Que Sera Sera: Episode 16
(Random) SONG OF THE DAY
Noblesse – “얼마나 행복 하려고” (How happy will you be?) [ zShare download ]
EPISODE 16 SUMMARY
After the announcement of Eun Soo’s pregnancy, everyone’s more surprised at Tae Joo’s surprised reaction than the news itself. Hye Rin and Joon Hyuk stare at him, frozen, while Eun Soo tends to Tae Joo’s cuts from the broken glass. After a delayed reaction, Hye Rin takes over. She holds her emotions together until she and Tae Joo leave the apartment, at which point she angrily tells Tae Joo his reaction was inappropriate and overboard.
Later that night, Joon Hyuk finds Eun Soo sitting alone, and asks if she was angry about his announcement. Eun Soo says she wasn’t angry, but they had agreed to keep it quiet for the time being.
Joon Hyuk: “It’s not because you didn’t want to say it in front of Kang Tae Joo? I didn’t know he’d be so shocked. Is the news that surprising for a married couple?”
Eun Soo: “He just made a mistake, that’s all.”
Joon Hyuk: “And that simple mistake was enough to make you whiten completely? You shouldn’t be holding that guy’s hand with tears in your eyes. The person who should be angry isn’t you, it’s me. Seeing him so shocked made me wonder if there was something that happened to cause such a reaction. It makes me feel dirty and awful.”
At work, Tae Joo gets some bad news, which causes President Cha to chew him out, along with Joon Hyuk. Their deal for a branch location is ruined because the land has been bought by another party. The President wonders how that could happen, and Joon Hyuk sells out Tae Joo by saying it was Tae Joo’s responsibility. And now we finally get to see the beginnings of what Joon Hyuk’s been planning behind the President’s back, and how nicely he can pin the blame on someone else. Joon Hyuk warns Tae Joo that the fallout is going to be big — he’d better prepare himself. Poor Tae Joo. He had no idea he was being set up for failure.
Tae Joo runs into Eun Soo, who’s brimming with good news. A donor has been found for Ji Soo, and she’ll be able to undergo surgery soon. Tae Joo’s genuinely glad to hear the news, and tells her it makes him happy that so many good things are happening for Eun Soo these days. Their brief pleasant moment is interrupted when Joon Hyuk arrives to take her to lunch.
Joon Hyuk is relieved to hear Ji Soo’s good news, but when Eun Soo says she’ll be busy going back and forth from the hospital, he tells her no. She can visit once in a while, but she should watch her own health, and doesn’t give her room to object. As though that weren’t enough controlling chauvinism for one lunch, he goes on to tell her to quit working. Eun Soo insists she can work — she wants to work — but Joon Hyuk twists her words from before, asking, “Didn’t you say before that you’d do your best with whatever issues present themselves in your life? Why are you being so stubborn, clinging to work after you’ve married me? Is it because of Kang Tae Joo? If you’re not insisting you want to work so you can keep seeing him, quit your job.”
Eun Soo explains that she was only talking to Tae Joo earlier to let him know about Ji Soo’s news, and Joon Hyuk gets even more upset, asking why she’d share their family business with him. He tells Eun Soo to submit her resignation. Having sufficiently stomped on Eun Soo’s self-esteem, she does, without further protest.
The failure of the branch store space purchase becomes serious, with Director Choi fanning the flames among the investors, who call a meeting of the executive board. They charge President Cha for using personal reasons to entrust a new, incapable employee (Tae Joo) with such an important task, and now call for the President to submit his resignation. Because Joon Hyuk and Director Choi have been greasing the wheels with the trustees behind the President’s back, they are all ready to force him out.
Hye Rin assures Tae Joo that (1) she’s confident that Joon Hyuk will smooth things over and help their father, and (2) Tae Joo doesn’t have to be uneasy about his future. Tae Joo reacts to her reaction with distaste, asking, “Do you really think I’m concerned about not being able to take over the department store? That’s what you’re worried about?” He also says that Joon Hyuk is heavily involved in the board’s call for the President’s resignation. Tae Joo says he’d told her before that there was something strange about Joon Hyuk, but Hye Rin’s still blindly confident that her brother would never do something to betray their father.
He leaves her with one question: “Under these circumstances, how can you be worried about not being able to give me the department store?” (The implication, I believe, is that without that assurance, Tae Joo would have less of an enticement to go through with his marriage.) Hye Rin tells him: “And who made me this way? You can’t criticize me for this.”
Joon Hyuk and President Cha discuss the matter — and the President is no fool, he knows Joon Hyuk was involved. How could he do this? Joon Hyuk doesn’t deny that Director Choi promised to make him head of the department store if he took his side — but he’s never had any intention of joining up with Director Choi. Nor does he have any interest in the department store.
What he does want, then, is for his department store project to go through in China — and made completely in his own name. Because he won’t make the same mistake his father made.
What will induce the President to comply with his demand? Joon Hyuk’s threat, of course! And we finally unravel the entire business of his father’s shady death. Seventeen years ago, Director Choi had attempted to use Joon Hyuk’s father (let’s call him Mr. Shin) to usurp President Cha’s control of the department store. The President had met with opposition from Mr. Shin, but was unaware all these years that the man behind him was Director Choi. Thinking Mr. Shin was acting of his own ambition and greed, the President had him killed. Without his puppet, presumably, Director Choi backed off, until he reapproached Joon Hyuk years later to resume his old plan.
The President cannot refute the story, because Joon Hyuk has remembered one key piece of evidence: “I remember what happened that day. On top of the building my father fell from — there was you.”
Joon Hyuk leaves, and the President collapses in shock.
Joon Hyuk doesn’t seem so comfortable with the entire incident either, but has enough good cheer left in him to go shopping for baby items…
Joon Hyuk has the items delivered to Eun Soo at home, and calls her from the bar, where he continually ignores phone calls from Tae Joo, who is trying to inform him of the President’s ill health. (At first, I thought the song playing was the same Gotan Project song used before (“Vuelvo al Sur”), but it’s “La Viguela.”.) [ zShare download ]
Unable to get a hold of Joon Hyuk on the phone, Tae Joo goes to his apartment, where he finds Eun Soo alone. Seeing her discomfort at his presence, he offers to come back later, but she tells him to come in, since Joon Hyuk should be back soon.
Joon Hyuk arrives and kills the pleasant mood between them, coldly dismissing Eun Soo and demanding to know why Tae Joo’s there. He hears that President Cha has collapsed and is in stable condition in the hospital, reacting more with annoyance than concern.
Tae Joo asks Joon Hyuk to stop whatever he’s planning to do. He doesn’t know the details, but he wants peace in the family. Furthermore, he isn’t interested in taking over Joon Hyuk’s position — he’s satisfied working alongside him. So he entreats Joon Hyuk to stop. But Joon Hyuk merely says he can’t go back to the past, nor would he want to. He tells Tae Joo, if the President wants to fight him, bring it on. “Let’s see how far this goes.”
Eun Soo also asks why Joon Hyuk is doing this, why he’s taking this so far, and Joon Hyuk immediately leaps to the suspicion that she’s worried for Tae Joo. And we can start to see that no matter what, Joon Hyuk and Eun Soo will never make it — because he can never overcome her past with Tae Joo, no matter what she does, what she says, how far she goes to prove it. She’s done everything he’s asked — demanded — even refraining from visiting her sick sister in the hospital, because of his insecurities over her and Tae Joo. But it will never be enough. And he’s ruining her in the process. Tae Joo broke her heart, but Joon Hyuk’s taking it away.
Hye Rin hears of the latest news and concedes that Tae Joo was right about Joon Hyuk — she’s shocked to have been wrong about him all these years. Pissed as hell, she goes to Joon Hyuk, asking: “Are you even human?” How can a person change so completely in one morning? Joon Hyuk tells her this business didn’t occur over the course of one morning. Hye Rin wants to know the whole story, but he refuses to tell her. He’s never thought of himself as the President’s son.
Joon Hyuk: “Your interference won’t resolve this. So don’t interfere.”
Hye Rin: “Do you think you can do that to my father and expect me to do nothing? However angry you are, do you think you could’ve done something so huge without missing something?”
Joon Hyuk: “Then go find those holes. I’m curious to know what you find.”
Hye Rin: “You’re overconfident.”
Joon Hyuk: “No, it’s that I have nothing to fear. I don’t have anything to lose.”
Hye Rin: “Then since I do have something to lose, I guess I’ll have to fight one out with you. I won’t go easy on you. Prepare yourself.”
…and this should get interesting.
Director Kim Yoon Chul must really dig The Gotan Project (this song’s “Tango Cancion”), because we’ve got the second use this episode, and third overall. They’ve all been used in bar scenes, which seems appropriate somehow — The Gotan Project IS very sexy music to mix your liquors with. [ zShare download ]
In any case, Tae Joo asks his hyung how Ji Soo’s surgery went. His hyung says it was successful, but Eun Soo hasn’t showed up at all. Tae Joo defends her, saying it’s because she taking care of her pregnancy, but in any case, Eun Soo’s mother isn’t happy about Joon Hyuk forcing Eun Soo to quit work and preventing her from visiting frequently.
President Cha concedes to Joon Hyuk’s demands, to Hye Rin’s astonishment. Not knowing of the blackmail he faces, Hye Rin’s angry at her father for giving in. Tae Joo remarks at her sudden turnaround — she used to blindly defend Joon Hyuk — but she’s in a furor to get him back for this. Hye Rin says because she trusted him the most, she feels even more betrayed.
Tae Joo leaves Hye Rin to handle telling Joon Hyuk, because he doesn’t want anything more to do with this matter. She does, telling Joon Hyuk he’s gotten what he wanted, but detests him for doing this. Joon Hyuk: “It’s a hard thing to live in this world being a good person. It’s impossible.”
Tae Joo drops by the hospital to check on Ji Soo, not knowing that Eun Soo and Joon Hyuk have planned to meet there. Joon Hyuk sees him arrive, though he doesn’t say anything as Tae Joo visits with Ji Soo. He hands her a stack of manhwa (manga) comics, which she dismisses for being so innocent and uninteresting. Tae Joo tells her she could use some of that.
Eun Soo arrives, surprising him, and they step out to talk. Eun Soo thanks him for coming by — she understands that he genuinely cares and worries for her family… but she asks him to stop. Don’t come by anymore. It’s making things truly difficult for her.
Meanwhile, Joon Hyuk arrives, and Ji Soo uneasily covers up for Eun Soo by saying she just stepped out for a moment. When Eun Soo comes back, Ji Soo indicates while Joon Hyuk’s not looking that he doesn’t know about Tae Joo’s visit. So, the two sisters lie and pretend nothing happened, not knowing that Joon Hyuk knows they’re lying.
Tae Joo spends some time in his apartment…
…while Eun Soo and Joon Hyuk argue in theirs. Eun Soo begs him not to be like this anymore, that Tae Joo has nothing to do with them. Joon Hyuk blows up, asking how that’s true, with her always meeting him. She says he’s always suspicious of her, and Joon Hyuk asks, “Have you done anything for me to be suspicious about?”
And then, “Whose child is it?”
Eun Soo says he’s gone crazy, and tries to leave, but he grabs her and shoves her back down on the couch. Eun Soo is supremely offended at his question, wondering, “Are you serious? Do you really think that?” She’s so genuinely shocked and hurt that Joon Hyuk believes her, calming down. (Answering all of our questions — it must surely be his.) He says he’s sorry, but she can’t take it — telling him she can’t see his face right now, she’s going to go home (her mother’s place).
Joon Hyuk is left alone at home while Eun Soo arrives at the apartment, but her abdominal pains (which seem to have started mildly earlier this episode) worsen, and bring her to her knees. Not knowing this, Joon Hyuk goes to the apartment, presumably to apologize and fix things with her. Tae Joo is leaving his apartment “alone time” when he sees Eun Soo collapsed in front of her apartment…
Although I’m reluctant to, I must admit I wasn’t too enamored of this episode. It wasn’t bad. It just lacked that something extra, i.e. the startling twists and turns QSS has been so good at dishing up thus far. All along, I’ve thought QSS has felt like a stage play more than a television program, and I mean that in a good way, in that the intrigue and drama comes out of the characters and dialogue, and not some other external cues. The conversations are long — much longer than in other “trendy dramas” — but would often demonstrate multiple twists and power shifts within one dialogue pass. It made conversations exciting. But as with any stage play — no matter how great — you start getting antsy and fidgeting in your seat past the second hour. And as we’re pulling into home stretch, Episode 16 just felt like setup for Episode 17.
But at least there’s a silver lining, which is that you can rest assured we will have an ending that MAKES SENSE. I feel like the threads are coming together — Joon Hyuk’s father, his scheming, his relationship with Director Choi, Eun Soo’s and Tae Joo’s character paths, Hye Rin’s trust and relationship with Joon Hyuk (rather than, say, the opposite like in Witch Amusement, which felt like a rope that was initially wrapped tight, then cut at the ends so the strands unfurled into a disorganized, frayed mess).
Things are coming to an end! It had better be good.