Bad Couple: Episode 7
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.
(Random) SONG OF THE DAY
Brown Eyes – “비 오는 압구정” (Rainy Apgujeong) (Apgujeong is an upscale neighborhood in southern Seoul) [ zShare download ]
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…