The Last Scandal of My Life: Episode 10
How cute is Jae Bin, right?
The best thing about him, I think, is that even though he’s often impetuous and hot-headed, and nags Sun Hee to get her attention, he’s totally attuned to her emotions. He really hates to see her cry, but it’s not because he’s uncomfortable with tears; it’s that he can’t stand to see her hurting, so he’ll use whatever means he can to distract her. And, so far, it’s worked.
SONG OF THE DAY
Choi Jin Yi – “눈부신 날” (shining days). The new solo single from the lead singer of rock band Rumble Fish. This isn’t my favorite track, but it’s the one that’s popular now. [ Download ]
EPISODE 10 RECAP
After Sun Hee is tossed aside by her ex-husband, Jae Bin lets her have her cry out in the car. Sun Hee asks how long Jae Bin’s known the truth, understanding now why he always called her husband a bastard and a jerk.
Jae Bin’s a little startled to hear that Sun Hee never meant to divorce Yoo Shik for real (Sun Hee: “Did you think I’d let my family fall apart so easily?”), but his mood improves as they arrive home, using the excuse of “providing support” to put his arm around Sun Hee and hold her hand.
Sun Hee’s not in a laughing mood and pushes him away, but Jae Bin forbids her to enter the house without taking his hand, and she finally smiles at his eagerness to cheer her up.
At that moment, they spot Dong Hwa outside, sporting his usual stoic, stern look. Jae Bin cheerfully announces (to Sun Hee’s dismay) that he and Sun Hee are former classmates, but that he’d asked Sun Hee not to mention it because of Jae Bin’s supposed age.
Dong Hwa merely tells Sun Hee that it’s not her fault for staying silent and that it works out well, since he’d asked her to be a friend to Jae Bin.
Later, Jae Bin calls Sun Hee over the walkie-talkie — she’s still feeling depressed and awful, and he attempts to make her feel better. In a moment of sincerity, Jae Bin tells her that she’d done a good job as a wife, and that she wasn’t dumped by her husband. Now it’s her turn to leave him behind: “Don’t feel wronged, and don’t hate him, and don’t cry either. Erase it all from your mind. Then you’ll be leaving him behind cleanly.”
Jae Bin’s attentiveness continues into the morning, and he happily takes over for Sun Hee in making breakfast. Granted, he’s making his own breakfast, but he’s still proud of himself for helping out.
Dong Hwa also attempts to give Sun Hee the shoes he bought her as a present, but Jae Bin interrupts the conversation and Dong Hwa immediately pulls back and makes up another excuse. Jae Bin senses something strange about his brother’s behavior, but doesn’t know what the source is.
An open casting call is held for Jae Bin’s movie, “Finding Cinderella,” in a meta nod to the drama’s own subject material (Last Scandal even spawned a new word, the rather ungainly term “jumadella” — combining “ajumma” and “Cinderella”).
While Jae Bin and Na Yoon pose for the cameras, Sun Hee arrives at the building, unseen by them but noticed by Dong Hwa. Dong Hwa tells the two he’ll join them at the restaurant shortly, and follows Sun Hee in concern. Upstairs at the wine bar, Sun Hee asks for Yoo Shik, who is NOT pleased to see her.
Typical of Yoo Shik, he makes everything seem like it’s Sun Hee’s fault, acting in his usual boorish manner. Sun Hee’s come with just one thing to ask: “Why did you do it?” Yoo Shik rattles on in his own defense — saying Jung Sook has done so much for him, that Sun Hee could do nothing for him, that he’ll send her money when the bar is established so she can send Jimin abroad and live her own life.
Sun Hee’s eyes now completely opened, she looks at him with quiet disgust, and tells him she’d wondered how to react when she saw him, and thought over so many possible courses of action. She could beg him to return, or smash up the bar, or slap him. But hearing him talk, everything becomes clear: “Be happy with that woman,” she says, washing her hands entirely of him. She tells him the last fifteen years of her life have been a waste, and leaves.
She vents her grief after leaving the building, while Dong Hwa quietly trails behind her. After she’s sobbed (and yelled) out some of her emotions, he approaches and offers her a lift home.
Dong Hwa therefore skips out on meeting Jae Bin and Na Yoon, who wait at the restaurant.
Jae Bin’s no longer angry at the sight of Na Yoon — he still dislikes her, but it’s like he’s too happy with his own life to be upset with the world. In fact, when Na Yoon comments that the Cinderella auditionees are all bland and similar, Jae Bin says that at least they’re small, because he likes petite women (which not only is a pointed barb at tall, statuesque Na Yoon but a reference to Sun Hee).
From something he says, Na Yoon guesses Jae Bin’s been associating with a woman these days and tries to guess who it is. Just at that moment, Jae Bin gets through to Sun Hee on her phone, and Na Yoon hears how he talks with her, alarmed at the thought that the housekeeper ajumma could be the woman in question.
At home, Dong Hwa gives Sun Hee the next day off while the kids are away on a school trip. He offers his family’s vacation house to her to gather her thoughts and relax. Sun Hee declines the use of the house, but accepts the day off gratefully. And they sit awkwardly in semi-silence as they eat.
When Jae Bin hears she has tomorrow off, he suggests taking her somewhere…
…which ends up being to get Lasik eye surgery. Rather than give her advance warning (she’d refuse anyway), Jae Bin drags her with him, arranges the surgery, and breaks her glasses so she has no choice but to go through with it. (SUCH typical Jae Bin behavior, ja?)
For the rest of the day, Jae Bin takes care of Sun Hee, who can’t open her eyes and is rendered helpless. He enjoys her dependence on him immensely, deliberately pretending to leave for work and loving how Sun Hee grabs him around the neck, begging him not to leave her.
He even cooks for her — although her admission that nobody’s ever cooked for her before strikes him more than she meant it to. (And then, to balance out the sentiment, Sun Hee’s moved nearly to tears when Jae Bin tells her gruffly to list all the things she hasn’t experienced before, so that he can do them all for her.)
When Dong Hwa drops by Sun Hee’s quarters to give her the shoes he’d bought her, Jae Bin and Sun Hee immediately feel guilty at their coziness, which I think is pretty telling. They rush to hide Jae Bin before Sun Hee answers the door. Dong Hwa, who doesn’t suspect anything, leaves the shoebox near the door and assists Sun Hee to her room.
Jae Bin wasn’t lying about having work scheduled that day, because Na Yoon showed up alone to the film shoot. She drops by the house to talk to Jae Bin, only to find that he’s not home. Dong Hwa’s surprised to hear his brother missed the shoot, but isn’t as anxious as Na Yoon, who waits in vain for Jae Bin’s return. She drops by Sun Hee’s quarters, and is stunned to see the couple cozily sleeping side by side on the couch.
…and, Na Yoon’s immediate reaction is to get drunk. She also asks pressing questions of Yoo Shik and Jung Sook at the wine bar, making them uncomfortable with her direct questions about Yoo Shik’s ex-wife and her relationship to the Jang brothers.
As a result, Yoo Shik calls Jae Bin to pick her up from the bar.
Before leaving to deal with Na Yoon, Jae Bin removes the patches from Sun Hee’s eyes, telling her that birds are known to follow the first thing they see after hatching from their eggs. So, he tells her, don’t forget that he’s the first person she saw after opening her eyes.
He also reminds her (as he has all episode) that there’s something he wrote in the basement workout room; he wants her to find it and read his message.
Jae Bin arrives irritated at Na Yoon, who tries to apologize for having left him all those years before. He doesn’t care to hear it, and ignores her attempt to make up with him. He does, however, take her back to her hotel, since she’s too drunk to manage on her own.
Once there, Na Yoon again tries to appeal to his sympathy and explain why she left him. She tells him she’s not Dong Hwa’s woman, which does surprise Jae Bin, but he keeps his reaction to himself and leaves.
After Jae Bin heads out, Na Yoon calls Dong Hwa and begs him to (1) tell Jae Bin there’s nothing between them, and (2) get rid of Sun Hee before Jae Bin ruins himself. Dong Hwa is surprised to hear that they were sleeping side by side together, but he’s not about to give in to Na Yoon’s demands, and answers, “Why should I hurt that woman because of you?”
At home, Sun Hee looks around the basement as Jae Bin instructed, looking for whatever it is he wrote. She’s about to give up when she notices a little face drawn onto a picture frame with an arrow pointing to the wall. She pushes the frame aside, and on the wall, Jae Bin has written: “Dong Chul… likes 39-year-old Hong Sun Hee better than 19-year-old Hong Sun Hee.”
She laughs in genuine amusement and takes a seat to wait for him to come home.
Sometime later, Dong Hwa comes across Sun Hee in the workout room, and watches her sleeping for a moment. He brushes aside her hair from her face, just as Jae Bin appears in the doorway. He asks in a combination of challenge and alarm, “What are you doing?”
Calmly, Dong Hwa answers, “Why, is there a reason I can’t like her?”
That startles Jae Bin, but his brother reminds him of something he’s told him before — that there are things he can do that Song Jae Bin can’t.
Ah, brotherly strife. This conflict was inevitable, but I don’t mind the secondary romantic threads in Last Scandal because they don’t pose much of a threat to the main couple. Na Yoon might prove to be troublesome in the way that a buzzing gnat might irritate you, but she isn’t real competition for Sun Hee. And neither is Dong Hwa real competition for Jae Bin.
You can just look at the way the brothers react to Sun Hee’s troubles — both feel bad for her, both hate Yoo Shik, both want to help and have some difficulty in doing so because it’s not their place to meddle in her private life. Jae Bin will poke, tease, even annoy Sun Hee to get her out of her mood slumps, while Dong Hwa is like a benevolent teacher. He can try to help, but she’ll always keep him at arm’s length because it’s strange admitting someone so professional and dignified to her personal sphere. Jae Bin, on the other hand, is more on her level, not just in age but in the way they interact and connect.