I think My Fair Lady is starting to ease into its stride. There are still rough patches, but on the whole the plot moves briskly and there are a good number of laughs in this episode.
(Side note: I’m surprised so many people seem to hate Yoon Eun-hye’s hair. I LOVE the bright red and feel like going out straightaway to do it myself, only I know how much of a pain that red is to upkeep. I don’t love the long hairstyle, but it’s very cute when she ties it up for the short look.)
SONG OF THE DAY
My Fair Lady OST – “Hot Stuff” by Davichi. This is like the quintessential trendy kdrama theme song, isn’t it? For some reason it makes me think of My Girl. [ Download ]
EPISODE 5 RECAP
When Dong-chan grabs Hae-na for a kiss, it turns out he doesn’t actually make contact. While Hae-na stands frozen, he stops just inches short and tells her, “This is how you do it. In an unexpected moment like this, suddenly.”
He lets her go, leaving Hae-na flustered at first, and then inexplicably upset. When she retires to her room alone, she thinks back to the almost-kiss, disturbed and not quite sure why.
As for Dong-chan, he wonders, “Why did I do that? I didn’t need to go that far.” The end of the last episode seemed to hint that he’d finally realized he has feelings for Hae-na, but I guess he’s still in denial.
That night, he dreams that Hae-na visits his room and makes a pass at him — she approaches with suggestive words, admitting that she was upset when he made his move, but then warmed up to the idea. Just as Dream Hae-na rips open his shirt and launches herself at him, Dong-chan falls out of bed, waking up in a nervous sweat. After a moment, the initial panic passes and he starts to chuckle, since the possibility of her falling for him is actually good for his plan.
Yet when Hae-na drops by his room, the real-life scenario is miles away from his dream: She’s disgruntled from losing sleep and comes at him with her kumdo sword.
Su-ah learns about Hae-na running away because of Tae-yoon, and scolds Eui-joo for getting her information wrong — she had said nothing was going on between them. To defuse the situation, Eui-joo flatters Su-ah, saying that Tae-yoon doesn’t seem very interested in Hae-na, and that Su-ah is far more attractive. Su-ah is duly appeased, and hardens her resolve to not allow Hae-na to “steal” Tae-yoon from her.
Pleased with her relationship progress, Hae-na announces that she isn’t going to follow Dong-chan’s instructions anymore. She happily accepts a lunch invitation from Tae-yoon, who is belatedly informed that Hae-na has donated 100 million won to the children’s cause. He’s thankful, but stunned at the huge amount.
Likewise, Dong-chan scolds her for the excessive donation. She says it’s her money to do with as she pleases, so he challenges, “Then would you give me that money too?” It’s half said to make a point, and half said to fish for her reaction.
Hae-na: “Do you love me? Would you do anything for me? Can you devote yourself to me for the rest of your life? Can you risk your life for me? That’s what my grandfather said — giving money is like entrusting your life to someone. I can’t entrust my life to you, can I?”
Yet her happy lunch date is crashed by Su-ah and Eui-joo, who intercept Tae-yoon on his way to lunch and basically worm their way into the meeting. Since everyone knows each other, Tae-yoon invites them to sit down together, although he soon becomes aware of the tension between the two cousins. (I love his uneasy expression below.)
Su-ah, for instance, mentions that Hae-na doesn’t actually do any work for the company, causing Tae-yoon to wonder how she can receive a salary without working. Hae-na hurriedly assures him that she does work, so Su-ah presses for details. This puts Hae-na on the spot, and she fumbles for a response.
Dong-chan swoops in to the rescue, interrupting Hae-na’s mumbling with a disapproving look: “How can you discuss that here?” He turns to the others and explains that she’s working on a top-secret project regarding a new vision for Kang San Group. Even if this is an informal lunch, she shouldn’t be discussing this in the presence of someone so closely tied to Yoo Sang Group.
Hae-na plays along and tells Tae-yoon that she’ll let him know when the project is publicly revealed. Su-ah is not happy to be thus thwarted.
On their way out, Hae-na thanks Dong-chan in a backhanded way, saying, “You were pretty useful back there.” Dong-chan replies, “Couldn’t you just say thanks?” She’s flippant, saying she doesn’t need to since she’s Kang Hae-na: “I’ve never said cheesy words like ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘Thank you’ or ‘I love you.'”
At that, Dong-chan gives her a good, long look and says, “Now that I look at you, you’re pitiable. Those are the words that make people the most happy. ‘I’m sorry, thank you, I love you.’ How can you become happy without saying those words?”
Hae-na pretends she doesn’t care, but his words seem to strike a chord.
Immediately after lunch, Hae-na is called in to a directors’ meeting. Damn, that Su-ah works fast. Uncle Chul-gu brings up Hae-na’s brand-new project while her grandfather, proud of her initiative, urges her to tell them what she’s working on. Hae-na fishes for excuses to delay.
Sensing weakness, Chul-gu goads her, saying perhaps she’s not ready, or the project doesn’t actually exist. Not about to back down, Hae-na ends up saying that the project is too difficult for them to understand at this point, and she’ll give them a week to prepare for her presentation.
Caught in this bind, Hae-na blames Dong-chan for getting her into the mess and tells him to find a way out.
Dong-chan appeals to Eui-joo to help him think of ideas, but she’s not willing — she’s angry that Hae-na is hitting Dong-chan, supposedly on a regular basis. Dong-chan defends her, saying that she’s not a bad person, and is in fact rather sad — she has no parents, no friends.
Eui-joo isn’t sympathetic, saying everyone has problems, and storms out. But the conversation triggers an idea, and Dong-chan rushes to tell Hae-na about it.
When he finds her, she’s frustrated with her own lack of ideas. He presents a plan that makes use of Hae-na’s particular skill set: beating people up. Tweaking that, he devises a plan for a women’s self-defense course, taught by Hae-na herself.
The project remains secret as all the women employees are called to a special meeting, attended by a suspicious Su-ah. Dong-chan preps Hae-na for her presentation and acts as her assistant.
Hae-na frames her course as a way of protecting the future of the company by caring for the safety and happiness of its employees. In particular, its female employees. Using Dong-chan as a punching bag, she demonstrates various sparring maneuvers. Dong-chan gets a beating, not just from Hae-na but from all the other women as they practice their new moves on him. The employees participate with enthusiasm, with the exception of two unhappy ladies: Su-ah, who hates seeing Hae-na succeed, and Eui-joo, who feels sorry for Dong-chan.
Dong-chan uploads video clips and posts it on the internet, spreading the word and helping Hae-na’s popularity soar. Even Tae-yoon and Su-ho watch the clips and are suitably impressed.
The next time they speak on the phone, Tae-yoon compliments Hae-na on her work, and she takes the opportunity to ask him for his assistance as well. He’s hesitant, explaining that his constant presence around Kang San might be a bad idea. She takes a risk by prodding, “It’s for a good cause, can’t you help as a friend?” The word “friend” does the trick — it has a novel, interesting ring to Tae-yoon’s ear — and he agrees to participate.
(Dong-chan is annoyed at her giddiness and complains of her using work as an excuse to see Tae-yoon.)
The next day, Hae-na is put out to hear that Dong-chan feels ill, and that another butler (“Jung Woo-sung,” heh) is ready to take over Dong-chan’s duties. Grumbling that Dong-chan is faking, Hae-na sulkily dismisses Woo-sung and heads to work alone.
Dong-chan is in fact in bed with a fever and told to rest. Hearing that Hae-na drove herself to work, he worries whether she’ll be okay on her own.
It’s Tae-yoon’s turn to lend a hand, although his is a much less painful experience. He gives a talk to the same audience of ladies and provides general legal advice.
He talks with Hae-na afterward and notices Dong-chan’s absence, which Hae-na waves off as a faked illness. Tae-yoon thinks it’s much more likely that the illness is real, given how she pounded on him the day before. He wonders if those methods are actually effective, so she offers a demonstration — and flips him to the ground.
Perhaps she used more force than she intended, because she is immediately worried to see Tae-yoon grunt in pain. (I’m more inclined to believe that Dong-chan holds in his pain more so that — perversely enough — Hae-na won’t feel so bad about hurting him.)
Tae-yoon teases that she’d better take care of Dong-chan because he’s probably in a lot of pain. It’s only now that she frowns, wondering, “Is he injured for real?”
I thought this next part was HILARIOUS:
Eui-joo is tired of Su-ah continually contriving ways to run into Tae-yoon rather than being forthright. Su-ah snaps at her, and therefore Eui-joo is already irritated when she runs into Tae-yoon in the lobby. Deciding to speed things up, she asks, without preamble, “Mr. Lee, do you have a girlfriend or not?”
Naturally he’s taken aback at her bluntness, but answers no. So she asks, “Then what do you think of Kang Su-ah? As you know, she comes from a good family, she’s pretty, and good at her work. Rather than looking for a girlfriend far away, why don’t you choose Ms. Kang?” With that, she leaves him wondering what that was all about. (But also, I think, a little impressed at her frankness.)
At home, Grandpa Kang speaks with Dong-chan, pleased at how Hae-na is improving. He hadn’t believed Dong-chan when he’d first said he would fix Hae-na’s bad habits, but now he requests, “Take good care of her in the future.”
The rainfall has Dong-chan worrying that there’s no umbrella in Hae-na’s car, and he ends up waiting outside for her. When she arrives, he’s attentive and solicitous, so she looks at him curiously. This is a change from yesterday, when he’d been ranting and raving. But Hae-na is willing to let it slide, and surprises him by asking, “Are you feeling better now?”
He answers yes, and she replies, “I’m warning you. Don’t make me worry about things like this in the future. I’m telling you not to get sick and make things uncomfortable for me.”
She’s never cared about his welfare before, so Dong-chan asks, “Were you worried about me?” Suddenly on guard, Hae-na stutters, “W-worry? Why would I do that? I did not worry, so dream on.”
Su-ah’s family comes to the mansion for a family dinner, where Su-ah’s mother (Mi-ok) makes a dig at Hae-na for running away so she could insist on dating Tae-yoon. That’s information she wasn’t supposed to know (and that Chul-gu got from his secret source), so Chul-gu tries to shut her up — but Grandpa Kang is already suspicious. Very few people know that information, so he later instructs Mr. Jang to find out who could be the source.
Meanwhile, I just love these two together. Su-min is so adorable, particularly as he tries to use Hae-na’s self-defense moves on Dong-chan, replete with frustrated “Ehn! Ehn!” grunts. He complains in exasperation, “Why did you fall right over when Hae-na noonim did this to you, but not when I do it?”
Dong-chan humors the boy, and this time he allows himself to be flipped to the ground, feigning pain.
It’s pretty clear that Su-min likes (and nearly idolizes) Hae-na, and sympathizes with her more than with his own silly family. He has heard his mother and father gossiping about Hae-na and now asks whether Dong-chan has ever met this lawyer Lee Tae-yoon. He wants to know, “Is he a good enough person to entrust with our Hae-na noonim?”
Again, Dong-chan is reminded that time is running out for his debt when the debt collectors show up at the mansion. With watchful eyes all around, Dong-chan approaches them enthusiastically, pretending they’re brother-like figures. Once alone, he warns them to keep out of sight of Su-ah, because they had accidentally harassed her in the parking lot (instead of Hae-na) and if Su-ah sees them, they’ll be in trouble.
He introduces the guys to Hae-na as church buddies who came to wish him a happy birthday, and they play along. Meanwhile, she asks him to think up an alibi for her so she can slip away and meet Tae-yoon tomorrow. Tae-yoon had mentioned doing volunteer work on a farm for a friend, and she has planned to join him.
Hae-na is prepared to sneak away in the dead of night, but Dong-chan actually circumvents her plan by going to her grandfather and securing his permission. She’s surprised but pleased at the outcome, whose only stipulation is that Dong-chan has to stick with her. Thus they embark on the three-hour drive down to Jangsu, in southern Korea.
On a rest stop along the way, Hae-na presents him with a surprise — a red envelope. She made the gift in the spirit of Tae-yoon’s comment that there are ways to show feelings without money, and he opens it to find a “birthday coupon.”
He smiles as he reads the cute letter, which promises him a birthday wish (he can have whatever he wants to eat, wear, whatever) — but it’s only valid for three months, so he’d better use it by then. Dong-chan is touched by the gesture, but his smile fades and he feels guilty, particularly as he reads the last part: “And don’t be ill without my permission, or go anywhere, or abandon me. It seemed like you really wanted to hear me say thank you, so I’ll say it this one time as a special birthday occasion. Thanks.”
(Back at home, Mr. Jang hears that it’s supposedly Dong-chan’s birthday, but when he checks the information, he discovers that it isn’t. Uh-oh…)
Dong-chan and Hae-na arrive before Tae-yoon, who is running late. Tae-yoon’s friend/colleague greets them just as they’re about to head out to begin working, inviting the newcomers to join them. Work is NOT a prospect that Hae-na loves, but Dong-chan reminds her that Tae-yoon will hear if she goofed off the whole time.
Dong-chan jumps into the task of picking apples, but Hae-na doesn’t — she walks around snapping photos and not doing any work, which attracts some curious gazes. Therefore Dong-chan wrests the camera away and pushes her to join the apple-picking. (Of course, there’s always time for a water fight!)
Tae-yoon had been looking forward to the trip, so much so that Su-ho teases him about being interested in Hae-na. However, a last-minute call waylays their plans — a protest is being organized against Yoo Sang Group’s layoffs, and as authors of the protest petition, he and Su-ho must handle matters in Seoul.
When Dong-chan calls Tae-yoon to check in (at Hae-na’s prodding), he’s upset to hear Tae-yoon say that he won’t be able to make it after all. Dong-chan’s tone is disapproving — how could he break a promise so easily? Tae-yoon, feeling genuinely sorry, apologizes.
Upset, Hae-na drinks. In an effort to make her feel better, Dong-chan tells her not to be too upset, because Tae-yoon seemed really sorry. Hae-na asks sadly, “Why do you think he doesn’t like me? If he did like me, no matter how busy he was, wouldn’t he come to see me?”
Dong-chan is already feeling awful to see her so disappointed, and it’s even worse when she adds, “If it were you, you would definitely have come for me. Wouldn’t you?”
Dong-chan prepares Hae-na’s room (he’s in the room next door) for bed, and as she feels vulnerable and alone, Hae-na makes him promise to stay with her until she falls asleep. Dong-chan promises, and she climbs tipsily under the covers and falls asleep fairly quickly.
Dong-chan looks down to see a tear trickle out of her eye, and says, “Don’t be upset. It’s because Lee Tae-yoon doesn’t know. You are beautiful — you’re a beautiful person.”
True to his word, Dong-chan stays by Hae-na’s side.
I’m thinking Dong-chan’s call must have spurred Tae-yoon into action, because in the morning he shows up with Su-ho, even though he had told his colleague he wouldn’t be coming. Eager to see Hae-na, he asks about her first, and heads over to her room.
Surprisingly, a few minutes later, another car pulls up behind Tae-yoon’s — it’s Su-ah, accompanied by Eui-joo.
Inside, Hae-na awakens to find a hand sprawled across her face. Looking up, she shrieks in alarm — Dong-chan is sleeping next to her, bare-chested.
Her scream wakes him up, and in a daze, he scrambles to cover himself with his shirt as she demands to know what he’s doing. He defends himself, saying he must have fallen asleep inadvertently and taken off the shirt in his sleep because it was so hot.
But before she has a chance to beat him, a knock sounds at the door — it’s Tae-yoon! Dun dun dun!
A couple things: First, I like the comfortable vibe Dong-chan and Hae-na have established, although I will agree with some of the comments that it doesn’t quite feel romantic yet. I don’t think it’s like a sibling relationship, however, just comfortable. Maybe more like an old married couple than a couple in the first flush of courtship. I like that Dong-chan can tell her (as he does in the scene pictured above) not to act obnoxious or cocky because people won’t like it — and that she cheerfully accepts his advice.
We’re starting to see signs of attraction on both sides now, and that’s always the fun part — when they’re not quite sure what’s going on but still in denial. For instance, I thought Hae-na looked pretty bored during Tae-yoon’s talk, and she was pretty disappointed at Dong-chan’s absence, having grown so used to having him around. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t genuinely like Tae-yoon — he makes her giddy and excited, definitely. And Tae-yoon is the one who taught her not to place monetary value on everything — but the fact is, Dong-chan is the one for whom she actually spent time making a handmade gift.
Also, I had a thought in the scene where Hae-na flips Tae-yoon over. She helps him up from the ground, but when she realizes this is their first physical contact, she drops his hand nervously and blurts out that she wasn’t holding his hand in that way. He’s amused at her reaction, and she asks why he’s laughing (“I always feel like you’re mocking me”). He assures her that he has no intention of doing so, but her response is so reflexively defensive that it seems telling of her character. She’s not obnoxious because she doesn’t care; she’s obnoxious as a defense mechanism. She uses offense as defense, lashing out first to prevent someone from hurting her.
- 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
- Don’t miss Song Joong-ki in My Fair Lady
- Please take care of My Fair Lady
- Press conference day for My Fair Lady
- Jung Il-woo seeks acting advice
- My Fair Lady’s prince on a white horse
- First still shots from My Fair Lady released
- Jung Il-woo: “Acting is a marathon”