A very cute episode that dials back some of the angst and adds in more of the funny.
By the way, it seems many people are still confused about who knows what, so here’s where we stand as of the end of Episode 8:
- Tae-kyung knows that Mi-nyeo is a girl but thinks he’s the only A.N.JELL guy who knows the truth. He thinks Mi-nyeo likes Shin-woo.
- Shin-woo has known Mi-nam is a girl since Episode 2, but hasn’t said anything to anyone. He’s tried to come clean to her but lost the chance. He can tell Mi-nyeo has feelings for Tae-kyung although she has not explicitly said so.
- Jeremy likes Mi-nam, believing him to be a guy. He has no idea of the stuff going on with the other two bandmates.
- Hoon-yi knows that Tae-kyung knows the truth. He believes Mi-nyeo likes Shin-woo.
- Heyi knows Mi-nam is a girl, and Tae-kyung knows that Heyi has found out. Mi-nyeo herself doesn’t know that Heyi’s on to the secret.
- Mi-nyeo is oblivious to everyone’s feelings for her (including Heyi’s jealousy), and frets over her feelings for Tae-kyung.
SONG OF THE DAY
Park Hyo-shin – “Gift” [ Download ]
EPISODE 9 RECAP
After witnessing the uncomfortable mother-son scene, Mi-nyeo remains out of sight, figuring that she’d better not let on that she knows. Tae-kyung broods alone in the studio, working on music but feeling the weight of his unpleasant encounter.
Mi-nyeo laments her inability to help, thinking, “Is he okay? It’s his birthday, and he must be feeling hurt. I’m really useless.” She sees him drinking his water and setting aside an empty bottle, then seizes on one thing she can do — get him more water!
Mi-nyeo dashes to a convenience store to buy more water, then races back. And yes, that is a completely random, unexplained cameo from budding movie star Yoo Seung-ho!
Remaining out of sight, Mi-nyeo swaps in the new water, then notices Tae-kyung’s annoyance at a flickering light. She rushes out to buy new fluorescent bulbs, and by the time Tae-kyung comes back with a replacement light, it’s already been fixed. This is odd, and he now registers that water has also been replaced. Testing out his suspicions, he says loudly, “Ah, I feel like drinking really hot coffee all of a sudden.”
Once again, Mi-nyeo seizes upon her task and runs out to buy some. Tae-kyung watches as she returns carrying coffee and confronts her. So was she the one who’s been lurking around all night?
A thought occurs to him, and he asks suspiciously, “Did you see something?” thinking of his conversation with Hwa-ran. Mi-nyeo takes a moment to think of a good answer before admitting, “I saw your present!” She begs forgiveness for Aunt Mi-ja opening the package, and with relief, he takes that to mean she didn’t witness the scene with Hwa-ran.
She says hesitantly, “I’m not sure if this will make you angry, but happy birthday.” She’s sorry for causing yet more trouble, and invites him to treat her as badly as he wishes until he’s over his anger.
Her understanding attitude makes him furrow his brow: “If you say it like that, it makes me sound like someone who enjoys abusing you.” (She can’t exactly contradict him, so it’s funny to see her keeping her opinion to herself when he seems to expect her to answer that no, of course that’s not true.) Amused now, Tae-kyung comments that Mi-nyeo has “grown up,” even resorting to flattery and bribery to get what she wants.
Aunt Mi-ja finds it curious that Shin-woo and Jeremy’s current images seem nothing like the “legends” she’d heard from the fangirls. Thinking of Shin-woo’s reputation, she asks if he used to fight in school. He answers vaguely, “Well, all boys fight once or twice in their school days.”
Jeremy’s messy eating habits seem at odds with his aristocratic backstory, so she asks about the princess. To her surprise, Jeremy says that he still keeps in contact with her. Guessing that the legends must not be entirely groundless, she wonders if that means Tae-kyung’s birth secret is true after all.
Tae-kyung doesn’t need anything to celebrate his birthday, but Mi-nyeo insists, so he tells her to decide what to do. She reminds him that he always decides things and dislikes her interference. He answers, “This time, I’ve decided that you should decide.”
She offers to re-create the celebration from his “fake birthday,” so Tae-kyung instructs her to borrow a gym large enough to accommodate 15,000 people and invite 15 famous singers and actors as special guests. She should also call the Asian media outlets to cover it.
She hadn’t realized he’d gone to such lengths for his birthday, but she’s not daunted — all birthdays should start with seaweed soup! (Koreans traditionally eat seaweed soup on birthdays.)
Of course, at this hour, the only way to get any is the instant kind at a convenience store. Furthermore, Tae-kyung asks her (with his usual know-it-all air) whether seaweed soup contains sesame oil. It does. He follows that with the question of what sesame oil is made of, and Mi-nyeo answers, “Sesame seeds,” which makes her recall that he’s allergic. He says dryly, “Thanks to you, I would have died on my birthday.”
Okay, so soup is a no-go, but Mi-nyeo proceeds to the next step, which is to get presents.
Unfortunately their options are pretty limited, so Mi-nyeo takes him to a stationery store — the kind with cutesy pink notebooks and pens designed to appeal to young girls. One wall of stickers and knickknacks catches Mi-nyeo’s eye — it’s A.N.JELL merchandise with cartoon renderings of Tae-kyung, Shin-woo, and Jeremy.
They’re pretty adorable (and true-to-life, if you see how Tae-kyung’s expression is a twisted sneer). The store owner assures them that Tae-kyung’s sells the most, but he’s more embarrassed than flattered. They buy a sheet of cut-outs (like pogs), and Mi-nyeo takes a positive outlook — at least this indicates how popular they are.
While they linger at a deserted playground, she flicks a Tae-kyung pog with her pinky, then flicks another, announcing, “Shin-woo hyung’s flew farther!” Tae-kyung is NOT about to let that stand, so he grabs some of his own pogs and starts flicking them, disgruntled when they all flop. Mi-nyeo continues flicking Jeremy’s and Shin-woo’s and announcing that they’re traveling farther. LOL.
When they arrive home, Mi-nyeo’s a little disappointed that his birthday is almost over but he hasn’t done any birthday things: “I didn’t do anything for you today.” He answers honestly, “Because of you, I was able to pass the time without thinking about it. If not for you, the day would have been horrifically long.”
Seeing that there are five minutes left, Mi-nyeo offers to use those up for him. There’s something the Mother Superior used to always do for her, but she warns, “You can’t hate it.” He retorts, “If you think I’ll hate it, don’t do it.” Mi-nyeo replies, “You told me to make the decisions today, so I’ll do as I want.”
With that, Mi-nyeo hugs Tae-kyung. She says, as the Mother Superior would have told her, “Since today is the day you were born, it is a truly precious day. Thank you for being born.”
(Okay, that brought tears to my eyes.)
Taken aback, Tae-kyung struggles with his reaction. Unnerved, he tells her not to speak in banmal (since she usually speaks in such elevated honorifics). Ignoring his surprise, Mi-nyeo pats him on the back gently, in a consoling gesture, as she prays, “Mother Superior, I want to take the warm comfort I received every birthday and give it all to him. Please comfort him.”
Mi-nyeo pulls away and cheerfully announces that his birthday is over, and heads inside first. As she leaves, Tae-kyung smiles slightly and muses, “Today, Go Mi-nam was quite useful.”
Of course, Shin-woo has seen this from above. He tells himself he’d been trying to act cool to keep the peace, “But it’s tough acting cool.”
In the morning, the other guys look at the A.N.JELL pogs and stickers with interest. When Mi-nyeo says that Tae-kyung’s is the best seller, he puffs up in pride even as he pretends not to be interested in their conversation. But he perks up when Shin-woo and Jeremy ask which cartoon figure she prefers.
All three guys look at her expectantly, and after some consideration, she picks Shin-woo’s. (Shin-woo smiles privately, while Jeremy pouts, “Why? Mine’s cute too!” Tae-kyung tries to contain his frown.) Mi-nyeo explains that she likes that Shin-woo’s image is smiling, and adds, “Jeremy’s is cute too.”
Jeremy’s satisfied to be number 2 in her book, but Tae-kyung mutters that they have no taste: “The best selling one is the best.”
Having witnessed Mi-nyeo’s pog choice, Hoon-yi approaches Tae-kyung separately, interpreting that as proof that she likes Shin-woo. Hoon-yi asks for Tae-kyung’s help in handling Mi-nam with Shin-woo (as in, watch them and keep a safe distance between them). Hoon-yi reasons, “You were last place, so you’re the safest one.” Those words certainly don’t make Tae-kyung feel any happier, but he tries to convince himself with his mantra, “Forget it, it doesn’t matter. If I let it make me feel bad, I lose.”
Next, Tae-kyung and Mi-nyeo head to the set to film their last day of the music video. (In a poke at the kpop industry and its penchant for melodramatic MVs, Tae-kyung complains that a breakup scene doesn’t need to be so complicated, although the director has decided that putting in a grand scene first makes the eventual breakup sadder.)
While prepping for the shoot, Mi-nam looks over at Heyi wistfully, thinking how pretty she is. She eyes Heyi’s overflowing accessories tray, then remembers that she has a pretty hairclip too. Mi-nyeo takes out the accessory Tae-kyung bought her and says, “This is enough for me.”
Heyi sees her with the clip and accuses her with messing with her things. Mi-nyeo answers that this is hers, so Heyi uses the opportunity to say meaningfully, “How strange for a guy to have a girl’s clip.” Mi-nyeo hurriedly lies that it’s her sister’s.
Heyi says that Mi-nam is pretty enough that he could pass for a girl, and suggests making Mi-nam up with lipstick for fun. Overriding Mi-nyeo’s protests, Heyi grabs her in a firm grip to apply the lipstick — until Shin-woo grabs her arm and tells her not to joke around. Jeremy insists, “Mi-nam says no!” The guys have tagged along since today is their last day.
Thus interrupted, Heyi gripes that she wishes she could tell the truth and end this all. But she can’t, “Because then it’s all over with Hwang Tae-kyung, too. I don’t want that.”
Tae-kyung and Heyi film their sad/romantic scene, and Mi-nyeo watches from a distance as they draw near to each other for a kiss. (I believe Mi-nam is supposed to feel sad at losing the girl to another guy, but Mi-nyeo’s performance reflects her feelings for Tae-kyung.)
As Heyi and Tae-kyung hold their faces a few inches apart to mimic a kiss, Heyi reminds him of the last time they’d been in this position. Tae-kyung scoffs, “Both then and now, we were acting. What is there to it?” He complains at how long the director is taking to call cut, so Heyi responds, “He must not like our acting. I’ll do it properly so we can end it quickly.”
With that, Heyi plants a real kiss on Tae-kyung’s lips. His eyes widen in shock, but the camera’s still rolling so he stands there and holds the pose until the director calls cut. The instant he does, Tae-kyung recoils.
Heyi airily tells Tae-kyung to be cool, but she walks away flustered. Annoyed, Tae-kyung wipes his mouth. Mi-nyeo, feeling dismayed, makes her pig nose while Shin-woo takes in her reaction.
Afterward, as the stylist packs away the clothing, Mi-nyeo’s hairclip falls out of the jacket pocket. Heyi is the only one who notices, and takes it. She feigns ignorance when Mi-nyeo comes running back frantically to check the pockets, upset to find the clip gone.
Sung-chan treats the staff to a celebratory wrap party at a club. Shin-woo picks up on Mi-nyeo’s obvious distress, and hearing that she lost something important, he offers to take her back later to look for it.
Spotting them looking cozy, Hoon-yi draws Tae-kyung’s attention to the pair and prods him to interrupt. Hoon-yi takes Shin-woo aside, leaving Tae-kyung to deal with Mi-nyeo.
Misinterpreting her glumness, Tae-kyung notes to himself that Mi-nyeo’s expression is dejected now that Shin-woo’s away. When she won’t meet his gaze (out of guilt), he wrongly assumes that it means she’s not happy to see him.
Deciding to have some fun provoking Mi-nam, Heyi removes the price tag from the clip (sticking it on her beer bottle), and wears the barrette herself. Recognizing the clip, Mi-nyeo starts to reach for it, only to be told that this is Heyi’s.
Heyi says, feigning ignorance of the situation, “You’re acting like a girl. It’s too weird for a guy to be going around with a hair clip. Don’t look for it, and just buy your sister a nicer one.” Discouraged, Mi-nam backs down.
Heyi then mocks Mi-nam’s reaction to Tae-kyung, but he recognizes the clip in her hair and wonders, “So is that what she lost?” Heyi contends that this is hers: “I told you, she lost hers and told me to give her mine.”
Tae-kyung narrows his eyes and answers, “That’s because it’s the same one.” Spotting the price sticker on Heyi’s beer, he asks, “Do you know how much that pin cost?”
Heyi: “It’s cheap. Maybe 3,000 won?”
Tae-kyung: “No, that cost 100,000 won. Hand it over. That’s Go Mi-nam’s.”
Heyi: “How do you know?”
Tae-kyung: “Because I bought it for her. Give it to me.”
Looking like she swallowed a bug, Heyi gives the clip to Tae-kyung, who tells her pointedly, “It’s a good thing you said threatening me doesn’t embarrass you. If not, you’d really be embarrassed.”
Tae-kyung finds Mi-nyeo sitting dejectedly at the bar and announces, “I hear you lost something.” She admits it’s the pin he bought her, so he tells her not to be upset, starting to hand it over.
But her next comment makes him stop immediately. Mi-nyeo: “It’s okay. I’m not going to look for it. It doesn’t suit me. I hope someone else can pick it up and use it well.” Feeling silly all of a sudden, Tae-kyung keeps the clip in his hand and agrees, “Fine, don’t search for it.” They’re both forcing themselves to act like it doesn’t matter, not cluing in to the fact that they both do care, very much in fact.
When Jeremy comments that Mi-nyeo’s nose is red (from pushing it all night), he says it’s like Rudolph the reindeer. Tae-kyung mutters, “You mean Rudolph the Pig-Rabbit.”
Hoon-yi and some staffers put on a show for fun, and upstairs, the stylist prepares her own performance. She instructs an employee to set off the water at her cue, and Heyi, overhearing, decides to have some fun. Grabbing Mi-nyeo, Heyi urges her to sing a song to lighten the mood, since this is a party in Mi-nam’s honor.
All Mi-nyeo knows are Christmas carols, so when she takes the stage, it’s to sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The reception is positive and the others cheer her on — until Heyi has her Carrie moment and flips the switch. A shower of water rains down on Mi-nyeo mid-song.
Everyone gapes. Mi-nyeo fights to hold in her own reaction, though she’s clearly upset. So when Shin-woo gets up to join her onstage, he breaks the tension by continuing the song, and Jeremy joins in too. (And we go from Carrie to Mean Girls…)
Grabbing a tablecloth off a nearby table, Tae-kyung hurries to the stage and gets to Mi-nyeo first, draping her with the cloth.
Jeremy takes control of the situation to announce an A.N.JELL Christmas performance, and the guys all take turns singing. With the potential awkwardness defused, the partygoers get up to dance, restoring the convivial atmosphere.
Heyi fumes, again thwarted.
On the ride home, Jeremy wonders about the thing Mi-nam had planned to look for. Shin-woo answers that Mi-nam decided not to look for it, and although he doesn’t know what it was, “He looked even worse when he said he wasn’t going to look for it than when he lost it.”
Jeremy figures, “He must have said that [he wouldn't look for it] because he really wanted to find it but didn’t think he’d be able to.”
This idea hadn’t occurred to Tae-kyung. At home, he contemplates the pin as he works out his dilemma:
Tae-kyung: “If she wanted to find it, she should just have said so. Why did she cut me off and confuse me by saying she wouldn’t look for it? If I give it to her even though she said not to look for it, then I look silly. Forget it, I just won’t give it to her. No — I’ll think it over carefully. How can I return this to her without losing face?”
His solution? HILARIOUS.
Inspired by his nickname “Pig-Rabbit,” Tae-kyung searches a cluttered storeroom for stuffed animals. Finding one rabbit and one pig, he dusts them off and tells them ominously, “Let’s go off to surgery.”
Taking the nose off the pig, Tae-kyung “operates” on the two, meticulously transferring the nose to the rabbit doll. (I love the moment where he turns the now-denosed pig face-down so it can’t see.)
When it’s done, he holds up the hair accessory and says, “I’ll give this pin to you, Pig-Rabbit.”
In the morning, Mi-nyeo wakes up to see the stuffed animal next to her. She wonders, “If it’s a Pig-Rabbit, is that me?” Then she spots the clip fastened to the rabbit’s ear, and squeals in glee, hugging it to her. (She is adorable.)
Tae-kyung cracks an eye open to see her reaction, and smiles in satisfaction.
Now her mood is fully restored. At breakfast she tells Hoon-yi, “I sang Christmas carols yesterday, and this morning Santa Claus dropped by.”
When she sneezes, Tae-kyung purposely moves to the other side of Shin-woo, closer to her, and offers a glass of water. Shin-woo one-ups him by offering hot tea, while Jeremy comes running with juice. The guys hold out their drink offerings and, just like with the pogs, they look at her expectantly and wait for her to choose. (Tae-kyung shakes his glass at her as if to say, “You’d better pick me.”)
But Mi-nyeo doesn’t read the underlying meaning of the moment and picks the warm drink. Jeremy’s disappointed but hands over his juice anyway. (Tae-kyung, irritated, drinks his water.)
We get more insight into the mysterious family relations when Hwa-ran asks Sung-chan to convey a flower bouquet to Tae-kyung. She means it as a conciliatory gesture, but it backfires because Sung-chan informs her that Tae-kyung is allergic to pollen. When they discuss the song remake rights, Hwa-ran says that songwriter Go Jae-hyun had a son who was raised by relatives. When she finds him, she’ll be able to work it out.
She manages to track down Go Jae-hyun’s sister and calls Mi-ja to request a meeting. Confirming that she really is the songwriter’s sister, Hwa-ran presses to know where his twin children are: “I have to meet them. Where are they? Can I see them right away?”
Next, the band heads over to shoot a cell phone CF. Their outfits are color-coded and each member complains about the difficulties of filming. (Tae-kyung, in green, gets stuck sucking on a lime. Jeremy sighs that eating too many bananas makes him want to throw up, and Shin-woo’s dog keeps biting. Mi-nam, on the other hand, is pleased with her flowers.)
Sung-chan explains the color scheme: Lime is the color 20- and 30-something women like. Yellow, which kids like, enhances Jeremy’s cuteness. Shin-woo gets black since that’s the color guys like, while Mi-nam’s white represents his(her) pure image.
Sung-chan has brought Heyi along, thinking it will make the guys happy, but instead her presence kills the mood. She sidles over to Tae-kyung’s side and says, “That means oppa is the most popular with the women. It’s okay if I like him, right, Mi-nam?”
Mi-nam answers, “Of course! It’s so fortunate that you like him.” (At Tae-kyung’s disgruntled response, she clarifies, “With you always making faces and glaring, it’s fortunate that she likes you.”)
Heyi asks which color Mi-nam likes best, which makes the guys turn to her expectantly again. Mi-nyeo stammers a bit and answers, “Since I’m a guy, I like the color guys like best — black!”
Heyi is frustrated at all the attention Mi-nam gets, and follows her when the latter heads off to the dressing room. Spotting Tae-kyung coming up to Mi-nam, Heyi ducks around the corner to spy.
Tae-kyung says, “I never paid any attention to your tastes, but since you keep judging me like that, it makes me feel pretty bad.” Mi-nyeo tells him not to worry about her tastes, but Tae-kyung is hung up on how she always passes him over — especially since his pogs sold the most and he’s the most popular.
He insists, “Answer clearly — which color do you like best?” Mi-nyeo reminds him that she’d answered already, but he dismisses that answer: “That’s just what you said trying to pretend to be a man. What do you like for real?”
Leaning in close, Tae-kyung backs Mi-nyeo up against the wall: “Which do you like best? Answer. Since you’re a girl.”
Mi-nyeo answers haltingly, “Actually… I like white.” Dissatisfied with that non-answer, Tae-kyung retorts, “You sure got out of that one. Go Mi-nam, you’re good at evading answers.” Annoyed, he heads off, and Mi-nam heads to the bathroom to wash her face and collect herself.
With shock, Heyi registers the vibe in the air. In astonishment, she wonders, “Hwang Tae-kyung, were you seeing Go Mi-nam as a woman?”
This will not do. Heyi follows Mi-nyeo in the men’s bathroom to confront her, and says in a hard voice: “It looked like you came in to the wrong place, so I followed you in to take you out.”
Mi-nyeo points out that it’s the men’s restroom, prompting Heyi to answer, “Yeah, the men’s room. Why are you here? You should be in the ladies’ room.”
Mi-nyeo gulps, and Heyi continues: “Go Mi-nam, you’re a girl. I know everything. I can’t stand to see you acting like this. Come with me right now.”
Heyi drags her out of the bathroom. Ignoring Mi-nyeo’s protests, she takes her aside to demand, “You had a blast acting like a guy so you could hang out with them, didn’t you? Which of their colors do you like the best? Yellow, black, or lime?”
In too much shock to reply, Mi-nyeo can’t produce an answer. So Heyi adds, “Should I ask more concretely? Is it Jeremy? Kang Shin-woo? Or Hwang Tae-kyung?!”
One of those things that stretches credulity (inasmuch as we’re talking about credulity in a story of a novice nun crossdressing to masquerade as an idol star) is how all three A.N.JELL guys have all fallen for Mi-nyeo, but given that scenario, I think the writers manage to have enough fun with the setup so that it feels funny rather than unbelievable. (Because we already know that it’s unbelievable, strictly speaking. What matters now is the entertainment value.) So I got a kick out of the multiple times Mi-nyeo is called upon to choose between the guys, even though (1) she doesn’t realize that’s what she’s doing, and (2) she’s therefore not even addressing the subtext, so (3) her answers aren’t “honest” in the way the guys are reading them.
I’m sorry in advance to again invoke Boys Before Flowers — I really don’t mean to make careless comparisons, but I think this one is interesting. Ji-hoo was always posited as Jan-di’s “soulmate” but frankly I never saw it. I was told they were soulmates but it never resonated through the story. Here, it’s like they’re taking a similar conceit but making a joke out of it. I appreciate that they’re showing Shin-woo caring for Mi-nyeo but somehow still showing that he’s not better for her. Ultimately, the Hong sisters tend to build such strong connections in the lead couple that the alternative pairings just don’t measure up.
As for family plotline: I’ll revise my earlier theory, although to be honest I don’t really feel a burning need to understand how everyone’s really related. (I trust the writers to make sense of it in the end, so I’m happy to follow their hints and misdirects until we get there.) But Hwa-ran does seem to be suggesting that the twins are Go Jae-hyun’s children, and her desire to see them is out of love for their father. Tae-kyung (probably) can’t be Go Jae-hyun’s son since his birth caused Hwa-ran to lose her love, so now the big question is: Who is Mi-nyeo’s mother? (I’m going to suggest that it’s another singer, to whom Go Jae-hyun turned after losing his beloved Hwa-ran. Just my two cents.)
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- Behind the scenes with You’re Beautiful’s cast
- You’re Beautiful: Episode 2
- You’re Beautiful: Episode 1
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