My Fair Lady: Episode 13
I wish My Fair Lady would go full-on crazy, because even though they’re halfway there already, the drama’s still clinging to the semblance of a conventional trendy series. I think at this point they’d do better to have fun running wild with the nonsense rather than struggling to play it straight. I didn’t think this episode was bad so much as it was puzzling, and the cast probably finds it puzzling as well.
SONG OF THE DAY
Park Hyo-shin – “이름 모를 새” [ Download ]
EPISODE 13 RECAP
After the kiss, Dong-chan and Hae-na sit and tentatively talk. Hae-na prods Dong-chan, hoping for a positive response, while Dong-chan is bewildered at why Hae-na would like him. She can’t really articulate why; she just likes him.
Hae-na scoots closer and takes his arm. Dong-chan offers his hand, and she holds it.
So it is that Eui-joo spies the couple returning home late that night, looking cozy and still holding hands. Hae-na and Dong-chan separate a little awkwardly once they reach the house, but Eui-joo has already seen them, although she has left by that point.
Bashful now, the two awkwardly say their goodnights and head to their respective rooms.
In her room, Hae-na calms her nerves, but shrieks to see a roach crawling on the wall. She bursts into Dong-chan’s room as he is dressing, which is really just an excuse to get them back together in close proximity again. And for her to feel flustered at seeing him shirtless.
Dong-chan attempts to kill the bug but fails, and Hae-na hits him on the shoulder in a half-flirty way. He complains that she hit him where he was injured in the car accident, and without thinking Hae-na pulls the shirt practically off Dong-chan’s body, angling for a look at the injury. Again, this is purely to get these two touchy-feely with each other, and once they realize what they’re doing, they break apart uncomfortably.
Obligatory jilted-lover-brooding-at-bar scene. You’ll notice that second male leads spend a lot of time at places like this, especially in the latter halves of drama series. (Poor guy goes to pojangmacha and drinks soju in a tent. Rich guy goes to fancy bar and nurses something on the rocks.)
Eui-joo arrives to convince Tae-yoon that they’ve got to take action to break apart the new couple, but Tae-yoon is resigned to his fate as the third wheel. He had once thought Dong-chan was interfering with his relationship with Hae-na, “But now I think I’m the one getting between them.”
Soon, Tae-yoon is drunk and passed out at the bar. Uncertain how to proceed, Eui-joo fishes out his cell phone and calls #1 on speed dial, then frowns in consternation to find it’s his office. I know it’s a bit rude of her, but this is one of the few funny moments in this episode, because Eui-joo then wonders, “Then what’s number 2?” and hits dial. She gets the police station, then a lawyers’ association, and so forth, and finally has to give up. HA.
Tae-yoon is just conscious enough to walk, but not sober enough to do so on his own. Eui-joo tries to get him to tell her where he lives, because she doesn’t know where to take him. Finally, she settles on a motel and deposits him into a room.
This episode is all about cheap tricks to get people feeling each other up, so once again, this is mostly an excuse to get these two into a clinch. Eui-joo prepares to leave, but Tae-yoon reaches up to grab her, thinking she’s Hae-na. Clutching her to himself, he mumbles drunkenly, “Don’t go.”
(This could have been a cute or even poignant moment, but the horrible slapsticky music choice ruins the mood. It makes this feel like a gag rather than a scene that might wring out any bit of sympathy for Tae-yoon’s character.)
Trying to make him more comfortable, Eui-joo starts to undo his necktie — which is when he actually wakes up. Embarrassed, she stammers out a defense, but he ignores that and stares intensely into her eyes… then rushes to the bathroom to vomit. (How flattering for Eui-joo.)
Hae-na can’t sleep and joins Dong-chan in the front yard. (Might I point out that she is wearing camo jodhpurs in this scene. Camouflage! Jodhpurs!)
Dong-chan figures she’s feeling guilty about Tae-yoon, because he feels sorry too: “But I like being here with you like this. I don’t know if what I’m doing is right, but I don’t want to give you up. It makes me happy that you like me, and I don’t want to let go of your hand.”
She asks what he’d like her to do, so he replies, “Just until the chairman calls you back, could you be my girlfriend?” After that, he doesn’t know.
They fall asleep holding each other, and awaken in the morning when Eui-joo’s mother finds them. They try to play it off, pretending this is just a coincidence, but Eui-joo’s mother is more curious about Eui-joo’s whereabouts.
If she knew the truth she might have been more worried, because Eui-joo awakens groggily in the motel room. Tae-yoon has already gone, which offends Eui-joo because it’s poor manners after all she did to help him. (I did laugh at Eui-joo’s response when Su-ah catches her coming to work in the same clothing as the day before. Rather than admit to spending the night out with a man, which Su-ah guesses with approval, she says she’s fallen behind on her laundry.)
Later that morning, Hae-na peers in on Dong-chan’s room, and finds that he’s asleep and feverish — aftereffects of his car accident. She tends to him with a cool washcloth, and when he wakes up, she’s asleep next to him. Dong-chan looks down at her with affection. Then Hae-na wakes up to find Dong-chan gone. (This is when my patience with the writer wears thin, because how much sleeping and waking do we have to get in one morning? What’s the point of all this?)
Hae-na’s plans for the day center around talking to Tae-yoon, presumably to come clean and end their relationship. However, she’s unable to meet with him because he’s not at his office.
Tae-yoon has driven to the farm run by his sunbae, the same location where everyone volunteered in an earlier episode. He’s here to get some air and clear his head, as he walks around and snaps photos of the local scene. Why is he at a festival? I don’t know. Why is he frowning pensively one moment, then smiling happily the next? I don’t know.
His outing takes him to a familiar location: the bench where he’d found Hae-na and first hugged her. He sits there now, alone, recalling their earlier courtship and how he’d realized he first liked her.
Hae-na thinks back to when she had first liked Tae-yoon, and how she had cried because she’d felt hurt at his blunt words. But today, she admits she was relieved not to find him: “I’m sorry to him, but I’m even sorrier that all I have to tell him is that I’m sorry.” Dong-chan assures her not to feel guilty; after all, love changes, and it’s not her fault.
Realizing that there are a lot of things she doesn’t actually know about Dong-chan, Hae-na asks him a series of questions: What’s his birthday and blood type? His favorite season? Food? Song?
Hae-na continues to work on her internet shopping mall, posting a message on the site under her real name. She also keeps an eye out for part-time jobs, and one prospect comes through. Dong-chan delivers Hae-na to a school, where she is given the task of painting the outside wall. I… don’t really know why it makes sense that Hae-na would know how to paint a mural other than to give Yoon Eun-hye another chance to show off her artistic side. We’ve never seen Hae-na nurturing an artistic interest or ability, so… WTH?
Meanwhile, sales are increasing at Hae-na’s shopping site, which lifts her spirits. (This is another logic question that keeps bothering me, since what “work” is she doing to actually promote sales? One message board post? How can she reasonably take credit for increased sales across the whole site? I don’t get it.)
Eui-joo is another source of confusion in this episode, because when she comes home to see Dong-chan and Hae-na together, she tells him very calmly, “Dating her is fine, but I don’t want you to be hurt because of her. Good luck.” I like her composure and maturity here.
But then she calls Tae-yoon to urge him to stick to his guns and keep clinging to Hae-na, while she’ll stick with Dong-chan. I cannot for the life of me figure out: WHY? She couldn’t have been lying to Dong-chan earlier because the scene was played straight, and she can’t be lying to Tae-yoon here because again, she sounds calm in her conviction. What gives?
Tae-yoon has resigned himself to giving up, as he explained at the bar. He apologizes for his behavior that night, and Eui-joo accepts with good humor. However, she tells him that he can’t let go of Hae-na, and
comments that Tae-yoon’s fancy upbringing is showing — his pride is making him give up on his feelings. She advises him to hold on to Hae-na if he doesn’t want to regret it later.
After finishing the painting job, Dong-chan leaves Hae-na happily counting her hard-earned money and reports to the chairman about Hae-na’s progress.
Grandpa Kang is pleased that Hae-na has changed for the better — she’s monitoring sales and working harder than ever (mind you, that’s a relative assessment). Grandpa Kang thanks Dong-chan for his positive influence, and announces that he’s ready to accept Hae-na back now. Starting tomorrow, she can resume her job at the company and move back home.
Dong-chan puts on a happy face, but this saddens him, because they’d agreed to be a couple until Grandpa sent for Hae-na, and this signals the end of that understanding.
Meanwhile, Hae-na spends the rest of the afternoon shopping, and buys a hat and a zodiac necklace, meant to be a gift for Dong-chan. (Yes, way to blow your first paycheck on Gucci, Hae-na. Are you really sure you learned any lesson at all from this exercise in plebeian living?)
On her way home, she finds Tae-yoon waiting to talk to her. She apologizes for running out on the dinner date, but Tae-yoon asks her not to apologize anymore. He says that his parents like her, and promises, “I’ll wait. I know you’re going through a hard time. I want to hang on to you, but I know you don’t need my help. Honestly, I don’t know if this is out of pride or real love. But something I’m sure about is that I’m not ready to let you go yet. So I’ll wait.”
Hae-na happily greets Dong-chan when he returns from his meeting with Grandpa. He tells her that he’s in a good mood, so he’ll do whatever she wants. Hae-na eyes him shrewdly, recalling that the last time he’d said a similar thing and offered her a wish, he left her soon afterward.
Dong-chan evades that topic (she is right, after all), and they proceed to Hae-na’s wish for the evening, unaware that they are being watched. They head to the banks of the Han River (we’re just jumping from pretty locale to pretty locale in this episode, logic be damned), where they sit with a cake.
Hae-na’s never had occasion to light candles on a cake in a celebratory event, so now she wants to celebrate the first money she’s ever earned on her own, as well as having Dong-chan always by her side. (At that, his smile fades.)
She pulls out her present for him, the a necklace with his zodiac symbol on it. As she fastens it around his neck, she tells him half-teasingly, “Don’t go anywhere without my permission, because I’ll hold you back.”
Dong-chan reveals another cause for celebration (although he sure doesn’t feel celebratory about it): Her grandfather has told her to return to her home and her job. A bit anxiously, Hae-na asks, “You’ll come with me, won’t you?” She relaxes when he answers yes.
Still, that leaves their relationship dynamics in a murky place, and she wonders what happens between them now. He answers, “I don’t know either. But you’re my girlfriend, through today.”
In the morning, Hae-na and Dong-chan prepare to return to the office. Hae-na even thanks Eui-joo’s mother for letting her stay with her, and promises to repay her generously for her help. (She thanks Eui-joo sweetly as well, but doesn’t define her “reward” just yet, which makes Eui-joo fret — is Hae-na going to hold this over her head at work? I’m sure she will.)
Hae-na battles nerves, with a directors’ meeting on the agenda as her first duty back. Dong-chan helps calm her down, and she heads inside to face the boardroom.
She is unaware that Chul-gu, as always, has something up his sleeve. This time, he has armed himself with the secret photos he had taken of Hae-na and Dong-chan acting lover-like together, and barges in on the meeting just as Hae-na is reporting on her sales figures. (The numbers aren’t yet at the promised 15% mark, but she feels confident that they will make the goal by the due date.)
Chul-gu feigns distress as he faces the chairman and announces that he has “shocking” news. His men distribute copies to the room while he shows an internet news report to the chairman.
WIth mock outrage, Chul-gu explains that Hae-na has been seen consorting with a former jebi, and the articles paint her as one of the victims of Dong-chan’s conning.
Stunned at the news, Grandpa orders Dong-chan brought before him and asks Hae-na to explain, but she can’t think of a defense. In a panic, she runs out of the meeting and finds Dong-chan, who is waiting in the lobby.
He looks at her, puzzled. Hae-na bursts out, “Let’s run away!” and grabs his arm as she starts running.
Like I said, I kinda wish this drama would embrace its wackiness and go unabashedly, balls-to-the-wall crazy. I don’t love this tepid in-between dance it’s doing, as though it can’t decide which way to go so they just don’t go anywhere at all. It’s funny because that’s exactly the point of the theme song “Hot Stuff,” which sings, “Hot stuff, come to me, I hate things that are lukewarm…” It could take a lesson from itself.
I’d feel better for all the actors if the plot allowed them to give the audience a sly wink, as if to say they’re in on the joke, because otherwise (sorry, but I have to say it) they’re the joke.
(Commence hate mail… now!)
I think Tae-yoon was the most confusing character in today’s episode, although they all had their moments. For example: What the heck are the two images below doing in the same montage?
Did the country air soothe his soul and make him forget about his troubles? Or maybe photography calms his spirit. But Tae-yoon’s a brilliant activist lawyer, right? Whose top five speed-dials are all work-related numbers? Wouldn’t that suggest that he’s not actually all that invested in emotional relationships? If he loved Hae-na enough to be a clinging nuisance, shouldn’t she merit a speed-dial space in between, oh, the police station and the lawyers’ association?
I had this thought in the early scenes regarding Hae-na and Dong-chan’s chaste courtship: This is a drama about twenty- and thirty-somethings, but it’s like the emotions belong to a drama about teenagers. If this were a first love scenario, for instance, I think these dynamics would be more exciting. But when a 32-year-old playboy is bashful at holding hands with a 24-year-old grown (business)woman, or vice versa, it just seems… silly. And when a 27-year-old lawyer drinks in a depression because his almost-fiancee — with whom he has never shared a kiss or even exchanged “I love you”s — doesn’t like him back, I just don’t know why I’m supposed to care.
But most confounding of all is Dong-chan’s agreement to be boyfriend-girlfriend with Hae-na until she returns to her grandfather’s house. I don’t have a problem with them making the promise, and it’s kind of sweet. What I have a problem with, however, is how Dong-chan treats that arbitrary promise like a binding contract when Grandpa invites Hae-na back home. If he’s unhappy with cutting their time short, he could just, oh I don’t know, NOT CUT IT SHORT. They are adults and there are no more secrets between them so they could just KEEP DATING. It’s not a life-and-death cancer scenario here. (Well, not for them.) This is obviously just an attempt to keep the tension in their relationship, but man, are we operating on some flimsy logic.
And I even watched this episode with the goal of NOT being critical. But the problems keep getting bigger, and are rather unavoidable at this stage.
- Who’s to blame for confusing characters?
- My Fair Lady: Episode 12
- My Fair Lady: Episode 11
- Stars of My Fair Lady deny dating rumors
- Jung Il-woo is confused with his character
- My Fair Lady: Episode 10
- My Fair Lady: Episode 9
- Fans rally to support Yoon Eun-hye
- Yoon Eun-hye sheds tears at acting criticism
- My Fair Lady: Episode 8
- Happy birthday, Jung Il-woo
- My Fair Lady: Episode 7
- My Fair Lady: Episode 6
- My Fair Lady: Episode 5
- My Fair Lady: Episode 4
- My Fair Lady: Episode 3
- Moon Chae-won promises more smiles in My Fair Lady
- More gifts for the staff of My Fair Lady
- My Fair Lady: Episode 2
- My Fair Lady: Episode 1