Well, well, well, we left episode 2 with Hye-ri being taken by the police, accused of trying to have some unhealthy fun with two kids. Can an hour of korean television be heartbreaking, fun and hate-inducing at the same time? Yes, and this episode is just another proof of that.
SONG OF THE DAY
Dreams of a doll by Loveholic (which is so appropiate for today’s epi!) [ Download ]
Excerpt from the lyrics
I was always one step behind you / Will you forever be unable to see me?
While looking at me / While speaking with your hands
I will always love you.
Before their arrival to the police station, while on the car, Hye-ri and Yoo-na discuss their difficult situation, and how they’ll manage to keep this incident under control. She’s a prosecutor, and being accused of rape would be a killing wound to her career and reputation; even worst, because she is a law officer, she knows exactly that she’ll have to pay for this offense.
After receiving a message from In-woo (“Weird-lawyer”), Yoo-na suggests calling him; they’d be able to solve all this misunderstanding without Hye-ri’s dad finding out. Hye-ri instantly remembers how she kicked his leg, and how outraged she was because of the entire “workshop non-attendance” thing, so she can’t do it.
Yoo-na: You may as well lose your dignity to someone you had none with to start off.
Hye-ri agrees, somewhat reluctantly. In-woo says he doesn’t want to take her case or her money, and threatens to hang up (In-woo refusing Hye-ri?! No way!) if she doesn’t tell him what the hell is going on. She explains all this mess, but really weirdly and he scolds her for not even knowing what she is talking about. We all know that she knows, but is embarrassed for both her situation and for having to call HIM of all the people in the world, so she simply tells him not to go.
Without a lawyer, Hye-ri has to face an investigator’s interrogation, who tends to believe the kids and not her. ZE:A boys take advantage of this, and they say that those two freaking ladies offered money to have a one-night stand with them. Hye-ri doesn’t seem to understand why this boys are lying, and tries to be reasonable with them – “Don’t you know how big a crime is to lie and bring false testimony to someone else?”. They keep saying that they’re innocent victims to their insatiable lust, and won’t change their statements, being pretty cynical, specially when Hye-ri affirms that they said they were 22 years old. After this accusation, one of them looks at her eyes and (oh, boy I hate his face!) says that both Hye-ri and Yoo-na let them lie like that (huh? Damn brats!).
And then, THE moment we’d all had been waiting for. I have to admit, in this episode I went from “oh, his creepy smile” to “squeeeee” regarding In-woo’s appearances. He enters the scene shouting “Honey!”, to Hye-ri’s (and everyone’s) surprised face(s).
In-woo: Honey! What happened? Are you okay? Are you hurt? Oh, I brought you to the club hoping you’d have some fun with Yoo-na for the first time in a long time. What is this? Statutory rape? Who is that fraud? These two?
(Aaaawwww). When he presents himself as Hye-ri’s fiancée, she tries to stand up and protest, but he makes her sit again (I’m sold to his charms already).
He talks to those rascals, and shows them up, just by observing their clothes and listening to their arguments, making them trip themselves up. He points out that their T-shirts are from a designer’s brand, and asks who bought them and when. The boys are puzzled, and In-woo explains why he is being this sharp.
In-woo: I heard you ran away from home last March. So I wonder when your parents bought them for you. You, brats! Did you run away from home to swindle noonas? You guys were caught last December while looking for noonas on the internet, weren’t you?
Hye-ri is released (and we have to suppose that Yoo-na too, but she got lost in her way, we don’t see her anymore), and jokingly In-woo tells her that she is blind for not seeing that they were infants. But Hye-ri is worried about something more important – what if this incident is known at the prosecutor’s office? In-woo tells her not to worry, he won’t say a thing, and offers to take her home, seeing both her pitiful state and that she’s about to throw up for drinking on a empty stomach. How does he know that?
In-woo was being overly optimistic, since not only the incident is known at the prosecutor’s office, BUT IN ALL KOREA, making her blind date (organized by her father with a congressman’s son) to be cancelled. Here, we have to start wondering about the photographer that’s been following her since the beginning of the drama, and whom I thought was not relevant. Is he responsible for the leak of her scandal?
Obviously, all her partners already hated her, and now, well, that awful sentiment is worse. She’s giving shame to the prosecutor’s name, even if she’s been fooled. Useless but funny fact: the number one word on search engines is “bu-gum”, the word for prosecutor who does casual meet-ups in clubs.
Hye-ri refuses to go to work, and is considering resignation; she feels terrible and can’t face all those evil people at the office. And she hasn’t even realized that her name and photo are all over the internet!
Poppa Ma has investigated a bit about his daughter’s doings at work, and has found out that she’s really lousy and underestimated. She didn’t become independent, she was neglected. She has stepped on him not one time, but twice! Hey, twice? What has happened before, that we’re not aware of?
Mr. Flashback tells us that once upon a time, Hye-ri was a design student and model, but when her parents went to her fashion show, they heard that she was plagiarizing Vera Wang’s 2003 Spring Wedding Collection. Ooops. Also, as a model she kinda sucked, not walking properly, hiding behind her flower bouquets, and almost falling a couple of times. But this is not all, my friends! Her father, the man himself, went up the stage and grabbed her hair, dragging her and shattering both her pride and self-esteem.
He burnt all her clothes and cards, and made her to give up and pursue law studies, after a heartbreaking scene that made us hate him even more than before, in which she begs for forgiveness and promises to do as he wants. I understand, she needs some taste of discipline, but clearly this is not the way.
Back to present, we have a similar situation. He says that if she fails to become a prosecutor in a fortnight, he’ll make her independent from him, too.
Mr. Ma: The phrase “a parent is who unconditionally loves their child”, is the phrase I hate the most. It makes me sick! That doesn’t exist in the real world. What’s for free? I let you spend as much money as you wanted. Now it’s your turn to do what I want you to do. Why do I have to lose out?!
He’s saying he’s bought her for life, and we can see how vulnerable and lonely she is. Her mother, who seemed like her accomplice, now forces her to agree. Hye-ri is a creature of her parents, and is really unsure and shaking inside, she has no choice but to go to work and try to satisfy her father.
Once again, all her cards are taken away, with her car keys, too, and is given 5000 won. I would have loved this punishment if the timing was like, 10 years ago??? Anyway, Hye-ri has to take the subway! She doesn’t forget she’s a lady, though, and fixes her make up while onboard.
What she feared the most has happened. Her reputation has indeed been destroyed, everyone knows about the “bu-gum” scandal, and ain’t trying to hide it. Her boss, particularly, is playing the “indifference game”, and doesn’t shout, scold or try to kill her with a katana; he just tells her that she has no assigned cases.
So, defeated, she pays a visit to all of her sunbaes offices, but they mistreat her and pretend to be blind, they ingnore her completely. Ok, why is that? No matter how messed up is she, that’s no reason to be like this. Are they some kind of sect or something? Finally, she meets with Prosecutor “stiff face” Yoon, who tells her (briefly) to get lost if she doesn’t like her job.
Hye-ri: Why do you hate me so much? You already knew me, you saw me at the ski resort.
Se-joon: How could I forget?
Hye-ri: Then, why do you act as if you don’t know? If you acted like you didn’t know, you should’ve acted like you didn’t know until the very end… Why did you tell everyone about me?
But here enters Yoon’s assistant and tells the truth: he spread the rumor. Se-joon goes away, without saying a word, and the assistant explains the story about Kim Don Suk and Se-joon’s inability to catch him. Now, everything makes sense, Prosecutor Yoon has his reason for hating her and treating her like a scumbag! (huh?)
In-woo meets the stalker reporter in a pretty freaking awesome way, and urges him not to print Hye-ri’s story (“From stalker to stalker, I saw her first!”). The journalist is suspicious – why is he doing this to save her? Pretending to be her fiancée? But omnipotent In-woo can’t be bullied, heavens forbid, he knows the story behind this guy: an article of his was the reason why a person committed suicide. He wrote about Jin Young Ra’s sex tape, receiving money from this person’s rival, so he must delete the article (or else, In-woo will make his life a hell!!). Good thing Hye-ri has In-woo acting as her shadow! It might be creepy, but it sure helps a lot!
Look at those pants!
He doesn’t have to be exactly a shadow, and c’mon, some reward for his caring behavior would be appreciated. So, he meets Hye-ri, who no longer misunderstands him and doesn’t accuse him of talking to that awful journalist, and tells her that he made sure the article was dropped. Yay! Plus 10 points, baby!
Hye-ri: Then, how do you know that person? Did you meet him? Was it you who made the article be dropped?
In-woo: What was I supposed to do? What else could I have done? Otherwise, I would’ve been misunderstood again.
YEAH! In-woo rocks!
Now, it’s the turn of a creepy laugh. It won’t break his charm this time, though. He’s laughing at Hye-ri’s father blackmails, and at the way she takes them. Hye-ri explains that they’re not empty words, she’ll be sent to exile if she doesn’t take at least one case. If she wants to succeed and keep all her clothing privileges, she has either to take cases or do her own investigation (suspicious face by In-woo).
Again a meeting with some lady, which is not random, but who is a mystery. In-woo visited her in the first episode, but I left this part out, because nothing actually happened. I mean, we don’t even know her name, occupation or how’s she related to him! Apparently, he goes to her place to have some friendly chit-chat, telling her that he’s a writer (why, forgodssake, why???) and wearing weird glasses (is he in disguise?). Is he even In-woo? Or is he In-woo from the future?
And this is one of the two most heartbreaking and unfair moments in today’s episode, so prepare your tissues!
Hye-ri wants to take care of the reservations for lunch, but, once again, she’s told that she doesn’t need to. All her subaes go to a korean restaurant, obviously not asking her to accompany them. They must think that she’ll go to some fancy place or just don’t think at all about her. The void is huge. Hungry and gloomy, when everyone is gone, she starts eating from a tiny lunch box filled with vegetables. She tries to convince herself of her happiness, but fails (she must feel really miserable), and decides to eat cookies and candies as crazy, hinting some kind of compulsive eating disorder. Not satisfied with those, she goes to a korean restaurant to answer to her depression with a fat-filled table of delicacies.
Oh! Perverse, stupid fate! Her sunbaes’ korean place is the same as hers, and Hye-ri overhears a harsh conversation from the conspirator’s table of doom.
Ji-won: Ma Hye-ri did that?
Min-suk: She’s probably in her office now, eating cherry tomatoes.
Ji-won: She will resign, right?
Min-suk: How about making a bet?
Se-joon: What’s the point of placing a bet on somebody who’s going to quit anyway?
Jung-sun: Did Prosecutor Ma say that she was going to quit?
Se-joon: How is she going to stay put, when she doesn’t have the skill or the effort? Especially, in this kind of environment.
Chief: Right. Since you were her guidance prosecutor, you must not be feeling very good about this.
Min-suk: What are you talking about? Prosecutor Yoon was the first one who threw her away.
Jung-sun: He didn’t throw her away, he simply couldn’t handle her. Honestly, who can handle her?
Ji-won: Someone without a sense of responsibility or talent. I’d hate to handle someone like her.
Chief: Ah, that’s strange. She can’t do her job properly, doesn’t even do her best, but still wants to look professional. I can’t understand her.
Min-suk: Usually, you call those people crazy.
At this point, Hye-ri’s sobs are loud enough to make them all aware of her presence. I don’t know about you guys, but this scene is so hurtful, that I wanted to book the first flight to Korea to punch everyone’s faces (specially Min-suk’s). Meeting up to talk dirty about a work or study companion is plainly wrong, no matter what has this subject done. Argh, I’m so pissed! They even want to look surprised and sorry! Hypocrites!
Hye-ri calms down, and confronts Prosecutor Yoon (who just had a talk about similarities between Prosecutor Ma and his wife with Jung-sun), telling him to be ready, to just wait and see, she’ll kick his ass and be better than him. She’ll step over his horrid face and make him feel sorry that he dared to throw her away. It didn’t happen that way, but we know that it would’ve been the whole spirit of her confrontation, if only she didn’t admire him that much. She just tells him that she’ll prove that she can do it, she can be a professional.
Meanwhile, outside In-woo’s quarters, we witness how he and Jenny talk about Hye-ri. He wonders whether she fits for the prosecutor position, but Jenny refuses to give away her opinions (she promised that when he returned from America). He says he doesn’t care, his opinions are what matter.
When night has come, we get a clue for In-woo’s obsession with Hye-ri. He is standing outside her house, and then FOOOSH, flashback! When they were kids, pretty and lovely Hye-ri gave him delicious muffins, when he went to her house. Was he poor? Perhaps, you get that vibe from this food-bonding moment, as she says that he shouldn’t starve, he could die (cute).
Eventually, Hye-ri arrives and In-woo can’t change his melancholic state of mind and she can feel it, but misunderstands it (as always). Well, anyone would misunderstand if a weird guy starts bringing himself closer to you with that confusing face. She tells him that he’s creeping her out; he’s there with his creepy face and creepy attitude in front of her house! He doesn’t respond to these accusations, instead, he asks why she cried. In the fierce battle between creepy and sweet, sweet wins, by now.
Deducing all she must’ve been through from listening at all the messages that her silence is sending, he offers one case to help her out. She agrees, and they arrange a meeting for the following day at his office, but he doesn’t say a thing about what kind of case it is. She thinks that he likes her – why else would he follow her everywhere? – and feels proud of it.
Whose daughter was the girl that Jung-sun was taking care of? Prosecutor Yoon’s! And he is not a very attentive father, it seems, but loves her and she makes him smile for the first time! Yay for smiling, Prosecutor Stiff! They share a cute food-bonding moment, in which the girl wants to call Jung-sun, but Se-joon refuses to.
Who cares about daughters and food when amazing In-woo is explaining his plan to Hye-ri? No one! So, the thing is, he’s been investigating some illegal gambling places, and Hye-ri will have to go undercover to get them. In-woo teaches her how to play Go-stop and I’m beginning to think that gamble-bonding is far better than the food one. Since she has an excellent memory, she can remember every little detail that is taught rather easily.
Hye-ri still has to learn how to be the real ahjumma, and they go to a public bathroom, where she’s hilarious while trying to imitate them. They scream, they move violently, they shake their hands, they scratch their legs, they laugh out really loud, and she just follows them, to In-woo’s delight. Once her training is over, they buy spy-related items. The problem is, she doesn’t want the phone with security features and just asks for the basic one, which receives feedback only. This decision will be regretted later on, girl!
Hye-ri is dressed up and sent with an accomplice to one of the gambling dives, for observational purposes. At her office, she chews gum like a ruminant cow while she reads the case’s files, behaving like an ahjumma. Has she been assimilated by them? Resistance to ahjumma’s way of life is futile!
As the saying says, today is the tomorrow you were scared of, and Hye-ri is taken to the field. With her attire ready and the spy’s stuff installed by Jenny, she puts on the Gioberni shoes, believing they’re lucky (really?). In-woo says that luck is something that others bring, and gives her a broach. As he gives her luck with that broach, her assistant (to whom she had asked for help) will take it away: Prosecutor Yoon asks him for assistance in the Kim Do Suk’s case, so he leaves Hye-ri without even telling her (uh-oh). Bad comradeship alert.
Hye-ri should consider burning those shoes: she isn’t taken to the place that was supposed to, and In-woo can’t find her. Have they been discovered? As of now, that’s not it, but not for a very long time.
Scary guy looks at the shoes with suspicion and Hye-ri decides to walk away (not the right strategy, if you ask me). Now they’re a scary bunch of guys that look at her with suspicion, and the tragedy is unavoidable. It’s a general rule, if you panic, things will start refusing to work out, and in a short time you’ll find yourself in such a big trouble, that you won’t be able to go backwards.
Hye-ri manages to go out, with the excuse of having to use the bathroom. But the bathroom has no room; it’s a hole in the middle of nowhere. She texts Investigator Cha, but the light from her phone is her ruin (and also the fact that he didn’t care about her and is not backing her up). He receives the message, though, and is a bit confused about it, since it is about side dishes in a refrigerator. What could that mean?
(The suspense is killing me!)
The guy who approached her and is now making uncomfortable questions about the cell phone and Investigator Cha’s identity, discovers the device hidden in Hye-ri’s back when she falls, and the pursuit begins.
Investigator Cha calls Prosecutor Yoon, who is awaiting news about Kim Don Suk at the office (how convenient!), and tells him to look inside the refrigerator. Se-joon discovers the a GPS with a letter handwritten by Hye-ri.
Investigator Cha, if you’re reading this, it means that Prosecutor Ma has succeeded in making video evidence of illegal gambling houses. Please come to my location along with the police forces.
There’s a GPS transmitter on me, so just follow the map. There are about 40 or 50 gamblers and 11 people running the place, so make sure you bring enough people to arrest all of them.
Fighting! Prosecutor Ma’s personal investigation has succeeded.
In-woo won’t have the chance to save our damsel in distress, and it’s a pity, guys, his motorcycle is a total winner. In addition, he’s been visiting every gambling place around, and Se-joon has the GPS, so it’s easier for him to find Hye-ri.
Second brutal and heartbreaking moment. Viewers discretion is advised.
Hye-ri is questioned, but won’t say a thing. Both In-woo and Se-joon are on their ways, but they won’t be able to prevent the savage beating that Hye-ri will endure.
And then, she sees him, in slo-mo, running, her saviour, her knight…
Prosecutor Yoon! (Why did he come alone? Hye-ri asked clearly for police’s assistance!)
Audience says: Boooooo!
He displays some really cool ass-kicking skills, I have to admit.
Minutes later, In-woo arrives, and sees not only this outsider obtaining the hero title, but also how his muffin lady is hugging him.
Heartbreak x 1000.
First of all, please don’t think that I don’t get the sunbaes anger. I totally understand that Hye-ri is not easy to bear, what pisses me off is that they’re not even trying. I’ve had some awful first-impression-workmates, but after realizing that I had to work with them daily, I left all my prejudices aside and was able to find awesome people, better and worst at their tasks than me. They might not be my friends, but just by talking, I could make them understand me and vice-versa.
These guys ditched her on her very first day, and are talking behind her back like today’s episode showed us. If you ask me, it’s an unforgivable sin. You can’t do that, how can they talk about justice after having this spiteful behavior?
It happens the same with her father. She’s spoiled and bratty, but what? Did he find out now? Where was he as she grew up to be this shallow lady? Playing ping-pong? It’s time to learn how to reach her, and shouting and threatening and being all scary might be effective, but not efficient.
Regarding the muffin love, it was sweet, but incomplete. Something more is happening, and perhaps this could be the first step into In-woo’s complexity, and, obviously, I want more. His love might have started at that very moment, but he’s hiding his most important goal. Which is that? Is Hye-ri’s dad involved? We still don’t know.
Last but not least, seeing In-woo staring at that emotionally heavy hug between Se-joon and Hye-ri, was sad, truly sad. You all know that he wasn’t my pick in the first episode; nevertheless, this one was a game changer for me. Now, I can feel his sweetness, and the creepy factor is slowly fading away. His muffin-motivation is more powerful than Prosecutor Yoon’s (based only on a similarity), and his love is more sincere (even considering that he keeps something hidden, I don’t think he has something against her). When he looks at Hye-ri, while she is being her quirky self, his eyes are those of an admirer, as if an ancient roman could see Aphrodite (eehh, perhaps too much?). So, the last 3 minutes were so distressing, that I could actually feel his deception for not arriving sooner.
This was an In-woo centered episode, and that might be the cause for this sudden fangirly reaction. I’m looking forward to Prosecutor Yoon’s one (so we can start the real and hard division between IW and SJ shippers!), I believe that his character could bring us more depth to this (still unripe) love triangle.
That was all, folks! Hope you enjoyed watching and reading as I did!
Now, my fellow kaedejun will continue this story!
[Off-topic: The song that plays at the very end is Goodbye My Princess by Monday Kiz and can be listened here]