This episode probably shouldn’t be taken with too much seriousness, because it felt like everyone regressed for a moment into adolescence and acted like a bunch of kids. It almost seemed like the actors were having a bit of fun — and while it wasn’t, uh, realistic, it was cute how they joked and played around more than usual. (Also, there are a lot of funny faces today.)
SONG OF THE DAY
Holladang – “Beat One” [ Download ]
EPISODE 14 RECAP
With their relationship out in the open, Hyun-soo meets Kang-hyun’s friends. Hee-soong is introduced as the friend who gave her the spoiled kimbap, so Hyun-soo thanks her, since the incident led to their first kiss.
Hee-soong and Soon-young point out that they’re still addressing each other formally, with Kang-hyun calling Hyun-soo “Attorney Park” and him calling her “Kang-hyun-sshi.” Since he’s older by four years, he ought to drop the formal speech and just call her “Kang-hyun-ah,” and she should call him “oppa.”
They try it out but find it too awkward, so they brainstorm for terms they can call each other, drawing up a list of candidates like “honey” and “darling.” Her friends are nonplussed at the sight of the couple acting googly-eyed and in love.
Kang-hyun’s parents worry over the relationship, and try to come up with a way to break the kids up. They scold Kang-hyun and tell her to quit her job (fearing her proximity to Hyun-soo), but she insists that Hyun-soo has been acting cold ever since her parents talked to him. She also agrees to move back in with them, and abide by their 10 p.m. curfew (midnight if she’s with Kyung-hwan).
At work, Kang-hyun is faced with two issues. First, she stresses over finding Hwa-young the perfect date. Partly out of guilt and partly out of relief, Kang-hyun would like to get Hwa-young a fantastic date and be done with it.
Second, Hyun-soo’s brother Hyun-sung is fed up with his brief but unsuccessful experience with the dating company, and withdraws his application and Hyun-soo’s. Kang-hyun is pleased to have Hyun-soo no longer in their client database, but because that means she failed in her bet with him, Hyun-sung remains opposed to her relationship with his brother.
But Sung-ho has other intentions for Hyun-soo’s profile. He’s reluctant to withdraw him from their membership, because an angry client is demanding a date with Hyun-soo. Sung-ho has been trying to deflect her requests, but she says she joined their service because of Hyun-soo’s profile and threatens to sue for false advertising, as well as making her five friends quit the service.
Kang-hyun insists Sung-ho remove Hyun-soo’s membership anyway, because Hyun-soo wouldn’t like it. And also: “He’s my man!”
Sung-ho agrees to comply, but he goes behind her back to arrange a date to appease the client, then calls Hyun-soo to the venue. Once there, Sung-ho begs Kang-hyun to go along with the plan just once, and she relents — but only as long as she can act as their couple manager.
Therefore, Kang-hyun introduces herself as their representative, and informs the woman that Hyun-soo is so busy that he can only spare 30 minutes today. Oh, and today is Hyun-soo’s last day as a member.
Hyun-soo’s date is almost creepy in the level of detail she knows about Hyun-soo (and his former job, and his former in-laws), but he extricates himself after 30 minutes. In the restroom, he gets a text message, which he reads with a smile: Kang-hyun writes, “Smiling prohibited! Keep silent!”
Hyun-soo overhears a guy’s phone conversation as he’s about to leave the bathroom. The guy is a particular jackass about his date, because while he was perfectly polite to her face, he brags over the phone, “Yeah, she’s good enough to play around with.” Turns out his date is Hwa-young.
Hyun-soo calls Hwa-young and prevents her from continuing the date, and tells her the truth. Hwa-young thanks him for worrying about her. The next day, Kang-hyun apologizes to Hyun-soo for setting up Hwa-young’s bad date and promises to take better care in the future.
Kang-hyun isn’t genuinely bothered by Hyun-soo’s concern for his ex-wife, but that doesn’t stop her from feeling the teeniest bit of satisfaction when he expresses a prickling of jealousy when Kyung-hwan calls.
When Kang-hyun is out of earshot of Hyun-soo, she talks on the phone normally, but speaks in an extra-sweet tone when Hyun-soo moves closer. Hyun-soo asks jealously if Kyung-hwan is still bugging her, and she points out, “You’re still in contact with Hwa-young.”
Kyung-hwan has been completely stressed out studying for his law exams. With all his former confidence gone, he wants to quit school and give up now. Even with a job offer at the law firm awaiting him, Kyung-hwan doesn’t think he has the smarts to pass his exam.
On the other hand, Hee-soong gets a real job working at a magazine. With Kang-hyun moving out (temporarily, although her parents don’t know that) and taking her income with her, the friends hold a yard sell to raise money for a month’s living expenses. Kang-hyun plans to return to the apartment after working out her parents’ opposition to Hyun-soo.
Hee-soong complains that Kang-hyun has set up all of her friends but her. Kang-hyun hadn’t known Hee-soong was interested in dating, and promises to set her up with somebody right away.
This turns out to be Hyun-soo’s lawyer friend, Hyuk-soo, who is immediately taken with Hee-soong and thanks Kang-hyun profusely. While he steps away to take a call, Kang-hyun tries to place his familiar-sounding voice… and then remembers that Hyuk-soo is the guy who got her fired from her previous job.
Thankfully, this doesn’t present a huge problem, because Hee-soong and Hyun-soo calm her down, telling her that she never would have met Hyun-soo if not for the guy.
Hyuk-soo and Hee-soong tease the couple for still being so formal with each other. Kang-hyun answers that they haven’t decided on what to call each other yet, and Hyuk-soo tells them to just go for it. He demonstrates with Hee-soong.
Unfortunately, Kang-hyun’s newly imposed curfew means they must run home immediately to make it the 10 p.m. cutoff.
In an effort to soften her parents, Hyun-soo arrives on the weekend bearing gifts, intending to pay formal respects. However, Kang-hyun’s parents have taken a trip to her mom’s former convalescent center and don’t plan to be back until the next morning.
Foreseeing that Kang-hyun would want to sneak out with her boyfriend, her parents warn that they’ll call once every hour to make sure she stays home. But that doesn’t prevent them from spending time together as long as they stay home, so they settle in and enjoy each other’s company.
Kang-hyun remembers her mother’s claim of hiding a golden frog in the house, and declares a treasure hunt. Judging from her mother’s description, it ought to be a pretty big hunk of gold, but it’s not until they find it (screencap up top) that they realize (1) Mom’s memory exaggerated its size, and (2) it’s a turtle, not a frog.
Unexpectedly (to her, not to us), Kang-hyun’s parents come home early, and it’s a mad dash to hide Hyun-soo, and then to sneak him outside unseen.
Kang-hyun’s parents wonder what to do about their housekeeper girl, Kyung-ae. She’d come from Yanbian (a Chinese region heavily populated by Koreans) to marry an abusive Korean husband, only to be kicked out of the family. With her visa running out, Mom suggests that Kyung-ae marry a Korean man to keep her from deportation.
Mom asks Kang-hyun if she knows of any available men, and Kang-hyun remembers Hyun-soo’s brother.
It turns out to be a big success, because Kyung-ae is pretty and sweet and finds all of Hyun-sung’s corny gag jokes funny (which in turn gives Hyun-sung the confidence to keep impressing her with his, uh, wit). Even Hyun-soo and Kang-hyun are surprised at how well the two get along.
One problem, though, is that they run late getting back home that night, and by the time they arrive at the apartment, it’s 10:30. Rather than face further censure, Kang-hyun remembers that her parents gave her extended curfew if she’s out with Kyung-hwan, and calls him.
Reluctantly, Kyung-hwan plays along, confirming over the phone that he’s with Kang-hyun. But Mom and Dad aren’t satisfied, and go one step further, wanting Kyung-hwan to see her home. (Heh, what suspicious parents. Reminds me of high school, actually. Psst, mom and dad! If you trust your kids, they won’t lie to you. As much.)
The three of them go along with the scheme, even though nobody’s really happy with it.
Kyung-hwan takes this chance to make an important announcement: He has decided to quit school. He still wants to marry Kang-hyun and assures them that he can provide for her, but his decision changes everything for her parents. If he’s not going to be a lawyer, the lack of a good job will make Kang-hyun’s life difficult, and their whole reason for supporting the marriage is no longer valid.
They also happen to remember all of a sudden that this guy dumped their daughter for another girl. The wedding is off.
As much as Kyung-hwan can be a big baby sometimes (and despite the sad-looking screencap, his crying is more funny than pitiful), it sucks to be Kyung-hwan now. He bemoans that he’s all alone (“There’s nobody in the world who’s on my side”) and starts crying drunkenly for his old girlfriend who understood him and treated him with compassion.
So Kang-hyun grabs his phone and calls the ex-girlfriend, who comes to retrieve Kyung-hwan.
Mom and Dad, on the other hand, are are embarrassed for having bragged about their future lawyer son-in-law. Kang-hyun brings up Hyun-soo, saying his divorced status isn’t such a big deal, but her parents clarify that their big concern isn’t his divorce but the fact that he knows too much about them. Kang-hyun swears she won’t give them any cause to worry about that, and starts to wear down their opposition.
With that goal achieved, she also moves back to her apartment.
Kang-hyun excitedly tells Hyun-soo that her parents’ opposition isn’t a problem anymore, and they rejoice together. However, because this occurs in the hallway at work, they’re seen by a client — the one who wanted to date Hyun-soo — and she sues Sung-ho for false advertising.
Hye-sun manages to smooth things over with the client enough to avert a lawsuit (although there are certain unexplained “administrative” measures remaining). But Sung-ho’s happiness is cut short by the realization that Hye-sun is going to marry her boyfriend.
He mopes at the office, and Kang-hyun finds out that his divorce came about because he had an affair. Kang-hyun is suitably disappointed in him, and Sung-ho explains that this kind of stuff happens when people don’t “do their homework” (in life, he means). Thus they end up doing stupid things as a result.
Kang-hyun advises him to express his feelings to Hye-sun, even if it’s to send her off, so Sung-ho appears at the restaurant where she’s making her formal greetings to her stepchildren-to-be.
Sung-ho tells her he’s sorry, and that he’d come today to see her for the last time. After she goes back to her party, Sung-ho writes a poem, which he leaves behind for her. He hasn’t been able to write poetry in ages, and this is his first in a long time — it essentially expresses his sadness at seeing her go, his loneliness, and ends, “To my last love, Yoon Hye-sun.”
As a result of the angry client, the Last Love office suspends operation for a month. The other employees look at it as a vacation, but Kang-hyun has never not worked, and isn’t prepared for an enforced break. Hyun-soo encourages her to take the time to recharge.
Her first day off, Kang-hyun tries to call out her friends, but they’re either busy with work, or it’s been so long since they talked that they respond to her text with a confused “Who is this?”
She’s so bored that she calls out Kyung-hwan for coffee. He’s a lot happier now, back with his girlfriend, and seems more mature this time — he’s stopped calling the girlfriend “noona,” and is treating her as an equal rather than letting her be the caretaker. He has also taken the girlfriend’s suggestion to take leave from school rather than quitting altogether.
Kang-hyun visits Hyun-soo at work, and at first freaks him out by telling him sadly, “Let’s stop dating.” Just as he’s about to panic, she giggles at the joke (and Hyun-soo looks adorably confused).
But it’s not a total joke, because she does want “a break.” Thankfully, we’re not talking Ross-n-Rachel-esque “We were on a break” vague territory, but Kang-hyun explains that she hates when women devote everything to waiting around for their men. In other words, her recent self: “I think I’ve changed ever since I started liking you.” She’s disturbed that all she does is think about him at the expense of other interests, and asks for time “to recharge.” Just for the month that she’ll be away from work.
Hyun-soo understands her need (although he thinks a month is too long) and is impressed with her drive to better herself. They’re not breaking up, but they are agreeing not to date for the month.
Kang-hyun starts her path to rediscovery… which apparently means lots of reading about Che Guevara. She reads at cafes, eats at restaurants alone, and generally rediscovers what it’s like to be solo. After all, you see things when you’re alone that you might miss when you’re with someone else: “We need two people to love, but we also need time to love ourselves too.”
Her goal is to do one new thing per day — eat new food, take roads she hasn’t taken before: “To see the world from the other direction.”
She sends Hyun-soo a care package with letters and items (“Things Kang-hyun likes”) for Hyun-soo to take a look at (which, gratifyingly, contains a copy of Anne of Green Gables).
On the last day of her month, Soon-young bugs Kang-hyun to be set up with a guy, too. Hearing that her only requirement is good looks, Kang-hyun calls one of the clerks from Hyun-soo’s law firm (identified only as “pretty-boy receptionist”).
They hit it off. She likes him because he’s good-looking, and he likes her because she thinks he’s good-looking. Ah, vain love. Their love story should be called “When Airhead Met Airhead.”
Kang-hyun asks the guy how Hyun-soo’s been doing lately — is he sad? depressed? — but is a little put out to hear he’s perfectly fine.
Getting Hyun-soo’s day schedule from the receptionist, Kang-hyun secretly watches Hyun-soo consult with a client at a hotel, then visits the rooftop to write down something (numbers of some sort — a list, maybe?), which she leaves behind to retrieve later.
Just then, Hyun-soo drops by for some relaxation time, and Kang-hyun tries to hide herself. Excited to see her, Hyun-soo rushes to her side, saying, “I missed you!”
But Kang-hyun refuses to look at him, like a bride who’s freaked out that the groom has seen her wearing her wedding dress before the ceremony. She reminds him of the old fable of the nine-tailed fox, and asks, “Do you know why the gumiho couldn’t turn human?” Hyun-soo: “Because it waited 99 days, not 100?” Kang-hyun: “Right, it couldn’t wait one more day.”
Therefore, she insists (still keeping her face hidden), she’ll see him tomorrow when their month is over.
I know I’m just repeating myself by now, but as with previous story developments, I’m really glad they didn’t stretch this “month break” thing into a whole prolonged angst-fest — which, I’m sure, could have easily been done. What I appreciate about Love & Marriage is that they know what they are — a light romantic comedy with somewhat predictable story elements — and they don’t try to overdo the drama. I think it was a worthy point to show Kang-hyun wanting to self-improve and work on being a full person without her boyfriend, but I also like that they decided that 15 minutes was enough to get the point across. (And it was.)
Also, while some of the pairings are a little obvious, such as Hyun-sung with the housekeeper (or Hee-soong’s date with Hyuk-soo, or Soon-young’s date with the vain legal secretary dude), I like that they didn’t come out of nowhere. I like seeing everyone paired up in a way that makes sense, and because we’ve seen enough of each of these characters well in advance, at least their pairings don’t feel like empty gestures to tie up loose ends. Now all we have left is Hwa-young, and I’m curious to see who she ends up with, because I don’t think we have any more eligible men to give to her…
- Love & Marriage: Episode 13
- Love & Marriage: Episode 12
- Love & Marriage: Episode 11
- Love & Marriage: Episode 10
- Love & Marriage: Episode 9
- Love & Marriage: Episode 8
- Love & Marriage: Episode 7
- Love & Marriage: Episode 6
- Love & Marriage: Episode 5
- Love & Marriage: Episode 4
- Love & Marriage: Episode 3
- Love & Marriage: Episode 2
- Love & Marriage: Episode 1