Que Sera Sera: Episode 7
Episode 7 was so much better than Episode 6! I couldn’t quite put my finger on what felt off about Ep 6, and have the vague sense that perhaps there was too much plot maneuvering for us to get into the characters… But Episode 7 kicked ass. In fact, it kicked Episode 6’s ass. Then, Episode 7 chewed up Episode 6, spat out the unsavory bits, and absorbed the good to come out strong.
Have I overhyped the episode enough yet?
(Random) SONG OF THE DAY
Nell – “Peter Pan Is Dead” (피터팬은 죽었다) [ zShare download ]
Another thing I really dig about Que Sera Sera is that nobody’s a wimp. I get incredibly frustrated in dramas when stronger people walk all over the meek, or when simple misunderstandings are blown out of proportion because of an inflated sense of melodrama. In QSS, you have four fairly bold, opinionated people, all going about their lives trying to do what they think is best. Allowing for a little leeway regarding Hye Rin’s bitchiness and princess complex, generally you could say that they’re just trying to get by without really causing any trouble. (Okay, maybe Hye Rin needs more than just a little leeway.) It just so happens that all four viewpoints run contrary to each other, and thus the conflict.
EPISODE 7 SUMMARY
Hye Rin arrives at Joon Hyuk’s apartment completely surprised — and pissed off — to see Eun Soo. Not only is there a girl in his apartment, but she’s in there while Joon Hyuk is out, indicating a trust level that ticks Hye Rin off.
While Hye Rin stews in her jealousy, unable to get Joon Hyuk on his cell, Eun Soo works at the computer. She seems to have been working for Joon Hyuk for a while, and is comfortable with her routine. At one point, Hye Rin asks — or commands, rather — Eun Soo to bring her a beverage. Eun Soo reflexively rises, then sits down again:
Hye Rin: “I asked for a drink.”
Eun Soo: “You can get it yourself. I’m not the owner of this home, or a host to guests.”
Yeah, I cheered.
So Hye Rin goes to see Joon Hyuk and demands an explanation. (Ah, princess. Aren’t we so entitled?) He says he had work needing to be done and Eun Soo was suitable, so he hired her. She works at his home because it’s not office-related material. Hye Rin tells him to hire a man. It looks strange that an employee of his rank is hiring a female intern to work at his home late at night.
She asks about the true nature of his relationship with Eun Soo. She knows his fussy personality; he couldn’t abide people, even Hye Rin, going into his room when he was out, but now he gives his password and home key to an intern who works alone for hours? Joon Hyuk tells her, “Yeah, I admit I am picky. But I’m adult enough to put up with that much when it comes to work matters.”
Hye Rin asks why it has to be Eun Soo, and Joon Hyuk answers, in a way that I don’t believe is supposed to be romantic but comes across so, both to the audience and to Hye Rin: “Because the person I need is Han Eun Soo.”
He goes on: “This is my business, and I’ll decide who handles it. Don’t get senselessly involved in my affairs.”
On her way out, she runs into Tae Joo, and asks him what kind of person Han Eun Soo is. At first, Tae Joo doesn’t seem to care why she’s asking — since the two have no reason to know each other — but he perks up the moment Hye Rin tells him: “She’s at Joon Hyuk oppa’s apartment right now. She goes over to his place at night and works for him after finishing her job here. Is this only strange to me?”
Tae Joo returns to his desk, distracted by what he’s learned. He calls Eun Soo, who’s still at Joon Hyuk’s. Tae Joo asks her when she’ll be done, because he has something to say to her, but Eun Soo tells him if he doesn’t want to say it now over the phone, he can find her at work tomorrow. He starts to scold her for not realizing that men are all wolves on the prowl, and says a girl shouldn’t be alone at a guy’s place at night. Eun Soo just asks, “Do you think all guys are like you? Don’t talk like that about the director. He doesn’t deserve to be called those things by you.” And she hangs up on him.
Eun Soo finishes work for the night and leaves, running into Joon Hyuk as he arrives. He takes her out to eat, and shows her the mysterious photos he’s been receiving. Eun Soo muses, “You must be dying of curiosity!” and Joon Hyuk admits he is. She thinks of a possible scenario explaining the photos. Perhaps it’s an advertising stunt pulled by a real estate developer in the hopes that it will excite interest in the project before it’s revealed. Joon Hyuk says it’s an interesting idea.
But then Eun Soo brings up another possibility, far-fetched though it may be… What if it’s a long-lost old love? Someone he has forgotten… For instance, the building could be dear to her because it holds valuable memories, but he’s unable to remember its significance. So, the woman merely sends him photo after photo, hoping it will bring back his memory…
Joon Hyuk: “But there’s no forgotten woman in my past.”
Eun Soo: “You can’t remember her since you forgot!”
Eun Soo knows it’s a silly thought, and she asks, “I wasn’t any help, was I?” But Joon Hyuk smiles and tells her, “I just wanted to hear your thoughts. You didn’t disappoint me. It was entertaining.”
On the way home, Eun Soo seems a bit drunk, although she insists she’s not. Joon Hyuk walks her home, and Eun Soo asks about the time she saw him with that other woman (Hye Rin), and why he’s backed off since. He answers because it wasn’t going to work out: “Sometimes even if someone’s in your heart, you can’t be greedy to possess it.” To get over something quickly reduces the hurt, as well.
My Aunt Mary’s “특별한 사람” (Special Person) plays as they walk along, and Eun Soo nearly trips, but insists it’s because her foot slipped, not because she’s drunk. Just like all people insist they’re not drunk when they clearly are. Joon Hyuk’s really endearing as he looks on Eun Soo affectionately, because it seems he sees her as someone special and interesting, not just an annoying kid like Tae Joo’s wont to do. [ zShare download ]
Eun Soo asks Joon Hyuk whether he misses “her.” What does he do to handle it, and can he teach her what to do? Joon Hyuk tells her all she can do is close her eyes, turn around, and tell herself, “This is where our fate ends.” Repeat that over and over, and things will someday get better.
Meanwhile, Tae Joo’s staked out in front of her apartment, waiting for her to get home, and watches them talk in front of Eun Soo’s apartment, looking on as Joon Hyuk assists Eun Soo inside.
There are a lot of interesting dualities and parallels that I noticed in Episode 7 between the different couplings — each twosome is differently constructed and has a vastly differing background, but the dynamics of each are interesting to observe. In the case of Eun Soo and Joon Hyuk, they’re both hurting over having lost the one they love, but are helpless to do anything about it, and must now watch their other half in a new relationship. They’ve bonded over their mutual loneliness, and seem to recognize the quiet worth of the other in a way that the other person didn’t.
Tae Joo learns from his hyung about Eun Soo’s family’s money problems, and how people came by and raised a ruckus over debts her mother had incurred. The hyung has learned from Ji Soo about their past, how Eun Soo grew up in similar circumstances — because of her mother, she couldn’t even have a decent education. It explains why Ji Soo’s so determined now to work and make money.
Later, as Tae Joo and Hye Rin are driving to an upscale gathering for Hye Rin’s friends and old classmates, Hye Rin brings up the topic of Eun Soo. It’s interesting how both Tae Joo and Hye Rin are preoccupied over Eun Soo and Joon Hyuk’s budding relationship, but for entirely different reasons. Hye Rin tells Tae Joo about Eun Soo being indebted to the hostess bar, explaining how Joon Hyuk ran into Eun Soo there, paid off her debt, and took her away.
Hye Rin says Joon Hyuk’s probably just having fun, treating Eun Soo lightly — their status levels are too different for him to be serious about someone like her. Tae Joo wonders at her level of interest in her brother’s romantic affairs. In any case, Hye Rin belittles Tae Joo like a spoiled brat (how if she weren’t acting, she’d never pick a guy like Tae Joo to date in real life). The air between them grows more and more tense and irritated, until finally Tae Joo pulls the car over and walks away.
And in this twosome, you have two people pretending to be in love, each for entirely different reason, causing their former partners pain. However, it seems the two of them — Tae Joo and Hye Rin — are being hurt by their own actions just as much as the other two — Jung Hyuk and Eun Soo — because their own selfish actions are driving the other two closer together. Ah, isn’t it ironic? And not in an Alanis sort of way.
So Tae Joo goes to see Eun Soo’s mother…
…and the next thing we know, Eun Soo’s mother hands Eun Soo a fat stack of money and tells her to stop working for Joon Hyuk. She’s thought it over and it’s unseemly — so take the money, repay Joon Hyuk for the debt he paid, and leave. However, Eun Soo likes working for him, and tells her mother that this kind of work doesn’t come along often. But it’s great; they can use the money to move out and find a real apartment instead, and she’ll continue working for Joon Hyuk.
Their mother becomes uneasy, and tells Eun Soo that the money is meant strictly to enable her to stop working for Joon Hyuk. Both sisters don’t quite follow their mother’s logic, and question her motives. Finally, her mother blurts out Tae Joo’s name — and Eun Soo is immediately suspicious. She finds out that Tae Joo gave her mother the money, and she walks out, telling her mother, “I can’t ever accept this money.”
She storms over to confront him at his apartment, where Hye Rin is parked and waiting as well. Seeing Eun Soo arrive, Hye Rin approaches and tries to talk to her. They’re interrupted by the arrival of Tae Joo, and Eun Soo throws the money back at him.
Eun Soo: “What have I done for you to turn me into someone so pathetic? However you may have seen me, however much a joke you thought I was, you don’t treat people like this. That’s a sin.”
Tae Joo can only look on silently, and go drink. He has no patience for Hye Rin, who tells him she’d come to apologize for earlier. She’ll let this incident pass (how generous!), but it’s the one and only time — there’d better not be a next time. After all, he’s supposed to be deeply in love with her.
The next day at work, Tae Joo approaches Eun Soo nonchalantly and once again tries to assume a light-hearted, joking tone despite knowing that she’s not only pissed off at him, but has a decent right to be. He asks what was so bad about what he did — he happened to hear of her circumstances and was trying to help her. What’s so criminal about that?
Eun Soo: “How can such a sympathetic and generous person like you stand to walk past so many others who are even more pathetic than me? Help those people instead, and get lots of praise.”
Tae Joo: “Are you like those others?! … At least I know you. I should start by helping those I know. I’m not that generous a person.”
Eun Soo’s starting to use more and more sarcasm with Tae Joo, and it warms the cockles of my shriveled cynic’s heart. Aw, my little baby’s growing up. Eun Soo tells him she doesn’t appreciate his help, so he can stop. But Tae Joo asks, why then would she accept Shin Joon Hyuk’s help, but not Tae Joo’s? What about her pride — doesn’t it hurt her pride to work for him?
Eun Soo: “No. To him, I only feel grateful.”
Tae Joo: “If he helps, you feel grateful. If I try to help, you’re displeased. Is that it?”
Eun Soo: “Yes.”
Tae Joo: “Are you discriminating between people?” (i.e., treating people by differing standards)
Eun Soo: “Sometimes I’m really curious if you have a brain inside that head of yours. Are you really thinking straight?”
Tae Joo: “So you’re saying my head’s empty?”
Eun Soo: “Or maybe it’s your heart that’s empty.”
Eun Soo goes on to say that he never gives a thought to how the other person feels. How could he treat people so lightly? “What’s your crime, you ask? It’s having such an empty head and heart.”
Hye Rin calls Eun Soo over to have a little chat. But it’s not so much a chat as it’s a chance for Hye Rin to piss over her territory and exert her perceived dominance. She “apologizes” for Tae Joo’s behavior, explaining he was only acting out of pity to help her. But she says Eun Soo’s behavior was inappropriate as well — after all, he’s Hye Rin’s fiance.
To hammer in her point, Hye Rin has also called Tae Joo to meet them, and acts like a possessive girlfriend as she forces Eun Soo to watch. She coos over Tae Joo, asking him to take her car to the shop and handing over her keys. Tae Joo’s not in a mood to humor her, but just sits there silently annoyed. Eun Soo is no pushover, though, and gets up and leaves as soon as it’s obvious there’s nothing more to discuss.
Meanwhile, Joon Hyuk appears to have found the building in the mystery photos, and tells his man to find out everything he can about the building.
Hye Rin manipulates Joon Hyuk and his employee into allowing her to participate in a contest for new designers. Joon Hyuk resists, saying it’s to give new designers a fair chance at succeeding, and she’s already got a leg up because of her name and position in the company. There’s not a person in the building who doesn’t know who she is. But she tells him she wants to succeed on her skills.
She also asks Joon Hyuk how it feels, now that she’s with Tae Joo. Joon Hyuk admits it upsets him that her parents were so violently opposed to him, but are for the time being putting up with Tae Joo. Hye Rin: “Can I take that to mean that you regret rejecting me? If we’d stuck together strongly, we would’ve been able to earn their approval in the end. That’s what you’re thinking, aren’t you? It’s not too late. You still have a chance.”
Joon Hyuk tells her it’s a good thing her precious fiance isn’t around to hear her talking like this, and she appeals to him, honestly for once: “If you want, I can get rid of Kang Tae Joo. If you just change your mind, I can get over my feelings for Tae Joo right now.”
Joon Hyuk merely tells her, “Then get rid of him,” and leaves. It doesn’t seem like he’s accepting her offer; it suggests more that he thinks if her feelings for Tae Joo are that light, she’s better off being without him in the first place. And we can see how Hye Rin’s backed herself into a corner here — because she has to act the devoted lover to Tae Joo to elicit these feelings in Joon Hyuk, but if she goes after Joon Hyuk, she has to admit she was faking the whole thing to play him.
When Tae Joo goes to pick up Hye Rin’s car, he finds the photo she keeps in her sun visor, of her and Joon Hyuk… and puts the pieces together.
At the department store, Hye Rin is the object of resentment because the other designers feel they’ve all worked for their positions, and Hye Rin was given hers because of her name.
The designers are called to a last-minute meeting, where Joon Hyuk reveals a new proposition he’s heard from one of their interns, Eun Soo. For their designer contest, she suggests that rather than using the brand labels to identify the designers, what if they conduct the contest blind? No names, no brands, just numbers. All the designers like the idea, except Hye Rin, who takes it as a personal attack on her. But Eun Soo assures her that she proposed the idea merely as a way of conducting the contest fairly. It’s true that Hye Rin’s brand enjoys elevated status within the department store because of her name; that’s indisputable. But it’s also a fact that Hye Rin’s brand sells well on other, unaffiliated websites, so she isn’t trying to suggest that Hye Rin is undeserving.
So they proceed with Eun Soo’s suggestion.
Still, Hye Rin is annoyed and upset, and takes Joon Hyuk aside to rant about how it seems the meeting was contrived to embarrass her. It’s obvious that everyone else would be in favor of the idea.
In the meantime, Tae Joo is also displeased to see Joon Hyuk and Eun Joo becoming so close. Eun Soo snarks: “Representative Kang. If you’re so bored, why don’t you at least try picking up some trash?” But as they’re interrupted by a passing employee, Tae Joo takes Eun Soo aside to a secluded area to finish their conversation:
Tae Joo: “Quit working at Shin Joon Hyuk’s home immediately, and borrow the money from me. Take that money, and give it to him.”
Eun Soo: “Who are you to tell me what to do? Why are you so concerned over my matters?”
Tae Joo: “So what if I am?”
Tae Joo asks what she’s thinking — is she having thoughts to win Joon Hyuk over? Because not anyone can just become Cinderella.
Eun Soo: “Why not? Why can’t that work for me? If it worked for you, why not for me? You used to live in a dingy little place, and now that you’ve met a rich girl you’re living like this. Designer suits, designer shoes, fancy car. You met a rich woman and your life changed completely. Why wouldn’t that work for me?”
Tae Joo: “Why are you getting so upset?”
Eun Soo: “Fine, yeah. I’m going to try to lure in the director too. He’s rich, why don’t I just grab onto him? If I date a rich man, I can live a fancy life just like you, can’t I? You’re right, he treats me so well, I’m just giddy over it! I’ll hold onto him—“
But then they look up.
Hye Rin slaps Tae Joo…
Joon Hyuk takes Eun Soo by the arm and leads her away…
…and Hye Rin yells to Tae Joo that she told him she would forgive him just once, yesterday. What the hell is he doing with that girl?
But Tae Joo tells her he was simply talking to Eun Soo. Does she want him to avoid talking to women altogether now? What’s there to get so angry over? It seems she’s being unreasonable because her beloved brother is looking at Eun Soo instead of her.
Tae Joo: “So you’re uneasy, and angry, and going crazy. You even dragged me into your show, but you still can’t win him over. So you’re taking out your anger on me right now. Isn’t that right?”
Tae Joo: “You’ve got a real way of making a person feel dirty, you know? So you thought to use Kang Tae Joo to fight your sibling romance battle? Sorry, but I don’t like playing such a petty, spiteful role. Even so, I was thinking I’d ease away slowly, so this works out. I’m done. And it doesn’t feel like a loss at all.”