We’re finally here at the midpoint. (Well, just me and the recaps, since episode 27 already aired in the real world.) The middle of a fairly lengthy series is bound to have its draggy parts, and Smile is having its share of them. But all in all, there are enough moments in each episode to keep me entertained and smiling (cheesy I know) as we witness our sweet couple play out their angst-free courtship.
And episode 23 brought extra guffaws from Lee Kyu-han playing the fun and a wee-bit crazy secondary male to a tee. I’m glad to see that the unlikeable Jung-kyung (character and storyline) is taking a back seat to Han-se, atleast for the moment. There’s more “meat” to the Jung-kyung story but when something doesn’t work, you gotta move on.
The whole family is woken up when Han-se crawls his way into their home, crying out for Hyun-soo. He clings onto both Hyun-soo and Jung-in yelling, “You two! How can you do this to me!!” He tries to reveal the truth about the couple’s relationship but his drunkenness isn’t helping his cause. He ends up puking and being pulled away by Sung-joon and Hyun-soo, leaving Jung-in to clean up the mess. On top of the puke, she has to listen to Geum-ja’s nagging about getting back together with her ex-hubby.
Han-se is too drunk to leave the house and need to be put down in the boy’s room. They end up changing his clothes and is left to sleep. (It’s pretty hilarious that Hyun-soo has to help his nemesis put on pants.) When Sung-joon seems to be taking Han-se’s side for pushing forward without any fear, Hyun-soo starts double guessing their decision to keep the relationship a secret from the family. But Jung-in wants to earn some more points with his family before spilling and they come up with a plan to have the big reveal at the family vacation.
Han-se wakes up from his sleep. (He calls for his secretary as he opens his eyes. Haha.) He roams around the house: first looking for some water but drinking bellflower root water, then searching of Jung-in. He goes into each room and finally sees the back of Joo-hee’s head and starts walking to her with a silly grin on his face, thinking that he’s finally found her.
Hyun-soo and Jung-in decide to have a little date in the car instead of going to sleep. (Ah… young love.) They play the blinking game for hits, which Secretary Kim mistakes for lovey-dovey eyes.
When Jung-in takes his face in her hand, his mood changes from play to serious and asks her to close her eyes. But Jung-in is set on getting in her hits and doesn’t realize what Hyun-soo’s asking her to do. When he closes his eyes hoping for a kiss, she thinks he’s playing the game and hits his arm.
It takes a few tries for Jung-in to get his meaning and finally gets on the same page. But just as the two are about to share their first kiss as a couple, they hear a scream from the house.
The scream belongs to Joo-hee, who yells from Han-se’s attack. The whole family is now awake but Han-se is focused on finding Jung-in, believing her to be with Hyun-soo. When she runs in from outside, everyone’s suspicions are risen. But Jung-in is adamant that she was outside alone and reminds everyone about Hyun-soo’s weird (made up) habit of sleeping under his desk. And lo and behold, they find him under the desk when they all head down to the room, making Han-se into a goat. (He sneaks in through the window and lives to keep their secret another day.)
In the morning, the whole family comes out for their usual morning exercise. Han-se is befuddled to find the Seos joining in with the Kangs. He tries to stop them but pretty quickly joins in with the exercising.
When Han-se finds out that his secretary saw the couple in the car together, he gathers around the whole family to listen to the tales of hanky panky. Hyun-soo and Jung-in try to deny it as much as possible (since they didn’t even kiss!), but the family’s ears are perked with secretary Kim’s story. Just as they start to badger the couple, secretary Kim receives a call from Han-se’s mom, causing him to start his lies about Han-se’s whereabouts. This again saves the couple from outing their relationship.
One of the funniest scenes of the episode comes next when Sang-hoon tries to lipbutt Han-se with his secretary for their lies, making Han-se yell, “Stick in your lips!” Hahaha!
The whole family plus the new addition eat breakfast together. And where is Han-se’s place in the family? He sits in between Hyun-soo and Geum-ja! (LOTF!!) Even grandpa Man-bok isn’t all that thrilled with the additions and telsl them to leave after the meal. But Han-se is adamant on staying.
Han-se: Just like the prince who gives up his throne and chooses love, I’m going to forfeit Global for Jung-in.
Everyone basically barfs out their food, except for Joo-hee who is still a teenager at heart and swoons to the words of romance. Han-se even asks for the green tracksuit to fit in with the family theme.
With worries about Han-se’s big mouth, Jung-in decides to stay at home to keep him from exposing them. Hyun-soo is worried to let her stay alone with Han-se but she says that she’ll take care of it. It also gets us to relive a few moments of their courtship: Smile style.
Jung-in: If he doesn’t listen, I’ll use my forehead to…
Hyun-soo: Not the forehead. Did you forget that it was our first physical contact?
Jung-in: Then with my fist…
Hyun-soo: Not the hand. Your hands are my gloves.
Jung-in: Then I’ll kick him with…
Hyun-soo: Not the foot either! I put the band-aid on your foot… None of those are good. Honestly, I was bothered when Han-se put his arms on your shoulders in the office.
Jung-in: Really? Why didn’t you tell me instead of being cowardly and just keeping it to yourself?
Hyun-soo: Coward? Did you just call me a coward?
That gets Hyun-soo all riled up and he avows to makes a big fuss like Han-se. Jung-in apologizes for her words and tries to calm him down, when Sang-hoon walks into the backyard and sees the two of them together, her hands on his chest. Hyun-soo makes an excuse about having no place to sleep and storms out. She then covers her tracks by holding onto Sang-hoon before leaving as well. He initially looks confused but then looks back at them with suspicious eyes.
As Hyun-soo leaves for work without Jung-in, they have a nice, long, and cute goodbye. (It would have been a total barf moment if not for the presence of this episode’s star.) He turns around to look at her one last time, just when Han-se pops up into the window and ruins Hyun-soo’s perfect view.
He turns to head to the office and sees Sung-joon watching. Sung-joon pulls aside his future brother-in-law and gives him permission to kiss Jung-in. (Oh silly man. She’s already kissed him!) The two men have a little bonding moment over the difficulties of kissing a girl. Sung-joon uses the moment to borrow Hyun-soo’s cellphone to call Ji-soo, through Jung-kyung. Hyun-soo is interested and perplexed by the conversation but doesn’t know who Sung-joon is talking to on the phone.
The 2 ladies on the other end of the phone share an awkward moment.
Ji-soo: It wasn’t anything, just something about the store.
Jung-kyung: Do you feel uncomfortable around me? You have every right to like oppa. I’m not saying anything about that.
Ji-soo: You don’t have to say anything. I know my situation better than anyone else.
Jung-kyung: I just said it because I was worried. Why does this always happen? People are always uncomfortable around me and misunderstand me. It must be a problem with me.
It would be nice to see these 2 women get closer and eventually be each other’s vehicle for transformation. Unfortunately, their scenes are as flat as board with no sense of interest or chemistry.
Jung-kil decides that the only way to get what he’s due is to take things into his own hands. He calls the family together for a spring cleaning in order to look for his father’s will (and ultimately the deed to his house.) He tries to get Han-se to help look through all of grandpa Man-bok’s files.
Jung-in tries to spend some quality time with Geum-ja and find a place for their paradise family vacation. She asks about their honeymoon and first kiss, trying to get closer. When Jung-in runs off to do Geum-ja’s bidding, she comments, “Her personality is good just like me…” and smiles to herself. (Seriously, how can you not love Jung-in. She’s the cutest thing ever.)
Hyun-soo can’t get any work done and gives Jung-in a call. Things seem calm as she cleans his room but all goes awry when Han-se jumps her. Hearing their jagged conversation over the phone, Hyun-soo gets completely agitated.
Jung-in: Don’t rip it!
Hyun-soo: What… what’s ripping? What’s going on…
Jung-in: Stop it!
Han-se: Hold on. Hold on!
Jung-in: No, you can’t!
Hyun-soo: Jung-in! LEE HAN-SE, I’LL KILL YOU!!
Jung-in: Oppa. Han-se tried to rip up our family picture so I bit him.
It’s fairly unsophisticated humor but performed so perfectly by Hyun-soo (Jung Kyung-ho) that it’s hard not to cackle.
As Jung-kil and secretary Kim continue to look for the will, Geum-ja learns what they’re searching for. She decides that the best to curtail Jung-kil’s plan is to find it first herself. She and Sang-hoon throw themselves into the search and the four of them work hard on their “spring cleaning.”
Hyun-soo continues to worry about Jung-in and Han-se and try to call again without any luck. He ends up calling Kyung-soo to clear his worries. He asks to talk to Han-se about work but really just wants to see Jung-in’s face and even blocks out Han-se to just look at his girlfriend.
Meanwhile, Han-se is working hard to convince Jung-in to come back to him. He reminds her that she can’t live like this forever based on her past interests and love for things like celebrity gossip.
Jung-in: Look closely. I’m not the same Seo Jung-in. The Jung-in who you liked didn’t know how to think about other and liked celebrities, but I’m not like that anymore. You may want to try living this way for fun, but this is my reality and the person who loved me in my new reality is Hyun-soo oppa.
Sung-joon comes to visit Ji-soo with a big grin on his face. (His smile makes my whole face light up. I must really love Lee Chun-hee.) Unfortunately, her expression gets dark and she sends Kyung-soo off on an errand to have THE talk with Sung-joon. But he’s giddy as a little boy as he takes her hand and slips a ring onto her finger. Instead of buying couple phones, he’s decided to spend money on couple rings instead. She’s takes the ring off and says that she doesn’t like him or the ring, but he’s not discouraged easily and throws the ring back at her and announces that he’ll be back tomorrow.
For a playboy, Sung-joon is pretty innocent. He cites their kiss and sleeping in the same room as a reason to solidify their relationship with a ring and says that they should get married in March when the spring flowers start their bloom. But it looks like he’s got competition from Kyung-soo for Ji-soo’s affections. He’s changed his hair style and musters up courage to call her by name instead of showing his usual deference.
When Man-bok goes to visit Joon-bae, So-nyu is there to greet him. Finding about his wealth, she clings to him like glue, trying to call him oppa and holding onto his arm. She listens on quietly on the side as the two men talk about Jung-kil’s house. Grandpa Man-bok leaves but not before giving her a suspicious look, knowing a crook when he sees one.
Jung-in and Han-se buy some sweet potatoes and she brings them to the office as a snack for Hyun-soo and her coworkers. Han-se is wearing the Kang family’s green tracksuit and stays in the car while she drops it off. Hyun-soo is relieved and elated to see Jung-in, and chases after her as she is about to buy drinks and gives her a big hug.
Hyun-soo: Why did you come now? I thought you might bring food so I didn’t even eat lunch. Even if we get caught, let’s come to work together from now on.
Han-se is wondering what’s taking Jung-in so long and comes out of the car, only to see Hyun-soo hugging her in the halls. He gets incensed and heads towards the office to break up the lovebirds. But his mom walks out just at that moment, which forces Han-se to run away as quickly as possible.
Jung-kil sits in the living room, racking his brain over the whereabouts of the will. He stares at the framed family motto and a light bulb turns on. He takes down the frame and ends up playing a little tug of war with Geum-ja, who catches him in action. It eventually is dropped and cracks, revealing the all important piece of paper. Each person tries to take it but Jung-kil ends up with it and runs out of the house. The whole family chases him out and end up in a pile on.
I’m not that interested in the will or the house, so this whole thing is a bit of a throwaway for me. I wish they would create the needed drama around something that is a bit more interesting, but the whole sisters liking the same guy was handled fairly poorly so I guess Smile is trying it’s luck at the house angle (and the new love triangle.) I’m OK with the foiled attempts as long as they don’t try to infuse drama into the couple’s relationship. It would be nice for once to see a couple get together and stay together through the whole series, instead of break up for some manufactured reason.
I want my Lee Chun-hee!! I’m assuming that the (wacky) addition of Kyung-soo into the Sung-joon/Ji-soo mix will mean more screen time for my favorite actor of the series. It does look like this love story will take the more conventional kdrama route, with breakups, family opposition, and misunderstandings for kicks but still looking forward to seeing more of Lee Chun-hee‘s smiling face on my (now large) computer screen.
- Smile: Episode 22
- Smile: Episode 21
- Smile: Episode 20
- Smile: Episode 19
- Smile: Episode 18
- Smile: Episode 17
- Smile: Episodes 15-16
- Smile extended to 46 episodes
- Smile: Episodes 13-14
- Smile: Episodes 11-12
- Smile: Episodes 9-10
- Smile: Episodes 7-8
- Smile: Episode 6
- Smile: Episode 5
- Smile: Episode 4
- Smile: Episode 3
- Smile: Episodes 1 & 2