Witch Amusement: Episode 8
(Random) SONG OF THE DAY
Park Jiyoon – “돌아온 사랑” (Returning love, or Love that’s returned), just because I felt nostalgic.
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EPISODE 8 SUMMARY
After being rejected by Joon Ha, Yoo Hee dazedly wanders, completely crushed. He offers her no reason, merely saying sorry before walking away.
Looking for comfort, Yoo Hee calls Mu-ryong, who’s out on a date with Seung Mi at the movies, but hearing Seung Mi’s voice in the background, Yoo Hee hangs up. While Joon Ha retreats to the riverside to deal with his frustration (and call the President to tell him he’s handled the Yoo Hee situation), Yoo Hee ends up at Johnny’s restaurant.
Johnny sees how upset Yoo Hee is, and somehow takes that as a cue to make his move. Which, erm, huh??
Understandably rejecting his advance — I mean, she’s crying for pete’s sake, and he kisses her?? — Yoo Hee abruptly rushes out, and Johnny can only look after her in concern and regret.
In the movie theater, Mu-ryong worries about Yoo Hee at the expense of Seung Mi (so what else is new?) and leaves the movie early to check on her. He asks Yoo Hee if she was rejected, and she confirms it. Mu-ryong tells her he’s glad to hear it; she’s too good for Joon Ha. Alone in her room, though, Yoo Hee breaks down in tears, looking at her music box as she cries for her mother.
Han Ga In isn’t the world’s best crier, but she does a decent job of conveying Yoo Hee’s heartbreak, and it’s nice to see her finally show some emotion beyond disdain or annoyance.
The next day, Yoo Hee’s back to her former glasses-wearing, black-clad self. She interrupts Hee Jung and Team Manager Lee in the middle of a discussion about the latest trend for four-syllable names, as they think of cool ways to turn their names into four syllables, joking that their boss would obviously be Ma-nyeo Yoo Hee, or Witch Yoo Hee. Yoo Hee takes it upon herself to designate theirs for them — 꼴통희정 (Airhead Hee Jung) and 무능준호 (Incompetent Jun Ho).
At work, Mu-ryong takes note of a special competition for French cuisine, the reward for which is instruction at Paris’ famed Cordon Bleu institute. Johnny informs the staff that only one representative can be sent from their staff, and will be chosen through a cooking battle.
Johnny approaches Mu-ryong about Yoo Hee’s behavior the night before, wondering if she was really upset, but Mu-ryong assumes Johnny’s referring to the fact that she was rejected by her senior. He then tells Johnny that he should take the chance to occupy the now-empty space in Yoo Hee’s heart, and encourages him on.
Mari witnesses this instance of male bonding and senses her chances being threatened (I assume), because she attempts to knock Mu-ryong out with a frying pan. Unfortunately, she gets the wrong target.
I’m not exactly clear what she’s thinking, though, because even if she HAD gotten her intended victim, did she think she could assault someone in the middle of work and get away with it? If she’s going to resort to sabotage, she could’ve been more clever about it. I dunno.
Anyway, Yoo Hee loses an ad campaign, criticized by the client that her lack of dating experience has to do with it. She’s told that she should try her hand at dating some more. Fighting her instincts to attack the guy with his own body parts, Yoo Hee tells him she’ll give it a try.
The President makes an unnanounced visit, and brings up the topic of another blind date. To cut him short, Yoo Hee tells him she’s already seeing someone. At that moment, Mu-ryong arrives home, and Yoo Hee introduces him as the man she’s living with. Mu-ryong clarifies that he’s living there as her housekeeper, but Yoo Hee persists: “Yes. I’m dating my housekeeper.”
After the President leaves, Mu-ryong tells Yoo Hee things with Seung Mi are awkward enough as it is — why’d she go telling her father they’re dating? Yoo Hee counters that their contract ends next week, and thus far she’s only been rejected. She makes a proposal — if Mu-ryong acts as her boyfriend, she’ll accept that in exchange for his debt. She has an additional condition: For the next week, he has to act as her real boyfriend, explaining that she’s in need of one for work purposes.
Mu-ryong suggests Johnny instead of himself, but Yoo Hee says Johnny won’t do. She doesn’t want to use him like that; she wants to keep their relationship on good terms. Mu-ryong resists, saying he’s already got a girlfriend, and Yoo Hee asks, “What, are you afraid you’ll fall for me?”
Mu-ryong tells her, “Just try. If my heart trembles even a tiny bit, then I’ll act as your boyfriend.”
So she attempts to entice Mu-ryong… and asks, “Did it work? Did your heart tremble?” Amused, he tells her it surely did — in fear.
(…and again, I’m confused about this fake/real boyfriend thing. What’s the difference between his prior role as a fake boyfriend, and his new role as fake “real” boyfriend? Because she’s not suggesting they date for real. Ah, I dunno.)
The next day, Mu-ryong and Seung Mi make a date for the evening to catch a movie, since their last date was cut short. Mu-ryong starts to mention his fake-real-dating agreement with Yoo Hee, but Seung Mi’s called inside, so he says he’ll tell her later.
Johnny arrives at Yoo Hee’s work, and asks Yoo Hee to act as his guide one more time in showing him around Seoul. (As you may remember, they explained that they met around the time of the 2002 World Cup when Yoo Hee acted as his guide.)
They tour some historical sites, complete with a brief but random parody of Johnny and President Ma in full Chosun-era traditional garb.
When Johnny goes to buy some drinks, Yoo Hee looks through his phone, only to see all the photos he’s saved of her, surprised to realize the extent of his feelings. I dunno, you’d think she got a clue when he kissed her.
In any case, as they drive home, Yoo Hee looks at Johnny and thinks to herself that he’s really handsome. She imagines Mu-ryong coaching her along that not only is Johnny good-looking, he’s a good person — she should just go ahead and date him. Unsure how to act, Yoo Hee pretends to be asleep, so Johnny goes on to tell her, in English, that he’s sorry for falling in love with her.
When Johnny drops her off, he works up to confessing his feelings, starting with a tentative “Yoo Hee. In the future, we… Our relationship…” Sensing what’s coming, Yoo Hee tells herself that once he confesses, she’ll accept. But Johnny backs off at the last moment, saying, “We… can keep being good friends, right?” He rushes off, and Yoo Hee wonders why he didn’t say what he meant. Driving home, Johnny’s upset with himself and his suggestion to stay friends.
Since Johnny didn’t work out, Mu-ryong takes on the position of her boyfriend. He asks if there’s anything in particular she wants to do, for instance —
Or maybe this is more appropriate for Yoo Hee:
I’ll admit Yoo Hee makes a pretty badass Trinity. And the sequence is shot very well. But I dunno, aren’t Matrix parodies so 2002?
Director Jeon Ki Sang has made use of plenty of parodies in the past, all to great effect — for instance, the MISA and Full House parodies in Delightful Girl Choon Hyang, or the French love story parody in My Girl (whose source I’m unsure of; I just figured it’s some prominent Catherine Deneuve film or something). However, I don’t know what he’s doing with them here. Aside from being very visually appealing — the director’s slick camera work and style are undeniable — they don’t really seem relevant to anything. Kind of like a lot of things in Witch Amusement lately.
All that aside, Mu-ryong and Yoo Hee go on a cute fake date, mostly for the benefit of the cameras following them and taking pictures of them to report to the President.
Unfortunately, Mu-ryong’s forgotten about his date to go to the movies with Seung Mi. She hears his apology with disappointment, and Johnny notices the movie tickets she’d bought in advance. It’s very sweet that Johnny takes her to the movie instead, but I dunno, it seems like we’ve seen this somewhere before. Somewhere maybe around, say, Episode 3? Given that it was only two weeks ago, isn’t it a little soon to be pilfering from your own work?
Mu-ryong does little cute date-like things for Yoo Hee, like hiding a toy ring inside her ice cream and dropping notes into her popcorn that say things like, “Will you go out with me?” and “I love you.” He tells her not to be too touched since it’s all fake anyway, but Yoo Hee seems to be a little moved nonetheless.
In the movie (The Illusionist, btw), Mu-ryong turns to tell Yoo Hee something just as she faces him, and their lips just barely brush.
Outside, Seung Mi sees Yoo Hee there with Mu-ryong, and receives enough of a shock from their fake display of coupley affection to make her go weak in the knees. And not in a good way.
Making matters worse, the next day, the President shows up to the restaurant to inform Mu-ryong that he should break things off with Yoo Hee. He is absolutely unacceptable, and the President refuses to accept him as his daughter’s boyfriend.
Overhearing this exchange is Seung Mi, who’s so shocked she drops her tray, sending her water glasses crashing to the ground….
(…which, again, confuses me because didn’t she already get her big shock from seeing them at the movies together? What’s with these women and their delayed reactions? I dunno. I don’t get it.)
I’m now beginning to think the Witch Amusement writer(s) are schizophrenic. I’m confused, and worse yet, I’m starting to get bored. The director is really very talented, and his stylish imprint is visible on every frame of the series. The cast is gorgeous and charismatic, and even if one criticizes the acting, it’s never truly awful. So why are they recycling their own plot already? Why do I feel like they’re repeating all their story points?
Come on, I know you can be great! The first five episodes were wonderful, and in my personal opinion, Episode 5 was the best we’ve seen so far. It was fun, energetic, stylish, entertaining. But we are now done with half of the drama, and really, things haven’t changed. I dunno. I don’t get it.