Sorry this is up later than I intended — I’ve been out of town and traveling, so I didn’t have as much time to keep current with the past week of episodes. Time to play catch-up!
SONG OF THE DAY
Wax – “참 다행이다” (How fortunate) [ Download ]
EPISODE 10 RECAP
After Min-woo tells Kae-hwa she’ll have to move out, in the morning he finds the apartment a mess, as though she’s rebelling by quitting her housekeeper duties. And I’d say she’s entitled, given his sudden and unceremonious decision to kick both her and Ye-eun out.
The Show Company employees fidget and fuss as they await their potential investor, to whom they will make a presentation for their musical. They are particularly nervous today, since this is their last hope of staying afloat, and it’s with some shock that Kae-hwa recognizes the man they are trying to woo — her ex-husband Byung-hak.
She can’t do anything and stays quiet, and the ex-spouses both pretend not to know each other, although he can’t resist making a few jabs at Kae-hwa (belittling her job and such). This is a bit inappropriate since the others don’t know their history, but he laughs off his comments as a joke.
Shi-joon makes the presentation, and things go pretty well. It’s not until after the meeting that Kae-hwa tells her co-workers who he was, and in a nice bit of office solidarity, Jae-hee asks worriedly if this means they ought not accept the investment. Kae-hwa isn’t worried for her own sake, but she wonders what possibly sneaky (or at least ill-advised) scheme Byung-hak is planning.
Meanwhile, Reporter Han sees photos posted online that show Min-woo at the zoo with Ye-eun. His hat and sunglasses obscure his face enough that he’s not 100% identifiable, but the shots bear the caption, “A dad who looks just like Sung Min-woo.” Reporter Han recalls seeing Min-woo carrying Ye-eun in the parking lot, so he goes off to confirm his hunch.
He therefore pays a visit to Yoon-seok, who has already seen the photos and taken damage control measures; he has ordered an employee to make a reservation at a Japanese resort, presumably for Min-woo.
Reporter Han fishes for info, but the manager is wary and answers vaguely. The reporter presents his theory, guessing that Min-woo must be married. Perhaps he married before he became famous, and thus had to hide both his wife and child. Han suggests that now is the time for Min-woo to come forward and go public about his family.
Despite his outer cool, Yoon-seok had been nervous in the face of the reporter’s confidence at figuring out the story, but now he relaxes since the speculation is so far from the truth. Still, he can’t be too careful: he excuses himself to take a phone call, sees that Reporter Han is watching curiously, and fakes a conversation to be purposely overheard. He “confirms” that Min-woo is heading to Japan tomorrow with a companion with the last name Hong (Yura), and then calls Yura to arrange things.
At lunchtime, Kae-hwa and Shi-joon are the only two in the office, so they head out to eat together. Shi-joon supposes that she’s uncomfortable about Byung-hak being a possible investor, and while she is, she answers that she is more worried about whether they can trust her ex. He’s not exactly reliable, and what if he’s just doing this to harass her?
Shi-joon alleviates her concerns, assuring her that he’ll have Byung-hak checked out anyway, so there’s no reason to worry about that. He’s worried about her, but Kae-hwa insists that she’s strong.
They don’t notice that another couple has arrived at the restaurant and have noticed them: it’s Jung-ah and her companion. Though she tries to act unaffected, we can see that she is hurt to see her husband smiling and seemingly enjoying himself when he’s so curt with her. Which might be sympathetic if not for the whole adultery angle. (Even if it turns out she’s not in a sexual/romantic relationship with her guy, she is presenting him as her lover so I don’t think she gets the moral high ground here.)
Yura meets up with Min-woo, who is back to acting the part of the bashful, enamored boy around her. (Sigh.) She asks if he’s free on the weekend, as she has scored tickets for a trip to a Japan. While we know that Yoon-seok has orchestrated this plan, she is acting like it’s her idea, so of course Min-woo is only too happy to agree. Idiot.
(I like Min-woo’s character and the portrayal by Choi Siwon, but you know how a person’s bad taste or judgment can alter your opinion of him? Although Min-woo is a likable guy and my derision is mostly reserved for the charisma-less Yura, the very fact that he is so puppy-doggish after her lowers my opinion of him. It’s like having a crush on a seemingly perfect guy and then finding out that all his girlfriends have been trashy, blathering imbeciles — suddenly the prospect of dating him doesn’t seem so appealing after all.)
Anyway. Barbie and Ken — so pretty, so bland together — embark on a shopping trip in preparation for their trip, attracting an audience as they try on clothing and browse in a department store. Min-woo basically buys everything Yura wants, and she happily accepts. The main thing I take away from this sequence is that montages are wasted on the vapid. Yeah, they make a good-looking couple, but that’s it.
Kae-hwa seeks out her ex, and unexpectedly (to us and to him), she lets him off the hook for worming his way into the production as investor. He hasn’t yet decided whether or not to invest with them, so Kae-hwa urges him to do it, which Byung-hak finds surprising. She’s not thrilled about the prospect, but says that they can be professional about this.
Kae-hwa gives herself a pep talk, vowing to make the most of this situation: She’ll do right by Ye-eun and the musical. With that, she cleans the mess she had allowed to accumulate, then settles down with Ye-eun to present Min-woo with a friendly gesture in hopes that they can start warming him up again.
Kae-hwa gets out the origami book and asks Ye-eun what she’d like to make. The girl picks out animals, which Kae-hwa understands as a reaction to their trip to the zoo, and they get to work building a miniature zoo of paper animals. To cap things off, Ye-eun cuts out paper dolls of people that represent their family.
Meanwhile, Min-woo is still out with Yura. After the shopping trip, they end up taking a walk, then head to the car for a more private conversation.
Min-woo admits that he had liked Yura in the past. While it’s clear that she was well aware (and it’s not like he was very discreet about it, if his behavior now is any indication), Yura plays coy, saying he’d never told her how he felt but hinting that she liked him too. Now that surprises him — she was much more popular, and one gets the sense he felt she was out of his league — and he suggests they start over now.
Still playing hard to get, Yura says she’ll think it over. Min-woo asks her not to take too long, then takes advantage of the moment to lean in for a kiss.
But his brain chooses this moment to flash back to the refrigerator kiss with Kae-hwa, and he freezes. Suddenly he’s disturbed — why is he thinking of this now, of all things? — and he pauses so long that Yura opens her eyes to peek at him, wondering what the hangup is. Min-woo tries to shake it off, but the moment has been marred and things take on an awkward air, so they decide to call it a night.
On his way back to the apartment, Min-woo berates himself for letting the moment slip by. How could he think of Kae-hwa then?
He enters the darkened apartment, and without taking a look at what they are, he kicks the zoo animals off the coffee table carelessly to drop his purchases on it. Kae-hwa bursts out of the room carrying Ye-eun as though to surprise him with their offering, while the girl holds up a sketchpad depicting the three of them at the zoo, wearing their bunny ears.
Alas, both ladies see the origami animals scattered on the ground, which hurts Ye-eun’s feelings. Kae-hwa tries to mitigate the disappointment, saying that Daddy didn’t mean it and made a silly mistake, but the girl understands Min-woo’s feelings and trudges back to her room unhappily.
Trying to bring Min-woo around, Kae-hwa promises to look after Ye-eun even more, even better. She’ll be super careful and they won’t ride in his car anymore. But Min-woo has already taken on the role (in his head) of being the bad guy with no conscience, so he tells her she’d better just acknowledge that and leave. It’s like her goodness is making him feel even worse for his foibles — she doesn’t have any trouble identifying what the Right Thing To Do is and sticking to it, which makes his human weaknesses seem more glaring in comparison. He tells her, “I know you’re an outstanding person, so stop repeating the same thing over.”
At work, they hear that Byung-hak is indeed going to invest in their production, to everyone’s relief. Kae-hwa assures the others not to worry about her — she asked her ex to go ahead with the investment, and they appreciate her effort.
Kae-hwa calls Min-woo to inform him that rehearsals are starting up again tonight, leaving a message because he ignores her phone call. He packs for his trip to Japan, and heads out to meet Yura.
Following her father’s rejection the last night, Ye-eun is extra clingy this morning when Kae-hwa drops her off at her therapy. And sure enough, her hurt manifests again that morning; Kae-hwa has to come back to check on her because the girl has had a tantrum, refusing to work with the teacher and throwing her toys.
Kae-hwa sighs that she must be old enough to understand everything, and Bok-nim agrees that she understands rejection clearly. Kae-hwa comforts Ye-eun with extra affection, trying to convince her that her father does love her — it’s just that the doesn’t know his own feelings yet. So can she wait until he is ready? Kae-hwa promises to watch over her until he does.
And at that, Ye-eun finally says, “Ajumma.”
Kae-hwa can’t believe it, and takes a few moments of stunned silence to register the moment. Excitedly, she tries to get the girl to speak more, and even though that’s all they’re going to get today, this is big news and Kae-hwa dials Min-woo right away to convey the good news. He, on his way to the airport, hangs up on her before letting her say anything.
But as we know, Min-woo isn’t as cold as he’s trying to force himself to be, and we have more proof of this when his car stops at a red light and he sees a little girl crying on the street. She has been separated from her mother and is all alone, and Min-woo briefly hesitates before pulling over at the curb and walking out to her. But when he’s halfway to her, the girl’s mother finds her and comforts the daughter, so Min-woo turns away before he’s noticed.
Instead of heading to the airport, however, Min-woo makes a detour to Yoon-seok’s office while Yura waits for him at the gate. The manager isn’t in, so Min-woo calls him to ask him about the orphanage and to make sure they send Ye-eun to a good place. Yoon-seok assures him that it’ll be no problem, and orphanages are much nicer now than they used to be.
Min-woo accidentally moves the computer mouse, bringing Yoon-seok’s computer out of sleep mode, and something captures his eye. There’s a folder on the desktop marked “Zoo,” and when he opens it, he finds photographs of his outing with Kae-hwa and Ye-eun. Remembering the photographer he had seen on that day, he realizes that Yoon-seok must have been behind it.
This suggests that his manager is gathering material that might be used to force Min-woo’s hand. He’s absolutely stunned at the discovery and even though he knows Yoon-seok is coldly businesslike, this is a huge disillusionment. Min-woo spends long moments brooding in silence.
Meanwhile, Yoon-seok approaches Kae-hwa as she heads toward her office building, and with the help of one of his accomplices he shoves her into his car. Shi-joon happens to see this scene as he leaves the building, and immediately gets in his car to pursue the kidnapping vehicle.
He follows them closely for a while, amidst some pretty dramatic music — are we in some gangster movie now? — but at the last leg he is forced to stop when his path his cut off by another car. He calls Min-woo, apprising him of the situation, and asks where Yoon-seok might have gone.
Yoon-seok takes Kae-hwa to a private room in a bar/room salon, where he often conducts business. His tone is vaguely menacing as he tells her he’s poured tons of money into making Min-woo a star, but these day’s he’s becoming “more and more strange.” She retorts that other people would call that being human, but Yoon-seok only cares about recouping his investment in his client, and until he does, they won’t let Min-woo go. Therefore, he advises, Kae-hwa should really just take the money he’s offering her and get lost.
Kae-hwa accuses him of treating Min-woo like a mere commodity, but that is hardly an insult to Yoon-seok, who agrees: “He is, a really important one.”
He presents her with contract agreeing not to reveal anything about Min-woo under threat of punishment (a large monetary penalty) and orders her to sign it. Kae-hwa tries to keep a brave front and challenges him — what’s he going to do if Ye-eun gets adopted and tells people that Min-woo’s her father?
On his way to meeting Shi-joon, Min-woo checks his messages and now hears the message Kae-hwa had left earlier, exulting that Ye-eun had finally spoken.
Shi-joon is parked in the spot where he’d last seen Yoon-seok’s car before losing sight of them, and suspects that Yoon-seok took Kae-hwa somewhere close by. Min-woo has a pretty good hunch, having been here before, and tells Shi-joon he can handle it alone. The latter insists on following, however, so the two take off together.
Therefore, both men arrive at the bar together and charge into the meeting just as Yoon-seok loses his temper with Kae-hwa’s refusals to sign. One of the henchman moves to stop him, so Min-woo punches him, then takes on the other accomplice. (Easiest takedown of burly bodyguards ever! Lucky thing Min-woo’s the hero, huh? Otherwise he might have actually had to exert himself.)
Min-woo looks down intently at Kae-hwa, who is stunned to see the two men here to rescue her. Shi-joon grabs her by the wrist (always the wrist!) to help her up, and says, “Let’s go.”
This drama hasn’t met a single cliche it hasn’t liked, has it? I’ve said it before so I’ll be brief about it this time: Oh My Lady is purely enjoyable because of the relationship of the two leads and the girl. Without Chae Rim and Choi Siwon specifically in these roles, I don’t see much to get excited about, plotwise. The drama doesn’t try anything new, and even its shining moments aren’t outstanding; they are mostly just lifted by the cute chemistry and the characters.
I actually liked Episode 10, but it felt like a mix of every other drama I’d seen before. The bumbling paparazzo, the scheming manager, the simpering first love, the interrupted kiss, the kidnapping, the random car chase, the heroic beatdown, the love-triangle-reinforcing rescue scene… Yup, all there.
And lastly, the below screenshot is pretty much irrelevant to the entire episode, but after going a few episodes without seeing some skin, I figure we ought to take a moment to acknowledge the effort to give us a little bit of fan service, yeah?