Drama Recaps
Story of a Man: Episode 13
by | May 26, 2009 | 44 Comments

This episode was so good I was sorry I didn’t have the time to get to it sooner.

Some of the stuff I saw coming, but it was so well set-up that that doesn’t bother me. Also, what this drama does well is mixing in its intense moments with humor — you wouldn’t think a drama like this would be funny, but it quite often has me smiling or outright laughing. Then, in the next moment, it’ll have me tear up at a poignant beat.

And also, there’s a pretty badass fight scene.

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This week’s episode of Story of a Man has finally moved out of the last-place ratings spot into second! Things are heating up toward its end, it seems. The ratings had leveled off around the 8%-9% mark with Ja Myung Go at 9%-10%, but this week things switched around. Episode 16 of Story of a Man pulled in a 9.6% over Ja Myung Go‘s 9.3% — and Queen Seon-deok held at first place with 16.6%.

EPISODE 13 RECAP

At the end of the previous episode, Shin and Jae-myung had split up — Shin to welcome Bum-hwan’s prison release, Jae-myung to stick with the mayor.

Jae-myung watches the mayor from a distance as the latter meets with a group of people in the neighborhood, and is distracted by the sight of an old lady falling in the street. As we’ve seen, Jae-myung has a soft spot for helpless grandmas, and he crosses the street to help, which happens to be when the mayor wraps up his business and returns to the car.

GAH. You know a drama has *got* you when you see that the man who slides into the driver’s seat is the villain, and your reaction is to be MAD at him for doing this because you just know he is going to hurt your main characters.

The mayor is surprised but not especially afraid at first, and inquires in his polite way what’s going on. K peels out, and Jae-myung races after the car in alarm, but is unable to keep up.

I’m kind of glad we don’t see the violent end to this scene, because it’s bad enough to find out the next morning that the mayor has, in fact, been killed. The guys race to the hospital to see the dead body being carried in, but worst of all — if something can top a death in a “worst” list — is the fact that the police have ruled this an accident.

Supposedly the car reeked of liquor, and the police consider the mayor to have fallen victim to his own drunken driving. None of our guys believes this for a second, and the aide (Mr. Kim) insists that the mayor never drinks, and hardly ever drives. Yet the police are firmly in the pocket of Do-woo, and the chief is happy to oblige him by hastily sweeping this under the rug and calling it an accident.

Shin catches up to Jae-myung walking off in a cold fury, to which Jae-myung warns him, “Don’t stop me, or I’ll kill you too.” Shin answers, just as angrily, “I’m not going to stop you.”

Shin storms into Do-woo’s offices and interrupts Kyung-ah in a meeting, demanding to know where Do-woo is. She can sense that something is particularly wrong, and asks worriedly what’s going on. Shin sneers at her, asking where “her man Chae Do-woo” is; Jae-myung interrupts to say that he found out the location, and the two race off. Sensing something bad, Kyung-ah follows.

Do-woo is in the middle of a presentation to foreign investors at the construction site, and it appears the meeting is going well — until the guests look up and panic, scattering as a bulldozer heads straight for them.

The bulldozer tramples over chairs and tables, and at the last minute, Do-woo leaps out of the way to avoid being crushed as the machine knocks down his presentation boards.

Once the bulldozer rolls to a stop, Shin jumps down from the seat and flies at Do-woo in a rather spectacular tackle. The two go at it — punching, kicking, throwing each other to the ground.

Let me just say: Holy shit what a fight scene. I’m sure a lot of it is strategic stuntwork and camera angles, but still, that really IS Park Yong-ha and Kim Kang-woo who are thrown to the ground and knocked into tables, and it looks pretty painful.

The fighting isn’t fancy, and there aren’t very many (if any) special effects. No wire work, sped-up film, careful splicing of footage to look more impressive. Shin and Do-woo don’t even use any single recognizable martial art — well, Do-woo brings in some of his wrestling moves, but Shin goes at him in a messy fury. It’s just two guys, pissed off as hell, going at each other for blood.

(I thought this in Return of Iljimae, too — that this low-tech way of showing the fight in simple shots actually makes it more interesting, because although it’s not glamorous, it’s more down ‘n dirty.)

It’s a little gratifying to see Jae-myung jumping into the fray, going after K while Shin and Do-woo fight. The thing is, neither Shin nor Jae-myung are superior fighters, and they’re fueled by hatred right now, which might give them added power but also makes them sloppy. Also, Do-woo and K both hold their own, particularly K, who’s been shown to be a deadly boxer. So we can’t quite be satisfied with the match-up, but by golly are they going to do their best to make the bad guys hurt, at least.

The police arrive, called by Do-woo’s employee, just as Kyung-ah also races up to the melee.

Everyone is hauled in to the police station, but it’s unsurprising that Shin and Jae-myung are detained while Do-woo is immediately let go and met with profuse bowing and scraping by the police.

While Shin is being taken away, he glares at Do-woo who’s on his way out, and is chagrined to see Kyung-ah worrying over Do-woo’s condition. It’s at this point that I really just thought, “Okay, now Kyung-ah can go die with Do-woo at the end, too, thanksverymuch.” (I know, she isn’t aware that her boyfriend is a killer, but still! Grr. Arg.)

In jail that night, Jae-myung asks Shin if they can count on the Korean police to catch the bad guy. I suppose this may be writer Song’s bit of meta-commentary on the state of Korean law enforcement, as Shin sighs, “Thinking of your father, I can’t answer that.”

At the planning offices, Do-woo sends Kyung-ah home, then finds an empty conference hall with K. There’s an ominous tone as Do-woo slowly, methodically takes off his jacket and loosens his tie, and K just stands there waiting.

Do-woo delivers a blow to the gut, and growls, “What the hell did you do? Killing somebody is something I choose, in my way, on my timetable. Why did you do that? How could you do that?”

This scene is chilling not because of Do-woo’s anger but more in how K accepts the blows with such creepy, servile acquiescence. Beating someone as though in calm ritual is somehow scarier than hitting him out of anger. The calculation makes it worse.

Do-woo kicks K repeatedly as he snarls, “What I do — is never — wrong! How dare you bugs mess with me? You, and him too — why?!”

Kyung-tae and Eun-soo wait outside the police station while Mun-ho inquires within, but there’s very little the Dream Team can do. When Eun-soo asks if there’s anything she can do to help, Mun-ho hesitantly mentions one thing that would solve the problem — the victim has to agree to drop the complaint.

Eun-soo understands that this is a hint to her to appeal to her brother, and agrees to try, although she can’t guarantee anything. Kyung-tae insists on going with her, and Mun-ho notices his attentiveness, teasing him about his attachment to Eun-soo. For one, Kyung-tae doesn’t need to rely on his finger-push gesture when he’s talking to her (indicating a level of comfort).

Kyung-ah answers the door, and although she’s very friendly, this throws Eun-soo off and makes her uncomfortable. Furthermore, Do-woo tells Kyung-ah to stay (which strikes me as a subtle — petulant? — way of letting his sister know that she’s been supplanted by the girlfriend).

Eun-soo sees the injury to Do-woo’s face and blurts, “You’re hurt, too.” The “too” is telling, and Do-woo comments on it (it makes him seem secondary to Shin, which is sort of a poetic reversal given Kyung-ah’s switch to the dark side). Eun-soo gets to the point, and says that Shin could be in a lot of trouble over what happened, and asks her brother to be generous. He answers, “Let the law handle legal matters.” Eun-soo senses he’s not going to budge, but tries one last time: “You owe Kim Shin a debt. You can think of that and let this go.”

This makes Kyung-ah frown in confusion — Do-woo owes Shin? She asks what that means, but Do-woo interrupts by announcing the news of their engagement. Kyung-ah notices his interruption, but allows it without further questioning, and this puts an end to the meeting.

Do-woo says he’ll think about her suggestion — although it’s clear he won’t change his mind — and Eun-soo grabs Kyung-ah in a somewhat surprising hug, telling her, “Thank you.”

On the way out, she rejoins Kyung-tae (who’s playing around cutely with the revolving door). She’s worried for Kyung-ah, wanting to tell her about Do-woo killing Shin’s brother, but also feels it isn’t her place to step in. She wonders, “She doesn’t know him as well as I do. I’m not sure if I should tell her. But what could I say? I don’t know.”

More kiddie bonding with Chairman Chae as Nuri falls asleep in his lap again. (He also has some wise words regarding Shin’s fight: “I told that dumb guy to use his brain, but he let his fist fly first and got himself into this mess.”)

When Myung-sun retrieves her daughter, the chairman asks about her husband: “Do you know whose fault it is his company was ruined?” He can tell that she does, and wonders how she can feed him and leave her children with him when he’s the father of the man who did that to her family. Myung-sun answers simply, but I think the sentiment is rather nice:

Myung-sun: “I’m a mother raising my children. I don’t want to show my children how to hate. Doing that won’t bring back their father, will it?… The girls don’t have a grandfather, because they all passed away early. I think that’s why they like bonding with you and calling you grandfather. I’m satisfied with that.”

Shin and Jae-myung are released from jail but put into the custody of Detective Kim, a tough, no-nonsense woman who has come from a different office to handle their case. The guys are a little bewildered since she doesn’t really explain herself, but obey when she barks at them to follow and orders Shin to drive.

They’re even more surprised when they arrive at the mayor’s funeral — and the woman cries as she bows in respect to the dead man. It’s at this point that I entertain suspicions that the woman is actually the mayor’s daughter or some such. It turns out that this isn’t the case, which we find out when Do-woo wonders the same thing and is told that the mayor has no family.

Do-woo hears about Det. Kim’s actions from Police Chief Lee and is suspicious about her motives, although there’s nothing overtly alarming about her presence. Still, he’s displeased — one gets the sense that he dislikes when anything happens that he hasn’t foreseen.

Meanwhile, Shin is impatient to get back to his goal, and has a hard time tamping down his irritation with the confusing detective. He insists, temper flaring, “I have to find out who killed him. No, I misspoke — I know who killed him, but I have to prove it. … Isn’t it your job as a detective to catch murderers? If you come with me, you’ll find the killer, so how about following me?”

Like I said, Det. Kim is a tough broad, and she doesn’t let Shin get away with mouthing off to her. She restrains him and tells him that she knows better than anybody that the mayor doesn’t drink. Clearly she’s also working out some of her own hunches.

They get word that the decision has been made to cremate the mayor’s body, and the corpse is being removed from the hospital at this very moment. This is alarming, because it’s an obvious attempt to destroy evidence and cover up a crime. While Det. Kim confronts the police chief over this breach of procedure, Shin races to the hospital to prevent the removal of the body.

It’s pretty hilarious how they manage to do this: Shin gathers a group of the Myungdoshi residents (brought from the funeral), and they present themselves as an official committee (fake, naturally) dealing with funeral rites and such procedures within their community. They must decide as a collective body what to do with their mayor, and therefore they shove the gurney back inside the hospital while the “committee members” discuss the matter.

With so many people protesting, the hospital has to give in, and calls the police to say that the removal of the body won’t be possible. Shin and the others kill time by debating all the different ceremonies they could hold for the mayor.

Det. Kim tells Chief Lee that she’s investigating the mayor’s suspicious death and requests an autopsy. Chief Lee has been bought off by Do-woo to (1) rule the death an accident and (2) cremate the body, and tries to delay her with red tape and paperwork.

When the rest of the team joins Shin and Jae-myung at the hospital, Shin is not pleased to see Eun-soo. He’s suspicious of her loyalty to Do-woo and asks cynically, “How much do you know? What do you know about your brother and what are you hiding?”

Eun-soo hangs her head as tears start to fall down her face, and Kyung-tae steps in and covers Shin’s mouth, saying, “She’s crying. 2924 has made her cry. 2924 should fix this.” (2924 is Shin’s old prison number.) It’s both sweet and hilarious.

So Shin and Eun-soo step outside to talk. Knowing Shin blames her brother for the mayor’s death, she asks, “Do you think my brother did it? Even if he didn’t do it, you think he ordered somebody to, don’t you?” She admits that her father believes Do-woo did it, too.

Still sarcastically, although not as angrily, Shin replies, “Why ask me? He’s your brother. Ask him yourself, ‘Did you kill him? Or did you tell somebody to do it?’” He can tell that Do-woo adores his sister and would probably answer her. Shin even admits to using that knowledge: “It was really fun for me to pretend to be friends with you in front of him.”

Eun-soo had planned to ask Do-woo when she visited the night before, but the news about the wedding threw her off and made her forget everything she’d planned to say. Shin lets the news sink in, and asks Eun-soo disbelievingly how she could have believed her brother to be a killer and then congratulate his fiancée.

Eun-soo answers, “I told her thank you. If it’s her, she might be able to hug my brother. You may not understand this, but my brother needs someone who’s able to hold him. If he has that kind of person with him, he might… I can’t do that for him. She seemed like she could do that.”

Now we have two teams trying to beat each other to get to the mayor’s body. Det. Kim calls in a coroner (whom K watches arrive) to perform an autopsy, while an angry Chief Lee orders his officers to cremate the body immediately.

Thus Team Shin has limited time to get their job done before they are stopped by police, who are on their way over. Jae-myung is sent to the courthouse to get official approval for the autopsy, and Shin convinces the coroner to get started in the meantime.

Mun-ho rallies the Myungdoshi residents to formulate a diversion to allow the coroner enough time to complete the autopsy.

The public prosecutor isn’t inclined to help them — he thinks they’re being nuisances — but Det. Kim points out that proper procedure was not followed. There was no inquest in the case, and no witnesses interviewed. How could the police be so hasty to rule it an accident? Furthermore, the one person who WAS with the mayor all day — Jae-myung — wasn’t even questioned.

As the prosecutor hears this, he’s slowly swayed to their point, enough to grant an autopsy and agree that the case merits further review.

(There’s a hilarious beat as the two leave the courthouse, and Jae-myung pauses to unlock the car. Det. Kim stares at him blankly and wonders, “Is it because you’re an American lawyer?” Jae-myung wonders what she means, and she says, “I’ve never seen that kind of butt on a Korean lawyer.”)

At the hospital, Shin reflects on the mayor’s death, recalling all his wise words, and how he told Shin the way to fight — to prepare oneself properly and get a firm grasp on one’s weapon. He remembers how the mayor proclaimed Shin the people’s leader and promised that Shin would get their apartment built. It’s like an unofficial torch was passed, and now Shin feels the burden to fulfill what the mayor started.

As the coroner is about to begin, Shin tells him: “Our mayor was an outstanding person. He is the first person in my life whom I’ve seen and thought, ‘This man is truly an outstanding person.’ So…”

The coroner understands Shin’s unspoken statement — it’s like a request to take particular care and to know that this is important.

Shin steps outside to let the man work, and gets his plan into motion. The police have arrived, ready to halt the autopsy, as Mun-ho helps some townspeople furtively sneak a gurney out of the hospital doors and rush down the parking lot. The policemen spy this, and give chase. Diversion! (Haha.)

This enables Shin and Joong-ho to hurriedly sneak another gurney out of the hospital while the police are distracted. When they realize that Mun-ho’s gurney is a decoy, they see Shin loading a van and peeling out, and chase after them instead.

Of course, when they finally pull over the van, they find that the second gurney holds a mannequin — it’s another decoy! HAHA.

With the police sufficiently running amok on the double wild goose chase, the coroner is able to complete the autopsy in peace back at the hospital. When the team reconvenes, they hear the results. They’re prepared to hear the worst, but even so, they’re shocked.

The mayor’s cause of death was drowning, but he wasn’t submerged in water. Instead, his lungs were flooded with alcohol, and there were markings in his mouth that indicate force. The injuries on the outside of the body were sustained after the crash, post-mortem.

It’s a grisly way to die, as Shin puts the pieces together, horrified — somebody forced the mayor to drink alcohol, but used such force that the liquid was not drunk but instead drowned the man, and then sent the car over a cliff. Furious, Shin kicks in some glass.

Det. Kim speaks up, telling him not to overreact. She fights her own tears and recounts brokenly:

Detective Kim: “How long have you known the mayor? I’ve known him for 23 years. A factory girl at a textile manufacturer tried to hang herself, and he dragged her down. When I’d failed my qualification exams and given up on life again, he spent five days and nights wandering around looking for me. After I passed the police exam, do you know what I did first? I went to him and asked, ‘Can I call you father now? I’m not an embarrassment anymore, so let me call you father.’ And he told me no, that I could have a successful future, and he might hold me back. So he said no, that damned old man!”

Detective Kim gets a hold of herself and regains her composure, and announces the official murder case opened. The others are surprised — what have they been doing all this time? Trust this drama to throw in some humor in an emotional moment, because she tells them that she’d merely taken a personal leave to attend the funeral. NOW, she’s officially on the job!

This is not good for the police chief, who has to report to Do-woo that the autopsy points to the mayor being murdered. Furthermore, he’s going to be investigated by the public prosecutor for misconduct, because he closed the case too easily without properly investigating.

Do-woo tells Chief Lee to find the killer, feigning innocence, essentially telling the man to clean this up.

When Shin talks to Chairman Chae (who has already guessed Do-woo’s involvement), Chae warns Shin that Do-woo’s moving in powerful circles now.

Chae: “Listen to me, Kim Shin. His weakness is inside him. My daughter will take you to meet the person who knows what it is. Meet secretly, so he doesn’t find out.”

By this, he means Do-woo’s psychiatrist for the past ten years. The man tells Shin that it took a long time to diagnose, because Do-woo was always so alert. Ultimately, he diagnosed him with narcissistic personality disorder — in other words, he’s a psychopath. However, the doctor warns, “The majority of psychopaths aren’t noticeable.”

The first trait of a psychopath is a lack of feelings — he has no conscience. Without a conscience, a person becomes “very skillful” because he can think without emotions getting in the way, and can use and abandon people easily. (Note: this makes Shin the diametric opposite.)

Thus the psychopath can rise quite high in society — and perhaps we get a little more meta-commentary by writer Song as the doctor says, “Personally, I think that these psychopaths are not seen in back alleys as much as in the political and financial world.”

Thinking of Kyung-ah, Shin wonders what women mean to Do-woo — can’t he have feelings for special people? The doctor laughs, “You don’t understand what it means not to have a conscience. To a person like that, other people are things to be used. He uses them when they’re needed, and throws them away when they aren’t.”

Eun-soo has listened silently this whole time, and remains quiet as she leaves with Shin, who admits to her that Kyung-ah was also his girlfriend for seven years. They aren’t anything to each other anymore, but he can’t let her marry a deranged killer without warning her, so he sends Kyung-ah a text message.

However, Do-woo sees the message first, which reads, “This is Shin. I have something I have to tell you. Let’s meet. Call me.” He hides Kyung-ah’s phone.

Shin wonders how long Eun-so has known about her brother’s mental state. She answers, “I’ve only guessed.” He supposes this is why she went around apologizing for her father’s and brother’s misdeeds. Whereas before he’d treated her scornfully for being Do-woo’s sister, now he understands her better and says, “So you accepted people cursing at you, because there’s nothing you could do. Is that how you lived your whole life?”

Eun-soo cries, and Shin sighs sympathetically, “You’ve had it tough, on your own.”

 
COMMENTS

In the past couple of episodes, I’d been thinking that storywise, the mayor sorta needed to die. He’d fulfilled his narrative purpose and his death would mean more to the story than his continued survival, so I’m not surprised that they killed him. It’s really sad that he died, but given that he had to go, man is it gratifying to see how this really pushes Team Shin to the next level. I mean, the whole revenge was personal to begin with (a dead brother, a dead father), but this really rubbed salt in the wound. Also, I’m sure these characters hadn’t softened on Do-woo, but perhaps at some point they might have decided to walk away. But with the mayor’s death — ironically not even Do-woo’s doing, although I’m sure he doesn’t mind the loss — it’s like Team Shin really, really has to beat Do-woo now.

Also, Do-woo loses control again! This time, it occurs as he hears about the meddling detective, after which he looks down to see that he’s been mindlessly crushing a teabag on his saucer. What’s particularly enjoyable about this point is that Do-woo snaps back to the present, realizes what he’s done, and then wipes up the mess with a napkin. It’s like he’s forced to confront the fact that he’s lost control. I had to admit I found that pretty satisfying — as if to say that here’s actual proof that Shin is pissing you off and made you lose your cool. Shin’s always losing his cool so that’s no big deal, but Do-woo’s point of pride is how “above” emotions he is.

I love the Do-woo characterization and Kim Kang-woo’s portrayal — but I do NOT like Do-woo as a person. I can’t wait to see him crash and burn, and for all I care, he can take Kyung-ah with him.

To be fair to Kyung-ah, she doesn’t know the full extent of Do-woo’s dark side, so it’s difficult to blame her for her actions. In her mind, she’s made the right decision leaving a troublemaker like Shin for a successful man who (seemingly) appreciates her. From her reaction to Eun-soo’s hint about Do-woo “owing” Shin, I think she’ll start to open her eyes to Do-woo’s true nature; perhaps she thinks he’s only a little troubled, damaged in a manageable way, rather than being the epitome of soulless evil he actually is.

All that said, I still don’t like her. I’m firmly situated on Team Shin and I hate that Shin still feels a pull to her, even though he doesn’t harbor any illusions about winning her back. (When he burst in on her to demand where Do-woo was, I was very glad he viewed her as one team with Do-woo rather than affording her a soft spot.)

No, Kyung-ah deserves to be with Do-woo, who will outwardly praise and flatter her, and treat her as his trophy wife (trophy in the sense of not feeling emotion for her, not in the sense that she’s a bimbo). She’ll have to deal with her own empty illusion of happiness, what with the knowledge that she’ll never be as important to him as Eun-soo is, and that’ll be her own due.

(I just think the fight scenes were, oddly enough, very pretty.)

 
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44 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. birdscout

    Yeah! I finally found a kdrama that my husband wants to watch with me… so I’m starting again from the beginning and I’m just about to start episode 4. Took a lot of willpower not to read this recap.

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  2. gleemonex

    how much of a trophy wife can kyung-ah be really? a former bar girl isn’t exactly a big catch in the movers/shakers circle. in the sense that do-woo’s stolen her away from shin, yes, but that’s still pretty limited in the shiny factor.

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  3. fizzle

    I watched the first two episodes of Story of a Man and wasn’t really impressed. I wasn’t drawn to any of the main characters, but found some of the supporting ones semi-interesting. Now I’m having second thoughts coz I feel like I haven’t watched enough to be able to “get into” the show. Anyone think I should give it another shot?

    I remember being bored with The Devil’s first few episodes, but I continued with it and it’s currently one of my favorite dramas. I’m usually pretty persistent, but these days I seem to be less patient with dramas I have so-so feelings about.

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  4. Icarusfalls

    Thanks so much for these summaries.. I don’t have the time to watch this show right now but I’m glued to your episode summaries of this show..

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  5. hbhjjb

    thanks a bunch for the summary ^^

    Is it just me? or does it seem like the writers are going to have Eunsoo and Shin fall in love? maybe i’ve seen too many kdramas but i’m getting the feeling that they are slowly being pushed together…especially in ep 14, which i can’t wait for you to summarize ^___^

    I dont want Shin to end up with kyung-ah because she has pissed me off too much, so it will be cute if he ends up with Eunsoo…except I would also LOVE it if Eunsoo ends up with Kyung-tae….he’s so freaking adorable! ^^

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  6. Blakey

    I’m so happy this recap came out, helped me understand a lot of things in the episode.

    I feel bad for Eun-soo, she’s actually had a really tough time apologizing for her brother and father and taking the brunt of the verbal abuse that they should be getting instead of her. It’ll be inetresting to see the wedding (when it’s subbed).

    I’m loveing Kyung-tae’s and Jae-myung’s development, it’s actually really nice.

    I’m totally on team Shin now, at the beginning although I liked the dream team, it was kind of anybodys game and I wouldn’t have been heartbroken, but now TEAM SHIN MUST WIN!!!!

    I feel your sentiments, Do-woo and Kyung-ah can both go and fall into their failure and despair when this is all over. -_-

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  7. Nom Kitteh

    This one was I think one of the best episodes in the series so far. There was so much action and so much different action. The scenes moved from horrific intimations of murder to the beautifully choreographed fight scene (btw, there is a BTS of this scene and I don’t see any stuntmen so it really is a hand to hand combat between Shin and DW) to the quiet and sexual tension with ES in DW’ s apartment (he walks out in a robe in a role of domesticity with KA and yet he watches ES with so much yearning — I love the part where he senses her before he even sees her in the room). It was like watching waves crashing to a shore, one after another. Great, great episode.

    THANK YOU FOR THE RECAP!!!! I was waiting to find out what ES said to DW in the apartment. Now that I have a feel for the show, it is remarkable how much I pick up on.

    Edit: I am a little frustrated over how consistently DW wins. I wish the writer would throw Shin’s team a bone once in a while. At least the fight should have given Shin a marginal win because he is a strong fighter. It’s just tiring after all these episodes to see Shin fail. But I also can see how his final victory (and there better be a victory) will then be that much sweeter.

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    • 7.1 missjb

      I’m watching this drama right I know I’m late. hahahha

      @Nom_Kitteh:
      ” I am a little frustrated over how consistently DW wins. I wish the writer would throw Shin’s team a bone once in a while. ”

      SO true.. not just a little I’m frustate ALOT! despite I love the Dok Woo’s characterization, I definitely HATE HIM as a person, just like Jb,s Said…. Because of this, I’m become impatient and want to drop this drama already. AGHHH!!! Please writers, give a hero a BREAK! LOL Sorry, Team SHIN ALL THE WAY!

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  8. Sue

    @3 fizzle: definitely worth continuing!!

    @jb: thanks for explaining that tea bag scene! i didn’t get it at first.. because i couldn’t figure out what it was. i thought it was.. spinach? LOL

    sidenote: anyone else love kim kangwoo’s fresh out of the shower hair?? :O :D

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  9. sleepingisgood

    Thank you very much, I’m watching the drama on viikii and your summaries help clarify matters. since I’m watching, but also reading the subs I know I’ve missed a fair amount of the story, so much of this drama is so subtle, the camera angles, the lighting, the way the actors are positioned in relation to each other…

    At first, I was more into Do-Woo because villians also seem more interesting but the more episodes I watch the more I cheer whenever Shin is on the screen.

    I so agree with your comment about Kyung-ah, the last episode I watched I thought I really, really just hate her. I’m not sure where this show is going with her character cause certainly she can’t be this awful? Do-woo is awful but since we know he is, in fact, the devil it’s ok.

    In fact, the only problem I have with this drama is that at this point the women compared to the men aren’t showing so great. We have Kyung-ah who just seems like a cold-hearted bitch, Eun-soo just seems so scared and beaten ( with perfect right too, of course, but it gets a little tiring watching her cry over the damage her brother has done ), and the sister-in-law, did we ever get her name even? The officier seems like she will be interesting, her deadpan comment on Jae-myung butt was total win.

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  10. 10 shinhyesungluv

    @ fizzle – you should definately keep on watching. For me, the main initial draw of the show was DW, but he didn’t appear that much in the first two episodes. Honestly, I didn’t like the first two episodes either, but I kept on watching because I trusted javabeans and I was suprised by how good the show was. Story of a Man is one of the best kdramas EVER, and I’ve watched A LOT. It’s even better than the Devil.

    @Sue – OMG was DW sexy with that shower hair :D

    I’m confused what debt does DW owe KS?

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    • 10.1 Gasenadi

      DW orchestrated the “dumpling scandal”, paid teenagers to flame Shin’s brother’s dumplings in particular over the internet, resulting in bankruptcy and, ultimately, suicide. DW did this because he had targeted the frontrunner in the dumpling industry for acquisition by his firm, without regard for the smaller firms that would be destroyed in the process. Serial killer, corporate-style.

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  11. 11 Daria

    Thanks for the recap. (:

    Maybe I’m the only one, but I’m still waiting for someone to write a Do-woo/Shin Slash-Fanfic, haha.

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  12. 12 Chocolatetree

    I just wonder. What exactly does Eun-soo mean Do-woo who is a psychopath?

    He can’t love her, can he? Or is she the only one he’s ever felt *anything* for? If so, could he be saved?

    If not, what use did he find in her that he kept her that close, so much more important than anyone else?

    Do-woo scares me, but he’s oh-so-fascinating.

    Your recap and commentary was detailed and awesome, Thank you Dramabeans!

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  13. 13 engl

    I think the debt that he owes is the fact that his brother died because of him since he was the one who ordered the spread of the false rumors in the beginning.
    Even though dowoo is creepy..he is one hot guy with that just out of the shower hair and bathrobe..i know that was so not the point of the scene but i couldnt help inwardly giggling lol

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  14. 14 Taohua

    I finally caught up and I also think that when Do-woo falls, Kyung-ah can go with him. She’s becoming more frustrating as the series progresses even though she’s unaware of DW’s evilness. But I think one of the main reasons I feel that way is that she keeps thinking that the reason Shin is going against DW is because of her, and at this point in the series–it’s really not about her even though she thinks it is. So AGGRAVATING!

    Also, I hope they don’t get back together in the end (though they might). Shin and Kyung-ah have become different, and I wonder if they would still be compatible. It does feel like the writer is pushing for Shin and Eun-soo (maybe?)…though I think that Eun-soo and Kyung-tae pairing would be so cute

    Also, as much as I dislike DW, I’m really, really impressed by Kim Kang-woo’s acting. In comparing it with the Devil, I think JJH’s character was more layered, but Kim Kang-woo’s acting has made DW just as layered if not more. Oh and I too have a mad crush on Shin. Seriously…he’s an awesome guy (and Park Yong-ha makes him so believable)

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  15. 15 irugnotmis

    Thanks for the recap! Was wondering about the tea bag scene, am glad you mentioned it and offered your interpretation. :]

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  16. 16 Werdah

    Thanks for this helpful review.
    I’m watching this drama, but many parts are hard to decipher.
    You know you’ve got a good drama when it leaves you with more questions than answers.
    :)

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  17. 17 jboogie

    Thank you so very much! I relish these recaps!

    First off the fight scene was irresistibly sexy. The raw male hand to hand was so wonderfully done and the best I’ve seen since Origins. There was this energy that we have been sensing, a heat that rises each time these four are together. It was so gratifying to see it played out in this ep.

    “…but Do-woo’s point of pride is how “above” emotions he is.”
    I agree wholeheartedly! Couldn’t have said it better. It explains him entirely. Beautiful word choice.

    “I can’t wait to see him crash and burn, and for all I care, he can take Kyung-ah with him.”
    I’m still on the fence about what I want to happen to DW but I definitely want KA to be set on fire. Her idiocy abounds. She may be in the dark in many areas but I find it very interesting that she is constantly so egotistical when it comes to KS’s warnings and motives. He hasn’t told her his story as a man but I don’t think that he is obligated to. I think that she should take into consideration that though he was rash in the past, there is a change about him and his motives lay in something other than jealousy and mindless random revenge. That’s not what landed him in jail so why would he then return as an even more reckless individual? He doesn’t come across as the same dude from ep 1 nor does he approach her as such so it infuriates me to see him treat him as below her with no qualms.

    ” I hate that Shin still feels a pull to her, even though he doesn’t harbor any illusions about winning her back.”

    This was troubling to me as well. I was highly pissed but I think I was also worried that he’d take her back. I’m not of that mind any longer. I guess its this theme that I see in most Kdramas that a man is always drawn to a woman he loved. There is always that pull when they are hurt or stressed or in danger…She doesn’t deserve this but whatever. Give me time and a bucket, I might gag and get over it.

    @3 I don’t want to tell you to continue because I hate to tell people to continue to watch something that they didn’t like after the first two eps. I also hate to hear that you need to watch the first 8 eps to get into it. I love the show! Its the best one I’ve seen all year! That said, I didn’t watch the first two eps., I read them and skipped to three(still haven’t watch ep 2). What I will say is that the show is excellent and worth the investment. If you continue to watch and by the third ep, you don’t like it, STOP! Kdramas are wonderful and addicting but if you don’t like a show(initially) why waste hours of your life trying to like it? There are plenty of other shows to love.

    @6 I’m totally on team Shin now, at the beginning although I liked the dream team, it was kind of anybodys game and I wouldn’t have been heartbroken, but now TEAM SHIN MUST WIN!!!!

    Again, I’m not sure how I feel about DW losing but I know that this ep worried me when I thought he may have had something to do with the mayor’s death. I was happy to find that I was right to think that K acted alone but even still its scary to also know that DW could have done it and we shouldn’t be surprised. Another thing that surprised me is that I knew DW didn’t do it. I somehow felt it was outside his character, though it shoudn’t have been and yet I was still afraid he had. I wonder if its the writer’s intention to create this type of confusion or dissention in your hatred or loyalties toward him?

    Also is he really just your run of the mill psychopath? There is so much more to him than to be written off as just a classic case of mental illness. I’m not mad but I hope that ES says more in his defense. I truly don’t believe he’s wrapped up that neat and pretty.

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  18. 18 Shia

    I think that the Dream Team is in it’s getting really awesome right now. Kim Shin has learned patience and quick thinging when it comes to the battle (even though he still goes off as well). He also knows how to think like Do Woo which is good but what he needed most was what is INSIDE Do Woo’s mind (thanks to Chairman Chae). For a person who works alone… Do Woo’s weakness was bound to come from what is inside his head.

    The introduction of Dt. Kim (aka Boss Missy as I refered to her for most of the episode) was also welcomed. There is finally some justice on the side of the cops so there’s a feeling of: “No there’s no getting away with this one!” But her appearence also put a hole in Do Woo’s control of the legal system as well since this is one person he won’t be able to bribe off. Plus, Det. Boss Missy is a flirt but I agree, L.A. cute bum! (LOL, it’s L.A. everything with Jae M. for me). I also love Det. Boss Missy for her story and her dedication to the mayor. Overall, she’s an excellent character/actress.

    When Eunsoo heard of the fiancee thing, I thought she was going to whisper something better in Kyung-ah’s ear than: “Thank you.” I dunno, maybe I was hoping it since I could see the character swing from wanting to let her brother have his “happiness” and wanting to warn the other woman.

    K… I smell weakness as well. Impulsive and rash. But what else happens when Do Woo creates a monster like that? They start thinking on their own for “your benefit.”

    Finally, even if Kim Shin oppa goes to save Kyung-ah, I don’t know if I’ll be able to forgive her. She is seems like more of a liability in the battle than a romantic partner.

    @ sleepingisgood, I think Dt. Kim is going to be a strong female character and once Eunsoo gets over the “my bro the confirmed psycho” feelings, I hope that there is potential for growth there as well. I thought that the Mom was going to be all-suffering until I saw the scene btw her and Chae. I think wisdom and strength for her children is seen more now.

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  19. 19 cosmopolite

    The whole segment on psychopaths really creeped me out. The more I think about it, the more I cringe when I see Do-woo. Living without a conscience? That’s just so disturbing.

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  20. 20 heejung

    i was looking through archives and i just realized that park shiyeon and kim kangwoo are cast together again – they were in marine boy together as well. funneh.

    anywayyy…. i still hate kyungah [even after ep15] and i hope they dont make her and shin a couple. that would SUCK. maybe it’s just me, but i felt like park shiyeon is the weakest out of the main cast – or maybe not, depending on her goal [are we supposed to hate her guts at this point? :D] , haha.

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  21. 21 bbm

    “I love the Do-woo characterization and Kim Kang-woo’s portrayal — but I do NOT like Do-woo as a person. I can’t wait to see him crash and burn, and for all I care, he can take Kyung-ah with him.”
    Amen to that…
    thanks for the recap, JB… i’m so glad this month there are so many good drama to watch from KBS world, since that fool/six month start playing also…

    @daria, puhahahaha… and i also wait for het fic between kyungtae n eunsoo, that’ll looked awkwardly cute :P

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  22. 22 b020

    Dear Dramabeans,

    It’s your fault.

    Reading your recaps – I was dying to download and watch it. The excitement felt as you wrote about the nuances, the subtle hints, double entendres really made me want to watch it even more, even if I did promise myself that I would wait until it was over. Because of you, I searched the web until I found the dl links, learned how to use GOM Player, and began to watch the series.

    now I’m trapped wanting to stay home to watch the series when I really should go to work, sleep, and workout! Its your fault, really :-)

    Sincerely,
    The (Happy) Recluse

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  23. 23 Smilley Angel

    Thank you java bean for the recap. This drama is getting more and more interesting from episode 3 onwards. We get to see how the shin team learn and grow from setbacks and failures. They learned to stand up and fight back. Now that the shin team is more focus and strong, they are ready for a showdown with Doo Woo. Shin also knows Doo Woo weakness and i believe he will try to figure out what the psychopath is thinking inside his head.

    The part about Doo Woo crashing the teabag is so interesting, It symbolized that Doo Woo is losing his cool and he tries to cover it up by wiping away the teabag using the napkin. He is also a clean freak!

    @ this is my own prediction for the ending –
    1) Shin will be a mayor of a state, being powerful and suceessful, while serving the people in that communities.
    2) Jae mung will go back to the america to be a lawyer.
    3) Doo Woo will be sentence to imprisonment and be lock up for the rest of his life.
    4) Kuang Ah will die. Either get killed by Doo Woo because she had betrayed him or she is no longer useful to him
    5) Eun soon,kuang tae and chairman chae are going to live as a big family with Kim shin sister-in law ( house keeper) and her kids.
    6) Mun ho wil continue to operate his restuarant while given a share of the profit made by kuang-tae.
    7) Kim shin sister in law is going to marry the triad member after he turn over a new leaf.

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  24. 24 Tj

    I wish all film makers would take notice of the fight scene. So much better than the stylized crap we usually see.

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  25. 25 Tammy

    Thank you, thank you! :)

    Is it bad that I’m missing more scenes between DW and ES??

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  26. 26 yumi-chan

    Thanks for the recap.
    Is Kyung-Tae getting cuter on us or is it just me?
    I agree with you 100% on the Kyung Ah deal, I’m actually wishing her worst then death. I’m hoping that “Jenny” ends up alone and has to actually sell her body for money, she was so above that at the beginning, I hope her end makes her the lowest of the low.

    Out of everyone I think Eun-Soo has suffered the most, she’s had to deal with the effects from her dad and psycho bros dealings. She’s always been alone which to me has to be the saddest thing of all.

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  27. 27 Vivianaaaa

    Thank you for the recap, its awesome =]
    I truly want to believe there some good left in Kyung-Ah. I do want Shin
    and her to get back together because they looked so cute & happy in the begining.
    If anything I want Eunsoo & Kyung-Tae together, haha there adorable.
    About Doo Woo, he’s just to frustrating to watch at time, seeing how someone
    can think of so many evil things =/ He would probably be sentenced to
    life in prison, i deff. hope so.

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  28. 28 Charles

    I love these foreign shows. I wish they would play more in North America. This one looks awesome.

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  29. 29 lynnie

    Totally agree with you about Kyung-Ah! She definitely deserved the downfall together with Do-Woo. I am so glad that Shin is over the illusion that she will come back to him.

    There are so many good scenes in this episode such as but my personal favourite are when Kyung-Tae tried to go after Eun-Soo and got teased by Mun-Ho; Kyung-Tae telling Shin that he made Eun-Soo cry and should do somthing about it and the exchange between the Chairman Chae and Myung-Sun and when Detective Kim unabashedly praised Jae-Muyng’s backside – that was hilarious and so true!!

    I enjoyed this drama so much so the low ratings don’t damper my enthusiam. It’s a shame that all this good work is being underappreciated though.

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  30. 30 hcyong

    1. The mayor died from shoju-boarding.

    2. I feel that Kyung Ah had everything figured out from the beginning, and she is trying to get close enough to Do Woo to do the damage from the inside. It is all an act on her behalf, and only K is suspicious of her. When Eun Soo told Do Woo that he still owed Shin, Kyung Ah had to feign ignorance. Even if Eun Soo told her outright that Do Woo is responsible for Shin’s brother’s death, she would have to pretend it was the first time she heard of it.

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    • 30.1 Cazine

      On the K-point, I don’t think thats why he was being suspicious. I think K’s loyalty to Do Woo stems from love/like. I mean, K is crazy loyal to him and all these hints are pointing to the idea that K is in love with Do Woo. It seems absurd but he just let Do Woo kick and punch him and just… yeah, thats my theory.

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  31. 31 demonwolfie

    kyung ah totally knows she’s second to eun soo and that she’s not nearly so important but she is being tricked by do woo’s act a ittle.

    i can see in the few last episodes how she’s getting dumber when she was pretty smart, but she still isnt that far gone.

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  32. 32 liz

    Am i the only one who finds it shocking that Do Woo turns out to be a psychopath? I thought he was like that coz of some childhood trauma but turns out it’s actually a mental problem!!

    On a random note, I prefer Kyung Ah’s style of dressing when she was still with Shin as compared to now. Somehow, her mannerism doesn’t match her new “high-class” style of dressing. In some scenes when they film her full body and she’s walking, her movements are not as elegant as her dressing.

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  33. 33 Susan

    So we finally know that DoWoo is a psychopath, I kinda figured since he doesn’t seem to have a conscience or exhibit any real signs of emotion (minus the few scenes with Kyungah or his sister from past episodes)
    you can’t really blame him though, he’s just wired differently…
    and I don’t understand all this hatred towards Kyungah. I don’t see anything that she’s doing as evil or particularly bad. I don’t think she understand the extent to which Dowoo is willing to go to see his plans carried out nor do I think she wants to know. However, she’s doing what she needs to do in order to move up in the world and secure her future, and she seems to have some real interest in Dowoo.
    …and am I wrong to want Dowoo to win in the end? I don’t know why but I want to see him succeed with his plan. Shin and his outbursts are irritating (I know, I know, how can I side with Shin who’s trying to avenge his brother, and now the mayor, over the psychopathic, murderous Dowoo? I dunno, but I do…)

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  34. 34 dhereztrez

    I’ve been late to this drama but I just finished this episode yesterday (two more today) and…well, this is probably the most random observation ever, but during the fight scene I noticed that Kim Shin was wearing a thong – and now my image of him as his manly man is dashed! I haven’t rewatched that segment for fear it will be confirmed…but how I saw that of all things is beyond me. Great drama still, I love those Muse family interactions.

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  35. 35 PhuongThanh

    OH MAN, how much I love this drama! Cant get rid of the feeling that this is one the best kdrama Ive ever seen in my life and guess what? The love isnt the main topic and ….*tension moment*….the whole story seems to be LOGICAL so far(you know, there´s no such a concidence when the main character meets the person (s)he loves in the middle of the world, seeing her (or him) kissing with the his/her main rival..)
    Oh and yeah, about Detective Kim! I feel very comfortable watching her. In addition, maaaaaan the “butt” scene was simply HILARIOUS.
    “Is it because ur American?” “What?” “I´ve never seen such a nice butt on a korean lawyer” This got meeeXDDDDDDD
    And for the end- Kyung-taeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! GOGOGOGOGOGO! XD
    P.S. THANK YOU FOR THE RECAPS

     (0)


  36. 36 tinyviolin

    Yes, yes, agree of course, haha.

    Just have to comment, though, that the scene between Do Woo, his sister, and Kyung Ah was gooooood. His face, when Eun Soo hugs Kyung Ah and thanks her before walking out….perfect. He really is like a petulant child, and he looks so openly wounded that Eun Soo didn’t take the bait. She’s not jealous, but thankful he has someone else.

    Actually, that scene really made me question the doctor’s diagnosis. Do Woo obviously loves his sister, right? Or is she just like one of the animals he injured to keep by his side as a child? If so, her abandonment of him, and his subsequent pain, really is about the closest and deepest loss of control, and not about genuine love.

    Ahhh…that would explain the “losing the brakes” comment he made in the last episode. Ahhhaa, mmmhmmm, I see… .

    All I can say is: good lord, that man is a great actor!

    And also: j’adore Dect. Kim. She’s hilarious, and her monologue near the end was a testament to subdued acting.

    Of course, it appears that they had a great writer and a great scripts to work off of!

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  37. 37 Sophia

    I just have to say THE BEST FIGHT SCENE in a KDrama yet and Yes that is including IRIS!!

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  38. 38 iynn512

    one particular thing strike me in this episode:

    haven’t the psychiatrist heard about PATIENT”S CONFIDENTIALITY???!!! gosh i bet he never learned bout ethics…

    but oh well, what is ethical in this drama. most police and govern officer in this drama were just unethical with all those bribes, money and power. what a corrupted world.

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  39. 39 Cazine

    I have a weird theory cooking. Its been stirring up in my brain since the beginning. There’s something strangely off about K. He’s loyal and does whatever Do Woo asks without questions, tries to prevent Kyung-ah from being with Do Woo almost in a jealous like manner, and just allows himself to be Do Woo’s punching bag as if hes something normal and something okay.

    I’m sensing an unrequited uke minus the cuteness. In other words, K has a gay torch burning for Do Woo who is either oblivious or in his psychopathic way (I wasn’t surprised. I knew he was) knows and is using it for his ultimate sexy benefit.

    Do Woo gives off a Vic aura except not as sexy because he’s not TOP.

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  40. 40 Shifa'a

    The “Nice American butt’ scene is just EPIC! HHAHHAHAHAI

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  41. 41 Gasenadi

    The actress playing the detective is Kim Mi-Kyung, right? The excellence bar just flew through the ROOF, with this character and this actress! YAY!

    I’m flabbergasted at the LOVE/HATE expressed towards DW/KA. Love for the murderer DW but hate for his aide, KA. Don’t get it.

     (0)


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