Drama Recaps
Story of a Man: Episode 15
by | June 2, 2009 | 58 Comments

(He’s staring at an overhead heat lamp in a greenhouse.)

This was an exciting episode because Do-woo’s grip on his ice-cold composure continues to slip. The thing about Shin is that he hasn’t all of a sudden stumbled onto a magical solution for unnerving Do-woo, and it isn’t that he’s turned into an overnight mastermind. It’s more that he’s been chipping away at Do-woo from all angles — damn is he persistent — looking for the perfect moment to launch his sling (hence “The Slingshot” of the English title) to knock down his Goliath.

Oh yeah, and we finally figure out what Kyung-ah’s deal is.


EZ Hyoung – “I Need Your Love.” I love songs that sneak up on you like this, starting out mellow and pretty but building up to an intense crescendo. To think, when I first picked this song, it didn’t even occur to me how well it meshes with the theme of this episode. (The song starts, “Don’t leave me, you can’t do this” while the bridge/chorus goes, “I need your love… I’m waiting for you, come back to me.”)
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Shin and Eun-soo linger in the car outside the wedding chapel. He asks what Eun-soo plans to do — will she attempt to stop it?

Eun-soo senses that that’s what he’d like her to do, but she can’t, and apologizes. She’s decided that the best thing she can do for her brother is to congratulate him and support him: “If Kyung-ah knows that he’s ill and still accepts him, I’m going to thank her. I’m sorry.”

After she heads inside the church, he says, “You shouldn’t be sorry to me.”

The following is a fabulous exchange because the emotions are acted so subtly yet effectively. Waiting in the empty chapel, Do-woo looks up eagerly at the sound of the door opening; his smile fades to see someone else enter. A moment later, disappointment turns back into gladness when she does walk in.

I don’t think Eun-soo actually believes the things she’s trying to convince herself are true, such as when she asks with hope (but not convincingly), “You love Kyung-ah, don’t you?”

At mention of love, Do-woo reverts back to his assured demeanor, almost amused: “So that’s how you think, that I love someone. That I can love someone.” Eun-soo replies that of course he can — it’s just that he doesn’t know how. Maybe that’s not convincing to her own ears, because she amends, “Everybody’s like that, not knowing how to love. But everyone wants to love. You’re like that too, aren’t you?” She clearly wants him to confirm her hopes that there’s an innocent explanation for everything.

Then his expression takes on a lost-little-boy look and it’s like he’s trying to make excuses for her unspoken suspicions: “You were gone. When I really needed you, you left to the other side and hurt me.”

Although Eun-soo asks the next question point-blank, she also tries to give him an out: “Oppa, you don’t have anything to do with the mayor’s death, right? There are people who believe you were involved.”

Do-woo’s little-boy expression fades and is replaced by coolness again — Kim Kang-woo makes these emotional transitions fluidly and it’s quite interesting to watch these ever-changing undertones play on his face. He asks, “What do you think, Eun-soo?”

Rather than answering directly (probably because she can’t lie, but she doesn’t want to admit she believes he’s guilty), Eun-soo changes the subject and wonders whether Kyung-ah will stick by Do-woo in the future, now that she knows of his psychological issues. She hopes Kyung-ah will stay and watch over him.

At that, Do-woo’s expression suddenly grows scared and he asks in a quavering voice, “And where will you be?”

Eun-soo’s eyes fill with tears as she tells him, “If I see you, I’ll keep thinking about it. Mr. Do, the mayor. Even if you had nothing to do with it, I’m going keep wondering.”

Shin surprises Kyung-ah by showing up at the door to her bridal prep room. She isn’t pleased; she purposely didn’t even tell her parents of her wedding, “But the person I most wanted to not invite shows up.”

Shin asks if she’ll be okay, and whether the reason they didn’t call anyone to the wedding is because they aren’t in love. Kyung-ah answers that she’s trying on that score (to love Do-woo). He asks, “Have you found out what kind of person he is?” Kyung-ah: “I’m trying to find that too.”

Shin: “There’s something you need to know about him and me. At first, I was too miserable I couldn’t tell you. But now, it seems ridiculous to tell you.”
Kyung-ah: “Just congratulate me. It’s a wedding.”
Shin: “I can’t do that. I’m planning to rid the world of your groom. I think that’s my job. That’s why I thought I had to stop you, but that probably is useless.”

Kyung-ah nods, confirming that. Seeing her watery eyes, he says, “Then don’t show your tears. You’re tough.” With that, he leaves. After a moment, Kyung-ah runs outside to chase him down, but he’s already gone.

The ceremony proceeds.

Shin watches from the balcony, although he leaves after the vows are exchanged. And how creepy is the moment when Do-woo lifts Kyung-ah’s veil for the customary kiss, and he looks over at his sister instead of his bride? Worse yet, Kyung-ah is fully aware and notices.

As the minister and others start to file out, leaving the bride and groom together, Do-woo ignores Kyung-ah and suddenly bolts down the aisle.

It’s unnerving seeing someone who’s usually so measured in his actions running frantically, but that’s what Do-woo does, trying to catch up with his sister. He runs up to the curb just as Shin pulls away with Eun-soo sitting beside him.

Do-woo’s more or less back to normal by the time the newlyweds arrive their new manor, which is to say he’s businesslike and professional. He indicates that Kyung-ah is free to furnish the place to her tastes, apologizes for the lack of a honeymoon, and gets to work.

What a romantic way to welcome your Grace Kelly to your new kingdom, huh? Fitting that he should leave her in her sprawling, empty house while he attends to business.

At Muse that night, Eun-soo creeps downstairs and finds Shin outside, thinking to himself. She’s hesitant, unsure whether to leave him alone, but he speaks to her first. (Shin still treats Eun-soo with a trace of impatience and irritation, but it’s more because he doesn’t want to like her rather than him actually disliking her. He still feels concern for her welfare, but his hate for Do-woo keeps him from being open and friendly with her. For instance, seeing her come outside in her T-shirt, he grumbles that she should wear something in this cold night air, then takes off his jacket. But he doesn’t want the gesture to seem too nice, and he thrusts it at her unceremoniously.)

Shin asks if Eun-soo came to console him, pitying the man who’s moping on the night his ex-girlfriend got married. Eun-soo says, “Sorry,” to which Shin comments that “sorry” is like an automatic response for her, given how much she’s said it.

Eun-soo tells him that she and her father are going back home tomorrow, and taking along the girls and Myung-sun. He knows this already, but she’s working up to her real point; she asks hesitantly, “Are you going to come too?”

Shin explains that he can’t tell his sister-in-law what to do, but he’s intending on setting her up in her own home soon enough.

Shin: “Do you know why I can’t sleep? All day I think, ‘If I were Chae Do-woo, what would I be thinking right now?’ Thankfully that’s worked and I’ve succeeded a couple times. If he’s the guy I know, he should be completely pissed off right now and starting a new plan — but then he suddenly gets married. I don’t know why, so I can’t sleep. The mayor told me to gather a million eggs, but I don’t know where those million eggs are, so I can’t sleep.”
Eun-soo: “Do you think you can stop my brother?”
Shin: “No, stopping him won’t be enough. If it ends like that, it would feel too unfair.”

The implication of the last part is that Do-woo must die (or be really, really ruined), and Shin sighs that this is why he doesn’t like talking to Eun-soo — if they talk and become friendly, things will only get more complicated later.

The agricultural venture group faces a new problem: Mayor Oh acts upon Do-woo’s instructions in order to bring down the venture (so he can buy it). The venture is something like a co-op, comprising approximately 1,000 Myungdoshi residents who all own a share. Now, they’re facing expropriation, meaning that the mayor is imposing the threat of confiscating the land in the name of redistribution of wealth.

Mayor Oh can therefore demand the venture members to hand over their land, forcibly buying them out for an extremely low sum. However, even if the venture takes the buyout, they’re essentially ruined because it’s such a small amount.

The venture union president calls Shin “our benefactor, Teacher Shin” and asks him to help, reminding him that he’d already saved them once from the verge of ruin.

To explain what the group is about, the president shows Shin and the Dream Team around their land, where they grow all sorts of flowers and cacti. The members are all proud of their work and are eager to show him their accomplishments. They believe in their venture as the hope of Myungdoshi and their future prosperity.

All the while, Shin is a bit abashed at the attention — the townspeople have gone from calling him the “self-burning man” (from when he threatened to set himself on fire) to “Teacher Shin” and now “the core of our agricultural venture.” Uncomfortable with the praise, Shin keeps saying it’s an investment, as though highlighting that it’s a business decision will deflect attention away from that whole “saving them from disaster” aspect.

The expropriation ploy doesn’t make sense to anybody but Do-woo; the other city officials question the mayor’s actions, because this would only ruin the venture.

Do-woo informs them that an important presence is ready to move in to Myungdoshi — Phoenix Group will establish an office where the venture currently stands. They are owners of casinos in Monte Carlo and Vegas, and their profits vastly outstrip the venture’s. He equates saving the venture to suffering a great loss in the name of a small gain.

Do-woo pretends to arrive at a good compromise by offering to buy the venture at 1 million won (per pyeong, a unit of land measurement) — that’s much better than the paltry 600,000 they were first offered. Total, that means they would receive 14 billion won ($11 million). This gesture of false generosity is a calculated bid to seem helpful.

Harboring some misgivings, Mun-ho reminds Shin of the rules of a con, which emphasize the need to keep things small. The larger an operation grows, the more chances for failure. He warns, “You’re doing something really wrong right now. I’m warning you for real, leave and don’t come back here. Those people call you teacher now. Those are the same people who not long ago cursed the mayor for embezzling. That’s what people are like.”

Those words give me an uneasy feeling, but Shin isn’t shaken by them. He answers that it’s okay:

Shin: “Whether I’m turned on or used, or betrayed later on, it doesn’t matter to me. If I can just trample over him [Do-woo], it doesn’t matter. Also, this is a job the mayor told me to do — the people’s apartments, the school, and a public health center.”

(In another bit of uneasiness, one of the venture members sneaks away on the phone and reports the details of Shin’s visit… to Do-woo.)

Kyung-ah comes by the Chae mansion to pay her respects to her new father-in-law, but Chairman Chae interrupts and tells her not to bother bowing to him; it’s a pointless gesture.

In a polite tone, Kyung-ah asks for forgiveness for her discourtesies: marrying without informing him, not visiting him immediately after the wedding, and coming without Do-woo tonight. He asks her straight-out what she knows of her husband: “Do you know he’s insane?” She answers, “I’ve heard that, although I don’t believe it.”

Chae seems a little bit impressed with how Kyung-ah maintains her composure, but he doesn’t have anything to tell her while she is still loyal to Do-woo: “When you find out his true nature, come back. I’m sure you’ll have something to say then.” Chae tells Kyung-ah sternly to leave.

While his treatment doesn’t faze her at all, when she turns and comes face to face with the housekeeper bearing a tray of refreshments, she freezes in dread — she and Myung-sun recognize each other.

Myung-sun doesn’t understand at first, unable to process that Do-woo’s new wife and Kyung-ah are the same person. Her incredulous reaction only makes Kyung-ah feel worse, because everything Myung-sun says is laced with such pain — she tells Kyung-ah how outrageous it is for her to marry the man who ruined her family, who killed her husband, who sent Shin to prison.

Worse yet is the sudden thought that occurs to Myung-sun. Horrified, she asks brokenly, “Is the money you gave me from him, too? Then what am I? Not all money is the same! That can’t be. Money ruined my family — how could I receive that money?”

Kyung-ah stumbles away from the house and drives in a dull stupor, finally pulling over by the river (after all, our breakdowns must be scenic!). She gives in to tears and screams into the air, thinking back to her early encounters with Do-woo and his (seemingly innocent) questions about Shin. Such is her horror, and perhaps guilt, that she has difficulty breathing as she recalls those memories.

(So… this means she really WAS foolish enough to fall for Do-woo’s clever manipulations, and is just realizing she’s been had. Will discuss more down below.)

She’s in a dark mood that night as she storms home to her glass castle, stomping inside past Do-woo without acknowledging his presence.

He comes upon her in her room and asks what’s wrong. After a moment, she turns to him — and smiles, as though nothing’s wrong. She says, “I must have been thinking of something else. I’d been thinking the wrong way about something. I was lost in that thought and didn’t see you.”

I know some of us have been wondering if Kyung-ah has been playing Do-woo this entire time. Her reaction here shows that Kyung-ah hadn’t been harboring that thought — but she certainly is now.

All the while, Jae-myung is still with Detective Kim, who is working out the timeline of the mayor’s death and investigating K’s background. It turns out K had once been a successful mixed martial arts fighter, but had retired after killing someone in the ring.

There are a few areas worth exploring in the case that could lead them to more information: For instance, K must have been driving his own car before taking over the mayor’s. The crash site was 10 km away, which means it would have taken him more than an hour to walk back to his own car — but if he took a bus, they can investigate all the local bus CCTV footage, as well as taxis.

Furthermore, soju was found in the mayor’s body but there were no bottles in the car. Searching the area is a time-consuming task with a high probability of not turning up anything, but Det. Kim proceeds methodically regardless. (And takes advantage of the opportunity to check out Jae-myung’s ass again — ha!) Sure enough, Jae-myung finds deliberately shattered bottles in the vicinity of the crash.

One thing that makes me nervous is Bum-hwan’s attitude regarding his investment — like Mun-ho, Bum-hwan has no emotional stake in the plan and thinks more of convenience and money. So it’s a little unsettling that Bum-hwan half-jokingly says he could sell to Do-woo and make a profit at his current asking price, although Shin is very firm in insisting he wait. Thankfully, Bum-hwan is content to listen to Shin — at least for now.

Do-woo’s mole is busily trying to sow discord within the venture group by insisting upon selling. The others refuse, because at that asking price (14 billion won), they can’t merely relocate the venture to another location, they’d have to dissolve it entirely. If they do that, each member only gets 10 million won for his trouble — a mere $8,000.

Shin is called upon to offer his opinion on the matter, and he implies that he could get them 50 billion won instead ($40 million).

Smiling, Shin takes out his cell phone. Explaining that his speed dial is set to Do-woo’s number (suggesting that they’re good buddies), he calls Do-woo while the latter is in a meeting. Do-woo is displeased to see Shin on his caller ID, but answers anyway. It further irks him that Shin speaks in a cheerful, faux-friendly tone:

Shin: “How’ve you been? I’m here at the agricultural venture, and I heard something that’s interesting. Your Chae Dong offered to buy it, I hear. But what’s with that measly 1 million won per pyeong, you cheapskate? I told these people that Chae Do-woo would give at least 4 million. You’ll do that, won’t you?”
Do-woo: “I don’t care to hear your voice right now.”
Shin: “But you took my call. You couldn’t not pick up, since you’re dying to know what I’d say. 4 million per pyeong. If you don’t give that much, you’ll be in for some pain. So much pain that you might have to go back to the hospital for some therapy.”

Do-woo lowers the phone, fuming silently. It’s so satisfying to see him so peeved.

Shin mobilizes his team. This next operation requires Jae-myung to flirt with a woman (the secretary/aide) to peek at her agenda to find out where Do-woo is meeting a business associate. (Jae-myung’s reaction to Shin’s request is such a hoot, like he’s affronted to be labeled the playboy, and he demands, “Who do you take me for?!” And yet, he does the job faithfully.)

Do-woo meets with Mimi Jang, the Hong Kong branch manager of a financial company that makes a lot of real estate investments. She’s no-nonsense and doesn’t beat around the bush when Do-woo comes by — she’s heard of his dream to turn Myungdoshi into Neo-Monaco and asks how much he wants her to invest.

As Do-woo leaves his meeting with Mimi Jang, he comes face to face with someone arriving: Shin.

They exchange looks — Shin is smug, while Do-woo is very, very perturbed. He tries to hide his anxiety from Shin, but can’t help stewing as he sits in his car watching the exchange from afar, all the while tapping his finger in precise timing along the car armrest.

Shin has come without an appointment and addresses Mimi Jang in a straightforward way, explaining that he’s representing the agricultural venture group and is here to give her a report, free of charge, about the state of affairs.

Shin points out that the venture sits in the very center of Myungodshi, around which casinos will be built. However, he and the venture group have no intention of selling. Do-woo has been meeting with people in an attempt to take away the land, but that makes them very uneasy.

Therefore, he has a simple request, which doesn’t cost her anything: “Until you confirm that we are selling the land, please don’t lend him money. I’m afraid that if you proceed wrongly, this will trouble you later.”

Following this meeting, Team Shin also drops in on another one. This time, Jae-myung is there to intercept the businessman just as he finishes a meeting with Do-woo, who looks on in growing anger. Jae-myung offers the man some information, presumably the same kind of friendly advice offered to Mimi Jang.

While Jae-myung talks, Shin steps in front of Do-woo to tell him that if the venture sells, the person who will be hurt most is Do-woo. Shin knows that the city expropriation scheme was merely an attempt at blackmail, and again names his price — 4 million per unit of land (which adds up to a total of 56 billion won, four times Do-woo’s lowball offer).

Again, Do-woo is left to simmer in his car, tapping his finger in agitation.

Mun-ho rallies the venture group people together and argues how evil Chae Dong is. His reasoning is purposefully incomplete, because he doesn’t blame Do-woo outright for the mayor’s death — he only wants to steer the discussion to let the people jump to that conclusion on their own. This is particularly effective because Team Shin has been sowing the seeds carefully — Shin alluded to it once before, but backed off without pressing the point.

The mole is uneasy at this turn, and tries to call Do-woo immediately. He can’t get through and has to deliver a message to an assistant instead.

K is brought into the police station again, now that new information has been brought to light. K remains zen-like and unresponsive as Detective Kim tells him that the rental car was taken out in his name. But the question that finally breaks through his calm is when she asks, “You know Do Man-hee, don’t you?”

He remains silent as she says, “I’m thinking of asking Chae Dong-soo about him, but is there anything you have to say?” His expression starts to look the tiniest bit unnerved as she tells him she knows that he didn’t act on his own — he must be working for his boss, Do-woo. How involved was his boss in this case?

When Do-woo returns to the planning office, Mun-ho’s rabble-rousing has done its job because people shoot him odd looks, having heard the rumors about his hand in the mayor’s death. He’s further angered to hear that K was called to the police station after new evidence surfaced.

In a meeting, he is briefed on the venture group’s investor. The investment was made in a false name, while the real investor is Kim Bum-hwan. He also happens to have a connection to Shin, having spent time in prison together; Bum-hwan is known to be a mob boss, although that’s not official information. Kyung-ah pays particular attention to this conversation.

What’s bloody fantastic about this scene is Do-woo’s attempt to keep his cool, which dissolves with each passing beat. He rises from his seat and stalks out of the room quickly, but still in control. But once outside the room, he starts running; he then orders his car, shoves the driver out, and takes the wheel.

There’s surprise on both sides when Do-woo storms into the café, only to see Eun-soo there looking friendly with Kyung-tae. (She’s moved back home but dropped by to deliver some kimchi.) Do-woo’s startled — and angry — to see his sister fraternizing with his enemy, and asks in a bewildered tone, “I’m here to see Kim Shin, but why are you still here?”

Do-woo’s demeanor is frazzled, distracted; he half-mumbles to himself as he says, “No, this is right. You should be here. Yes.”

He grabs her arm and heads toward the exit. Kyung-tae musters his courage to stand up to Do-woo and block him, but Do-woo kicks him down and drags Eun-soo out.

Kyung-tae calls Shin in a panic to say Do-woo dragged Eun-soo off. Shin, who’s on his way home, sees Do-woo peeling away in front of him.


The first thought that popped into my head at this image of Do-woo and Kyung-ah’s marital home was “glass castle.” Completely artificial but beautiful to look at on the outside, empty on the inside. Cold, brittle.

As for Kyung-ah…

As mentioned above, I think a bunch of us were unclear on Kyung-ah’s deal. Was she really deluding herself that she and Do-woo can have a genuine relationship, or was she content to have a strict political/strategic alliance, as two people who are using each other and know they’re doing so? Does she really not care for Shin, or is her way of continually pushing him away really to protect her interests since she’s NOT able to emotionally cut him off? (By protecting her interests, I mean that she may know she still cares for Shin deep down, but she’s become accustomed to her new life — money, prestige, success — and is unwilling to go back to her former self. Perhaps this is because she likes her wealth; or perhaps it’s because she feels guilty for her choices but thinks she has already crossed the point of no return.)

I have to see Kyung-ah’s reaction to Myung-sun’s accusations as a result of her carefully constructed illusion finally crumbling. Maybe Kyung-ah didn’t need their marriage to be a warm and loving one, but she was okay with their arrangement until it became too apparent that she was wrong about him on a fundamental level.

Honestly, I think she’d have to be an idiot to have missed all the signs of Do-woo’s unrepentant wickedness, and while I may feel annoyed enough with her character to slap her with the “idiot” tag, I don’t actually think she is one. Which means that she was willfully deluding herself, and holding out hope that Do-woo could be a decent person. This is no longer viable, and hence the breakdown.

She’s similar to Eun-soo, but downgraded a level; while Eun-soo loves her brother, she can’t accept his evil and draws the line once he’s gone too far. Now that Kyung-ah sees Do-woo in a more critical light, she’s keeping her thoughts guarded and acting normal around him, which suggests that she may indeed attempt to take him down from the inside.

On one hand, yay for Team Shin! On the other hand, this had really better not mean Shin ends up with Kyung-ah. I’d be okay with them making up as friends, but not as love interests. (And yeah, I really want Shin to end up with Eun-soo now, poor Kyung-tae notwithstanding.)

Caveat: I’m pretty much in admiration of almost everything in this drama, but I think they drew out Kyung-ah’s complicity with Do-woo for too long — to the extent that when she finally does come around, we no longer care. Or at least I don’t.

Who else loved the second instance of Do-woo tapping his finger on the windowsill? The first time is bad enough, showing nervousness even though he maintains control by keeping his taps in precise rhythm. However, the second time, his taps are faster-tempo and erratic. It’s not really a subtle point, but effective for its brevity in announcing: DO-WOO LOSES CONTROL.

Later in the episode, he storms out of his meeting, and jabs at the elevator button repeatedly, as though unable to wait. Do-woo’s not one to take out his anger on inanimate objects — why expend the energy on the wrong target? — or at least he wasn’t until recently. See: the crushed tea bag, the broken CD. Shin is throwing off Do-woo’s internal rhythm and forcing him off-balance. It’s great.

Speaking of Shin, I can’t overstate how much I love this rivalry. Most of the time, enemies in dramas aren’t really well-matched. (I’m thinking War of Money, Legend, Tazza , heck, even Rivals despite its title. Perhaps Devil comes close, although I haven’t finished watching so I can’t say.) Do-woo may have started out much more powerful in the eyes of society, but in terms of personal character, they’re pretty evenly matched. Both have enjoyed small victories, but never for long: For instance, when Shin gains the upper hand, Do-woo isn’t defeated for long and retaliates. Even though the defeats that Shin suffers are more daunting than Do-woo’s setbacks, he never gives up. (This also suggests that in the end, the victory has to be complete and unequivocal. If both men bounce back so persistently, one must suffer complete defeat to be truly beaten.)

Lastly, it’s interesting how this episode is framed by similar scenes — a car speeding away carrying Eun-soo sitting shotgun — yet the differences are highlighted by virtue of the similarity. In the first instance, Eun-soo leaves her brother after his wedding and rides away with Shin. Do-woo rushes to stop her, sees them leaving, and seethes. On the other hand, in the last scene, the person taking Eun-soo away has to forcibly drag her (she’s not fighting him, but his actions are forceful). Do-woo’s losing control and can’t cope with it, so he resorts to trying to steal it back.


58 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. jxbeaucp

    ahh. thanks great recaps cant wait for next one

  2. asianromance

    thank you so much for the recap!! love that screencap of do-woo and his lost-little-boy look!

  3. moomincandylalala

    Thanks for the recap!
    this drama only knows how to get better each ep.
    And if I didn’t love Park Ki Woong before…anyway, he’s mine – too young, whatever, i don’t care… ^^ (you ladies can fight over there in the triple thread all u want)

    Just want to let you know the song linked is not what you say it is – It’s Ibadi’s Love letter (also a great song, thanks)

  4. langdon813

    This show has gotten so ridiculously good, I’m going to be so sad when it ends! Nothing less than Shin’s complete and utter domination over Do-woo will satisfy me now. I REALLY REALLY want Shin to be with Eun-soo so that she never has to apologize to anyone again for the rest of her life (Kyung-tae is adorable but I don’t think he’ll ever be able to be in a true adult relationship). As far as Kyung-ah is concerned, she can just get all of Do-woo’s money and live in her big glass house. She made her bed…let her lie in it. Alone.

    Am I crazy or am I seeing sparks between Jae-myung and the lady detective??

    Fantastic recap as usual!

  5. lelouch

    thanks javabeans….
    i’m glad i decided to watch it after reading your recap on first episode

  6. Icarusfalls

    Thanks so much for the recap.. I’m not watching the show right now but I love reading about it here!

  7. javabeans

    ^ Whoops about the song link! Heh, Ibadi’s is actually what i was planning to post for the next recap. Fixed now.

  8. Besco

    Can’t wait for your recaps on episodes 17 and 18.
    I agree with your views on Kyung-ah. I felt she had the least development. There was little hint to her thought process, and the ambiguity – instead of displaying complexity – existed for its own sake.
    I’m jonesing for the catharsis that Do-woo’s “demise” will bring.

    Thanks for the episode reviews!

  9. hbhjjb

    if Shin ends up with KA in the end, I might just hurt somebody….i dont care that she didnt know what DW has done to Shin until now because she DID know that he was evil yet all she cared about was to become his “queen”….well she is just going to have to lay in the bed she made…

    Kim Shin + Eunsoo FTW!!

    they both deserve to be happy dammit ^^

  10. 10 Priki

    I FINALLY started actually watching the episodes, and boy, am I glad I did! Sooo cool. Oh, and thanks for your recaps – I always enjoy re-seeing things through your perspective!


  11. 11 G

    @langdon813 “She made her bed…let her lie in it. Alone. ” Nice- I don’t have much sympathy for her either. I think JB has it right when she says the drama brought her around too late. Her fake Stepford-like conversation with Do-Woo at her vanity was awesome, though, I loved when she took control at the end with the “A couple secrets here and there are all right, right?”

    Oh, and anyone else think Eun-soo definitely should get some acting props? I think for a role that so easily could have been maudlin or overly cutesy (her character is so darned earnest!), she does really well and I like her a lot, especially these last episodes.

    Hooray for recaps, I wasn’t getting some of the nuance of the deals until I read this. I can’t believe it ends next week, I really don’t see how anything next can compare. I wonder if this is getting critical acclaim in Korea, at all, ratings aside? It definitely should, I think.

    • 11.1 sel

      Yeah, I’ll drink to Han Yeo-woon’s performance. Like, even putting aside how familiar the character is and also how many risks it runs of falling into some pretty nasty sexist politics–I feel like this type of character is just fundamentally harder to bring alive cos its layers are so subtle.

      Like, I think most characters, by instinct, are created with some basic duality to them to make them distinct and alive, and ppl instinctively suss that out. Like e.g. Do-woo’s main face is of this cold, inhumane appetite–but he has this alternative way about him that’s emotionally volatile and almost boyish.

      But I feel like if I had to pick out the images/qualities we get of Eun Soo, there’s almost like no variation. Like it’s either this serene image of impossible motherly-goodness or like it’s a more youthful picture of angelic innocence. The two are just like barely a hair different, so I feel like that sorta character must be so much trickier to pull off. But this actress does, and I absolutely love her for it. Like damn girl, u doing a stand up job.

      (Lol btw, I’m actually commenting on this page in 2017, nearly a decade late. Just what in the hell?)

  12. 12 Sue

    sometimes the songs you post with the recaps are a real treat!! as are the recaps themselves, as always 😀

  13. 13 angryparsnip

    Thank You !
    not able to watch hope to rent… I want to see this show, even if I know what will happen… Great recap love reading it !

  14. 14 Snikki

    Do Woo skipped the customary kiss completely. And Eun Soo didn’t even look like she thinks that was odd. Or maybe she thinks psychopaths just don’t like to kiss.

    Anyway, I’d like to see Shin and ES together in the end, but I have a feeling it will be an open-ended one… but I’m always wrong…so…eh.

    And I also like the Jae Myung-Det. Kim tandem.

  15. 15 MEIKO**** ^-^

    Haaayyy….. love the wicked Chae Do Woo!……or Kim Kang Woo is such a good actor…. aawwww…love his wicked, menacing looks and his hurt-little-boy looks! ^-^ mmmm….. i wonder what will happen to him…
    lives and becomes good?
    lives and goes straight to psych institution?
    lives and continues his strange fantasies in Wall Street (NY)?
    becomes the best friend of Shin? LOL!

  16. 16 MEIKO**** ^-^

    “And I also like the Jae Myung-Det. Kim tandem.”

    me too!!! love the Butt comment from the Detective!Too bad, there wasnt a good shot of JM’s butt! LOL!

  17. 17 lover

    Park Shi-yeon is going to be a permanent member on Family Outing. I wonder what her personality is like?

  18. 18 :)

    Couldn’t help but notice that the glass castle seems to be the hotel where Hotelier (Song Yun Ah, Bae Yong Joon) was shot…..the screen shot you took looks really like the same place….

    *Patiently waits for newest With S2 Subs”

  19. 19 haezi

    i, too, am rooting for eunsoo + shin!!!

    this is such a great drama.

    @ 11 G: I totally agree that the actress playing eunsoo (or should we thank the director?) is awesome. She could have been super annoying but instead her sincerity has totally won me over. She is someone you want to protect and yet she is strong in her own right…that’s just too cool (a word i never thought i’d use to describe eunsoo).

  20. 20 Suriya

    Just writing to thank you for your superb write ups and insights that have helped me appreciate this drama more ! I started watching this drama after reading your first few write ups on it and I think this is the best K drama I have seen so far ( Not that I have seen too many)

    About Kyung Tae coming to her senses only after she got married to Do Woo. I think it needed to come to that because otherwise she would not be able to play the destroy from inside role. As it is , Do Woo probably does not have any reason to suspect she is no longer on his side.
    Had she realised her mistake sooner , she may have taken off and the tension triangle between Do Woo Shin her Kyung Tae would have ended .
    The directors probably had to agonise over how to get Kyung Taes blindness be playsible but as you rightly pointed out , she was prpbably lying to herself because she thought she wanted the social elevation Do Woo would give her.

  21. 21 Gia

    @19 haezi

    Exactly, right? Eun-soo really had the potential to be annoying, but she’s so much more likable on the strength of the actress (or, the director, like you said). She is strong, too, I think, because it takes more strength to try to stand by someone completely unbalanced (and nutso) like Do-woo than it takes to abandon him. This seems to be a pattern with her, like how she was able to balance staying with and helping her father while also trying to understand her brother.

  22. 22 youchakuih

    like u’ve said in every recaps u’ve done for Story of A Man…..things are getting better n better….love the acting n scenes…..giving props to everyone n everything that made this drama possible…..it’s hard to find a nice, good korean drama without me feeling the need to drag along with the story…..not that they’re suck or anything, but just sometimes made me less interested to follow up every ep….

    i’ve been noticed this drama but couldn’t say i didn’t have any interest in it….but the recaps kept addicted to this drama…..i can’t say that i watched the whole drama now, but i did watch a few ep like 3,4 then i started to pick up from the recaps here (thanks to javabeans) n went dl the epi from ep11 to 16 now (still waiting on the coming ep)…..i hope for more in the coming ep which i can’t wait any longer……

    the things i like about this drama is that all character were well written, they all have reasons to do things they need to be done….it’s hard to be seen now since most of the drama were more focused on the main and story (if only they had a good story though)….i gotta love how the script was written cause every line delivered are so……….i can’t find any word that can express the goodness of them….every lines delivered has delivered the meaning of this drama on so many levels……

    and yeah….like many other that have mentioned…..i would like to see Shin and Eun Soo work out in the end for the sake of this drama……i know it’s gonna be hard for them, for the love of God, please let them to be together…..i felt that Eun Soo need to be loved and fall in love….she’s been suffering since she had that kind of father and brother…..like Shin have said in the end of ep13, Shin sighs sympathetically, “You’ve had it tough, on your own.”

    i gotta say that love every actors n actresses of this drama….handsome, gorgeous n well defined in this drama…..but feeling particularly creepy with Do Woo’s gesture with Eun Soo n K’s silent stare/glare….hehe…..

    finally giving props to Javabean’s with the wonderful recaps and some interesting point of views which lead me to another new level of watching this drama…..

    p.s: i watched ep15 n 16 but i still coming back for recaps…..=)

  23. 23 cheekbones

    Me, too, want to see Shin ends up with Eun-soo. And I totally agree with you that it takes too long for Kyung-ah to finally open her eyes. We just don’t care anymore.

  24. 24 Nom Kitteh

    Thanks for the recap, JBeans! You win the internets.

    I am probably in the minority in not wanting ES to hook up with Shin. Obviously DW is going down so do we need to rub salt in his wounds by having him lose her to Shin as well?

    Also, because the drama has explicitly stayed away from romance, right down to the courtship (or lack of) of DW and KA, it makes more sense to have these characters go their own ways after DW is destroyed. To me that would be a more fitting end but I can see the intimations of romance between ES and Shin. They are getting longer and longer scenes with a lot of unspoken feelings there. What I do like about their interactions is that both are preoccupied with DW — Shin with his revenge and ES with her obligations — so there is not a romantic connection so much as a common ground. I like that. Once that common link has been destroyed, I would rather see them go their separate ways.

    My sense is that DW will kill himself in the end. I just don’t see this man living by anyone else’s rules.

    Kim Kang Woo is hands down one of the best actors here. Watching emotions — competing emotions at that — flit across his face within seconds of each other is just thrilling. So much of his acting is about the controlled mastery of chaotic emotions and I cannot think of another actor who could have pulled this off.

    Shin is great as a lovable good guy and he inspires warmth and comfort and safety. But DW inspires conflicting emotions of fear, pity, revulsion, awe, and also gentleness. I don’t think ES is so gentle with him just because that’s her nature. I think she loves him because she knows that DW is genuinely a frightened little boy and because he shows her that boy inside. In every episode he has needed ES and has begged ES to simply be there for him. That level of vulnerability is not an act — he really, genuinely needs ES to keep him from becoming an even more evil being, to rein him in.

    I would love to read interviews, if there are any, of the writer’s thoughts on why she constructed DW this way. It is evident that the writer is very fond of the character and has focused on giving him depth in ways not evident in the other characters.

    Also, terrific casting choice! The posters need(ed) to feature ES rather than KA. Maybe the writer was not expecting to make ES the central female lead? I have no idea why KA is even in the story. She has played no role of importance whatsoever and if she is given an imp role in the end, I will be disappointed. This is ES’s story, in the end, I hope.

  25. 25 cosmopolite

    Me likey!

  26. 26 yuu

    it’d be a twist if somehow along the way, kyung-tae will be the one protecting eun-soo later in the episode. O yeah, shin and her seems compatible and all, but I’m still rooting for kyung-tae to end up with her…and,


    although he looks like a lost-little boy in this cap, I can’t help but to close both of my eyes with both of my hands the moment I saw it….

    OT but for some reason, I wonder how Kim Kang-woo would be like, if he is Jin-pung from sol pharmacy…innocent, shy..somehow looking like a normal man. lol…it just pops in my head for some reason >_>. Thanks for the re-caps JBeans ^^

  27. 27 izuyam

    this drama has got be the most engaging korean drama i’ve ever watched, hands down… and i’ve watched a lot of them. it even had watching the raw which i never did for any other drama before..

  28. 28 natureii

    i still cant believe this drama is ending next week, its sooo good. KS vs DW is getting better by the minute. I want KS to stay with ES but we dont know what will happen in the next episodes. As for KA i hope she´s left by herself, alone as it must be. She deserves nothing less, she made a decision, a really bad one, but she decides to stay by it, even worst. DW snappin is great but also dangerous he´s losing control of himself and his surrounding, he might end up doing something to anyone even ES, he cant control himself anymore….

  29. 29 Besco

    @ Nom Kitteh

    I maybe a KS/ES shipper, but I definitely see your point. So far, this drama has kept romance at bay, and I think that a satisfactory denouement would have to follow the circumstances that have already unraveled. The complications between ES and KS are far too obvious to just push aside and let them live happily ever after.
    I was also thinking about Kyung-ah. I get that at the onset of the story, Kyung-ah was supposed to be fought over by our main rivals, but she’s become almost insignificant. On the other hand, Eun-soo transformed into a complex character embroiled by wanting to do good to/for others and wishing to preserve her family, not to mention that she was actually the one that unintentionally set these revenge plans into motion.

    “This is ES’s story, in the end, I hope.”
    – I hope so too.

  30. 30 heejung

    story of a man is seriously one of the awesomest tv shows i have ever seen. it’s like one long movie – always keeping tension high, humor, all that awesome stuff.
    Yay Eun-Shin/ShinSoo~ i think they would be way cute together.
    And even though kyungah would be the obvious matchup for shin in terms of plotline, this drama has never stuck to the obvious. and that’s why i absolutely love it.

    Awesome recaps, I always look forward to these, especially since there are usually some scenes that my korean doesn’t cover [like the K background one].

    … i’m hungry. off to eat cup ramen… SHIN ramen hehehhehehh

  31. 31 vis

    Thank you for the recap! I’ve been wondering about ES and Doo woo’s conversation at the church…

    Yay! Glad to see so many ES and KS shippers/supporters here XD Definitely hope it works out for them <3 <3 <3 I wouldn’t mind an open ending for this drama if there were at least some hints like the ones in the Time of Dog and Wolf ending ^^ But yeah, I totally can’t see KA and KS getting back together… too much has happened.

    Everyone is doing a fantastic acting job, except KA but well the actual character lacks both depth and development that we see in everyone else… I agree that Eun Soo should be praised for making her character so endearing. Just like someone said, she’s kind but also strong in her own way. I simple adore her ^^ I’ve seen the actress in Golden Bride and she did a good job there, but her performance here is definitely much more memorable (well, her character in this drama is so much more interesting).

    Yeah, ES is becoming more and more like a female lead and I sure like this turn of events! ^______^

  32. 32 Dewi Astuti

    Is Do woo love Eun Soo???? Wow he love his sibling.

  33. 33 Trist

    Can I just say how much I like this script writer. Excellent in my opinion. And Java, for once I am actually in complete agreement with all your comments and sentiments on this drama.

    Great job with the site and recaps!

  34. 34 Nom Kitteh

    @ Dewi Astuti,
    DW does love ES, but I really don’t think it is in an incestuous-sexual way. DW is a completely asexual character — that has been the premise of his character from the very beginning. Even his scenes of domesticity with KA are devoid of any sexual element, and their courtship seemed almost like an ‘arranged marriage” union.

    DW loves ES the way a little boy with separation anxiety might love his mother. He feels lost and bereft at the thought of losing her. He needs her. He says that constantly, in just about every episode. He doesn’t want ES to be the queen in his kingdom, the way he propositioned KA. He wants ES to be there to mother him, to nurture him, and to keep him sane. This guy has serious mother-issues, evidenced not least by his assisting his mother to die not for malicious reasons but to ease her pain.

    Even if he feels “jealous” (if he is capable of this emotion) when he sees ES with Shin, he feels jealous in a nonsexual way — he just doesn’t like not having her with him.

    I think the writer has done a really nice job of giving DW these flickers of humanity, although they are too far in between for my liking. But then, I want DW to redeem himself and live happily ever after in a big ol’ house with EVERYBODY from the show, including our tight butted lawyer from L.A. 🙂 . Ain’t gonna happen, I know. Sad.

    @ Besco,
    “not to mention that she was actually the one that unintentionally set these revenge plans into motion”

    Thank you for your additional points! I agree! The ES actress needs to be cast as a central lead in the not too distant future. She is not one of the stellar beauties who frequently make the lead roles, but she is a really strong actress with excellent screen presence.

  35. 35 Taohua

    Great recaps as usual! I too want Eun-soo and Shin to end up together, but I also feel like because the romance really hasn’t developed between them and the fact that they are linked is mostly because of Do-woo, they might not end up together. So I have a feeling that the ending might be open-ended…but who knows there’s four more episodes left.

    Oh and I get more and more impressed by Kim Kang-woo’s acting ability with each episode. Also, I agree the actress who plays Eun-soo has done a pretty good job, she’s made Eun-soo earnest and sincere, which can be hard to do without going overboard.

  36. 36 loveydovey

    @ javabeans: actually eun soo paused after saying do woo doesn’t know how to love because he doesn’t know that she knows about his true mental state ( at least i’m pretty sure)

    and wow i know i’m bad for saying this because by now probably most people hate kyung ah but i still kind have this tiny hope for her and shin >< although i do like him better with eun soo right now but then i always change my mind when i see eun soo with kyung tea lol.

  37. 37 yumi-chan

    Kyung- Tae & Eun- Soo!
    Their small scenes had me fangirling on another level.

    Now Kyung Ah, I think she deserves punishment even more now. If she ended up this way for greed or simply because she’s stupid I still think she should end up being what she fears the most, poor & useless.

  38. 38 girl

    thank you for posting this song! i was looking for this forever but couldn’t find it anywhere!! 😀

  39. 39 animesmi

    @loveydovey: you’re not the only one feeling that way. i too always have this tiny hope that maybe she might be with kim shin cos i totally like eun soo with kyung tae, so sweet, i think who knows, maybe kyung tae might just grow during these last 4 eps. and maybe kyung ah might have a more specific and more role the last few eps though it is kinda late. pls don hate me, the rest of you, esp es n ks worshippers, just a personal opinion

  40. 40 bbm

    Do Woo’s loosing control is what i want to see the most, but KBSw only aired up to ep 6, if i’m not mistaken, how long do i have to wait…
    regarding love interest, i really can’t see Shin with Eun Soo, coz he’s too much in love with Kyungah, and i prefer Shin, DW, and KA didn’t end up with anybody at all, and Kyungtae can end up with Eunsoo…
    thanks for the recaps JB

  41. 41 asianromance

    i’m a bit torn here. If Kyung-ah helps Shin, I’d feel like she was a meanie to betray Do-woo when he’s so emotionally vulnerable. But if she doesn’t help Shin, then I’d think she’s useless…

  42. 42 Estelle

    @Nom Kitteh

    I’m not sure I agree. To me it doesn’t seem that DW sees ES as a second mother. The way he looks at her sometimes, especially that look during the wedding ceremony, has some sexual vibe to it in my opinion.

    I do agree that so far we’ve seen him as an asexual being and I actually have trouble imagining him having sex with KA. But I feel that it’s more a question of him not being able to feel desire for anyone other than his sister. And he’s extremely careful not to show that to her.

  43. 43 Mumuchan

    As usual, your recaps are so good and detailed. I don’t know why, but I always share the same feelings as you concerning the characters and the plot( I felt the same for your bbf recaps), you really have a talent for drama analysis^^
    Like you, I appreciate the way Shin slowly make Do Woo’s world crumble bit by bit. I particularly like the interaction between the lawyer and det. Kim, both of them are hilarious together. Don’t like Kyung Ah much either, but I can feel she will come back to Shin later, this episode makes it kind of obvious, when she realizes how Do Woo is really evil. I’m more curious about the relationship between Do Woo and and Eun Soo… In episode 13 I think, Shin visits his former psychiatrist, who says he is a psychopath, unable of feeling any emotion. If that’s so, how do you qualify what Do Woo obviously feels for his sister? Is it possesiveness? Does he sees in his sister the figure of his deceased mother? Is she the only feminine figure he can accept (a non-threatening one)? Sorry at my lame attempt at a psychological analysis, but I think those two are the highlight of the series. It’s much more complex than the usual brother/sister complex I’ve seen in other dramas, and both actors portrayed it so skillfully… Do Woo in himself is an interesting character enough to make me hooked to this story, but their relationship had really grasped my interest. But frankly speaking, I love ALL the characters , all of them arose my curiosity, I even like K, and that’s saying something^^

  44. 44 peterlee

    Lolz, I was contemplating whether to continue since ep 6ish-10 were quite boring…but it has picked up since….thanks for the recap…

  45. 45 animesmi

    @asianromance: i’m with you there, i’d feel sorry for do woo too, but then he is a little psychotic too, so let’s wait and see how it turns out.

  46. 46 elaineD

    this series – no, i mean masterpiece – is driving me crazy. I love it.

    All the other smart ass dramas/movies I’ve ever seen is a joke compared to this consistent, well-thought-out drama.

  47. 47 elaineD

    oh and also dramabeans, I personally feel pity for kyung-ah instead of anger or annoyance, because she is really a weak person inside, trying to fend for herself. In the end, she realized that everything she had so desperately wanted has a very high price.

    All these times her character has “annoyed” you dramabeans were not her true character if you know what I mean, instead, they were a response to a series of misunderstanding.

    No offense, but your anger towards kyung-ah is definitely from the viewer’s point of view, but that’s not enough since kyung-ah knows less than us. we, the viewers, must look at the story from each characer’s point of view, THEN use our emotions to judge them.

    ohhh the beauty of dramatic irony.

  48. 48 birdscout

    Wow! The drama and the recaps are fabulous. Thank you!!!

    Javabeans, you did not mention that short moment in this episode after KA runs after Shin in her wedding dress, but can not see him in the hallway. She does however exchange looks with K…I kinda get the feeling that K is in love with Do-Woo, kinda like that aide to the senator in Kevin Costner’s “No Way Out” movie.

    Now, I’m off to watch Episode 16.

    Wanted to express my thanks to the WITH S2 group!! There’s no way I could enjoy this drama without your excellent subbing!!!

  49. 49 Dori

    Hey this is the same chapel as in Bom’s You and I 😀

  50. 50 Gasenadi

    Javabeans, without your recaps, I’d be lost! I’d have had trouble understanding the conversation in the car before the wedding, the conversation btwn the siblings, and the whole expropriation of the agri-coop.

    Kudos to actress, Ahn Mi-Na, the sister. Man! I was almost pissed at what she said to Shin in the car, apologizing for not stopping the wedding cuz she wants her brother to be happy (ruthless murderer endangering bride’s life?!). But, later, she convinced me she’s really tragically conflicted. She knows DW’s capable of murder (she’d always wonder re Sec. Do and the Mayor) but hopes her only brother can give and receive love like “normal” people. God, what a tremendous actress.

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