Oh My Lady: Episode 5
Sing it, sista!
In the first four episodes, Oh My Lady hadn’t really wowed me, though it has been cute. Episode 5 ups the game and starts the bonding between Chae Rim and Choi Siwon in earnest, which revs my interest and adds some excitement.
SONG OF THE DAY
Kim Yeon-woo – “S.O.S.” [ Download ]
EPISODE 5 RECAP
Min-woo is furious with Kae-hwa for getting his DNA tested behind his back. Now he knows what she was doing with his toothbrush, and calls her a “scary ajumma,” which is a term he’s used a few times. It’s kind of true, because she seems like a harmless, clueless ajumma on the outside, but when push comes to shove she gets the job done. (Maybe that’s not such a surprise: ajummas get shit DONE, yo! But she’s got a hidden sly streak, that one.)
He assumes she must be trying to blackmail him using the DNA information and tells her to get lost — she and the girl both. Kae-hwa argues that she’s just trying to get him to accept his daughter, and asks why that idea has him so angry.
Her question shuts him up — there’s clearly more there, but he’s not willing to share — and Min-woo leaves the room while she’s still midsentence.
He broods in his room, taking a frustrated look at the test results crumpled in his hand — they’re positive. (Well, more than 99% probability, which is as good as positive.)
In the morning, he gets up to go for a swim, because this drama has a Topless Siwon Quota to meet and no time to waste! Good thing Min-woo has such accommodating hobbies, eh? Pretty soon they’ll be running out of excuses to get him bare-chested. I can think of a few more activities he can try, like beach volleyball, or bodybuilding, or surfing. Or sumo wrestling.
In a rush, Kae-hwa has difficulty hailing a taxi and therefore enlists Min-woo as her driver. You can tell he’s softening toward her despite his angry outburst last night because he doesn’t really protest. Pressed for time, Kae-hwa even mutters at his slowness, “What kind of man drives so timidly?” She may have well just insulted his penis size because Min-woo immediately picks up the gauntlet and floors the accelerator, weaving in and out of traffic.
The pesky reporter who keeps lurking around Min-woo spies him driving off with a woman in the car, and automatically assumes that Min-woo is trying to shake him off his tail. Alas, gets stuck at a light and has to give up the chase.
The reason for Kae-hwa’s hurry is to get to her ex-husband’s house before Min-ji leaves, so she can give her the kimbap she made for her class picnic. Min-ji cries that Dad forced her to drink soy milk, which makes her throw up. Kae-hwa tries to be a good mom even though this angers her, and makes an excuse for Dad.
However, once Min-ji leaves she can’t hide her reaction. Min-woo sees that she’s on the verge of tears and feels sorry for her, though he covers up his concern.
In the car, she calls her ex-husband to let her displeasure known — can’t he just for a short while try to be a good dad? It makes her sorry to Min-ji for not being able to give her a better father.
Next, she takes it out on Min-woo: “Why the hell are dads like that? Why are you all so irresponsible and neglectful?”
Min-woo’s not busy today, so Kae-hwa hands him his script and tells him to study it. He’s like a reluctant teenager and she’s like his gently prodding mother, which is a thought that should make their relationship dynamics rather interesting to watch.
Kae-hwa drops Ye-eun off for her daycare, where Bok-nim urges her to bring Min-woo around, and quickly. Having gotten her professional duty out of the way, she then oohs over Min-woo’s choco abs.
At the office, the other two managers are pleased to hear that Min-woo has come back to the musical, and both offer to rearrange their schedules to escort Min-woo to his first dance rehearsal. Instead, Shi-joon assigns that task to Kae-hwa, which is a bit of a surprise. They also notice that Kae-hwa is getting along with Shi-joon. Jin-ho takes this in stride, but Jae-hee (the uppity woman) finds it a little threatening. Just wait till they become love interests, honey!
Kae-hwa has a hard time trying to urge Min-woo to make it to rehearsal, as he would rather spend the day in bed. She tries pestering, then sweet-talking, to win his compliance. But Min-woo will not be moved by nagging or flattery, and declines with his usual careless demeanor. Kae-hwa exclaims that he’s so frustrating that she wants to cry — so he latches on to that and takes her literally, challenging her to go ahead and cry, then. In fact, if she can produce real tears within ten seconds, he’ll go.
He even makes a big show of getting out his phone to engage the stopwatch and counts down, smug to have outmaneuvered her.
Only, when he looks up at her, Kae-hwa’s eyes are brimming with tears and she’s got a wounded look on her face. Min-woo is chastened at the thought that he actually did hurt her feelings for real, and quietly agrees to go, putting up no further resistance.
(Kae-hwa’s proven herself to be pretty resourceful so I wonder if the crying was another of the tricks up her sleeve, or if this just happened to come in handy. I like to think she’s a better actor than the actor and gave him a taste of his own medicine. Of course, with Min-woo that medicine isn’t very effective to begin with.)
By the time they arrive at the dance studio, Kae-hwa’s perfectly chipper. She looks admiringly at Jung-ah, who is practicing alone in a studio, and introduces herself as an employee of The Show Company. As she doesn’t know that this is her boss’s wife, she merely thinks Jung-ah is a professional contact, and Jung-ah doesn’t correct her.
Kae-hwa leaves the building, but when she turns back to drop off Min-woo’s script, she catches a glimpse of Jung-ah and her Other Man, who are getting cozy in a spare moment. She doesn’t make much of this, and quietly slips away.
It isn’t until she hears from Jae-hee that the choreographer is Shi-joon’s wife that the significance of the scene hits her, and this knowledge weighs on her. For instance, when she accompanies Shi-joon on some business, she eyes him warily and doesn’t know how to act with this knowledge on her conscience.
They also run into Shi-joon’s rival, Producer Eom, who never can resist a chance to make digs at Shi-joon and The Show Company. Kae-hwa — who can never resist sticking up for what she believes in — fires back a defense, prompting Eom to mock her as well as their star Min-woo, he of the notoriously noxious acting talents.
Eom, by the way, is in business with Kae-hwa’s ex-husband Byung-hak, who is a successful businessman and investor. The two get down to some schmoozing, and between Eom’s sleaziness and Byung-hak’s smugness, this really is a match made in producer heaven.
Min-woo’s rehearsal goes pretty well, and is watched by an eager audience of dancers, who are excited to have such a big star in their midst. Jung-ah is pleased with the rehearsal, and Min-woo feels pretty good about himself, too. Kae-hwa calls to check upon him, whereupon he requests snacks. Then Yura calls, and he invites her to drop by the studio.
Therefore, Yura and Kae-hwa arrive in the neighborhood at the same time. Yura wrinkles her nose at Kae-hwa’s prepared kimbap, having brought a pretty cake herself, and whines over a tiny run in her stocking. Being the princess that she is, she has no problem requesting that Kae-hwa buy her a new pair, as though Kae-hwa is her maid.
Kae-hwa finds the request a bit much, but agrees anyway and leaves the kimbap with Yura before heading off.
When Yura arrives, a few of the other dancers beeline for the kimbap and enthusiastically dig in. Yura had been expecting her offering to be the bigger hit, but she’s not about to claim it now, so she acts like she made the food and surreptitiously hides the cake she bought. Min-woo is proud of her for the gesture, too, because it reflects well on him. Happy to take the credit and run, Yura leaves before Kae-hwa returns.
Thankfully, this misunderstanding doesn’t drag on too long (and thereby endanger my blood pressure), because when Kae-hwa comments on the kimbap, Min-woo realizes she made it. He doesn’t tell her about the mix-up, but he smiles a bit to hear the truth.
The good mood is not to last long, because while Min-woo changes clothes, he overhears the conversation between two other dancers, who must be really dumb to talk about Min-woo behind his back when he’s still around. Even the guy who had flattered Min-woo to his face now grumbles about him — Jung-ah had praised Min-woo, but she was just giving him some lip service since they all know how harsh she usually is. They sneer at Min-woo for being gullible to believe her praise, and describe his dancing style as nightclub stuff (read: cheap and untrained). The thing is, they’re not exactly wrong, which is perhaps why he’s so bothered to hear their comments.
Kae-hwa also overhears the conversation, so when Min-woo storms out of the dressing room wearing a dark expression, she knows he must have heard.
In the car, she tries to lift his spirits with a few reassuring words, not addressing the locker room conversation directly. Would he like a trip to the spa to relax him?
He remains silent and grim, so Kae-hwa tries a different tactic. Suggesting that she needs a laugh to keep from falling asleep, she gives herself the challenge of making Min-woo laugh within ten seconds. With that, she starts to sing loudly — and very badly, in an off-key voice, with exaggerated embellishments. (The song is Wax’s “Oppa” — which is already rather silly to begin with.)
Despite the dark mood, Min-woo has to force himself to keep his face stoic at her ridiculous antics, and coughs to cover up his laugh. Kae-hwa exults — she made him laugh!
Second Topless Siwon scene! I do believe there was one episode missing a glimpse at his choco abs, so perhaps this episode is compensating. Min-woo relaxes in the spa, finding himself unwittingly humming the “Oppa” song before catching himself.
Kae-hwa’s plan has worked, and when he comes out, he’s feeling much better.
Meanwhile, Manager Yoon-seok shows up at Min-woo’s apartment. Sick of being out of the loop and angry at being unable to get a hold of Min-woo, he uses the master key to let himself inside. The apartment is empty — but he does find a crumpled sheet of paper on the bedroom floor. It’s the DNA results. Uh-oh! Somehow I don’t think Yoon-seok’s gonna use this knowledge for good instead of evil.
As they leave the spa, Kae-hwa gets a call to pick up Ye-eun, so she apologetically tells Min-woo they’ll have to make a stop. She knows this may annoy him, but he bears it pretty well — even when he’s got to share a backseat with her.
Ye-eun needs a spare set of clothing, so Kae-hwa braves Min-woo’s displeasure again to request a second stop on the way home. Again, he allows this without much fuss, and watches her shop inside the children’s store from the car.
She pauses in front of a girl’s dress (one for Min-ji) and eyes it wistfully, but keeps her purchases to Ye-eun’s clothing. To her surprise, when she returns to the car and hands back his credit card, Min-woo indicates that she take it back and tells her to buy the dress she was eyeing. He’ll buy it for her.
To keep up his cool image, he tells her he’ll just take it out of her pay. Kae-hwa knows him better than this and says, “You talk so mean but I know you’re not that kind of person.” She accepts the gesture gratefully and thrills at being able to buy Min-ji new clothes.
When they arrive home, both father and daughter are asleep, with Ye-eun halfway in Min-woo’s lap. The bonding has begun!
At their place, Jung-ah greets Shi-joon when he comes home, at first talking to him in her usual friendly manner. Ever since he found out she was cheating, he has treated her coldly, and today is no different — he packs a bag of clothing from his room, and starts to head back out.
Jung-ah wonders where he’s been sleeping, finding his behavior odd. Shi-joon, tired of her innocent act, asks why she should find this strange, challenging her to confront him about the truth. And Jung-ah has to know that he knows — if you’re cheating and your spouse starts to act distant and not share a bed with you, maybe you can have a clue?
Kae-hwa heads up to the apartment first, taking the girl with her, so as to avoid Min-woo getting caught with them in a compromising situation. A surprise awaits her, as Yoon-seok has been waiting in the apartment, stewing, and he confronts her about the exact circumstances of their arrangement. As he has seen the DNA results, Kae-hwa has to come clean and explain how she agreed to watch over Ye-eun in order to get Min-woo to agree to the musical.
Yoon-seok assumes that Kae-hwa is serious about blackmailing Min-woo with his kid in exchange for the contract. That’s technically true, but from Kae-hwa’s reaction (and what we know of her character), we can safely presume that she never intended to actually spread the gossip. Yoon-seok asks coldly how much money it would take to shut her up, and doesn’t accept her protestations that she’s not that kind of person.
Yoon-seok lives in a more jaded reality, and orders Kae-hwa to send the child to an orphanage. He’ll send someone round in the morning, by which time she should name her price.
Thinking quickly, Kae-hwa bursts out, “Then I’ll tell! I’ll reveal that Sung Min-woo abandoned his child.” (See, she’s more sly than she looks, as we know!) If she talks, Min-woo won’t be the only one ruined — the manager will also lose his cash cow: “That should be the scariest thing to a person like you who only thinks of a star as a money-making machine.”
Yoon-seok scoffs at her threat, but she demands with shaking voice and hands, “You think I can’t do it?” She dials for the operator on her phone and asks for the number to a broadcast station.
After waiting a suitable amount of time in the car, Min-woo comes up to the apartment, just in time to catch the rest of the conversation:
Kae-hwa: “To you, only the Sung Min-woo who makes money is really Sung Min-woo. You don’t think anything about the distress that he’s going through because of the child who suddenly appeared, do you? You don’t, which is why it’s so easy for you to tell me to get rid of her. Do you think Min-woo will be able to live comfortably after that?”
Yoon-seok: “Why can’t he? He’s plenty capable of that.”
Kae-hwa: “No! Not the Sung Min-woo as I see him. Sung Min-woo is different from you.”
Kae-hwa now dials the number to the broadcast station, and Yoon-seok grabs her arm fiercely, causing her phone to clatter to the ground. He threatens to scare her properly in order to teach her a lesson — at which point a voice cuts in: “Let go.”
Yoon-seok sees Min-woo watching near the doorway, and dismisses the warning to deal with Kae-hwa first. With more of an edge, Min-woo again warns his manager to let her go.
At that, Yoon-seok looks between the two and jeers. Still clenching Kae-hwa’s arm in a painful grip, he ask if there’s something going on between them.
Min-woo’s had enough, and strides up to Yoon-seok and punches him in the face. (Omo!) Wait, let me rewind that part again. Yup, he clocks him but good.
Taking Kae-hwa’s hand, Min-woo says, “Let’s go,” and leads her out.
Talk about using all the cliches in the book, huh? There isn’t any single element of this drama that is terribly unique (spoiled stars, single moms, older-woman romance, evil managers, secret children), although this may be the only one to arrange its elements in this particular order. Throughout the first four episodes, I had felt amused by but disconnected to the characters and story, and wondered whether to drop this drama.
This episode brings me back (at least for now), since we get the two leads growing on each other in an emotional way. I like that the attraction isn’t physical, and that it goes both ways in this episode. Kae-hwa sees Min-woo’s hurt when the dancers badmouth him, and Min-woo gets a glimpse into the emotions underneath Kae-hwa’s chipper ajumma exterior several times — first with Min-ji and the milk, then when she packs the kimbap and cheers him up with song, and finally when she buys the dress for Min-ji.
On one hand, it sorta feels like the romance is growing out of mutual pity (which can’t be healthy?). But I suppose the pity acts as an entree to understanding, rather than an end in itself, so there’s that.