My site totally crashed with last week’s recaps, so let’s hope it holds up this week…

I think my enjoyment of this episode (which was fun and funny) was dulled by the Big Spoiler that was everywhere days in advance, which totally killed the scene for me. Seriously, press, you’re going to go and spoil the very last thing that happens in the episode? Good holy hell.

SONG OF THE DAY

Ivy – “어차피 잊어야 할 사람” (Someone I need to forget anyway) [ Download ]

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A note, since there were some questions regarding Mi-nyeo’s motivations in the last episode:

Heyi first wanted Mi-nyeo to come clean to the A.N.JELL guys, thinking they’d hate her for it. When she realized they’d probably forgive her, she stopped Mi-nyeo from confessing and told her to pick a more public setting for her humiliation. I think Mi-nyeo’s reasons for going along with Heyi’s demands are a little skewed, but it’s in tune with her character because she is so sweet and innocent that Heyi takes advantage of it. Mi-nyeo doesn’t necessarily have low self-esteem but she consistently undervalues her worth, and lets Heyi convince her that if she were to confess the truth to the A.N.JELL guys and then the story came out, they would be implicated in the deception as well, possibly ruining their images and/or careers. Therefore if she comes clean to the world at the press conference, the guys are spared the accusations since they can honestly say they didn’t know. She would be the only one to “take responsibility” for perpetrating the deception and then leave the group cleanly.

 
EPISODE 11 RECAP

As reporters surround him, Shin-woo follows his announcement that the hidden Mi-nyeo is his girlfriend with the caveat, “I don’t want to reveal my girlfriend now. Please move aside to let us leave.”

Of course, the reporters aren’t about to back off from such a juicy story, so they keep crowding the couple. Tae-kyung takes off his jacket and pushes his way past the reporters to hand it to Shin-woo, who covers Mi-nyeo’s head with it. He ushers her out of the theater and down the hall to the dressing room.

(I’m sorry, I HAVE to complain, only because the Hong sisters have done so well otherwise in diverting cliches and keeping us surprised in good ways. But this is a near-exact repeat of the Last Scandal scenario — Episode 8, for the curious — which packed an emotional punch because it was such a pivotal scene, providing a moment of truth that was not solely romantic. It’s only a minor complaint, but the similarity to another drama keeps me from feeling the emotions of this scene.)

As Mi-nyeo leaves, the hairclip falls from her hair and gets trampled by the crowd. Tae-kyung picks up the broken clip and pockets it while Jeremy tries to come to grips with his shock.

Sung-chan is completely unaware of everything and therefore confused. Heyi is confused as well, but for a different reason: she doesn’t understand why her plan was thwarted. Tae-kyung picks up on Heyi’s remark and asks, “How did you know that was Mi-nam?” Heyi can’t let him know that she had ordered Mi-nam to reveal herself at the press conference and can’t produce a quick answer. He says, “We’ll talk later,” and leaves.

Heyi laments that the guys showed up and stopped things, “when I could have finished her.” Instead, she may be the one who is finished (with Tae-kyung).

In the dressing room, Mi-nyeo keeps her head covered and mournfully tells Shin-woo, “I’m sorry. I’m not actually a boy. If you see me now, you will be very angry with me. And I cannot say the words to ask for forgiveness.”

Shin-woo takes the jacket off her head and says, “This has happened so suddenly, so I don’t know what to say first. I hadn’t prepared for this scenario. Should I be angry first? Saying it’s okay right away would be strange, wouldn’t it?”

It’s rather cute as he puts on a grave face and says sternly, “Mi-nam, you were a girl? Wow, I’m speechless… How did I not know all this time? Mi-nam, I thought you were clumsy, but you’re really something.” She feels miserable as he continues, “I’ll find out later how this all happened, but now, I’m done playing the nice hyung.” But he smiles as he finishes, “From now on, we’re starting over.”

Tae-kyung and Jeremy join them, and the latter faces Mi-nyeo with angry eyes. He seems honestly hurt at her deception, while Tae-kyung announces that he knew Mi-nam was a girl and apologizes for hiding it: “If you can’t accept it, speak up now. I’ll handle things so you don’t get dragged into it, and I’ll take responsibility for Go Mi-nam.”

Jeremy faces Mi-nyeo, grabs her shoulders, and then surprises everyone by planting a kiss on her forehead. He breaks into a smile and exclaims giddily, “You were a girl! I love it!”

Tae-kyung: “Go Mi-nam, we’re one team now. You said you came here today because you didn’t want anyone to be hurt. If that’s what you want, then keep acting as a man through the end. Even if you want to quit now, we can’t let that happen. We’ll take responsibility for you, so you take responsibility for us, too.”

She’s touched by their understanding and promises to not get caught. She puts on her male garb, ready to resume her performance as Mi-nam. The reporters are thrown off the scent when the stylist is dressed in Mi-nyeo’s outfit and escorted away (with her head covered) by Hoon-yi.

Tae-kyung and Shin-woo pause to trade intense looks, but Shin-woo breaks the tension by saying, “It’s a good thing everything worked out.” Tae-kyung may be jealous that Shin-woo saved Mi-nyeo but he must know it was all for the best, because he answers, “Thanks to you, it did.”

The foursome leaves, with Jeremy is in such a good mood that he wants to throw another party. Tae-kyung announces that they’ve got one last obstacle to face: Heyi.

Heyi approaches in nice-fairy mode, but Tae-kyung tells her to cut it out, since everyone knows. She drops her fake-sweet act so quickly that the other three are taken aback, as she sarcastically calls Jeremy and Shin-woo “angels” for forgiving Mi-nam’s deception so quickly.

She tells Tae-kyung that she won’t end things with him. Even if their relationship is fake, she told him from the start that she would decide its end. Tae-kyung counters, “You promised not to let on that you knew about Mi-nam. You broke that promise first.”

Heyi isn’t daunted — if they want to shut her up, he has to continue the act. She orders, “You keep acting like my boyfriend, Mi-nam keeps acting like a man, and you two keep acting like angels.” Tae-kyung adds, “Yeah, and you keep acting like you’re nice.” She answers, “Naturally.”

As she goes, Jeremy realizes that Tae-kyung faked his relationship to keep Mi-nam’s secret. Hearing this, Mi-nyeo turns to him, saying, “Hyungnim, I’m—”

He cuts her off: “You’re sorry, thank you. I don’t want to hear that anymore. Do that with Shin-woo and Jeremy now.”

Aunt Mi-ja begs Mo Hwa-ran’s assistant for a brief meeting, and is let into her hotel suite. Among the half-drunk bottles of liquor, she finds a photo of the twins with their father, which strikes her as strange. But that’s forgotten as she goes to use the bathroom and finds Hwa-ran unconscious in the bathtub. At first she thinks she’s just enjoying a bubble bath, but grows alarmed and calls for help.

The next thing we know, Hwa-ran is being hooked up to an IV drip and her assistant hands Mi-ja an envelope of hush money, asking her to keep this quiet. Mi-ja is happy to take the money, but asks whether Hwa-ran has ever had surgery. Told no, she wonders what the abdomen scar means — could the unmarried pop singer have had a secret love child?

Jeremy refuses to let Mi-nam share rooms with Tae-kyung anymore and moves her things into her own room. She casts a longing last look at Pig-Rabbit, but leaves without it. Annoyed, he grumbles, “She’s saying this isn’t hers, huh? She doesn’t even take it with her.” Then it occurs to him that Mi-nyeo hasn’t even noticed that she has lost her hairclip, and is irritated that he cared enough to take it.

He doesn’t know the real reason she left the stuffed animal behind. She sighs, “How could I take Pig-Rabbit with me? I even lost the hairclip.”

Since they’re out of food, Jeremy wants to take Mi-nam grocery shopping (which is a domestic gesture that one often does with a boy/girlfriend). Tae-kyung’s against it, so the other two guys just tell him he can stay home, then. Naturally he tags along, scowling behind their backs.

It’s cute how Jeremy keeps trying to hug Mi-nyeo whenever his excitement overtakes him, and every time, Tae-kyung swoops in to pull him back. He tells Mi-nyeo to ignore Jeremy, since he grew up in England and has different ideas of what’s appropriate.


Spotting various products at the grocery store reminds Jeremy of the CFs they used to do, which the other two are embarrassed to recall. For instance, there’s the ice cream they endorsed, and the noodles (which came with a dance), and chocolate bars. Shin-woo muses that recalling all their CFs makes him feel old.

Sung-chan also feels melancholy over how much the A.N.JELL guys have grown — now two of them are even dating. (Given that they’re on their sixth album and about twenty, they must have started out really young, a la SHINee or FT Island.) He’s also sad because he senses they’re hiding a secret from him.

While Sung-chan is out of earshot, Hoon-yi tells the stylist that they only have to hold out a little longer till the real Mi-nam returns, but wonders what will happen to Mi-nyeo then. Hoon-yi thinks that she may not go back, since she’s fallen in love.

Tae-kyung points out a price sticker in Mi-nyeo’s hair, which makes her think of her hairclip because the tag reads 3,000 won. (He insists, “I told you it was 100,000 won!”)

She confesses that she lost it, to which he says, “Well, at least you knew you’d lost it.” He tells her he’d seen it being kicked around at the press conference, but it’s useless now and should be thrown out. Mi-nyeo starts to protest, but she’s interrupted by a passing employee, and almost falls when she loses her balance.

Shin-woo grabs her to prevent her fall, and Tae-kyung notices how he rests a hand on her waist. After Tae-kyung leaves, Mi-nyeo finishes what she’d started to say, “But it’s precious to me.”

That night Tae-kyung has trouble sleeping, and runs into Aunt Mi-ja at the refrigerator. He’d thought Mi-nam was back in her room, but Mi-ja says she isn’t, having believed Mi-nam to be staying in Tae-kyung’s room. Puzzled, he searches the house for her and wonders where she went.

It occurs to him that she may have gone off in search of the hairclip, but he can’t believe it. He tries to remember what she started to say at the supermarket, and imagines possible ways she could have finished her statement:

  1. Perhaps she would have sneered, “I agree with you. If something has no use, you should get rid of it. It’s only 3,000 won, right?” But he rules this out — she doesn’t disrespect him THAT much.
  2. Maybe she would have said carelessly, “I was wondering where to throw it away, so it’s good that I lost it. I was embarrassed to wear it around. It’s only 3,000 won, right?” But no, she didn’t hate the clip that much. She was happy when he found it last time.
  3. What if she’d said, in her earnest way, “I cannot throw it away. The pin you gave me is really valuable to me. I’ll find it again.”

 
Tae-kyung can’t see why she would do that if she likes Shin-woo. However, he remembers the expression on her face after their star-moon conversation, and how she had asked whether it was okay to like the star.

Mi-nyeo has pleaded with the security guard at the theater to let her in, and starts scouring the floor for the hairclip.

Tae-kyung arrives at the theater, telling himself, “She definitely won’t be here. There’s no way she’d be here. I’m only here to confirm she’s not, since I can’t sleep anyway.” As he pauses before opening the doors, he wonders with irritation, “Why am I so nervous because of Go Mi-nam?”

Yet once he’s inside, all he sees is an empty theater. The guard had told Mi-nyeo to make sure nobody found out she was here, so she hides from the newcomer. Not seeing her, Tae-kyung asks himself with exasperation, “What the heck was I thinking?” He takes the broken clip out of his pocket, drops it on the ground, and leaves.

After Tae-kyung leaves, Mi-nyeo accidentally knocks over a stack of chairs, causing a loud clatter. Tae-kyung hears and starts to head back inside, but at that moment he receives a phone call from Hwa-ran’s assistant — Hwa-ran is very ill and is asking for him.

Tae-kyung heads out quickly without noticing Mi-nyeo. She in turn spies the pin on the ground and retrieves it in relief.

I’m not sure if Hwa-ran’s condition is the result of an actual illness or just general fatigue with life, but in any case she speaks to Tae-kyung in a defeated tone: “What’s the point in living a long life? I’m tired of living.” He asks if that’s why she’s so in need of something to make into a memory, and she asks if he’ll help make a memory that would give her the strength to live a long life.

Tae-kyung: “If I say no, you’ll call me with something like this again.”
Hwa-ran: “I’m going to grow sicker. If I call you, would you not come?”
Tae-kyung: “If I don’t want that to happen, I’ll have to agree. I’ll make that song for you.”
Hwa-ran: “I knew you would. Because you’re my son.”

She promises to tell him everything about her love when he does the song.

Mi-nyeo tries to fix her broken hairclip with glue. She decides against asking Tae-kyung for help: “If he found out I went back to find this, he’ll think it’s strange. He might discover my feelings.”

When Tae-kyung returns, she hides the clip and tries to act nonchalant, lying that she had been home the whole time. He’s skeptical, but the subject turns to her current activity. She won’t explain what she’s trying to fix, but she does show him her current dilemma: she’s accidentally glued her fingers together.

Tae-kyung soaks her hands in water and gets to work on separating them, as Mi-nyeo notes with dismay, “I’ve caused another accident.” His tone is less curt than usual as he answers, “This is okay. Thanks to you, it’s a good thing I’m not thinking complicated thoughts, and instead focusing on separating glued fingers.”

Sensing his mood, she asks if something bad happened. He replies, “There’s someone who’s asking an unreasonable request of me, but eventually I ended up agreeing to it.” Mi-nyeo guesses privately that his mother must be the one in question.

Tae-kyung: “Oddly enough, every time I’m full of complicated thoughts because of that person, you’ve come along, so you’ve been pretty useful. Like today.”
Mi-nyeo: “I’m glad my fingers were useful to you. If I knew this would happen, I would have glued all ten of them together.”

At that, he smiles gently at her, which makes her feelings well up — so the moment her finger is free, she presses her nose. He asks why she’s always doing that: “Do you have some secret?”

After he leaves, Mi-nyeo takes her clip out and says, “My feelings are a secret.”

Understandably, the fans take news of Shin-woo’s new girlfriend hard, although they insist that as true fans, they should congratulate the oppas. Mi-nyeo apologizes to Shin-woo for causing this misunderstanding, and Shin-woo says (being deliberately misleading) that the fans are bugging him, and “most of all, the fans are bothering the girl I like.” Of course, Mi-nyeo interprets this to mean that Shin-woo’s real girlfriend is upset because of her.

Hoon-yi spies the twosome talking and drags Tae-kyung along to eavesdrop. They hear Shin-woo ask, “Mi-nam, if necessary, could you go to that girl and explain things?” Believing that Mi-nam likes Shin-woo, Tae-kyung grows angry at the request because it seems callous to subject her to that. But Mi-nyeo is happy to oblige and agrees.

Hoon-yi finds this situation heartbreaking: “That means she’ll have to go to the girlfriend of the man she likes and say, ‘I am nobody. Kang Shin-woo likes you.'” Tae-kyung secretly agrees, but says it won’t happen — Mi-nyeo has enough pride not to do that.

Mi-ja doesn’t know the full situation with Hwa-ran, but she knows enough that it’s complicated. If Hwa-ran sees her with Mi-nam, this may endanger her position (and her chances at getting money for her brother’s work). Therefore, she tells Mi-nyeo that she’ll be staying with friends for a while and vows to settle the money issue without Mi-nam’s knowledge. She sighs, “How great would it be if Hwa-ran’s secret child was Mi-nam?”

Hwa-ran inquires into the whereabouts of the Go twins, and hears that the boy is in the States and therefore tough to locate. The girl had been living in a convent until recently, so she decides to find Mi-nyeo first.

In light of the conversation he overheard, Tae-kyung is increasingly bothered by interactions between Shin-woo and Mi-nyeo. He and Hoon-yi have decided that Shin-woo’s every action must be ripping Mi-nyeo’s heart apart. Therefore when Shin-woo suggests a friendly game of badminton, Tae-kyung balks and orders Mi-nyeo to stick by his side. To learn the new songs, of course.

Mi-nyeo: “I have already nearly learned them. I will not need to stick by your side.”
Tae-kyung: “I’m offering to help you, but you don’t want it?”
Mi-nyeo: “Right, I don’t want it. I’m going to go play badminton.”

At the badminton court, Tae-kyung hears Mi-nyeo cheerfully accepting Shin-woo’s offer to be on the same team. Disgruntled, he mutters, “Are you saying you’ll rip your heart apart later, but you’re fine for now? Stupid Pig-Rabbit.”

Tae-kyung orders Shin-woo to his team to keep them separated. Jeremy is only too happy to be paired with her.

However, Tae-kyung’s irritation makes him play aggressively and he hits Mi-nyeo with the birdie repeatedly, which wrecks the mood. He taunts, “How is it you haven’t hit any of my shots? How is it you’re not good at anything?”

She counters that there IS something she’s good at. She demonstrates her special skill — hanging on to a high bar longer than anybody else. The guys say she doesn’t need to prove it, but she’s determined to show them something she’s good at.

As a fun challenge, Jeremy tries get her to come down by making her laugh. He fails, so Shin-woo goes next — and kisses her forehead. Shocked, Mi-nyeo lets go and falls.

She asks him not to joke around like this, so he responds, “It wasn’t a joke. We made a bet, and I’m pretty competitive.”

 

Heyi voices (false) concerns over having another girl (Mi-nam) constantly with her supposed boyfriend. Playing on the stylist’s sympathies, she says that people think she’s a big star, but she’s also an ordinary woman who feels insecure and jealous: “Even if she returns to being a woman, she may not leave. She may like it here where everyone treats her well. Will she want to return to where she used to live?”

Feeling sorry for Heyi, the stylist lets her in on a secret that even Tae-kyung doesn’t know — Mi-nam used to live at a convent. Therefore, it’s likely that she’ll return to the convent when everything is over. Heyi is cheered by this and promises to keep the secret — but is happy at the thought that the boys would be shocked at this bit of info.

Tae-kyung’s frustration over Mi-nyeo is at a steady simmer, so when she brings him some lime juice, he retorts, “It’s your fault I have to drink this sour stuff, too.”

Noticing that Mi-nyeo is starting to talk back to him (she defends herself from his unfair accusation), he asks why she’s not holding back like she used to. He points out that she let Shin-woo surprise her with the kiss.

Mi-nyeo: “That’s because I was so surprised.”
Tae-kyung: “Yeah, it was so obvious you were surprised. You know what else shows? That you want to be with him, and look good to him, and that you like him!”
Mi-nyeo: “Hyungnim! Didn’t I tell you that’s not true?”
Tae-kyung: “You won’t be able to hold out for long. Soon, Shin-woo will find out, and then I’ll have to feel sorry for you again. That creates inconveniences for the other person too.”
Mi-nyeo: “Is liking someone that bad? I’m not expecting anything, and I’m being careful not to be found out. Is that so wrong?”
Tae-kyung: “Are you in a position to do that? If I were Shin-woo, I’d feel dumbfounded and horrible.”

We know that Tae-kyung is venting, but she takes his words to heart. When he looks up, he’s surprised to see her expression as she cries.

More calmly, he asks if she’d like him to step in and do something about it. Hurt, she tells him, “Just pretend not to know.”

Later, she prays to Mother Superior, “I’ll endure and leave this place, and leave my star.”

Shin-woo sets up a romantic dinner at a restaurant and practices how he’ll confess to Mi-nyeo, who is on her way to meet him thinking she will be meeting with Shin-woo’s girlfriend.

Hoon-yi catches Mi-nyeo on her way out, and feels moved with pity. He goes to Tae-kyung, who doesn’t want to hear anything about Mi-nam. But when he finds out that she’s on her way to see Shin-woo to confess the truth to the other woman, he rushes out to stop her.

Tae-kyung grabs Mi-nyeo just as she’s about to leave, and pulls her back into the building. She protests, but he won’t let go. Angrily, he asks how she can have so little pride — whenever he sees her, he feels pity and annoyance because of her.

Confused at his inexplicable anger, Mi-nyeo bursts out, “Then don’t feel bothered by a thing like me!” He retorts, “With you like this, how can I not feel bothered?”

By now, their emotions are raw and their argument has escalated to shouting. Both have misunderstood the other’s feelings, so they’re frustrated with what they see as unfair accusations from the other side.

Mi-nyeo: “What does it matter to you that I’m going there now? It’s not an inconvenience to you, so why are you interfering and bothered by it?”
Tae-kyung: “You’re so foolish that it makes me angry. Why do I have to feel so angry because of you?”
Mi-nyeo: “Why are you angry because of me?! Just keep ignoring a thing like me! You can just not watch whatever I do!”
Tae-kyung: “But I keep seeing you!”
Mi-nyeo: “You can’t even see anything properly! You’re well-off on your own, so bright on your own that those around you can’t see in the dark! You can’t see anything properly and you don’t know anything, so why are you acting like this? Why are you angry with me, who’s just trying to endure? Just leave me in the dark. Who asked for you to look at me?!”

Barely letting her finish, Tae-kyung suddenly grabs the back of her neck and swoops in for a kiss.

 
COMMENTS

First, regarding Hwa-ran: I wonder if this is the turning point in Tae-kyung’s relationship with his mother, because for the first time, Hwa-ran seems weak and pathetic. When Tae-kyung visits her sickbed, her words aren’t any less selfish and they have the potential to be just as hurtful as before, but they’ve seemed to have lost their toxic power over Tae-kyung. Maybe he feels the pang, but I don’t get the sense he’s as crushed as he was in the past. Perhaps he finally sees his mother as a weak woman with a limited amount of love, rather than for what she should have been?

As for Shin-woo: As a character, I still sympathize with his unrequited love, but I stopped feeling sorry for him with this episode. Actually, it started waning a while back, but this is where it culminates, because he heard the truth from Mi-nyeo and — despite good intentions — still kept up the lie. It would have been perfect timing to admit that he’d known and that he was trying to help her by going along with it, but instead he plays along with her worries. One could argue that he’s thinking of her benefit by preserving her illusion — and I think that’s been true until now — but in this episode, we saw him showing some amusement at the idea of keeping the ruse going just a little while longer.

I think Shin-woo was just setting himself up for a grand gesture, feeling proud of himself for how he’d wow her at the restaurant. But that’s him being enamored of romance, not acting with her best interests in mind, and so again he misses his timing. (Well, he hasn’t missed yet, but I’m assuming that with The Kiss, he’ll find his restaurant date disappointed.) Some of his earlier missed moments weren’t his fault — like the date in Myungdong where he called her to reveal the truth — but you could argue that it was always in his power to take the initiative. (He could have shown himself earlier, rather than buying her ice cream and clothing first.) I’m not sure if she would have fallen for him, but if he’d been honest earlier, he would have had a better shot before she started falling for Tae-kyung. But no longer is he a victim of bad timing — he’s creating it himself.

Korean press tends to handle news/entertainment reporting differently, in that there’s no real regard for “spoilers” — it was reported days ago as “Tae-kyung surprises Mi-nam with a kiss in Episode 11!” Those words were right in the headlines with accompanying thumbnail images. Way to kill excitement.

The reason I hated the spoiler of the kiss wasn’t just because it messes up one moment, but rather, it ruins the entire episode for me. That is to say, we can tell from the way this episode unfolds that Tae-kyung’s jealousy and frustration with Mi-nam are on a constant crescendo, and knowing there’s a kiss somewhere messes with the buildup of tension. Normally I’d be wondering, “What’s going to happen? How will he deal with the pressure?” and squeal at the end scene. If you know he’s going to kiss her, you can figure out that his growing jealousy is what spurs the kiss. With the plot all laid out like that, the fun gets sucked out. (I know some people love spoilers, but I just don’t get it!)

 
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