Drama Recaps
Bad Couple: Episode 7
by | June 24, 2007 | 19 Comments

Although we’re presented with Gi Chan’s “fiancee” — the woman long-designated to marry Gi Chan by both sets of parents since they were young — Episode 7 is really not much about her, which I appreciate because I like that Bad Couple has thus far strayed away from cliched love triangles.


Brown Eyes – “비 오는 압구정” (Rainy Apgujeong) (Apgujeong is an upscale neighborhood in southern Seoul) [ zShare download ]

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Ironically, the fun story this week is Han Young’s, in a fliparound from previous weeks. I welcome the change, since I like seeing Young in a better place after going through so much, and it’s always satisfying to see a cheating bastard get some payback, even if it’s just a tiny bit.

Although timid about the fake-dating scheme, Young is pushed into action when Bitchy Other Woman Sae Yeon purposely leaves behind her makeup compact in Young’s own bedroom in a triumphant sort of territory-marking gesture. Using their tracer (in the form of a GPS-enabled cell phone hidden in Yoon Seok’s trunk, combined with his credit card bill listing commonly visited sites), Young and hot model Joon Soo “bump into” the other couple at a restaurant.

Uptight and unable to relax, Joon Soo tries to make her smile, and when she can’t, he makes funny faces to elicit laughter. That does the trick, and draws her husband’s attention as well. He tries to pretend he’s not bothered, though he clearly is. He lies to Sae Yeon, saying it’s great because he’d wanted his wife to move on with her life too.

They bump into them again at a department store, and this time, Yoon Seok is so distracted he sneaks away from Sae Yeon to spy on his wife, shopping with Joon Soo. This time, Sae Yeon catches him and calls him on his jealousy, which he attempts to deny. Busted.


Meanwhile, at Gi Chan’s home: Gi Chan’s de facto fiancee is Jung Sook, a young woman who’s lived her whole life expecting to marry Gi Chan. She’s long been accepted by Gi Chan’s parents as their future daughter-in-law, and is there at their family’s estate to help his mother prepare for the upcoming ancestral rites, which is also why Gi Chan has come. Naturally, Dang Ja’s arrival makes her uneasy.

At first, both Dang Ja and Jung Sook engage in some passive-aggressive competition — Dang Ja offers to help with some of the housework, and pales in comparison to Jung Sook’s perfect handiwork.

But in a surprising turn, neither Jung Sook nor Gi Chan’s mother are the witchy shrews I was thinking they might be — the type to adhere strictly to their conservative views and look down on modern Seoul women.

Dang Ja realizes just the extent of Gi Chan’s deep-rooted family loyalties, and feels her inadequacy keenly. She feels so out of place that when Gi Chan is about to introduce her to her parents in front of everyone, she interrupts and introduces herself as someone who merely asked Gi Chan to allow her to visit his ancestral home.

When Gi Chan asks why she stopped him, she answers that it would have made everyone uncomfortable, especially with Jung Sook present, and it would have only made everyone dislike her on principle. She asks him to let them get to know her as a person, and keep the peace. Her concerns have some grounds, because Jung Sook immediately loosens up, hearing that Dang Ja’s no threat. Jung Sook has forgone any aspirations she may have had to marry Gi Chan — he’s the only reason she’s staying in her hometown. After all, when they marry, she’ll become the head of the household, as Gi Chan is the heir to the estate.

Gi Chan’s mother treats Dang Ja kindly — when Dang Ja crashes in to a stack of plates and falls into a jar of soy sauce, Gi Chan’s mother treats her with concern rather than annoyance. Gi Chan tells his parents later that he’s dating Dang Ja, and they accept the situation, telling Gi Chan to take his time with the relationship.

Over breakfast, conversation winds around to the topic of Dang Ja’s parents, and she frankly admits that she doesn’t know her father because he abandoned her mother for another woman when she was six. Her mother lived alone and is now deceased. Tearing up, she excuses herself from the table, and Gi Chan follows her out to tell her he’s realized he knows so little about her. “I only knew I liked you, but I realize my attempts to know and understand you have been far lacking. In the future, I hope I can be the first to hear about things from you.”

However, Dang Ja feels too uncomfortable, and leaves early. Normally so confident, Dang Ja realizes that the reason she was so awkward and clumsy at his home was because she wanted his parents to like her, but knew she had no right to him. Gi Chan asks why she’d say she has no right, but Dang Ja answers that she doesn’t suit him. She can’t be the wife to the head of his ancestral home: “You can aspire to a woman much better than me, someone who’ll really be good for you. You have that right.”

As she leaves, she tells him she learned something valuable from Jung Sook — what it means to really love someone. (Because of Jung Sook’s devotion and willingness to do everything for him, rather than herself.)

Back in Seoul, Gi Chan keeps calling Dang Ja, who responds coldly and formally. Gi Chan visits the island where they’d spent the night, and gains a little hope when he runs into the fisherman from before, who tells him everything had been planned in advance by Dang Ja. He shows up at her office, and she decides she’ll have to make a definitive statement.

She tells him she’s gotten back together with her ex-boyfriend, and (using another of their models) brings Gi Chan home so he can confirm the sight with his own eyes. However, Gi Chan’s wary enough of Dang Ja’s tactics to be suspicious, and knows it’s fake when the model doesn’t know Dang Ja’s birthday, where they met, or the foods she likes.

Caught in her lie, Dang Ja comes clean. “Yes, I like you. I believed I might even love you, since I considered marriage for the first time in my life. So I went down to Kyung Ju with you. But there, I saw myself all too clearly. No matter what, I’m still Kim Dang Ja, I won’t change. I’d forgotten momentarily that I’m a woman who’s addicted to work who isn’t suited for marriage.”

Gi Chan says that’s not true — he sees Dang Ja’s true nature. “You said you believed you loved me. Then keep believing that. If you love me a little less, then I’ll love you that much more.”

But Dang Ja says although she could handle marrying just one man, she can’t marry his household. She can’t give up her work, so for them to get married, he’d have to give up his parents — and she knows he can’t do that.

So they break up, and Jung Sook comes up to Seoul…

19 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ubo

    In this story, we know the “sacrifices” that Dang Ja might have to endure if she marries Gi Chan, eg. not able to pursue a career after marriage. However, we’ve not told what sacrifices that Gi Chan is willing to make. All Gi Chan has said is that he loves Dang Ja very much and for him, it’s reason enough for them to be together. Dang Ja is much more pragmatic in that she considers what might happen after the marriage. It seems to me that one is loving with the heart and the other is trying to love using with the brain.

  2. ginnie

    Thank you Sarah!!!

    Their relationship needs major compromise…Is it too much to ask from them to give up what they both value the most for the relationship? I guess when they find out that they need each other more than their respective valuables; career and family obedience.

    This episode was hinted with so much sadness to come. But it is surprisingly not overwhemingly sad that I can’t enjoy the funny moments in the same episode. So many funny moments and little moments make this enjoyable for me.

    I like the following episode much more. I can relate to the drama and definitely find some of the conversations touching..pulling heart-strings kind of touching and memorable. The background music does its job well in this too.

  3. javabeans

    Luv, ah sorry, I just assumed the family situation made sense and I realize it doesn’t.

    Gi Chan comes from a traditional, very old-fashioned family. Not “conservative” the way we use the term, but truly steeped in tradition. It’s like Su Ha in Hello Miss — that drama was more jokey and exaggerated, but it’s the general idea. Gi Chan is the heir to the traditional estate — so his wife would be forced to quit working (these traditional families wouldn’t allow it) to become mistress of the estate. These old estates require a lot of energy to run, and Jung Sook explains that the ancestral rites (which are quite elaborate) take place twice a month. This role is what Jung Sook has spent her whole life preparing for, and even she expresses concern over being able to handle the burden.

    Currently Gi Chan works in Seoul but it’s understood that he would eventually take over the home. He hasn’t had to worry about it thus far because he’s unmarried and his parents are in charge… but at some point, that will fall to Gi Chan.

    It’s NOT the norm in Korean society for the woman to have to quit working after marriage (well, many do but that’s a decision they’ve made themselves, it’s not compulsory) — even Dol Soon wonders at there still being such old-fashioned families around these days. But that’s how his family works, so unless he’s willing to give up his family tradition, Dang Ja cannot envision herself as a part of that. Aside from being unwilling to give up her life and work, she feels she’s unfitting the position.

    Hope that clears things up. 😀

  4. Anonymous

    thank you so much sarahbeans.. i love BC in a sense that they managed to squeeze in some humor & laughter one way or another- without making it seems out of place. I love Joon Soo!!! he’s such a nice catch.. ehehe. * and a GREAT actor.. ehhe.. he was sooo good at being the sweet & caring bf*. It’s really nice to see HY feeling better and better.

    DJ & GC.. gosh.. it’s getting abit sad.. but I’m all for it since with DJ’s character thus far.. i don’t see her changing her views in a flash.. I’m sure w/ GC’s love.. she will slowly learn that she loves him as much- if not more * not sure if that’s possible since GC is the most perfect man ever* * meltsssssssss*

    Many hugs once again for this wonderful write-up.. ehhe.. you know how much i adore this drama.. and your summaries help SO SO much. sarahbeans fighting!!!!

  5. mily2

    oops.. that was me.. hehe.. totally spamming your blog.. but I love the other couple too.. ehhe.. they’re soooo cute!! DJ is so lucky to have such close friends to confide in and seek comfort from. Her friends are such wonderful people!! * and i wonder if the hubby will get new sets of wigs*.. ahahah!!!

  6. ginnie

    I can’t see Dang Ja giving up everything. Perhaps I am the one that does not want her to give up what she has now for Gi Chan.

    Look what happened to HY? She gave up everything in her life, lost touch with the world outside of her family life and relies 100% on this family support. Gi Chan might not turn out like HY’s idiotic, cheating husband but who can guarantee he will be the same 10 years from marriage? It is such a gamble with high stakes for Dang Ja. Giving up what she knows best for something she has little faith in such as marriage. That will be tough for her and even tougher if one day she has the tinniest hint of regret. It will be too late then. She can’t even get out of the traditional family…because I suppose this kind of old-fashioned families don’t allow divorces too?

    From an independant woman to dependant woman in a household…does Dang Ja really want to move from her “splendid cage” to a old-fashioned, confined, full-of-rules-and-responsibilities kind of “Monkey Village” just like what Gi Chan used as a metaphor? Who says those poor animals are happy? I bet those monkeys are not all joyful jumping from the same branch over and over again for long period of time.

    I believe in marriages but just not this kind of give-up-everything kind of marriage. It is too risky. I like Dang Ja because of who she is today, now…I think that’s why Gi Chan fell for her in the first place. I really don’t want Dang Ja to change that much for love.

    For this traditional family— I wonder what will happen if they have a clue on Dang Ja’s pregnancy? The possibility of a son to continue their family roots/names/traditions?

  7. Luv

    Thank you so much javabeans.

    I love the scene when DJ told GC she learned “what it means to really love someone”…that’s when we know she loves him.
    Her vulnerability speaks volume.

    I’m not sure about the “marry his household” part…
    GC is living in Seoul…a few hours from his hometown…so if they get married…wouldn’t she live in Seoul with him?

    I think I need to understand Korean culture a little bit more.
    Is it always the case?…when a woman get married…she doesn’t work anymore?
    Is that the norm?

    Thanks again for the wonderful summary. I really enjoy reading it.

  8. supersumiehime

    Since no one mentioned DJ’s hair yet, I’ll just say that her new hair style makes her look much softer and prettier. I’m glad that the drama is finally talking about the reality of marriage and who would have to sacrifice what in order to have to peace in the marriage. Thanks again Javabeans, I always check for your summaries!

  9. Luv

    Aww…Thank you javabeans for the quick reply…hehe…
    That cleared up so much and now I can see/understand what DJ got herself into…hehe…

    Wow…marrying GC is like giving up everything she knows/has and start from scratch. If given that choice at this moment…I think I would do the exact same thing DJ did. I can totally understand DJ now…her heartache…

    I can’t wait to see what happen next…
    Is GC’s love worth giving up everything?

    But on another train of thought…DJ is independent and strong because she has to…she has no family. Maybe later…when she gets together with GC…she’ll come to realize that she doesn’t need to be that strong anymore and his family will love her and she’ll be happy living within their loves.

  10. 10 kiwee

    from the next episode, i think she had a miscarriage. -cry-

  11. 11 tsunamiblues

    If you love me a little less, then I’ll love you that much more.

    Omo, that was a nice one, geez there are some nice translated lines, I wonder what that sounds like in Korean. Damn, this drama I might have to actually watch it, and not just read summaries.

  12. 12 lili

    Been waiting with baited breath for your summary on this new Bad Couple episode! THANK YOU!!! As always – awesome summary and caps! =)

  13. 13 Jessica

    Though I wouldn’t want Dang Ja to complete give up her life either, I don’t feel that a woman who gives it up to run a traditional household is any weaker than a “working” woman.

    Both are strong women who are following their passions.

    Running a large, traditional household is hard work and requires a lot of planning and management skills.

    The issue is that Jung Sook wants to run the traditional household, while Dang Ja has found her niche in the fashion industry.

    And so regarding Han Young’s story, I don’t really blame her for devoting 100% of herself in her family. It seemed like something she wanted to do and she was very happy with it. She just made a bad decision by marrying her jerk-husband.


    Anyway, I hope both GC and DJ can compromise enough that they can both be happy together 🙂

  14. 14 Philippa

    Thanks a lot! I really like this drama! But that sucks, she’ll have to manage that estate or something if she marries him in the future. That is just so traditional and she’s a fashion designer and stuff. K. thanks a lot again!

  15. 15 Dais

    Not being Korean the idea of very traditional life style is so fascinating to me. Do some ppl still practice this kind of life style in this day and age? How very nice!!

  16. 16 Marzy

    sigh, a heartfelt eppie. full of emotions. man the writers ont his drama sure have good lines, or they are translated better hehehe i love that part where yoo gun is making faces. soo cute. lol. jung sook’s character seemed to be too plain and boring to me. i mean yeah i get what sacrifices and all but eeekk it feels as if she herself is so dry after. well i get dang ja’s point, and true enough it will definitely become harder. this part of the plot reminds me a tad of sweet 18, when lee dong gun is the heir also. i wonder where they will go with this too. ^^ thanks sarahhh!! 😀

  17. 17 catinmyfridge

    I’m still wondering why Lee Dong Wook thought this script sucked? The fool!

  18. 18 maggie

    exactly, catinmyfridge! it’s LDW lose and RSY’s gain….
    but as most people say, RSY was the best choice for Gi Chan’s role anyways 😉

  19. 19 arielifeoma

    Okay. I guess I’m the only person who was very irritated with Gi Chan in this episode. Why in the world would he bring Dang Ja to his home without clearing up issues with Jung Sook. It is so inconsiderate of him to place those women in such an uncomfortable position! It was hard for me to even watch it and I skimmed on the competition parts that were supposed to be funny.

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