Drama Recaps
Story of a Man: Episode 7
by | April 30, 2009 | 48 Comments

This above image is kind of the perfect shot for this drama, isn’t it?

As I said, I love the caper tone of the drama, particularly as the past several episodes have each featured a con of some kind by the Dream Team. Yet what this drama is doing well is imbuing their ingenious, entertaining con games with an undercurrent of uneasiness — a sense that this fun Ocean’s Eleven spree can’t last forever for our guys, and that sooner or later Do-woo the Evil Hotness will step in and strike.

SONG OF THE DAY

Kim Shin Ill – “To Be With You” (Acoustic version). There’s a regular version of this song, too, but for whatever reason I tend to prefer acoustic versions of songs. I suppose they feel more stripped and “real.”
[ Download ]

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EPISODE 7 RECAP

This opening scene shows how far the partnership has come between Kyung-ah and Do-woo, because she effectively works over his rich buddies, who have gathered to wonder what Do-woo’s up to these days. They have a feeling he’s scheming something big and are eager to get in on the deal and make some major money. Hence they press Kyung-ah for information, plying her with promises of a cut of their returns.

Kyung-ah feigns ignorance, and pretends to search her memory for names Do-woo may have mentioned. She muses that it was an acronym in English, and the others all jump to ask, “KP?” “UPU?” “MK?”

She’s good — she plays the ditz and acts like she’s letting them in on a big secret, so they snatch the bait when she confirms the name. Kyung-ah doesn’t give them info about the deal, and tells them to talk to Do-woo about it. But instead, the mere company name is enough to tip them off, and they all get on the phone — presumably to start buying up stocks.

Kyung-ah reports back to Do-woo that the rumors have started floating around the bar, and it looks like everyone will start buying tomorrow.

She wonders what he’ll do next with the profits, but her cheerful attitude dampens immediately when Do-woo asks about her ex-boyfriend Kim Shin. He wants to know more about the man. Her good humor gone, Kyung-ah says warningly, “Don’t mess with him. He’s a person that people like you shouldn’t mess with. So leave him alone.”

The Dream Team con enters the next phase, and Director Oh seeks out Jae-myung (posing as “Jamie”) in the hopes of getting to Fujin Pei. The man’s name is actually Hu Jinpay (curses to Korean pronunciation!) but the name mistake was intentional, as Chairman Chae still believes that the man’s name is Fujin/Hujin, and must be corrected later in the episode.

Director Oh is having a tough time wooing Jamie, who remains aloof. Director Oh suggests that Mr. Hujin have lunch with Chairman Chae, but Jamie declines the offer, as he has another business meeting to attend. (He’s really making Director Oh work hard for this, and one gets the sense that Chairman Chae is used to the weight of the company name opening doors. Now, however, they find themselves scrambling to please these Chinese bigwigs.)

Of course, they can’t know that the Dream Team is busy laying out their trap. Shin disguises himself as an old, frail-looking man who greets Fake Hu Jinpay (aka Mun-ho) warmly in the lobby area.

Director Oh immediately feels threatened that Old Man Shin is horning in on their territory, and tries to shove him aside to greet Hu.

Jamie/Jae-myung takes issue with this and pulls Director Oh aside, asking, “Do you even know who that man is?” Old Man Shin has come from Shanghai, and is an important politician and a member of the National People’s Congress. After the three con artists leave together, Director Oh hurries to confirm Old Man Shin’s identity and instructs his secretary to find out all she can.

Thanks to Kyung-tae’s spyware, he can monitor the internet usage in the chairman’s office, and he therefore moves quickly to swap in a Photoshopped picture showing Old Man Shin in place of the real politician. So when the secretary pulls up the site, it displays the doctored photo.

Furthermore, Kyung-tae also tracks the webpages that the secretary browses when booking a lunch reservation. Although Mr. Hu has denied a lunch meeting with Chae, the Dream Team arrives at that restaurant first, so that it seems a mere coincidence that they all end up there anyway. Tricky tricky!

Chae has felt himself losing control of this deal, so he frets about what to offer as a bribe. Expensive artwork? Pottery? Finally, he settles on dragging along his pretty daughter to soften the mood, despite her reluctance to comply.

Do-woo watches his father leaving for his important lunch, but scowls to see that his sister has been dragged into this. He gets on the phone and inquires into Hu’s activities, as well as the Zhuhai project.

When the Chae Dong party arrives at the restaurant, the chairman decides to barge in and invite himself to the lunch. Although this is precisely what the Dream Team intended, they did NOT anticipate that Eun-soo would be here (and the look on Jae-myung’s face is particularly funny, because he’s always so exasperated, as if to say, “Are you effing kidding me?”)

This is not a great way to continue their con, so Jae-myung surprises Chairman Chae by speaking up (in Korean, no less — he’s been speaking English all this while, to keep them on the defensive). He asks everyone to leave the room so he can have a one-on-one conversation — not with the chairman, but with his daughter.

Left with no other options, the guys take Eun-soo back to the Muse Café headquarters, where they sit in silence, trying to figure out what to do.

Shin tells her bluntly, “We’re in the middle of scamming your father.” But Eun-soo is a big complication in their plans, leaving them with two options. He can (1) kidnap her until they’re finished, or (2) Wait, does anyone have a number 2? (LOL.)

Eun-soo’s pretty much figured out the plan, and asks, “So you want revenge, right? By taking away my father’s money.” Shin expects her to fight with him, so he presses her to make good on her offer to help. He tells her how her father ruined his brother and killed him, and also killed Jae-myung’s devoted father, as though he’s gearing up to make a big convincing argument.

But Eun-soo surprises him because she requires no convincing at all, and tells him, “Take my father’s money. I’ll help you with your con.”

That’s a shocker. Eun-soo continues, “My father didn’t do all that. But since everything is because of money — because of my father’s money — take it. If he has no money, my father and I may be able to be happy.”

This suggests that Eun-soo knows her brother is behind everything, and her response shields him, which is interesting. Her rationale does make sense even if she isn’t protecting Do-woo, because it WAS her father’s money that enabled him to do everything. But I also wonder if she’s purposely volunteering to help as a way of protecting Do-woo, too…

At the hostess bar, Do-woo waits for Kyung-ah while playing piano in the performance hall.

Once again, the charged air between them suggests that they’ve been gradually building up a rapport — I wouldn’t say they’ve been growing closer, but rather that their attraction/interest has been simmering, kept on low, but with the possibility of cranking up the heat.

Do-woo needs her help, to which Kyung-ah banters, “Help? Not a partner?” He returns, “If you’ll be my partner, I’d be honored.”

He wants Kyung-ah to buy some stocks — they’re for his father’s company, and he doesn’t want to use his name and raise any red flags. He will manage the timing and let her know when to carry out his plan.

They’ve got some potent chemistry working for them, which gets turned up a notch when Do-woo leans in, slowly, to whisper into her ear: “I’ve thought a few times that if I get my own kingdom, I might want a person like you as my consort.”

Kyung-ah’s reply comes in a slow, cool manner to match Do-woo’s:

Kyung-ah: “I don’t want to be a consort.”
Do-woo: “Why? Do you not like the king?”
Kyung-ah: “I prefer to be the queen.”
Do-woo: “See? You do suit me.”

Sexy!

The next step of the con first requires Shin to drop by prison to see his gangster boss Bum-hwan, whom he asks for a favor. He needs Bum-hwan’s contacts in the construction world.

These contacts are used to stage a large conference made to look like an event for industry VIPs. Director Oh’s curiosity is piqued because Chae Dong Construction wasn’t invited, and he’s out of the loop. This drives him crazy because Hu Jinpay is interested in this meeting and therefore he needs to know what it is.

Therefore he’s relieved to recognize Shin, who’s back in his previous role as the construction company manager (the guy who met Jamie at the Lion’s Club). Director Oh tries to weasel some information out of Shin, who hands him his business card and tells him to drop by later to talk about it.

When Shin enters the conference, we see that all the attendees are actually uncouth gangsters, dressed in suits to look like important executives. Mun-ho thanks them for coming, and we find that this is not a meeting at all — he’s gathered them there to treat them to a nice lunch, courtesy of their old boss. It was all for show. Lol!

Director Oh reports his findings to the chairman, who is frustrated that Oh knows so little about the actual conference. Doesn’t he have any way into this group of VIPs?

Director Oh knows ONE person (Shin), and the chairman orders him to bring him in, no matter what.

Eun-soo, as usual, eavesdrops through a crack in the ceiling of her private attic, and hears her father ordering Oh to go to Shin’s workplace to check up on his identity. Chae is still suspicious enough to need confirmation before acting.

Eun-soo calls in a warning to the guys, telling them of Director Oh’s plan to check up on Fake Shin at work. They were smart enough to have used a real employee’s name and a real employee’s business card, so now all they have to do is to get Shin inside the office to pose as said real employee.

They gain access to the building by posing as maintenance workers, arriving just as Director Oh asks the receptionist for Fake Shin (name: Kim Dong-sun). To get the real Kim Dong-sun away from his desk, Joong-ho calls him to gripe that his car is badly parked and he needs to move it.

Then, Shin and Mun-ho clear out the workers in the office area for a maintenance issue, and when the employees vacate the room, Shin peels off his work clothes — revealing a sharp black business suit underneath.

He takes his place behind Kim Dong-sun’s desk, and pretends to be working, which is how Director Oh finds him.

Phew! The plan certainly requires lots of steps, but there’s also a certain low-technology simplicity about it, isn’t there?

Director Oh takes Shin aside to talk, and ushers him home to meet the chairman. I have to think that Shin is still feeling mighty uncomfortable about Eun-soo’s role in this revenge scheme, even if he does trust her not to betray them. She did tip them off about Director Oh checking up on Shin, but Shin seems uneasy to see her when he arrives with Director Oh. (On the upside, Eun-soo’s presence at least ensures that Do-woo won’t be around to accidentally see him.)

It’s funny, because you can actually see what Do-woo was talking about when criticized his father’s crude methods of bribery. We see it again here, and although it tends to be effective, it’s this ugly, clumsy way of coercing your opponent, and you can tell Do-woo embraces techniques requiring more finesse.

Director Oh presents Shin (aka Kim Dong-sun) to Chairman Chae, who asks fairly bluntly about his company’s dealings with Mr. Hu (or, as he still calls him, Mr. Hujin).

Chae offers Shin a job with his company — and a promotion — because as his employee, Shin’s loyalty will be directed at his new boss. Shin plays his part to the hilt, acting uneasy to talk about his company’s plans, prompting Director Oh to hand over an envelope of money.

This gets Shin talking about the Zhuhai development. Hu is contemplating subcontracting out the deal (at least partly) to a Korean company, citing Korea’s reputation for fast building. What the Western world takes forty years to complete, the Koreans can do swiftly in seven or eight. (By the way, this may be true in real life, but it’s as much a bad thing as good — it’s why Korean department stores might, say, collapse and kill dozens because the companies cut corners and swap out inferior building materials to save money! But in this world, these characters aren’t dwelling on that, to say the least.)

Anyway, Shin’s role was to persuade Hu that they shouldn’t merely subcontract the job, but join hands with a company on the Korean side. Naturally Chairman Chae wants that company to be his.

Chae presses for more information — how were they going to make this happen? Again, Shin acts nervous, like he’s giving up a big secret, and receives another bribe before he confesses that Hu has connections in Chinese banking circles. We’re talking something in the ballpark of 3 billion won. (All the while, Eun-soo eavesdrops.)

Meanwhile, Mazinger Hunter is back!

Kyung-tae announces his return of his internet broadcast, and his former listeners tune in excitedly. After all, before Kyung-tae got sent to prison, he’d built up a reputation for making keen stock market predictions, and probably made them a lot of money with his advice.

He announces that he’s got a new plan in the works, and if his followers want to join him, they are forewarned that they’d better adhere strictly to his instructions. He asks, “Can you do that? If you’re wondering if you can, leave now.”

Do-woo comes back home, and we have another nuanced performance here by Kim Kang-woo as Do-woo takes on a humbled, sorrowful tone, asking for his father to forgive him and take him back. He’s tired of living outside in hotels and wants to return home. All this he says with seeming sincerity — and yet, we know that he can’t possibly mean what he’s saying. Chairman Chae is also suspicious, but Do-woo performs this speech with such skill that even Chae can’t argue.

Eun-soo welcomes her brother back warmly, but she must sense something’s up because her mood turns uneasy. When he receives a computer alert, he laughs — his laugh is so creepy — and says, “They’re not such clueless con artists after all.”

Eun-soo’s smile fades — does she think Do-woo has caught on to the Dream Team? — and her brother even tells her directly, “They’re pretty good.” Uncomfortable, she leaves.

And then, Do-woo sets his own plan in motion. He orders his people to start buying quietly, using funds from Jenny.

The Dream Team moves in for the kill. They call a meeting with Chairman Chae, who is eager to meet and solidify the partnership. With Kyung-tae waiting on standby, “Hu” and “Jamie” agree to make the deal. Chae believes he is sneaking in to steal this deal away from under the other construction company, and has amassed 30 million Hong Kong dollars (5 billion won, or almost US $4 million) from overseas slush funds. He uses this money to buy the Zhuhai development contract.

Director Oh logs on to their bank account and transfers the funds into Hu’s bank account, and then they sign the contract. Deal complete.

Do-woo is aware of what this means — he knows his father’s being scammed and instead of helping to save him, he’s going to use this to his own advantage — and tells Jenny that they have two or three days to buy up as much stock as they can. They’ve got to then dump them all before “the news” breaks.

He tells her, referring to the Dream Team, “I had no idea people would help me out like this. Aren’t you curious who they are?”

I’m pretty sure he would have enjoyed telling her, but Kyung-ah declines, using his own words: “Didn’t you say before that you don’t see people, you only see charts?” Well, she wants to do that, too.

But Do-woo’s movements — although stealthy — don’t escape Kyung-tae’s notice, because he’s monitoring the situation closely. Alarmed that someone else is moving behind the scenes besides them, Kyung-tae frantically warns Shin that something is very wrong:

Kyung-tae: “Something is completely strange, really suspicious. I think someone else is interfering. Something is very strange with Chae Dong’s business. There’s somebody else other than me. I don’t know who that person is. There’s no way it can go up this fast. It’s too different from my calculations. Who could that be?”

This worry gets pushed aside for the moment when the bank transaction goes through, and Shin sees the new number in their bank account.

Do-woo orders his people to do as much as possible today, and be ready to act on his signal tomorrow. The news about Chae Dong will come out tomorrow — so it’s crucial that they move one step ahead of them.

The thing is, Shin is thinking the same thing. First Chae Dong will proudly announce its deal with Hu Jinpay. Soon thereafter, they will break the news that Chae Dong was scammed, thus ruining that company. Kyung-tae is in charge of figuring out the timing for when to act — which means, by the way, that Kyung-tae’s genius is pitted squarely versus Do-woo’s. Innnnnteresting.

Not aware of any of Do-woo’s behind-the-scenes manipulations, Shin is feeling pretty good. He calls his sister-in-law to ask her about moving away — as promised, he can send her abroad now.

Myung-sun is grateful to Shin for all his consideration, but she still feels bad for being rescued, and reminds Shin that Kyung-ah must be repaid first. He should think of Kyung-ah before thinking of her.

After he hangs up, Shin starts talking to an old man waiting at the bus stop. At first, his voice is rather proud, like he’s eager to share good news:

Shin: “I made some money today. It wasn’t so hard after all. I don’t know why my brother worked so hard making money.”

The thing is — and why I love this end scene — Shin talks proudly, but for some reason I feel like there’s self-loathing mixed in, even as he says, “My brother really was a bit pathetic.”

But there’s no bite in his condemnation of his brother, because of the irony: When the old man gets up to board the bus, he doesn’t acknowledge Shin, and Shin calls out after him. He asks, a little pathetically himself, “Am I … laughable?”

 

DIRECTING

Can we talk about the directing in this drama?

If you’re not watching Story of a Man (and why aren’t you??) one huge thing you’re missing out on is the visual beauty of the shots.

Sometimes I point out interesting shots, but it’s not because I have a particularly keen director’s eye that I notice them — it’s just that when you’ve been recapping as much as I have (taking screenshots of dramas, deciding which ones best represent a scene), you naturally start noticing the directing. Particularly when it’s such a strong component of the overall work. (The last drama I saw that had such a strong visual appeal was the sharp directing of Flowers For My Life. See below.)

And it’s not just a cool shot or neato angle that makes the directing good in a drama. Sure, that helps, but I’m always struck when a particular shot is layered with meaning.

For instance, there are some shots in Flowers For My Life that still stick with me, because they have a sense of wit. In the first shot above, the two are not lovers — the guy on the left likes the girl on the right, but they’re platonic friends. Aside from the frame just being visually interesting, it also works on a metaphorical level, since the two characters are separated by something even though they’re on the same plane. Plus, he’s out in the open, and she’s shut in her latticework cage. If you’ve seen the drama, you might extrapolate some further meaning out of that.

Then take the middle shot, which is one of my favorites from the drama. The two have just hit a bump in the relationship, and ride in the car in sad silence — they sit in different planes, looking in opposite directions.

This above shot from this episode is another example of wit, I think. On one hand, it’s fine on a purely functional level. But you’ve also got the chairman framed by his con artists, straining to hear what Jamie and Hu are saying, not knowing he’s being trapped.

Am I reading too much into simple shots? In a bad, or sloppily executed drama, I don’t think there’s a need to get too symbolic with some things that weren’t meant to be meaningful. But in dramas produced by obviously insightful and keenly detailed directors, I’m inclined to think all this stuff was intentional, and it’s my little fun game to find the wit in the shots.

And, okay, sometimes the shot is just plain cool. Like the computer reflections below.

 
COMMENTS

Is Do-woo getting scarier and darker, or what?

Somebody mentioned picking up on a weird feeling between Do-woo and his sister, and initially I thought that would be too extreme to even be a possibility. But I don’t know, this episode showed us that the only emotions that Do-woo showed were provoked by mention of Eun-soo — and he showed a LOT more intensity when he was following her around and keeping tabs on her. He’s normally so cool and collected, that it was a bit startling to see how strongly and angrily he reacted to see Eun-soo dragged into this. You get the sense he wants to protect her, and I’m wondering if it’s just fierce protectiveness… After all, he’s going to destroy his father, so he must want to keep Eun-soo clear of this. But… what is his deal??

I had thought from reading this detailed Kim Kang-woo interview that I wouldn’t be surprised by his evil genius, because I knew to expect it. Usually when you know that the intent is to make a character gradually, incrementally more freaky, it’s not so much of a surprise when it actually happens.

But I’m still surprised the more we see of Do-woo, because I still don’t have him figured out. What the hell was up with that creepy painting, and why is he fondling it lovingly? Did he draw it? What IS it? What does it MEAN?

Last but not least — his laugh was just about the creepiest thing ever, wasn’t it? Good god, does Kim Kang-woo do chilling like nobody’s business.

 
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48 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. elise

    thanks for the recaps dramabeans!!!!!

    • 1.1 Ann Villarreal

      What song is Do Woo playing on the piano in the hostess bar??

  2. chajjye

    ah!~ i’m convinced. i will pick this up.

    (haha…i should stop reading your recaps, they often persuade me to watch dramas i don’t want to watch.)

  3. angel2mx

    I love this show!!!! I love how Eun Soo has joined in with the dream team and Kyunh ah has teamed up with Do woo. …both of them representing a weakness that the main characters has…With Shin, he is indebted to Kyunh ah and has strong emotional ties with her as well! as for Do Woo, Eun Soo represents the only “real” emotional tie to this world

  4. kitty

    Thank you for the recaps! I’ve been waiting eagerly for them. Ep 7 seems so exciting, the intensity level is up another notch as Do-woo and Kyung-tae are pitted against each other, woohoo! And perverse as it is, I’m enjoying Kyung-ah’s role in this and how she’s helping Do-woo <3 I still hope Eun-soo won’t betray her brother, though.

    • 4.1 Gasenadi

      I, on the other hand, hope Eun-soo continues to show strength of character by NOT further enabling her brother’s homocidal bent. I just thought that ordering the Secretary’s murder was over the top, even for amoral DW. He could have had him shipped overseas with no way to return instead of killing him.

      I don’t care whether Kyung-ah helps DW or not, falls for him or not. Despite her fondness for Shin, from the first it was a given that she’d opt for a monied husband over jobless, aimless boyfriend. Tho she cared enough about the WHOLE Shin family to assume the debt and ensure the remaining family’s safety, she then declared it over with Shin. Just hope her “relationship” with DW doesn’t affect the strength she’s exhibited thus far.

  5. lelouch

    thanks for the recap…been waiting for this

    this drama is just getting better and better….btw jae-myung looks great

  6. Annie101

    ahhaa i watched the ep already :) pretty good. hot damn. lol. i kinda wanna see something spark between kyung ah and do woo. eun soo and kyungtae also :)

  7. vis

    Thanks for your insightful recap as usual! Heh, so I’m not the only one who picked up the weird feeling between Do-woo and his sister… but then again we might just read too much into his strong reaction… Maybe it’s something to be expected since she IS after all the only person that Do-woo genuinely cares about, just like what angel2mx wrote about Eun Soo representing Do-woo’s only real emotional tie to the world. Btw, interesting observation about the “pairings”!

    Hehehe, episode 8 is even MORE intense than episode 7 XD (that much I could tell from watching the raw~)

  8. yuu

    my god, was that the sexiest interaction between kyung-ah and do-woo…lol

  9. gleemonex

    yeah, i think kyung-ah has made her choice now, which is going
    to make shin’s revenge all the sweeter. it’s going to be beyond personal, if that’s possible.

  10. 10 jb

    Thanks for introducing me to Kim Shin Ill, his voice is so cool and so soulful. Im really clueless about Korean singers and groups but I discovered so many wonderful ones on your site (although you veer towards indie ;) ) Thanks a million Dramabeans! Btw, I love Star’s Lovers so much, esp Yoo Ji Tae so I watched his movies, ‘Hello Schoolgirl’ was cute in a way but man, when I watched ‘Oldboy’…my jaw dropped, his character was so twisted and he played the part well…..

  11. 11 polarbear

    I absolutely agree on the last bit about Do-woo’s inexplicable affection(?) or over protectiveness over his sister. He always has a poker face look but the mere mentioning of Eun-soo, his face shows several degree of expressions. I don’t know but to me, his character seems like someone who doesn’t and won’t care about anything or anyone other than himself. The fact that he shows little to no interest on girls led me into thinking that there must be a skeleton in the closet or something along the line AND it is related to his sister.. and that creepy drawing *__*

  12. 12 birdscout

    Wow, your recaps are so well-written! Your succinct summaries are the best, and the commentary you post about the directing is so interesting to someone like me, who doesn’t know much about camera angles, etc. I always appreciate dramas so much more after reading your recaps. I’ve commented before how much you add to my kdrama experience (and for many, many others, I’m sure.) So, THANK YOU!

    I didn’t think I would watch this drama, but now it is on my must-see list.

    Thanks for those wonderful shots from Flowers For My Life, still one of my top three dramas ever. I would never have watched it without your recommendation!

    (Side note to Samsooki: I’ve been reading many of your fun and intelligent comments lately. Thanks for your input to Javabeans’ awesome blog. I don’t remember seeing Flowers For My Life on your and your wife’s list of dramas watched. It’s REALLY good!)

  13. 13 haezi

    thank you for the recaps and the screen shots. very insightful, especially since i usually don’t pay attention to how a scene is set up.

    as for the relationship between dowoo and eunsoo, it’s v intriguing because it’s so different from what one would expect…you’d think that eunsoo would be easy to push to the sidelines esp now that he’s found the ever alluring kyungah. i’d like to think that his feelings for eunsoo aren’t so sexual (as in incestuous) but protective (on the border of obsessive) because she’s the only one he feels something akin to love for (even with kyungah, it’s still more of a business partnership) and he recognizes her purity and wants to shield her from the dirtier world of money to keep her on “his side” (which i can’t fault him for)…everyone else are just pawns. he draws a measure of comfort from her that he can’t find in anyone else–for example, my favorite exchange (although the last scene was also definitely a fav) was when kyungah brings him honey tea with a touch of liquor…he’s a little reluctant to drink it because it’s supposed to be what his sister makes (she has a special place in his heart)…he also comments on how different–strong/bitter–it is…just like kyungah, herself.

    even with kyungah, i feel that, while there is definitely an underlying sexual attraction between kyung ah and dowoo, it’s more of a mutual recognition of each other’s strengths and similarities. they are both useful to each other and they understand one another to a point since they both are set apart from the others in their respective fields. this recognition and loneliness is bound to bring these two closer together but definitely not love…at least not yet.

  14. 14 s hee

    thanks a bunch javabeans for recap — i’ve been hooked watching this new drama & loving it! can’t wait to see ep 7 on soju!

  15. 15 haezi

    also, everything between dowoo and kyungah is calculative…with the honey tea, “did i make a mistake?” in order to gain info from shin, “what can i offer you to find out more about shin?” regarding who should be by his side when he gets his kingdom, “see? you do suit me.”
    it makes for an interesting relationship because it’s like two equals who understand that everything is a game and, thus, play it cool (such as when kyungah mistakes eunsoo for his girlfriend).
    but passion to the point of losing a measure of control? he seems to show those types of emotions (with a slight tightening of the jaw or fists) only with eunsoo. it’s not love for a lover but more than a calculative partnership.
    things will probably change when kyungah and dowoo become closer but i kind of want things to stay as they are since i feel that part of the sexiness with kyungah and dowoo’s relationship is that collective cool. plus, i don’t what kyungah’s love for shin to be replaced. is that futile?

  16. 16 popcorn

    I’ll definitely give this a try once summer break hits! :D

    Thanks for the comments/caps/review!

  17. 17 jandoe

    definitely going to watch this show, just waiting for it to start on KBS World in 2 weeks time now :D:D:D i love reading your recaps by the way!

  18. 18 Kender

    Thanks for the recap, JB!

    I swear, watching Do-woo in this episode and episode 8 gave me chills. *shivers* I have never been so creeped out and intrigued out at the same time. (CREEPY PAINTING.) NEED MOAR.

    The relationship between Kyung-ah and Do-woo is getting AWESOME. I mean, I know he’s manipulating her hardcore *coughepisode8cough* but I love it anyway because it’s so masterfully done. I can’t wait to see where their relationship goes.. I’m totally hoping for them to hook up (i.e. sexually), because that scene would be HOT. What I’m curious about, though, is if Kyung-ah fully understands how much she’s actually being manipulated. I mean, I’m certain she does on some level, but I can’t help but wondering if she’s actually falling for him a little. *restrains self from talking about episode 8* :x

    Also, Do-woo + Eun-soo = weird/interesting. I don’t think it’s sexual, either, but he’s definitely heavily invested (emotionally) in her affairs. The fist-clenching was so fierce..

    On a non-Do-woo-related note, the scene where Kim Shin has to sneak into the office building and masquerade as the real manager reminded me very strongly of a similar scene in The Sting (with Robert Redford and Paul Newman), in which they disguise themselves as maintenance workers and drive the employees out of the office so they can take over and meet the person they’re conning there. I don’t know if that was an intentional reference or not, but it made my movie-buff heart happy.

    And I’ve totally been fangirling over the directing as well, so you’re not alone. XD

  19. 19 Nom Kitteh

    Thank you for the recap–I especially appreciate knowing the DW and KA exchange as they leaned towards each other.

    I think there are obvious incestuous-leaning-sexual tensions–why else include a mini-moment where the sister is believed to be DW’s girlfriend–but the feelings come from DW not the sister. I love the sister because while she is innocent, well meaning, and caring, she is also not coming to these emotions out of ignorance. The fact that she is privy to all the information (from up above–symbolic much?) and loving towards to all makes her unusual and hard to pinpoint. She is the perfect counter to DW’s darkness: while DW strokes a circle of hell-type drawing, she sees butterflies out the window (in the scene where the father introduces her to his business partners by calling her not too bright). Which is a sharp contrast to KA, who doesn’t know anything about anything really. She doesn’t know that DW brought down her lover’s family; she doesn’t know about the scams and counterscams going on. She is totally in the dark, and that makes her not as important a character right now b/c she is just erotic and seductive without any layers of intellectual play that the other characters have.

    I think the camera shots are very deliberate, and visually, this is just such a skillfully shot show.

    I am not warming up to a possible DW and KA connection because I keep wanting to see more and more interactions between DW and the Eunsoo. I want DW to keep Eunsoon as the only spot of weakness in his life. With this set up now, I am so terrified that they will demolish this fragile ecosystem by…oh, I don’t know, bringing in KA as a love interest or making ES really mean to her brother.

    I am eager to read the Ep 8 recap b/c all lot unfolded there and we are not even halfway through.

  20. 20 LaFr4ise

    Where can i watch this onine? :( .. my soju gave me 504 gateway time out .. blahh..

  21. 21 cosmopolite

    Sarah I know they’re completely different but I HAVE TO ASK.

    Story of a Man or Return of Iljimae? Who bags it?

  22. 22 nikkaii

    i love how u dubbed do woo as His Evil Highness~

    cus he really is!!!
    <3

  23. 23 javabeans

    cosmopolite, i can’t say just yet! i’ve seen most of Return of Iljimae but about a third of Story of a Man, so it really depends on how both end. but unless something insane disrupts the trajectories, i think they’ll both probably make my year-end list. (the good one.)

  24. 24 Ishida

    @ 20 LaFr4ise: download the raws and the subtitles on Aja-Aja and d-addicts, this drama requires the best viewing experience. Streaming is a shame for all dramas but it’s even more obvious for this one.

    @ 19 Nom Kitteh: I think the writer wants keep KA “in the dark” for few more episodes because her future choice between DW ot KS will be so worth watching for us. And I’m agree she is just erotic/seductive since episode 3/4, it’s exactly what I think. She gave up her other facets since she visited KS in jail. I must say, for the main actress it’s quite bewildering in the land of Korean dramas. The “I want to be your queen” was hawt by the way.

    @ 18 Kender: Kim Kang-woo & Park SI-yeon have already hooked up in Marine Boy. Their love scene was dashing, they can only have more chemistry in a similar scene if it’s happen again in the drama this time, and I’m shipping for that. But how many dramas have sex scenes, not so much :(.

  25. 25 Anonymous

    gotta agree with Nom Kitteh. i’m prob in the minority by saying that ka-dw is not as interesting as es-dw…not that i want es-dw to be a sexual relationship (because that, too, would ruin the dynamics since es is supposed to be pure), but i really don’t want them to be outright enemies, either, since her attachment to her brother causes this internal conflict that makes eunsoo more interesting. the fact that dw even cares for someone as “stupid” as eunsoo (monetarily speaking) just makes dw so much more appealing as a human because he truly sees eunsoo (everyone else tends to overlook her in a condescending manner…he’s the only one that encourages her to say her mind…especially with regards to their father…though kim shin is also starting to listen to her…the autistic fellow may have more interaction with eunsoo in the future but so far i haven’t seen much).

  26. 26 Kender

    @ 24 Ishida – (OT: Haha, visiting from Soompi too?) When I say “sexually,” I don’t really mean showing us the entire sex scene.. I’d just be happy with them doing some making out and implying the sex. :P

  27. 27 amy

    I want to see more interaction between DW and Eunsoo too, only because DW is the most intriquing character in this drama and Eunsoo is the only one that brings out any kind of emotional reaction out of DW.

  28. 28 Blakey

    I’m loving the complexity between Do-Woo and Eun-Soo. At first though, I thought that it was truly because Eun-Soo balanced Do-Woo that he cares for her so much. She’s his only connection to light and goodness he does not have. But at the same time (and I’ve been watching the series more closely now) his actions towards her are almost seeming more possesive… Not even in the protective-older-brother-way, like a boyfriend. That part is a bit freaky. He doesn’t want her against him. I’m afraid of what he’s going to do when he finds out her alliance with the dream team (cause we know he will most likely), especially if she’s paired up with anybody from it.

    (Which leads me to say how I think Eun-Soo and Kyung-Tae would be the cutest thing on earth)

    Do-Woo just gets more complex and creepy. The way he can portray emotions he doesn’t have is pretty scary.

    And (Sorry, continuing with the brother/sister thing) Do-Woo isn’t liking where Eun-Soo is headed in the scheme of things. Half of me believes that he’s faking his emotions towards his sister just like everyone else. But his moments of raw anger and… frustration when Eun-Soo gets involved are just way to strong. There are so many moments when he’s so unguarded around her it makes you think why out of all the people, his entire family, it is Eun-Soo he feels so strongly for. Almost creepily passionate.

    This is an amazing series, I’m excited for the next episode.

  29. 29 irugnotmis

    do talk more about the directing and camera angles! it’s ingenious and a pleasure to read.

  30. 30 Gia

    Another great recap, I really look forward to these, especially because they are paired with a worthy drama- I really feel like there have been no missteps so far, it’s thrilling!

    How great was the Mazinger Hunter’s return scene? The monologue was delivered perfectly, and it was so fun seeing all his “ants” perk up at his return-definitely a high point in the episode.

    Ep 8 has the best ending ever, can’t wait for your recap!

  31. 31 yumi-chan

    Do woo is a mad freaky genius. You know how in most dramas the bad guy asks for an apology and BAM DISNEY ENDING! I have a feeling that Do woo is going to go out with a bang, screw being nice, he’s too cool for that.

  32. 32 LaFr4ise

    @24 Ishida: Thanks for the help. I do agree on your opinion but sometimes streaming is much faster than downloading.. but yeahh.. I’ll download it from now on, streaming sucks.. (+ my pc gave up on me 3x a day. bad PC!) :p

    @ other readers: sorry for the-non-important-and-non-significant post..

  33. 33 hmm

    is eunsoo the girl from witch yoohee? she looked familiar..but she looks younger here than she did

  34. 34 Anonymous

    ^ i know the actress was in kim sam soon (as sam soon’s friend/ coworker) and golden bride. i love her in all her roles. she is so cute =]

    gosh i love everyone in this drama. they all have their own personality and style. very enjoyable. i can’t w8 for your recap for episode 8 (what a wonderful episode that is ^.^)

  35. 35 elena

    Hi, I just love the song !
    Kim Shin Ill – “To Be With You” (Acoustic version)

    Can’t find it anywhere else, though. I googled Kim Shin Ill and come up with only two sites – one being this article, the other in Korean and very difficult to sort though.

    I would really appreciate info on this person/group; if they’ve done more acoustic work and if so, how to get it.

    I love drama beans and your song of the day! Thanks

  36. 36 OzChick

    I’m DEFINITELY going to be watching this drama (after my exams of course!) It looks great. Thanks javabeans!

    PS. The song is sooooo good!

  37. 37 Gloria

    Thanks for the recap! (:

    Can’t wait for you to recap ep 8 * W *

  38. 38 abby920

    time to download this drama, I just can’t get enough of your recaps Sarah. They’re really, really good. I wasn’t watching it yet because I’m trying to watch Return of Iljimae. But from your recaps on this drama, I’m definitely downloading it TODAY! :)

    Thanks Sarah. Have a great weekend everyone.

  39. 39 Fred

    What do you think of Eun Soo’s actor’s performance? Everyone seems to be so caught up in Kang Tae and Do Woo, but I think she’s doing a pretty good job, though I don’t recognise her from anywhere else…

  40. 40 Janet

    Excellent!!! Now it is getting more and more interesting… The director and his whole team did a good job… I am curious to know what will happen next.. Intially, i admitted that i doubt the quality of this drama, i simply watched it because of park yong ha after On Air.. This drama does not sound interesting to begin with. But i soon find out that it is not that bad afterall and it exceed my expectation of this film. I would say that now it did attract me to the show much more that the first few episodes. Hopefully it turns out good as the story unfold, more conflicts and mind games are expected to push up the ratings..

  41. 41 thisiswhyi'mbehindonmymastersthesis

    Thank you for the recap. Read it last night and I love this show!

    @19 I think that your interpretation is quite interesting. I think you do have a point. Its interesting the KA is the character to me that sports the brains, the sex, the jaded past and the everything, while ES is suppose to have all the innocence, the ignorance, the simple qualities, etc. On the surface, it works but this is vastly different from the reality. Also though ES has all the knowledge, she still seems untainted by it. For KA, this isn’t and wouldn’t be the case. One could argue that their upbringing has alot to do with this but I will postulate that we are to assume that this a niche in their innate character, not circumstance.

    As for DW-ES relationship, its definitely peculiar and at a level sexual but I think that its the imbalance within DW that makes it this way. I’m not saying that its only on his part(in it alone), for in episode 3 when she asks him if she can still visit the prisons and families of those her family destroys…I was a little uneasy. Back hugs are usually sweet regardless of whom they are from but somehow…this unsettled me. (I had to keep reminding myself that they are siblings.)
    Again, I think that their relationship is odd but they are odd as people so there is going to be some weirdness that we can’t quite put our finger on. I think it suits them and definitely DW.
    To go further, wouldn’t this be the way it should be being that he doesn’t seem very sexual in attachment to much else but work(wielding mental manipulative power)? I think its befitting him because he’d have to confuse that type of emotion with someone he genuinely loves because he doesn’t quite know what goes in what compartment(in relation to the love emotion/sexual attraction).

    ES-KT at first I thought it would be cute and I’ve given it alot of thought, but I’m just not sure. I think that I will be fine if this develops but at the moment, not so much. I don’t know if I want KT with anyone. He seems to me like a guy who can hold his own. Also I definitely don’t want Shin and KA back together. I feel they are broken and though a type of relation can be mended, I think that their relationship shouldn’t be.

    So much more to say but will wait for 8.

  42. 42 Janet

    I know that the villian and all the other characters act very well. But please don’t forget that Park Yong Ha also did a great job in this drama. Everybody deserve a pat on the shoulders for adding dept in their respective character.

  43. 43 Beng

    what about the 3rd shot in the flowers for my life? you did not mention it, Sarah =)

    I haven’t seen the drama, but i plan to by next month =)

  44. 44 nikkaii

    do woo’s at an advatage~
    but i want dream team to win!!!
    i want mazingga to succeed
    but most of all..

    i wanna see his evil hawtness loose..
    heehee

  45. 45 lynnie

    Riveting episode. I was glad to see the Dream Team scheme going well but I have a chill every time the scene switch to Do Woo. He keeps me guessing what he plotting. His evilness seems to know no boundaries. Obiviously the Dream Team wll soon know they are after the wrong person. But when they find out, how will they take Do Woo down, that is if they can do it. I also think is kind of ironic that Eun Soo is helping the Dream Team while Kyung Ah is working with Do Woo. Can’t wait to see the other episodes and your recaps on them!

  46. 46 Gasenadi

    Now, 3.5 yrs later, I finally get to see this fantastic piece of art! And all thanks to javabeans’ reviews and frequent mentions in her recappings.

    “…you can tell Do-woo embraces techniques requiring more finesse.” (Gulp) Like destroying families’ small businesses, indirectly causing suicide, (for which he finesse-ishly admits to KY he feels no regret) and actually ordering murder. LOL. Heaven protect us from his heinous finesse!

    Shin was “feeling pretty good” after making all that money? I disagree. That shot of him soberly walking at the end didn’t seem to me like a triumphant gait. I wonder what he was thinking and feeling; apparently, from his last comment, nothing good.

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