Smile: Episode 26
Perhaps distance does make the heart grow fonder. I set aside Smile for a while, so as not to watch ahead of writing these recaps (having skimmed up til 29, let me say, it changes the way you perceive the episodes). But when I picked episode 26 back up to write this recap, I was pleasantly surprised. It felt like meeting up again with old friends—who, let’s be honest, have started to get on your nerves slightly. But with the passing of a little time, you’re glad to see them again, and even willing to overlook some of the things that had begun to annoy you. For example, I actually enjoyed the parents’ scenes. I even found Joo-hee funny. For serious.
Objectively, too, I think this episode had a nice change of pace from previous episodes and finally got some key plot developments in motion. It also earned a lot of laughs—especially from the dark horse, Secretary Kim. Who knew the guy could be so funny?
Jung-in and Hyun-soo, on their drive to the ski resort, enjoy their time alone.
Meanwhile, the parents’ car gets sidetracked by Han-se’s phone call. Han-se repeats that Baek Geum-ja is the owner of the Seos’ house, despite Jung-kil’s insisting that he must have the information wrong. Jung-kil finally blurts, “Baek Geum-ja is Hyun-soo’s mother, you dimwit!”
Jung-kil hangs up, and Han-se’s reaction is typical: “Secretary Kim, you’re dead meat!” Ah, the luxury of the rich… to always have a scapegoat nearby!
Geum-ja figures out that Han-se was on the other end of the line, but they can’t get a coherent answer out of Jung-kil. Han-se calls back, this time with more information, to ask if Baek Geum-ja was born in 1958, and she yells angrily that she was. She grabs the phone out of Jung-kil’s hand and ask Han-se what’s going on. He asks her to sell him the house.
“Huh? Hou—?” she begins, but Jung-kil wrests the phone back.
The cat is out of the bag. But it’s clear that Geum-ja doesn’t know about it, because she says, “What house? The car center?”
They head back home, arguing all the way. Tempers flaring, the truth comes out: both Geum-ja and Jung-kil acknowledge that they read the will, but when Joo-hee asks what was in it, Geum-ja snaps, “If you’re so curious, read it yourself!” So we’re still left wondering.
Sung-joon stops by Ji-soo’s apartment and asks Jung-kyung to let him stay over. She tells him no, but he insists that he really has no place to stay tonight. That’s a funny claim, since the family has gone to the ski resort, but he says it’s because Grandpa Man-bok is having an affair. (LOL–it’s cute when Jung-kyung slaps him on the arm and quips, “Quit lying!”)
So-nyeo has come over to the house to have dinner with Grandpa. She suddenly begins to cry, saying she’s been to fancy restaurants with many men, but never been fed a warm bowl of rice like this. When Grandpa leaves the room briefly, she grumbles about how much she has to eat just to try to get some money off Grandpa, while Grandpa mutters that all he wanted was some peace and quiet.
Trying to stay awake on the road, Hyun-soo asks Jung-in to sing for him. He sets his phone to record, and she does a cute intro as if she were a live radio caller, requesting a song for her “idiot” boyfriend.
She then starts singing “Can’t Sleep” off the Smile OST (Really? Singing along with the soundtrack? I really did not like, or even understand, this production choice. She’s cute and a pretty good singer, but it was really jarring to break the fourth wall this way, especially when the actual song begins to play simultaneously—IN A DIFFERENT KEY. Yeouch.)
Ah, but then we go into a way adorable montage. Seriously, these two are the saving grace of this show. I could forgive most of its shortcomings while soaking in the cuteness of Hyun-soo & Jung-in.
Joon-bae comes over to Grandpa’s place; So-nyeo runs into a room to hide, while Joon-bae shares his suspicion that So-nyeo has another man. A younger man, at that. Ha! Poor Joon-bae.
Grandpa tells Joon-bae to go home, but Joon-bae says he’s come to stay the night while the family is gone. While he goes into the room, Grandpa sends So-nyeo off, telling her not to come back.
As for the hoped-for peace and quiet, well, the rabble rousers are back. They ask about the house, which Joon-bae says is his, and that he put it under Geum-ja’s name so that his son wouldn’t try to sell it off.
I love Jung-kil’s sad realization when he finally puts the pieces together: “Wait a second. If it belongs to Joon-bae, then that means President [referring to Grandpa], you haven’t done anything for me.”
Grandpa: “What are you, that I should do something for you?” (LOVE IT. Finally, Jung-kil gets some “No soup for you”!) Grandpa Man-bok cuts the discussion short, saying he’s sick of seeing everyone like this.
Grandpa brings out the will from the Chairman for everyone to see. Sang-hoon, finally overcome by curiosity, reaches to open it. It says that 50% of the stocks for the Seos’ now-bankrupt company—worthless, now that the company is gone–will go to Kang Man-bok.
Grandpa explains that the Chairman never asked him to take care of Jung-kil, but he understood the will as having that unspoken intent. If he had brought out this will when the Chairman died, it would have meant cutting ties with Jung-kil, as the matter surely would have ended up in court. That’s why he kept the will hidden, to protect their families’ ties.
As for the house, it does belong to Geum-ja. He says he used his life sayings to buy it for his benefactress. Geum-ja is taken aback at being called a benefactress, but he explains that he wouldn’t have been able to save up or live as comfortably if not for her fastidiousness and thriftiness.
She’s touched, which quickly leads to regret for how she had been bitter and misunderstood his pragmatism as coldness in the past.
Hilariously and randomly, Joo-hee starts crying too.
With the possibility of getting something from Grandpa Man-bok proven to be a dead-end, Jung-kil has one last resort: Han-se.
But Han-se is out of reach, having come to the ski resort to meddle once again. (He’s the snowboarder above, ruining Hyun-soo and Jung-in’s almost kiss). He steals one of Hyun-soo’s skis, which had come off when he fell. Jung-in gets up to chase the thief down, only finding out at the bottom of the hill that it’s Han-se.
When Sang-hoon calls Hyun-soo again, he tells Hyun-soo that he had seen them together at the Beat launch. “Hyun-soo, you know this won’t work, right?” he asks. “Try not to make it more uncomfortable for our two families. I trust you’ll get over your feelings for her and come back.”
Hyun-soo replies only briefly, saying he’ll explain once he returns home.
While on his forced “date” with Jung-in, Han-se goes off to make a snowman. Jung-in puts her skis on to leave, but he asks her to watch him finish—it’s something he’d never done before as a child. He finally understands that Jung-in isn’t won over by money, so he tells her that he’ll learn to cook, if she wants.
The thing about Han-se is his childlike expectation that he must get what he wants. Though the things he says are deep words—professing his love and the like—his nature is so unbridled, perhaps because he’s used to always having everything the way he wants. But there is a certain innocence even behind his erstwhile manipulations, as though, like a child, he doesn’t realize that what he does in pursuit of what he wants can hurt other people.
In an instance of that wilfullness, Han-se blurts out to Jung-in that Hyun-soo paid for her ring. Hyun-soo, having finally tracked them down, overhears. He faces Jung-in. “Let’s go down and talk,” he says. But she takes off. Both guys follow her on snowmobiles. (LOL, machismo much?)
“Let’s leave her alone for now,” Hyun-soo says to Han-se when they reach the bottom of the hill. He holds Han-se back as Jung-in walks off.
Han-se tells Secretary Kim to make sure that Hyun-soo doesn’t take off anywhere with Jung-in. His solution?
HAHA. So now they’re stuck at the resort overnight.
Hyun-soo approaches Jung-in, who has been brooding in the hotel room, to talk about the ring.
Hyun-soo: Even if you’re mad, it can’t be helped. I still think I did the right thing.
Jung-in: When did you repay it?
Hyun-soo: Let’s see. I think it was the day I started to like you. And no matter how many times I told you, you didn’t understand, so I just paid for it.
Jung-in: Why do you keep making me feel sorry?
Hyun-soo: Isn’t it better to repay me than to repay Han-se?
Jung-in: No, I wanted to repay Han-se and make it up to you at the same time. But what can I do now?
Hyun-soo: Haven’t you thought that you should be sorrier to keep meeting Han-se while you’re repaying him? My guess is, it’d take you 10 years to repay that $86,000, so you’ll continue seeing Han-se that whole time?
Jung-in: No, I mean… why would it take 10 years? If I’m diligent, it’ll just be five…
Hyun-soo tells her not to see Han-se, and if she really wants to, she can start by paying him back for the cell phone.
Incensed that he’s bringing up old news, she reminds him that she tried to, but he wouldn’t accept it.
Hyun-soo: Fine, then. Just pay the $86,000. Since you love me, I won’t ask for interest.
Hyun-soo: What? You don’t love me? Then I’ll need the interest, too.
Jung-in: I’m going to say those words after I repay you.
Hyun-soo: [Gasps] When would that be?
Jung-in: Like I said, about 5 years…
Hyun-soo: Jung-in, in the new year, let’s do about 30 part-time jobs each.
Cute. The track record of honesty between these two pays off; they’re able to get through this situation with a mix of humor and sincerity.
But more obstacles lie ahead. Hyun-soo tells her that his father knows about them. He says it’s time to go and tell their parents.
Ji-soo steals out of her room late at night to check on Sung-joon, which he rather presumptuously, if accurately, was expecting. (D’aw. Their matchy striped sweaters are adorable. Or maybe I just think Sung-joon is adorable here.)
Sung-joon says he’s still looking for the hoodlums, which worries Ji-soo. She says that if Sung-joon continues to carry on like this, she won’t be able to live here. For the first time, she has a place and a restaurant, and she just wants to live quietly.
Holding her arm, he asks, “Are you having a hard time because of me? Am I bothering you? Should I stop? Should I stop, Ji-soo?”
After a pause, she responds, “Yes.” He lets her go.
When Han-se comes out in the morning, Hyun-soo’s car is gone. Secretary Kim is obliviously bringing back four cups of coffee, and Han-se yells at him for his incompetence. “Starting tomorrow, don’t report for work!” he says.
(I haven’t recapped much of Secretary Kim’s antics–both for the sake of time, and also because the moments are funnier when watched than retold–but he completely nails this episode! Hilarious!)
(The car does look pretty sweet, huh?) Hyun-soo gives his father a meaningful look as they arrive home, then takes Jung-in’s hand and goes inside.
Jung-kil comes out to talk to Jung-in, and is so shocked to see them holding hands that he actually moves in closer to inspect. Surely something … must be wrong?
They land the bombshell. Hyun-soo states, “I would like to receive your consent to formally date Jung-in.”
Jung-in hesitantly continues, “I know I am lacking in many ways.”
Hold the presses! Geum-ja stutters, “Hang on. Hang on. What—what did they just say?”
Sung-joon bursts in just then, ready to declare his love for Ji-soo and ask for approval.
But at this point, no one’s listening, especially when Hyun-soo says: “We love each other. Please give us your consent.”
Even Sung-joon and Ji-soo are shocked.
Wow. Did anyone catch that “O Fortuna” score at the end? What is with the poor musical choices in this episode??? I mean… REALLY.
That aside, I actually found this episode refreshing. Perhaps because I haven’t watched this series in a while, but it was also nice to get a change of scenery, a change of pace, and finally have some of those big questions answered. I think I am also finally starting to understand Grandpa Man-bok, who’s been rather enigmatic up til now.
Even though uncovering the will was a bit anticlimactic, it felt right. Had it contained anything substantive that Jung-kil could latch onto, the story would have stayed stuck on the same merry-go-round. But the irony of the devalued inheritance hits home, since it’s Jung-kil’s own fault there’s nothing left in the will for him to claim.
I also like how it reveals the motivation for Grandpa’s loyalty to the Chairman. Up til now, I had seen Grandpa almost as sycophantically subservient to the Chairman’s wishes. Had the Chairman asked him to take care of Jung-kil, and Grandpa Man-bok obediently put up with Jung-kil’s crap, it would make him subordinate to Jung-kil in a way that made me rather uncomfortable. But there was no such ask; it turns out that Grandpa Man-bok was acting of his own volition, based on his own principles and sense of personal responsibility to repay the Chairman for such a generous bequest.
There’s a lot of emphasis on debts and repayment in this episode. We find out what was given to Grandpa and what he felt he owed the Chairman. Technically, Jung-kil owes Grandpa half of the company he had lost, but he still feels that he is owed the house. Grandpa gives the house to Geum-ja because he believes he has lived in her debt, and Geum-ja is so full of remorse that she doesn’t think she could repay the gift. Han-se spills the beans about the ring, and Jung-in still insists on repaying Hyun-soo the full cost because she feels undeserving of him. I don’t have anything particularly intelligent to say on this topic yet—but it certainly is interesting that the bonds between these families have so much to do with what is owed, and therefore, accompanied by a sense of guilt. Perhaps it’s up to Jung-in and Hyun-soo to somehow break that cycle, but they really live under its weight too.
I don’t entirely understand why Grandpa Man-bok wants to give the house to Geum-ja. What I do like is that in this episode we get a definitive sense that Grandpa has finally had it up to here with Jung-kil, and there’s no soup for him anymore. But taking the house that Jung-kil believes is rightfully his and giving it to Geum-ja right under his nose seems a bit spiteful, perhaps too much so for the once-doting Grandpa. Was all that care and affection just a front? Or was he truly always planning to give it to Geum-ja? Given the history of the two families, would she even want to live in that house? It’s probably more for the monetary value, that she could resell… but then why not just give her the actual savings so she could invest in a property of her choice, rather than give her a house with baggage? Grandpa does say that he used to live in that house, so in a sense he feels that it’s his, too… but I still don’t see that rationale as strong enough.
- Smile: Episode 25
- Smile: Episode 24
- Smile: Episode 23
- 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