure the power balance can’t remain this way for too long.
Taking up residence in Tae Joo’s old apartment, then, is his co-worker hyung. He recognizes Eun Soo as the massage model from the department store show, asking if she knows Tae Joo. At that moment, though, the elevator stops, and Eun Soo begins to cry as she remembers the time she kissed Tae Joo the last time the elevator got stuck.
But Eun Soo merely tells her sister that she’s crying because she dislikes her hair, so they get to work straightening it out. Eun Soo also asks her mother when they can move. She’s supposedly expecting money to come in from selling off her store, but her mother evades telling her when that is. Eun Soo wants to move right away, because she can’t stand living there anymore. She gives the reason that it’s uneasy living in a place where they could find themselves chased out at any moment.
They’re interrupted by three very loud, very angry women banging on the door. Eun Soo’s mother panics and tries to hide, telling her daughters to say they haven’t seen her; she’s not in Seoul. Eun Soo answers the door, and the women barge in, yelling about sending their mother to jail. Although the girls insist their mother isn’t here, the woman smells something fishy and finds her hiding in a sleeping bag.
And it’s somewhat evident now why Eun Soo and Ji Soo are the way they are, with such a mother. It may have been intended to be funny, but I find Eun Soo’s mother weak and irresponsible. More on this later.
In any case, they try to drag Eun Soo’s mother away, while she supplicates to them with promises to pay up. Having been told this before, the women are unmoved, but Eun Soo’s mother drags Eun Soo into it, assuring the women her daughter works at a fancy department store and can get an employee loan. They’ll hand over her paychecks, too. However, as Eun Soo’s merely an intern employee, her wages are laughable, and the savings she’s scrupulously accumulated (which her mother forces her to hand over, against her will) are equally insignificant.
The woman does, however, appraise Eun Soo herself, having her turn around while she looks her up and down. They leave, with some kind of understanding worked out with her mother, who hands Eun Soo back her savings book. She knew the women wouldn’t take it, she was offering it for show. She says, how could she actually take that money, knowing what it means to Eun Soo? I suppose it’s meant to soften her mother’s actions, but given what happens next, I don’t really think she deserves too much credit.
Meanwhile, Tae Joo starts his job at the department store, where he runs into Eun Soo. She runs away, but Tae Joo follows her around, asking why she’s running. Eun Soo stays quiet as Tae Joo prods her, trying to get a rise out of her as he tease her about her straightened hair, and then about how he was surprised that she was picked to be an intern employee. Eun Soo asks him if he sees her as a joke — he keeps disregarding her and putting her down.
Tae Joo: “Do you have a guilty conscience or something?”
Eun Soo: “I think you’re the one with a guilty conscience. Parachute employee!”
[“Parachute employee” refers to someone who arrived at his or her position through the back door, i.e. as a beneficiary of nepotism. I haven’t seen Eric’s previous series Korea Secret Agency (aka Invincible Parachute Agent), but I believe the “parachute” in that title refers to a similar concept.]
Tae Joo takes offense at being called that, and defends himself, saying he came into the company fairly. He demands to know who’s calling him that, and Eun Soo says, “Everyone!” Tae Joo offers up a pretty wimpy excuse:
Tae Joo: “Don’t you know it takes skill to be a parachute employee too? Not just anyone can date the daughter of the company president.”
Eun Soo: “You’re right. I couldn’t bring myself to do something like that. How can you worm your way in using the woman’s connections like that? Ajusshi, you really have too little pride.”
They’re interrupted by the arrival of the elevator. Tae Joo finds himself curiously overhearing Joon Hyuk ask Eun Soo about the hospital results. She assures him she’s fine, that the hospital says nothing’s wrong. When Joon Hyuk hears she’s known about the results for a few days, he tells her with a smile, “You should have told me earlier. I was worried.” As Tae Joo’s practically straining himself to hold back his curiosity, Joon Hyuk continues, “You’d troubled yourself so much for me, and I haven’t had a chance to pay my respects properly. Lend me some time — let’s have dinner together.”
The instant Joon Hyuk exits the elevator, Tae Joo asks what that was about, and if she’s close to Joon Hyuk, insinuating that it’s unbelievable. Eun Soo bristles at the implication that she can’t be close to someone like him, and leaves.
Hye Rin’s visited by her agitated mother, who’s unhappy with a number of things, namely that Hye Rin has not yet returned home. If Hye Rin just begs her father, she can come back. But Hye Rin’s got too much pride to beg, and tells her mother that she’s not living with Joon Hyuk or her new guy — she’s staying at her store/office — so there’s nothing to worry about. She also refuses to return until her parents can accept her new relationship, which her mother has also heard of and is unhappy about. But Hye Rin refuses to lose the person she loves.
Eun Soo’s also visited by an agitated mother, but for entirely different purposes. Her mother attempts to put the situation in a pleasant light, but what it boils down to is that Eun Soo’s been sold off to a hostess bar in exchange for an exorbitant advance payment, and there’s just no gilding that lily. Not that her mother doesn’t give it a try, though:
Mother: “You’ll just be serving. Only serving. It’s no different than being a waitress in a noodle shop.”
Eun Soo: “Then why do they give so much money?”
Mother: “It’s because it’s a job not anyone can do! But that woman took a liking to you, which is why she’s doing us a favor and introducing you. There are a ton of girls who’d love that job!”
Eun Soo still doesn’t want to do it, but her mother takes a cheap shot and pulls the sick-younger-sister card, bringing up Ji Soo’s hospital bills. Still, Eun Soo would rather take up another job instead, which her mother says won’t work since she’s already received the advance.
She then lays on the guilt, bemoaning her own sad fate in life, having married young and borne two children, only to raise them alone when their father suddenly died. She brings herself to the verge of tears, with the spirit of a tragic martyr: “But still, Eun Soo, I’ve never once thought of abandoning you!” Because a mother not wanting to abandon her children is always a cause for sainthood.
It’s at this point that I’d like to reach through the computer screen and give the selfish and incompetent woman a good whack upside the head, but Eun Soo’s a better person than I am (than most, I suspect), and weakens at the sight of her mother’s tears, which is precisely why I’m sure her mother invoked them. Her mother says fine, she’ll just go to jail (fully intending not to, I’ll bet).
And so Eun Soo says, innocently enough to break your heart, “It’s only serving, right? I only have to serve?”
Tae Joo and Hye Rin have dinner with Joon Hyuk, ostensibly so the couple can pay their proper thanks for him giving Tae Joo his job, but is really (at least in part) a chance for Hye Rin to flaunt her relationship.
Joon Hyuk tells Tae Joo that there are bound to be people who dismiss him for getting his job via connections. This is his way of advising Tae Joo to work hard; it can’t be helped if other employees think he got his job unfairly, but if Tae Joo proves incompetent on top of that, then he brings down Joon Hyuk and Hye Rin along with him.
What follows is an interesting power play between the two men, and also provides a glimpse into a very Korean way of thinking:
Tae Joo: “Of course I have to work hard. Hyungnim, you’ll have to help me along too. After all, you’re the only one in the office who would.”
Joon Hyuk: “Why am I your hyungnim?”
Tae Joo: “That would be the right term of kinship, since you’re Hye Rin’s older brother.”
Joon Hyuk: “You’re not married yet. Don’t get ahead of yourself.”
Tae Joo: “Then don’t speak banmal * to me. Using banmal when we’ve only barely met isn’t proper.”
Joon Hyuk: “You’re a subordinate employee.”
Tae Joo: “Do you use banmal with all subordinates?”
Joon Hyuk: “As the case dictates. I do, for those whom it suits.”
Tae Joo: “Am I one of those people?”
Joon Hyuk: “Yes.”
Tae Joo: “What year were you born?” **
Joon Hyuk: “I’m older than you, so there’s no cause to feel wronged.”
* banmal = informal speech
** Koreans sometimes ask for birth year when meeting someone to determine seniority, if it’s not already evident
Hye Rin breaks up the confrontation belatedly, and Joon Hyuk takes that as his chance to leave — he’s meeting with friends anyway…
…at the hostess bar where Eun Soo’s been indentured. At first, Joon Hyuk pretends not to recognize her, proceeding with his poker game. However, later he witnesses her being abused by a customer, who first slaps Eun Soo, then pushes her down. Unable to continue ignoring the situation, Joon Hyuk helps Eun Soo up and takes her out of the bar.
Without explanation, Joon Hyuk drives to the airplane hangar, and takes Eun Soo up in his plane.
In the air, Eun Soo remarks that of all the man-made creations, the airplane strikes her as the most marvelous. How amazing that something so heavy could take flight… She can’t quite believe she’s flying. Joon Hyuk says that sometimes, when he’s in his plane looking down at the earth, he’s startled to wonder if it’s real. Eun Soo says: “It’s fascinating, that you and I think the same thing. Isn’t it amazing?”
I love the flying sequences, and the Lee Seung Yeol song (which I posted in the Episode 3 recap, suits it perfectly. Apparently Lee Kyu Han had to learn how to pilot a plane for this role, which I think benefits these scenes tremendously, because it gives us an intimate peek into the plane rather than having to fake it or use trick photography to make it seem like he was flying.
Back at his (old) apartment, Tae Joo sees Eun Soo getting dropped off by Joon Hyuk, and demands to know why she spent all night out with him. Eun Soo says it’s her private life, so he shouldn’t concern himself. Oh, and she objects to him using banmal with her — they’re now both employees at the same office, and he should treat her with a little respect.
Tae Joo arrives at his fancy new apartment to find Hye Rin waiting for him. When Hye Rin asks him where he was all night, he snaps that it’s his private life, so she shouldn’t concern herself.
Hye Rin reminds Tae Joo that they’re meeting with her parents later, and advises him to take care with his dress and behavior. He asks if even matters that her parents like him, and she says it does. If he’s accepted by her parents, the rest of the world will take note of him, as being worthy enough to have earned their respect. Tae Joo says it’s not important to him what others think of him, but Hye Rin says it’s important to her.
Hye Rin leaves him with one last tantalizing bit: She reminds Tae Joo that he didn’t like Joon Hyuk. Well, if all goes well, he can show him up too. Joon Hyuk is like a son to the president, but he isn’t actually his son. Tae Joo says he thought they were close, like blood siblings. Hye Rin brings up an old folktale scoffing at the notion of sibling loyalty. Tae Joo: “So, are you saying you want me to shove your brother out?” Hye Rin counters with a no; she’s just telling him this so he doesn’t feel bad about what happened with Joon Hyuk.
In the shower, Tae Joo’s confronted with memories of seeing Eun Soo with Joon Hyuk…
…and follows her around at work. He addresses her in polite speech, and does his best to provoke a response from her, though she mostly stays stoically silent. (He strikes me as a young boy trying to get a little girl’s attention, first by teasing, and then escalating his actions to elicit responses because he doesn’t know how else to engage. Which is ironic given his prowess with other, more wordly women. But perhaps because Eun Soo’s like a child herself, he can’t find an appropriate response mechanism except for his juvenile one.)
Tae Joo comments that she looks much better without makeup; seeing her with makeup on so early in the morning (left over from her hostess bar work) was frightful. In response, Eun Soo takes out some lipstick and slathers it on. Ha!
So then he follows her to the cafeteria, when she asks why he’s reverted back to banmal. He answers, “In the elevator, I was creeped out to death. You should know I tried. But if it can’t be done, what can I do? When it’s just the two of us, I’ll talk like this.” He then asks again about her all-nighter: “When I’m curious, I can’t let things go. Until you answer, I’ll follow you around asking you over and over. So it’ll be easier if you just answer now.”
Eun Soo promises to answer if he answers one thing first. That woman he’s dating was the woman in the motel, wasn’t she? Does that mean he was two-timing while they were dating? Tae Joo dismissively says they weren’t even dating long enough for him to have cheated on her. “I met you both around the same time, and picked one. That’s all this is.” Eun Soo tells him however short a time it was, she still considers them as having dated.
She then answers his question by saying she was out with Joon Hyuk because he took her up in his plane, and I love Tae Joo’s uncomfortable/insecure response:
Tae Joo: “He pilots too?”
Eun Soo: “Yes. And he’s good at it.”
Joon Hyuk calls Eun Soo to his office, and the gist of the conversation is: He assumes she’s working at the hostess bar because she needs money. However, their business relies strongly on image, and it isn’t seemly to have their employee working at a place like that. He can give her another position on a personal project he needs help with, so she should quit immediately.
Eun Soo turns his offer down, because she’s indebted to the hostess bar for the cash advance. Joon Hyuk offers her a comparable amount; she’s too embarrassed to name the amount, so he guesses: $30,000? $50,000? Surely not $100,000? Eun Soo tells him it’s $10,000, and he tells her fine, it’s done. He’ll give it to her as an advance for working for him, and if it bothers her conscience that much, she can take out an employee loan when she’s promoted to full employee and pay him back that way.
Eun Soo asks why he’s being so nice to her, and he responds that she saved his life. He’d felt bad, and wanted to pay her back, and he feels glad to be able to offer her assistance in this. Eun Soo thanks him for his generosity.
Meanwhile, Joon Hyuk’s been receiving mysterious, unmarked envelopes containing photos of buildings. It’s unclear what these photos mean, but the ominous music tells us it’s both important and dangerous.
Hye Rin and Tae Joo arrive at her parents’ home to introduce him to the family. The family is not at all happy to see him, but we see the fake couple play out this elaborate plan they’ve orchestrated in order to both ingratiate Tae Joo into Hye Rin’s family’s good graces, and for Hye Rin to come back home. It seems Hye Rin does want to come back; the obstacle isn’t that she isn’t allowed back, but rather her pride. She will not beg for her father’s permission, so instead, she has Tae Joo pretend that he’s “dragging” her back home. (I could elaborate on Hye Rin’s (im)maturity level, but I think at this point it’s not a big surprise.)
Tae Joo tells her parents that he just today found out that Hye Rin had moved out. If he’d known earlier, he would have dragged her back sooner. Her father doesn’t buy it, and Hye Rin starts to talk back to him, but is interrupted when Tae Joo steps in and tells her firmly to stop it. This isn’t the time and place to say these things, and she should treat her father with more respect. She shouldn’t only think of herself, but consider those around her.
Tae Joo mans up and addresses her father strongly and straightforwardly. Yes, he can’t deny it crossed his mind that her parents would be pleased if he brought Hye Rin back home. Her mother accuses him of being a gold-digger, and Tae Joo asks her: “Do you really think your daughter is that unattractive? Is she a woman whose only appeal is being the daughter of a chaebol? Don’t disregard your daughter too much, Mother. Hye Rin is a very appealing woman. Sometimes I even lose my senses.” While her mother’s offended at the line of questioning, Hye Rin’s father doesn’t seem to hate it.
Tae Joo also tells them that he has no thought of marriage at present; those are all Hye Rin’s ideas. They’re still young, and for the moment, he’s enjoying dating her. He feels that earning parental approve to date each other is a bit excessive, really. But the moment they do decide to marry, he won’t proceed without her parents’ approval, so they can rest assured. He’s much more morally upright than he looks, and he has no intention of opposing them in the matter of marriage.
Hye Rin tells him, as he leaves, that he was treading on thin ice there for a while, but he has made some headway with her father. The President tells Joon Hyuk to keep a watch over Tae Joo.
Back at the apartment, Ji Soo attempts to catch a young kid who’s been following her around. Her heart acts up, slowing her pursuit, but Tae Joo manages to grab the kid for a moment, before he gets away.
Ji Soo tells Tae Joo: “You’re a really bad person. How could you do that to my sister? Do you know how hard Eun Soo’s had it?”
But Tae Joo merely tells her to stop glaring; her eyes’ll fall out of their sockets.
And Hye Rin goes to visit Joon Hyuk at his new apartment……………..