Drama Recaps
Story of a Man: Episode 17
by | June 7, 2009 | 58 Comments


It’s not often a drama will make me gasp in horror/surprise, but I totally did in this episode.


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Shin isn’t allowed to see either Kyung-tae or Mun-ho following their arrests. This frustrates him and Jae-myung, who can’t gain access even though he’s a lawyer, because he isn’t a Korean lawyer. The charges have been made through seemingly official channels, but Shin knows they’re faked.

Do-woo thoroughly enjoys the phone call with Shin as he gloats that he put away two of Shin’s guys. He tells Shin it’s not too late to give up before things progress any further — if they do, then Do-woo will be more than willing to drop the charges. Given that both men have prior records, they’re facing even more severe penalties this time.

In contrast to their last encounter(s), now Shin is the one who’s barely able to hang on to his temper. He forces himself to sound normal as he scoffs, “You must be lonely. Do you have nobody around to talk to?” What does Do-woo want?

First, remove himself from the farmers’ venture group.

Do-woo: “The second won’t be very hard, since you’ve done it before. You said protecting your people is your pride. Your people are facing ten years. You’ll have to put up your pride one more time. You know what to do, don’t you? Come to me alone and beg on your knees, and tell me you were wrong. Are you listening? Or are those two people not enough? Do I need a third and a fourth?”

This really, really upsets Shin, and he struggles to calm down. But we know — as does Do-woo — that Shin will give in, now that the fates of other people are in his hands. He grits out, “When and where?”

Do-woo smiles triumphantly. But oddly enough, when Eun-soo calls him, he ignores her call.

Shin tries to plead with Bum-hwan not to withdraw his money from the venture, but meets with coldness. While Bum-hwan has great affection for Shin, he is still a mob boss, and he has different priorities. He points out that he signed a contract that allows him to take his money out whenever he wants. Furthermore, he’s responsible for several hundred men and their families. They have a chance to make a prime business deal, and he’s supposed to give that up just for Shin?

Perhaps thinking the truth might sway him, Shin tells Bum-hwan that Do-woo killed his brother. But contrary to that expectation, Bum-hwan says unsentimentally, “How long are you going to hang onto the past?” Shin mentions Kyung-tae: “The police dragged off Mazinger.” Bum-hwan returns, “That’s why you should have been careful.”

At this point, Shin isn’t trying to change Bum-hwan’s mind about the money anymore, and tries to warn him, “I’m telling you what kind of man he is. I don’t know what kind of promise he made you, but don’t trust that he will keep it.”

Bum-hwan thinks he’s too smart to be taken by Do-woo, but Shin knows Do-woo better, and says that when it’s Do-woo’s turn to honor his promise, he’ll turn on him — possibly ratting him out for his mobster activities.

WIthout a legal representative, the guys can’t visit their teammates, so they seek out a local lawyer, Lee Young-ho. It’s clear that they don’t really care who he is — it’s more an excuse to get visitation — and generally ignore him as they try to brainstorm solutions.

Shin first meets with Mun-ho, then Kyung-tae. He has one important question to ask each of them, but we’ll have to wait a bit to find out what that is.

Unable to get through to Do-woo, Eun-soo arrives at the planning offices to meet with Kyung-ah. She’s worried because this is the first time Do-woo hasn’t picked up her phone calls, and she asks for help.

Eun-soo: “My brother is doing something really evil to Kim Shin. He’s not attacking him directly, but breaking up the people around him. You know what Shin is like — he hates people near him getting hurt. Please stop my brother.”

Eun-soo calls them her friends, too — they took her father in, as well as her. But Kyung-ah interrupts:

Kyung-ah: “Do you not know yet, or do you not want to know? If your brother, my husband, listens to anyone at all, it’s you. If he hurts or is sad, it’s because of you. I realized that from watching from the side. Why don’t you know that? If you’re worried about me, it’s okay. I married him knowing that.”

Changing the subject somewhat, Kyung-ha has something else to ask: “The mental disorder your brother suffers — is it hereditary? … If I had a child, would I have to worry? Or should I not think of children at all?” She says she’ll try to talk to Do-woo, but can’t promise it will help. As they part ways, Eun-soo says, perhaps by way of consolation, “If it wasn’t you, he wouldn’t have considered marriage at all.”

Shin prepares to see Do-woo, declining Jae-myung’s offer to drive him, preferring to make the trip alone. Before heading into the planning office, Shin calls the group president to ask a question…

He then walks in and heads up to see Do-woo, who’s looking forward to this. As he knows Shin will be humbling himself before him, Do-woo particularly enjoys drawing this out.

Therefore, when Shin says he doesn’t think he can give up the venture, Do-woo replies, “I think you misunderstand—”

Shin cuts him off: “No, you’re the one who’s misunderstood. You can only give up something when you first have something. I’ve never had the farming venture.” Do-woo scoffs that Shin’s playing word games, but Shin contradicts him.

Shin explains that he just talked with the farmers. He told them he’d walk away, because being associated with him would only bring them harm. “But they laughed.” A flashback to his phone call with the president shows that the president had waved off his concerns. He wasn’t worried, so Shin shouldn’t be.

Next, Shin addresses the matter of kneeling before Do-woo: “I’m not going to do that. I have no intention of kneeling before you again. My guys whom you’ve taken hostage tell me not to do it.”

In a flashback, we now see the end of Shin’s conversations with Mun-ho and Kyung-tae. Mun-ho had told him not to do it, assuring Shin that he may be a con artist, but he’s innocent the crime he’s been arrested for. “Tell them to handle this one through the law.” Mun-ho isn’t stressed out, and even figures this might be fun, since he’s innocent and has nothing to worry about.

The Kyung-tae flashback warms my heart: Shin had warned Kyung-tae that if he didn’t comply with Do-woo’s demand, Kyung-tae may face more prison time. But Kyung-tae had nodded and understood, saying, “But you have to send money, and visit me regularly. And you can bring Eun-soo along. If you come with her, that’s better.”

Do-woo is not pleased, and reproaches Shin: “If you weren’t mentally prepared to, you shouldn’t have come. You’ll just get me angry.” He doesn’t yet grasp Shin’s point, which is that Shin is no longer going to play Do-woo’s game. Shin has realized that his mistake was deciding to beat Do-woo at his own game.

Do-woo turns sharply to face him, curious and annoyed. He must be uneasy, because he even backtracks a little — remarkable, that! — and asks, if he raises the price, how much would Shin sell the land for? But this is still missing the point, and Shin reiterates that he’s not going to kneel anymore. He’s done conceding to Do-woo. After all, that tactic would only work if there were only one Chae Do-woo in the world.

Shin: “But what if there were a hundred, thousand people like you? You want me to get down on my knees and beg every time? I can’t do that.”
Do-woo: “So?”
Shin: “Know that I’m not going to fight by your methods anymore.”
Do-woo: “That’s the problem, that you fight at all.”
Shin: “Know one more thing. At first, I was alone, but now I have a good number of people. Try capturing as many as you can — ten, a hundred. There will still be many of us left. I came to tell you that.”

Shin starts to leave, but pauses for one last remark: “In reality, you’re scared because you’re alone.”

After her meeting with Kyung-ah, Eun-soo is driven home, but along the way she can’t get past the feeling that something is wrong, and heads back to the office.

She gets there just as Shin is leaving — and while he put on a good face for his meeting with Do-woo, once he’s out, he’s drained. His step falters, and finally, he collapses.

Now, this I find incredibly fascinating: Do-woo knocks over Kyung-ah’s purse and finds pills inside. He asks what they are, and she identifies them as birth control.

While some people might think she’s merely not ready for a pregnancy, Do-woo’s suspicious — is there an ulterior meaning? (This plays on her question of whether Do-woo’s illness is hereditary. It’s almost like he is aware of her fear and is defensive of it.) He responds coldly:

Do-woo: “You’re in my castle as my queen. So any child you have becomes my heir. You can’t make decisions about my heir on your own. Do you understand? I’d like a response.”

She says she understands, and Do-woo warns her not to pull anything else like this behind his back.

Shin awakens in Chae mansion, where Myung-sun and Eun-soo both (cutely) argue over who will tend to him. He’s been asleep for a day, and has no recollection of how he got here.

That also gives Eun-soo the opportunity to tease him about how outrageously he behaved yesterday while he was delirious from his illness: at the emergency room, he had ripped off his IV and tried to walk out in his bare feet, insisting he had places to be.

He was diagnosed with high fever, exhaustion, and malnutrition, and still carries a high fever.

A while later, Bum-hwan drops by to pay him a sickbed visit. Shin is still miffed at Bum-hwan for dropping his investment, so while he isn’t actively angry, he’s aloof. Bum-hwan, on the other hand, treats him the same as ever. (Since Bum-hwan is removing his money, that means the farmers now owe Bum-hwan the investment of 3 billion won, which they’ll have to figure out a way to repay, or get a new investor.)

Bum-hwan assumes Eun-soo is Shin’s new girlfriend — and before either has a chance to correct him, Bum-hwan approves of the choice and goes off on a hilarious spiel about how it’s time Shin moved on and let himself be happy, too.

Either unaware of Eun-soo’s identity or not caring that she’s already rich, Bum-hwan hands her an envelope of “allowance money.” He does it casually, like a big bro giving his kid brother’s girlfriend a couple bucks to buy snacks. Eun-soo says she’s not Shin’s girlfriend and tries to return the envelope, but since he won’t take it back, Shin waves at her to just accept it.

When Bum-hwan leaves, Eun-soo opens the check, and her eyes widen. There are so many zeroes she can’t even be sure of the amount. Shin looks at the number — it’s 3 billion won. Which happens to be the amount of money he’d invested, then retracted, from the farming group.

(I KNEW Bum-hwan couldn’t be a complete selfish bastard! I’m so glad for this turn, because I wasn’t enjoying being peeved with him, lol.)

Next on the agenda is gathering the farmers together for an unannounced visit to Mayor Oh’s office. Being the coward that he is, Mayor Oh sees their approach and tells his people to call the police.

When the group storms his office, Eun-soo is introduced as their new investor. (AHHH, they are so S-M-R-T! Bum-hwan has stepped out of the project officially, but because of his contribution, they can name Eun-soo the official investor. It’s not much of a difference in practice, but in theory it protects Bum-hwan from Do-woo’s reach while also giving the group a layer of protection, since Do-woo wouldn’t ruin Eun-soo.)

Shin is introduced as their spokesperson, and reminds the mayor of his threat to expropriate the land. He tells him to go ahead. Do it.

Clearly it had been a bluff meant to threaten the farmers into selling to Do-woo, and Mayor Oh fumbles to react appropriately.

Do-woo receives the report that rumors of expropriation are circling among investors, which is making it even more difficult for them to acquire the land.

Pissed off, Do-woo asks why Kyung-ah isn’t in the meeting (she had “urgent business”), then strides out of the meeting, ignoring his employees who tell him they need more money. Other investors have started calling — if Do-woo is unable to acquire the farmers’ land, they may withdraw their funds, too.

Kyung-ah’s important meeting is with Chairman Chae. She explains that if all had gone according to plan, things would have been manageable, because Do-woo always prepares for the worst. The difference this time, Chae tells her, is Kim Shin.

Kyung-ah informs her father-in-law that Do-woo is changing, in a way she’s never seen in the past three years. If Do-woo had only waited patiently, he could have successfully taken over the farming venture, but he pushed too hard.

Therefore, she says they need a way to protect Chae Dong. Although Chae approves of Kyung-ah’s business sense (for instance, she chose her words strategically to appeal to him by “protecting” Chae Dong), but he isn’t about to trust Do-woo’s wife.

Ah, but Kyung-ah dangles a nice carrot in front of his nose: She owns 17% of Chae Dong stocks. Surely that’s something worth considering.

Mayor Oh thinks Shin must be bluffing about expropriation, but Shin assures him he is not: “We started a new plan, and the name of that is frontal attack.”

Shin pulls out the expropriation manual/book — something Mayor Oh didn’t read very carefully — and points to a particular clause. If a city expropriates land, it must use it for “public works.” As in, a school or rental apartments. (Mayor Oh gulps.) Furthermore, they must form an expropriation committee and present a bill, and a land price must be negotiated and agreed to by both sides.

The mayor is really sweating now, but thankfully for him, this is when the police arrive. Shin tells the others not to panic and instructs Eun-soo to stay behind with the mayor while the rest are taken to the police station.

Jae-myung is still working with their lawyer on getting Kyung-tae and Mun-ho out of jail, and angrily rails against the nonsensical Korean laws. For instance, Kyung-tae’s specific crime of using telecommunication to spread falsehoods carries the threat of five years in prison, but in actuality the law hasn’t been applied once in the past fifty years. Do-woo used an antiquated, unused law to get Kyung-tae.

Meanwhile, it’s refreshing to see Eun-soo’s temper flaring for once as she tells Mayor Oh to release those people immediately: “Aren’t you even embarrassed as mayor? You send your citizens away to jail for wanting to talk to you? Aren’t you ashamed?”

Fed up with the mayor, Eun-soo says she’ll go to the police and be arrested too, since she’s one of them. She starts to head out — and comes face to face with Do-woo. She turns down his offer of a ride home and dinner because she has to release her friends from jail.

That’s all it takes to get Do-woo to instruct Mayor Oh to have the people released. He turns to Eun-soo — now she doesn’t have to go to the station. That means she can have dinner with him.

Sure enough, the group members are released. They’re much less angry about this than Shin, and in fact are rather cheerful, saying this kind of opposition isn’t new to them.

When Jae-myung picks Shin up, he says Shin ought to sue the city for false imprisonment, and indicates the farmers: “You’re their teacher, tell them you want to sue.”

However, Shin’s learned a little something in the past few days: “Jae-myung, it’s the opposite. They’re my teachers. At first I tried to teach them, and that was utterly ridiculous. They’re people who have fought their whole lives. I’ve only done it for three years. I’m just learning to walk by comparison.” (Jae-myung asks, a bit skeptically, whether he means they’ve fought their whole lives against Do-woo; Shin clarifies no, not Do-woo but someone like him. To them, Do-woo is just one of many oppressors.)

Detective Kim continues in her uphill climb to investigate K’s movements on the night he killed the mayor. She finally makes a breakthrough while questioning people in a nearby neighborhood when a man recognizes K in the picture. He remembers K clearly, because he had a distinctly unpleasant look. (K always strikes me as looking vaguely vampiric.)

The man recounts how he had seen K climbing out the back of his truck; K had hitched a ride without him knowing. The driver had called out, but didn’t chase him because he figured there was nothing to steal in the back anyway.

Do-woo takes Eun-soo to a fancy place for dinner. He reacts when Eun-soo takes out her cell phone, but is pleased when she merely turns it off.

Do-woo’s tone is gentle, in that deceptively calm (almost babying) way, as he asks where Eun-soo got the money to invest and who advised her to do it. He knows she’s not very business-minded.

Eun-soo entreats, can Do-woo just leave the farmers alone? Can’t he have a farm alongside his hotels and casinos?

Do-woo: “Is it Kim Shin? Do you like him, like a woman likes a man? Is that why you changed? Is that why you left my side to go to him, pitting me as the enemy and helping him?”

Eun-soo: “That’s not it.”
Do-woo: “It’s not?”
Eun-soo: “I’m just continuing what I’ve been doing. I’m the same now as I was ten years ago. I apologize to the people who’ve been hurt by you or Father, and help them if I can. You said it was okay for me to do that. So don’t hurt people, and I won’t have to do that either.”
Do-woo: “You once told me to tell you if I was having trouble. Then you’d help me.”
Eun-soo: “Yes.”
Do-woo: “If I ask you to help, will you?”
Eun-soo: “Yes.”

Do-woo: “I need you, Eun-soo. Because you’re not with me, I can’t stop.”
Eun-soo: “What do I need to do?”
Do-woo: “All I want from you is one thing. Be with me.”
Eun-soo: “You have unni with you. So, oppa—”
Do-woo: “That’s okay. She knows who you are to me. I married her because she understands. You are my heart. I don’t have one inside me — because that’s you. Have I told you this? If you’re with me, I think I can stop. Eun-soo. Help me.”

Holy hell. Do-woo actually does seem scared… Is he? Or is it more emotional blackmail?

Whatever the intention, Do-woo comes home in extremely good spirits — Eun-soo’s moving in tomorrow. He asks Kyung-ah to prepare for her arrival with the excitement of a child eager to open his Christmas presents.

When Do-woo asks if it’s okay, Kyung-ah pins a smile on her face and agrees. That makes him happy; he knew she would understand.

His jovial mood is cut short when a servant informs them that the police have arrived. It’s Detective Kim’s two subordinates, who are told Do-woo is not home and turned away from the door. Detective Kim instructs them to stake out the house overnight, because at some point somebody will have to enter or leave.

The atmosphere at work the next day is chilly, as the planning office is inundated with phone calls. Do-woo remains tense and silent, while Kyung-ah answers the phone, explaining that the expropriation rumors are just rumors.

Kyung-ah tells Do-woo that if they remain silent on the matter, the rumors will spread more. He asks if she has any ideas, which surprises her, because he’s always got his own plan and never asks for advice from others. She says this in a teasing way, actually pleased that he’d consult with her.

Her smile fades at his next request, however, which is for her to find Shin. He points out that she’s still on polite terms with him; maybe he’ll listen to her. Do-woo explains that Shin is the brains behind the farming group: “Use whatever means you can to get him to leave. If I do it, it’ll backfire, so you do it.”

Kyung-ah is uneasy at the “use whatever means necessary” clause, but Do-woo tells her he’ll leave it to her to figure out how. Do-woo: “There’s no need to think too much on it. Just spend a bit of time on it, and I’ll take care of the next step.”

Kyung-ah’s alarm level rises from yellow to orange: “Take care of it? How?”

Eun-soo packs up her things for the move, and tries to call Shin. However, he’s on the phone talking about Kyung-tae’s case, so she isn’t able to get through.

Meanwhile, at work, Do-woo steps out to the rooftop to survey his city-kingdom. The atmosphere is ominous, dark, as he addresses K.

Do-woo is sending K away, because there’s a limit to how much he can keep him out of trouble if he remains here. He hands K money, passport, and a plane ticket.

K speaks up (it is SO weird to hear his voice when he’s silent most of the time). For the first time, he’s without his customary confidence. He practically pleads, “If I go, when can I return?”

Do-woo doesn’t answer, but he does have one more request, which he issues with coolness. Do-woo: “Before you go, there’s one thing you have to do for me.” He takes out the gun he’s wearing, and hands it over to K, saying, “That thing I held for you — I think you’ll have to use it. Can you do it?”

K agrees.

Do-woo warns, “Remember, this time, you’ll do it when and where I tell you to do it.”

K promises.




In the past couple of episodes, we’ve actually seen Jae-myung losing his temper, which is a change from his laid-back (literally) and cool attitude thus far. Perhaps the writer is using Jae-myung as a vehicle to criticize the Korean judicial and law enforcement systems, which she can do because as an American lawyer, Jae-myung is an outsider to the Korean ways and often says with disbelief how absurd the Korean system is. Only on a few occasions have I felt this cross over into heavy-handed territory, which I suspect I feel as an American who knows that such a simple comparison is flawed. But for dramatic purposes, the juxtaposition works to highlight the injustices of the Korean way.

Aside from that theme, though, this also points to Jae-myung’s aloofness gradually wearing down. For several episodes, he’s been reluctantly inching toward the group, increasingly of his own will. In the beginning he was more or less dragged into things, and even when he became part of the team he could find safety behind the illusion of being dragged along by Shin. This may be what the detective really signifies in Jae-myung’s storyline; romantic interest or no, Jae-myung actively calls her friend first, actively decides to stick around after she says he’s free to walk away.

But WTF, Do-woo? omgomgomg. You crazy mofo.

Okay. I know that Shin and Do-woo are in a battle to bring the other down, but part of me (a very small part) thinks that Do-woo killing Shin would kind of be like cheating. I mean, their rivalry has no rulebook and they aren’t bound to any concept of fair play… and yet, I wonder if Do-woo ordering Shin’s death — and not even by his own hand — is almost an admission of defeat, on one level. He couldn’t win with his brain, he couldn’t outwit Shin, he couldn’t beat him on the playing field. It’s tantamount to overturning the chessboard to avoid facing checkmate — because if you have to overturn that board to avoid losing, you’ve kinda already lost.

And yes, I recognize that in their world, it’s more than “just a game.”

Regarding Kyung-ah’s birth control pills. First of all, I think it’s an interesting detail because I had always thought of their relationship as asexual, and now we know it’s not. Do-woo seems so cold that I wouldn’t be shocked if he were celibate, because I can see him thinking he’s above bodily pleasures. Then again, even given a physical marital relationship, Do-woo’s perspective toward sex may be more of a dominance issue, a egoistic desire to carry on his lineage, a duty as a king to secure a successor.

Still, on the whole, it’s odd, isn’t it? And even odder that Kyung-ah would consider having his child, knowing as much about him as she does and recognizing that no matter how she tries to love him, he isn’t going to recognize her as a woman. At least, not as a woman aside from being his queen in name, a sort of figurehead to complete the portrait (illusion) of an ideal ruling monarchy.

Yet even though his marriage is more a formality than anything, I don’t think Do-woo is passionless. Was his “you are my heart” conversation freaky as hell or what? I haven’t actually ever thought of Do-woo’s interest in Eun-soo as incestuous, because it wasn’t sexual or romantic, but just… obsessive. His desire to keep her with him is broad in scope, not pinned down to one particular function. So while his behaviors may overlap with actions that are traditionally viewed as romantic, Do-woo doesn’t look at Eun-soo through that specific lens. She’s not slotted into a specific woman’s role in his life (wife, sister, mother) — she’s just Everything.

However, this dinner scene was the first time I actually questioned Do-woo’s interest in Eun-soo, because it just seemed so defined as a romantic date. Their other encounters weren’t played out in such distinct, recognizable social constructs, but the dinner was the closest Do-woo has come to treating her as Not-My-Sister, if you know what I mean.

Also, I knew Eun-soo’s promise to help him would come back around to her! Although she wants to help Do-woo, it leaves her at his mercy to claim that promise. What is up for debate is whether he’s asking for help now as a tactic to gain her cooperation (and keep her away from Shin), or if he genuinely wants/needs her. I’d say it’s a manipulative maneuver, except his emotions as he tells her of his missing heart seem believable (and so creepy).


58 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. heejung

    i totally had the same reaction when dowoo handed the gun to k – “NUOOOO!!!”

  2. lonelysoul

    OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ITS FINALLY HERE NEW RECAP OF Story Of A Man YEAH! sorry everyone i got a little over excited there but its okay ^^ n ya second

  3. asianromance

    whoa!! thanks for the recap! i agree with you that whatever sexual relationship do-woo has with kyung-ah would be a duty to provide a successor. despite his good looks, sex with do-woo must be really boring- in and out a few times and it’s over. My fave part is Kyung-tae asking Shin to visit him regularly- should he get sentenced again- and to bring Eun-soo along. =DD

  4. shinhyesungluv

    Thank you javabeans!

    The part where DW tells KA to use whatever means necessary to take care of Shin, I heard that when KA asks DW how, DW tells her she should know because it’s her area of expertise. Is he implying that KA once worked as a hostess so she should use that method on Shin. I felt really sorry for KA there.

  5. ktbrods

    You know the feeling you get when you’re a little kid playing hide-n-seek, hiding in the closet right before someone finds you? That anxious, thrilled, pee-in-your-pants kinda awesomeness?! I got that feeling at the end of this episode. Great, great drama series….

  6. lelouch

    thanks for the recap….
    so sad it’s ending this week….T_T

  7. Asmaa

    Maybe Do woo gave K the gun to shoot him? Or Eun soo? Or Kyung ah? Who knows, it doesn’t have to be Shin..

    Could also be his own father..? Or he’s trying to use the killing scene as a scapegoat..?

    One more episode to go, feel sad, it will really end? they could have ended at 20.. 🙁

  8. atreyu112

    I just loveeee your re-cap.. i am actually on ep 16 (eventhough the sub wasn’t that complete on soju, i still watched it).. i just love the ups and downs of this drama.. seriously, becoz of this drama, i am kinda go back to other k dramas..

    I just hope nobody will get hurt after this ep.. just end up with DW in a mental institution and K behind the bars.. i hope, ES and KS have some nice and cute ending.. like 5 yrs later kind of thing..

  9. mehreen

    The music at the end of each episode always gets my blood racing, but this…This Time, my heart nearly fell out when Do-woo gave K the gun.

    I am going to be pretty sad when this series is over.

  10. 10 Besco

    “I’d say it’s a manipulative maneuver, except his emotions as he tells her of his missing heart seem believable (and so creepy).”

    I think it’s both. He may really consider Eun-soo his heart, and he’s not above using dirty tactics (killing Shin) and emotional manipulation to get her. That’s the deal, she’s his heart, but has he ever really listened to his heart? Even when Eun-soo was still at his side, he bulldozed his way to the top of the corporate world and the food chain.

  11. 11 lorraine

    hello javabeans !
    thank you for your mind-blowingly awesome recaps 😀

    im not following story of a man, but time to time i like to read them, and i was just wondering….what exactly is do woo and eun soo’s relationship ?
    it seems like they are family [guessing] but it also seems like there’s some kind of backstory. can anyone clear it up for me ? thanks ahead of time.

  12. 12 Snikki

    Thanks for this, JB! I watched this raw, and my interpretation isn’t actually that far off. My imagination ran a little wild on some scenes though, like the ES-KS sickbed scene. KS: “You. Me. Episode 20.” kekek…

    It’s nice to see Eun Soo put her foot down… so feisty! I didn’t expect that.

    I don’t want anybody else to die. But what if Kyung Ah takes the bullet instead? Or worse – Eun Soo? I hope not!

    My head is aching trying to crack the enigma that is Do Woo. *sigh* I guess I’ll just have to wait… just 2 more episodes to go anyway. I hope this drama does a good job answering all our questions at the end.

  13. 13 budsdiana

    To Javabeans

    “Regarding Kyung-ah’s birth control pills. First of all, I think it’s an interesting detail because I had always thought of their relationship as asexual, and now we know it’s not. Do-woo seems so cold that I wouldn’t be shocked if he were celibate, because I can see him thinking he’s above bodily pleasures. Then again, even given a physical marital relationship, Do-woo’s perspective toward sex may be more of a dominance issue, a egoistic desire to carry on his lineage, a duty as a king to secure a successor.”

    I had the same thoughts that their marriage has never been consumated. I agree with your thoughts that due to the appearance of birth control pills, it has been consumated. However, I also have another interpretation, it has not been consumated and that Kyung Ah is taking the pills just a precaution in case she has to do the wifey obligation any time sooner or later; then she won’t get pregnant.

    THIS IS SOOO FREAKING “CARDIAC ARREST” DEVELOPMENTS. palpitating!palpitating! palpitating!

  14. 14 budsdiana



  15. 15 kay

    thanks for the summary! i liked your interpretation on do woo’s choice of asking k to kill kim shin. i guess the silly romantic in me believed that he was doing that bc he noticed that his sister’s feelings toward kim shin were not just fueled by guilt. i think that if his sister wasn’t involved, he would play this out until there’s a victor. BUT, he asked k to kill shin after his sister agreed to move in so i think your interpretation is correct. i guess it’s a win for shin as long as he doesn’t die?

  16. 16 Icarusfalls

    O wow… things are getting crazy and more awesome!! Thanks for the recap! =)
    Eun-soo is moving in with Do-woo! Do-Woo asks Kyung-ah to take care of Shin and K is now on a killing mission! =O

    For some reason the first thing that popped in my mind was that Do Woo’s plan is that K is going to shoot Kyung-ah so that Shin could be framed. Too far-fetched? O_o

    P.S – Just realized I sprinked my ramblings with loads of exclamation points today! =P

  17. 17 nicci

    Omo omo!!!
    I just freakin love your recaps!
    I can’t breathe until now.
    ‘feel like I’m getting a heart attack.ㅋㅋ

    I don’t want this drama to be over!
    Kudos to Kim Kang Woo and Park Yong Ha and the one who plays Eun Soo as well!
    Great drama!

  18. 18 djes

    it’s gonna end this week? MAN! I just read your recaps while were waiting for the subs episodes ago.. I think I’m going to resume watching it tonight.

    I was also thinking that the relationship between Kyung Ah and Do Woo is asexual ( btw, I’ve seen Marine Boy, and they have ‘quite serious’ scenes there, suddenly the scenes are flashing on my mind when I read your comment 😛 ), so I surprised that she keeps birth control pills in her purse..

    I’m curious and worry about the ending will be. I don’t want anybody die, but I don’t know what the best to do with Do Woo.
    When I read the last paragraph, I thought Do Woo asked K to kill himself.
    I feel I should give credit to actor who plays as K – even without dialogues, he still can creep me out. In other hand, if I am a gangster I would like to have right hand man like him, talk less do more, very effective and fearless.

    I feel so bad that this show doesn’t get enough care and credits. I will definitely miss it when it ends.

  19. 19 twing

    recaps….thanks a lot.sorry for being greedy, but are you going to finish return of iljimae?. I look forward to your recaps and I enjoy them a lot…thank you so much

  20. 20 aoi

    I’m not sure if this was mentioned before but I feel that the Do Woo-Eun Soo relationship is almost the embodiment of the Yin and Yang. Eun Soo is everything Do Woo isn’t: (compassionate, innocent, and not ambitious) and Do Woo is everything Eun Soo isn’t. Yet they complement and compensate for each other. Although the same can be said about the relationship between Shin and Do Woo, their interaction is a little different because the two men are rivals and hence clash with each other. Eun Soo does not clash with her brother. Though they stand on different sides, both have a mutual understanding of why they’re on opposite sides and decide to accept rather than challenge. With Eun Soo who completes Do Woo, as she is his ‘heart,’ it feels like Do Woo-Eun Soo form the “whole” that is represented by the circle of the Yin and Yang. Since one cannot exist without the other, then if Shin takes down Do Woo, will Eun Soo also be hurt in the process? Not just hurt because she sees her brother fail but suffer as in suffer a similar fate to her brother’s downfall even though she is an innocent bystander?

  21. 21 budsdiana

    @3 asianromance

    “……despite his good looks, sex with do-woo must be really boring- in and out a few times and it’s over. ”

    Ha ha, that would be OK for KA, what if its the complete oppoite, and DW is a sadistic pervert and he prefers unconventional sex, he is a psychopath, remember. SCARYYYYYYY.

  22. 22 adella

    “She’s not slotted into a specific woman’s role in his life (wife, sister, mother) — she’s just Everything.”

    Well said, I couldn’t agree with you more. Do-woo might think that if he kills Shin, then Eun-soo has no reason to leave him again or person to go to (it’s not like he hasn’t been jealous of Shin before). His game with Shin reached a whole new level when Eun-soo decided to leap to the other side.

  23. 23 bbm

    i always suspect dowoo sees eunsoo more than just sister… kinda creeping me out…
    i have a question JB, what is the opening song for story of a man/slingshot. my sister is also hooked with this drama and she’s asking me about the soundtrack. i know you have mentioned it before, but my memory kinda fail on me 😛

  24. 24 yumi-chan

    Do woo you smart mofo.
    & Kyung Tae stop being cute you is melting my heart :]

  25. 25 yuu

    I omona-out-loud last time on “Funny Valentine” scene. But this time, I screamed and cover myself from reading “you are my heart” line as do-woo said it. MY GOD O_O….do-woo is creepy as hell and that’s that.

  26. 26 coffeeaddict

    Awesome episode and thanks for a great recap. I watched this prior to reading your recap and was curious how you will react to Eun-soo and Do -Woo last scene.

    What great actors/actresses. I can feel the intense emotion between Eun-soo and Do Woo. You feel the conflict and wonder how much DW have lost control. I always suspect that DW have more feelings for ES and see her as a “woman”

    Scene 1: He always keeping watch, when ES break the flowerpot and Shin help her pick it up – it was at night and on the patio.

    Scene 2: DW standing alone in his empty office space at night and staring out the window and asking Kyungh- ah “What will it take to know if a woman is in love and who she loves?

    Kyungh- ah thought he was referring to her and answer that the heart is sometimes unsure, so the man needs to help the woman decides which way to lean. So, I always thought the whole wedding scene is DW way of testing how much ES loves him. Her reaction and will she come to the wedding.

    Even Shin was baffled why DW decides suddenly to get marry.

    Scene 3: When he kiss the bride he was staring at ES. DW was so frantic and chasing after ES when the wedding was over instead of staying by his bride. First time I see him totally lose his emotional control. Even in the fight scenes, he was still in control.

    KA realized this on her wedding day and during the wedding kiss. Poor girl.

    DW overall seem human when he is next to ES, and I feel that DW put ES on a pedestal, she is everything to him and she can help balance and stop him too.

  27. 27 dwilliams

    “His game with Shin reached a whole new level when Eun-soo decided to leap to the other side.”

    Yeah I am like Eun-soo who is your loyalty too and why are you so trusting of Do-Woo? She couldn’t possibly be that niave and blind but love does make you blind so it wouldn’t suprise me.

  28. 28 alasam

    @ Icarusfalls

    That was my first instinct too. At the end of the day I think KA is disposable in DW’s mind, especially now that he has secured ES by his side. Getting rid of KA by death and KS by arrest would in DW’s mind, break up the resistance and separate ES from the group completely in one fell swoop.

  29. 29 cosmopolite

    Kim Kang-woo + sex = sounds like a party!

    Chae Do-woo + sex = get me the freakin’ hell away from here!

  30. 30 langdon813

    After watching this episode I wasn’t left with any doubt on a couple of scores: Do-woo is definitely in love with Eun-soo (which we mostly knew, but ewww) and K is definitely in love with Do-woo.

    WOW…I was so impressed with the acting in the rooftop scene (sorry, don’t know the name of the guy playing K). K has been such an ice man up to this point that it was really unnerving to see him let his guard down even a little bit. I expected him to come up behind Do-woo, throw his arms around his waist and profess his undying love…but all he did was let us see it in his face. Awesome. Until Do-woo handed him the gun I was really expecting him to jump off the building.

    Mr. Romance certainly pulled out all the stops for the date with his Queen, didn’t he? Too bad the Consort wasn’t there to see it. I just can’t imagine that Do-woo and Kyung-ah have had actual sex…he could barely kiss her on their wedding day, for God’s sake. They have separate suites, but now they’re sleeping in the same bed? I guess we’re meant to infer that that they do have a sexual relationship but a little more clarification on this issue would have been nice. Minor complaint really, because this show is just so brilliant.

    Shin…Kyung-tae…please. You are killing me. My heart just can’t hold all the love I have for you both.

  31. 31 Janet

    Love this episode, thank you for the recap. Do Woo says that Eun Soo is his heart.. It has a errier feeling. I agree with the part you said that Eun Soo is Do Woo everything. Seriously, the lead actress should be Eun Soo since she is sandwich between her brother and Kim Shin. She has a major role towards the end in comparison to KA. Maybe this is the strategies to promote Eun Soo while drawing viewers to the tv because Park Si Yeon acted in more dramas and is a bit more well known.
    Anyway both acted well, although i like Eun Soo better.
    Finally the mystery is resolved, do woo has been keeping the gun, i am anxious to know who did K shot in the 19 episode, maybe is Eun Soo (i hope not). I know the target is Shin, but been the male lead, he will not die… Episode 18 is also VERY GOOD. Should watch it, this drama is so good. I don’t think the ratings matters anymore. It is a masterpierce in korea drama, but few appreciate it. 😉

  32. 32 MEIKO**** ^-^

    omo!omo! thanks Java-B!!!!!!!

  33. 33 fan

    You will gasp with excitement in Episode 19. It was the most intense episode of the series thus far. Do woo the mastermind breaks down like never before…..

  34. 34 cathy

    I totally agree with AOI , beautiful explanation regarding relationship between them,
    They need each others to thrive , as you might recall previous episodes , DW
    always says his sister possesses all angel characters from their parents , and
    he has all evil character in him . When he said his sister as his heart , it does
    not mean he loves his sister in incestuous way but bc he is unable to love , just
    like he is missing his heart and he needs his sister to help him .
    This is good drama , despite rating , all actors actresses are great , compartible
    to each others , they deliver their characters pretty good , impressive .

  35. 35 CG

    YAAHHHH!!!! More Shin and Eun-soo moments!! YES!!! I hope they end up together, they are so compatible because in alot of ways their complete opposites. I wonder if it will take something like Eun-soo jumping in front of the bullet meant for Shin in order for 1) their relationship to get a jump and 2) Do-woo to wake up and realize he’s lost. I don’t want her to die, but Do-woo and Shin care alot about Eun-soo so if something were to happen to her than that would defintely shake them up!

  36. 36 Molly

    Great analysis, Dramabeans, as usual! Thanks so much. I’m more obsessed with your blog than the dramas lol. 🙂

    I just saw episode 18 and the cliffhanger left me breathless. Ahh this is such a good drama!

  37. 37 Nom_kitteh

    There is just so much I want to say and I typed out a long-ass response and then deleted it all because, really, all I want to say is: OMFG, this drama is so f-ing good and I love it so much that I want to marry it and have babies with it.

  38. 38 JAM

    Hi JBeans,

    Wonderful recaps as usual. I usually watch the eps first (cos I can’t wait!) and then read your recaps for more insights. I’m intrigue with Doo Woo’s relationship with his sister, quite unusual. Tend to agree with [email protected]’s opinions on that cos at the start of the dinner, didn’t he said something to the extent that,”Isn’t this type of romantic setting what you (Eun-soo) like?” Um… even if one likes romantic settings, you don’t go to one with your oppa.

    Some mentioned that maybe the gun is for Eun-soo – I’ve seen the trailers of ep 18 to think that he won’t ever do that. She’s too impt to him. And boy am I looking forward to ep 18! Doo-woo losing it again!

    Kim Kang-Woo is brilliantly cast – that mix of little boy look with the evil smile. I don’t even think he smiles, just lifting the corners of his mouth and the eyes remained cold. And yes, someone commented he is more human around Eun-soo. I hope this side of him is real cos that will makes the villain more complex.

    I see a couple of you using the word ‘mofo’… can someone enlighten me? 🙂

  39. 39 lanaa

    noooo the drama is ending today ,just when i totally loved
    it, too bad what happened to ES i loved how both KS and DW react for what happened to ES, why do i have the feeling that ES is going to die in the end,
    although DW is an evil guy here but i don’t want anything bad to happen to him in the end , in ep 19 i kept encouraging him to run with ES lool :p

  40. 40 doris p NgPinas

    again million thanks for your recaps JB…..have already watched this eps but still awaiting your recaps to read your wonderful insights about this eps….this show is really one of the best if not THE BEST I’ve ever watched….excitement at the end of every episode, from episode 1 till now that we’re in episode 18, some shows falters when the ending is around the corner…..but this show?…..it just keeps getting better and better….I’m a romance series addict, but in watching this shows didn’t mind at all even this show doesn’t offer much of it, seeing Park Yong Ha and Philip Lee was enough to keep me glued on my PC….just keeping my fingers crossed that’s there is a happy ending for Shin……

  41. 41 OMG

    I think he gots the hots for his sister

  42. 42 Molly

    Where did you see Episode 19? I thought it hadn’t been released yet, since I haven’t been able to find it online. I don’t need subs, although they do help. Thanks!

    JAM, I actually had to look that up too – “mofo” is short for “motherfucker.” http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mofo

  43. 43 Taohua

    Thanks for the recaps JB! Seriously, this drama is amazing (everything from the writing to the actors)and it will be sad when it ends today/tomorrow. I’m about to go watch episode 19 without subs since last week was such a cliffhanger. And I really really hope Eun-soo and Shin end up together.

  44. 44 lanaa

    @ Molly

    u can see ep 19 without subs after a few hours after it was aired on :

  45. 45 observer

    I haven’t watched this series but I have been reading your recaps Javabeans and I have this sneaky suspicion being a veteran of Kdramas that there is a twist here…it is so obvious that Do Woo’s relationship with Eun So is not just brother and sister…Could it be that…
    a. Do Woo is a natural son or
    b. Eun So is not a biological sister …maybe her mother married Do Woo’s father?
    c. Do Woo is adopted?

    you know that in Korea romantic relationships between “siblings” is not allowed even if they are not biological siblings…so maybe Do Woo has always loved Eun So but he can never have her because she is “family”…plausible?…probable…

  46. 46 lanaa

    ohh sorry the link i posted earlier is for the ost xD
    this the link for watching the ep online 😉

  47. 47 anna

    Do-woo is one hell of a character! He’s hard to figure out ..you might think you have him all figured out, but he’ll prove you wrong in a second. He’s one of the most interesting characters I’ve seen in awhile. I hope Kim Kang-woo wins some awards for his portrayal. He deserves it.

    @46, by episode 19 or was it 20, it’s obvious that they are related by blood.

  48. 48 In

    omg! i didnt know tt story of a man = th slingshot in kbs world. i was thinking of watching this series since you started recapping. sigh, i only noticed tt th slingshot = story of a man when i saw th geeky guy (who acted in matchmaker’s lover) in specs. Now i have to watch online and catch up with kbsw asap!


  49. 49 Molly

    lanaa, thanks for the link!

  50. 50 soonie

    JB, Just finished watching the last episode….and am somewhat lost……! Need your insights on the ending! =)

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