Drama Recaps
Bad Guy: Episode 3
by | June 7, 2010 | 59 Comments

A note on the scheduling: Last week, SBS only aired one episode, and this week they’ll air 4 and 5. Next week (June 16 and 17), there will be no broadcast due to World Cup coverage. The normal schedule will resume the following week. It sucks, but what can you do?

I’m really enjoying the vibe of this drama — confident, sexy — but it is by no means without flaws, some of them more substantial than others. But regardless of those, I think this’ll be a fun one to follow and dissect.

Also, fear not for those of you who were clamoring for girlfriday to continue with recaps! She’ll be writing the next one, and we’ll be alternating hereafter.

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EPISODE 3 RECAP

Tae-ra tries to convince Mo-nae that entangling herself with Gun-wook is a bad idea, but this interference is not appreciated by Mo-nae, who is experiencing a bout (perhaps her first?) of rebellion. She bites out that Gun-wook is a lot better than cheating fiancé Eom Se-joong, who has a girlfriend on the side. At least Gun-wook is sincere about his feelings for her (or so she believes).

Tae-ra pulls the classic older-sister move and warns Mo-nae that she’ll tell their parents if she doesn’t break it off with Gun-wook. As for the matter of Eom Se-joong, she’ll take care of it, so don’t act until Tae-ra confirms that it’s true.

The two officers are ready to conclude the investigation of Sun-young’s death, ruling it a suicide. However, just as Old Cop grudgingly makes the call (he’s still not satisfied, but doesn’t have more to go on), a man who has been arrested sees the photos on the desk and recognizes Sun-young. He smirks — after the ruckus he saw her in, he’s not surprised that she’s gotten herself into more trouble. That gets the officers’ attentions, and they grill him for details.

Shortly before she died, the man had seen her in the street near the location of her death, arguing with a man. He hadn’t been able to see the guy — although we clearly see that it’s Gun-wook — but recalls that she had been crying and pleading, calling him, “Tae-sung-ah!”

Finally, a break in the case! (Or so they think.)

New Cop gets on the phone with Hong Tae-sung, since what other Tae-sung could there be? It’s not like it could possibly be a common name or anything. Tae-sung is at the airport on his way to Japan, determined never to come back to Korea, and scoffs at their charge. First of all, Sun-young never addressed him as “Tae-sung-ah,” as she was always very correct about calling him “Tae-sung-sshi.” Secondly, he insists that she had no other man in her life other than him. Therefore they must have mistaken the scenario.

Yet based on their witness’s confirmation, they’re pretty sure they have the right woman. Thus they are frustrated as to what to do, because they believe Tae-sung is their big link but don’t have enough reason to keep him from leaving the country.

In his stylish lair, Gun-wook contemplates the business card given to him by Jae-in when she ran into him. He calls her, identifying himself as the coffee guy without using his name, which has the effect of furthering her misconception that he is Hong Tae-sung without technically lying about it.

Gun-wook tells Jae-in that the coffee stain won’t come out and turns down her offer to get it cleaned professionally. Instead, he requests that she come over to wash it, being purposely demanding because he’s curious to see how far she’ll accommodate him. When she shows up at his door, he murmurs, half-surprised, “She really came.”

He isn’t the least embarrassed to have her see the massive mess he passes off as his apartment (it seems it’s really the action director’s place) and talks to her in an almost taunting tone, like he’s testing to see how far he can push things. Jae-in would prefer to pay to have the shirt cleaned or take it to her own place to put it in her washer, but Gun-wook makes it clear that he really wants her to hand-wash it. So she holds back her disgruntlement — she’s got to ingratiate herself to Tae-sung, after all — and agrees.

After pointing the way to the bathroom, Gun-wook leaves her with the shirt and heads out. Jae-in starts washing in the dingy bathroom, where she notes that he lives in less luxurious environs than she’d expect of a chaebol’s son. Recalling Tae-sung’s disgruntled prank with the Haeshin office PA system, she figures it’s because he’s on the outs with his family.

At first it seems that Gun-wook is merely testing Jae-in to see how interested she is in him; he deliberately pushes the boundaries of politeness while Jae-in smiles and takes it. However, now we see that he actually knows Jae-in has got her own ulterior motive. A flashback to their first run-in shows that he had seen Jae-in in the cafe, taking the lid off her coffee cup, and planning the collision. Now that he knows she’s up to something, all that’s left is to figure out what that is.

While Jae-in washes, Gun-wook loiters around the neighborhood, eventually joining a group of kids kicking around a soccer ball. He agrees to play goalkeeper for them and adds to the challenge by promising to buy the kids an ice cream for every goal they score on him. He assures them that he used to be quite the player in his day, but as it happens, he lets them all score, managing to fumble all the goals. We know he’s doing this on purpose, but he tells the kids that they’re just that good, and buys them all ice cream.

This is perhaps the first time we’ve seen him being genuine with other people — with everyone else we’ve seen a very controlled Gun-wook, with a carefully projected image. It’s nice to see that his cynicism in people doesn’t extend to children; maybe he isn’t a complete misanthropist. It’s just that most of the people populating the world(s) he has chosen to inhabit happen to be phonies, opportunists, and heartless bastards.

Gun-wook receives — but ignores — a phone call from someone he has nicknamed “Rope,” which turns out to be Mo-nae. (The meaning of “rope” is something we’ll all have to wonder about for the moment, but I see it in a few different, contrasting ways: It can be a binding agent that shackles a person, but can also be a lifeline to safety, or perhaps a link upward to greater ambitions. Or an innocent object one uses to wrap around the neck of somebody else?)

To keep Mo-nae from meeting Gun-wook, Tae-ra orders her to stay inside all day so as to keep an eye on her. Which is pretty much an easy way to guarantee insubordination — if she thinks this is bad, wait till her own daughter pushes back against such rigid dictates. Frustrated, Mo-nae challenges her to go ahead and tell Mom everything — tell her that she likes Gun-wook oppa, but also that Eom Se-joong is cheating with that actress hussy.

Which is, of course, when Mom steps inside and demands to know what’s going on.

Tae-ra explains the situation to her mother, having confirmed that the fiancé is indeed dating Choi Hye-joo. Tae-ra votes for calling off the wedding, and while Mom agrees that she’d like to, she’s wary. Eom is a senior executive at another corporation, Chungsoo Group, and they need that business alliance. They certainly won’t marry Mo-nae off to such a bastard, but in order to preserve Haeshin Group’s standing, they’ll have to get Eom to call it off first.

As they are not exactly brimming over with clever ideas on how to accomplish this, they’ll have to think it over. Madam Shin tells Tae-ra to find out more about Choi Hye-joo, and also about this Gun-wook punk.

After Jae-in finishes with the shirt, she prepares to leave… which is when she takes a look around his disaster zone of an apartment and sighs. Not only can’t she abide the mess, she’s also looking for ways to curry favor with the Haeshin heir, so she gets to work cleaning up.

When Gun-wook gets back, he’s surprised that Jae-in is still here and startled at all the clean space. Rather than being impressed or flattered with her cleanup efforts, Gun-wook asks her point-blank, “Do you like me?” He eyes her in that unnerving, jeering way, and repeats, “Do you like me since I’m Hong Tae-sung?”

Not deaf to the condescending tone to his question, Jae-in laughs — not out of mirth, but in irritation. Tossing down the clothes she’s holding, she gets sarcastic. She shoves a finger in his chest and asks mockingly why he lives in such a mess. Patting him on the head in a patronizing gesture, she tells him, “Noona will take care of you, so let’s get it together and live nicely, all right?” Surprised, Gun-wook is duly silenced and a little chastened.

Except, of course, that this is all in Jae-in’s mind — it’s the scenario she’d LIKE to enact, if only she weren’t trying to win Tae-sung over. Instead, she answers with a plausible explanation, that she’s very fond of Mo-nae and wanted to do something nice for Mo-nae’s brother. Gun-wook dismisses her, and Jae-in takes her cue to leave.

Yet oddly enough, Gun-wook follows her out, strolling along several feet behind her. Jae-in looks back at him curiously a few times as she makes her way to the bus stop — where he joins her in waiting.

Jae-in asks if he’s here to see her off, but he answers that he’s got an errand to run. (The implication is, “Don’t think everything’s about you.”) Gun-wook has an unnerving way of talking — even when Jae-in is right, he asks questions in a probing way that keeps her off-kilter somehow. For instance, he cuts off her attempts to make conversation, which Jae-in understands as a dismissal. Yet when her bus arrives, he follows her on it.

At this point she no longer believes his excuse of having his own errand, even though he sticks to that line when she asks if he’s following her.

As their conversation lulls, Jae-in looks over at Gun-wook, becoming transfixed as she gazes at his face. With the lurch of the bus, she stumbles against him — a contrived gesture, I’m fairly certain — and he catches her. Based on the ease with which he grabs her, it seems he was expecting the move, and he asks sardonically, “Do you always do that? Do you always stand there blankly, then fall over like that?”

We’ve already seen how poor a liar Jae-in is, and she trips over her words as she answers, “N-no, that’s not it. I-I’m actually pretty smart and I always have to do things perfectly…” Without sparing her so much as a glance, Gun-wook drawls, “Isn’t it embarrassing to praise yourself?”

That shuts her up, making her feel foolish. She gets off the bus without another look at him.

But once again, he follows her off the bus and continues walking a few paces behind. At one point Jae-in stumbles again, and he grabs her arm to steady her. This time she’s more startled — because she hadn’t planned the stumble, I suppose — and he again makes her foolish by commenting on her propensity for falling.

Awkwardly, she points out that she’s at her destination and mumbles a goodbye. Gun-wook gives her a brief nod, then turns back the way he came. This proves to Jae-in that he was seeing her home, and she wonders if that means Gun-wook is interested in her. Oh, he is, but not exactly the way you’re hoping.

He stops for a drink outside a neighborhood convenience store, where a group of delinquent schoolgirls huddle to elect one of them to approach the older man. Won-in loses the draw, meaning she is the one to offer Gun-wook two bucks (2,000 won) to buy her a pack of cigarettes (“For my father!”).

Gun-wook takes the cash, but emerges from the store with only a beer for himself. She looks at him questioningly, to which he reminds her that he’s the bus stop guy from whom she took 1,000 won — he’s just reclaimed his debt. (The extra 1,000 won he attributes to interest. Lol.)

Outraged, Won-in fumbles in his pockets for money, but comes up empty. Thoroughly vexed, she snaps at him to answer the ringing phone he is ignoring. He tells her to go ahead, so she answers and tells “Ms. Rope” that the owner of the phone doesn’t want to talk to her, “So don’t call.”

Mo-nae sinks into a deeper funk at this continued silence from Gun-wook, which is exacerbated the next day when she finds that Driver Kang has been dispatched as her escort. This prompts an angry call to her sister, who instructs Mo-nae to go straight home from school. Just the kind of autocratic Big Sis move that guarantees that Little Sis won’t. In fact, Mo-nae seizes the first opening that comes her way and escapes from the driver in a taxi.

After hanging up the phone, Tae-ra lets her mind wander to her recent encounters with Gun-wook, and the memories get her (literally) heated.

Mo-nae arrives at the action school in search of Gun-wook, and instead finds Hye-joo working out with martial arts director Jang. Mo-nae smiles widely at him while thoroughly ignoring Hye-joo, only pausing to shoot her a challenging look as she introduces herself as “Gun-wook oppa’s girlfriend.”

But this doesn’t exactly have the effect she’s going for, because both Hye-joo and Jang know Gun-wook well, and they chuckle. Hye-joo can play at Mo-nae’s game (and probably better), and she pointedly mentions the upcoming weekend amusement park shoot, dangling that bait in front of Mo-nae.

Mo-nae’s absence from home has Tae-ra and her mother on edge, but they tacitly agree not to tell President Hong about the recent rebellious behavior. They do inform him of Director Eom’s other girlfriend, and Dad shares their disapproval of the cheating bastard. He agrees that the engagement must be called off.

The Moon sisters watch a movie together — Han Hyo-joo and Jaejoong’s Heaven’s Postman — and the main reason I include this bit is because I find it hilarious how the tough, wayward teen is in tears over the sad movie, while her more feminine- and soft-looking sister watches unmoved.

As they walk out of the theater, Jae-in sighs over her bad luck in love, which Won-in attributes to Jae-in’s excessive pickiness. Some of us would call that standards, but who are we to judge? Won-in tsks-tsks Jae-in’s inability to seal the deal with Tae-sung (well, Gun-wook) even after going to his home, and takes Jae-in’s phone to start texting a message.

She only tells her sister that she texted Tae-sung until after hitting send, which mortifies Jae-in. Worse yet, the message read, “I’m free today.” Hardly scandalous, but embarrassing all the same. But before Jae-in has a chance to properly flip out, a text comes back: “I’m free too.”

Thrown into a nervous panic, Jae-in frets about how to respond, so Won-in grabs the phone. While fending off Jae-in’s attempted grabs, she types: “Where are you? Would you like to grab some coffee?”

Jae-in may complain about her sister’s tactics but she enjoys the result, which is a coffee date with Gun-wook through the park. The conversation is meandering but pleasant; he doesn’t talk to her with that sneer in his voice this time, and even teases about having more housework available for her. At least this time he laughs with her rather than at her.

A woman asks Jae-in to take a photo for her family, and Gun-wook smiles to himself as he watches her. That smile fades when he turns his gaze to the happy family, which takes him back to happier memories of his own happy family in early childhood.

The conversation takes a more intimate turn as Jae-in reminisces about the spring picnics of her childhood, when her father was still alive. She muses that it would hardly be fun now because of all the crowds and inconveniences, but mostly because her father is gone. That strikes a chord within Gun-wook, who can understand the feeling.

She doesn’t notice, but we see him looking at her in a different light — for the first time he’s hesitant, even a little bit longing. As Jae-in walks on, he reaches out a hand slowly toward her shoulder, as though to extend a comforting touch. Just before he makes contact, a photographer interrupts and he jerks back his hand quickly.

The photographer takes touristy snapshots for passersby, and encourages the couple to pose for him. Jae-in starts to decline, explaining that they’re not in that kind of relationship, but Gun-wook grabs her shoulder and instructs the man to go ahead. He smiles widely for the shot, while Jae-in looks on a little bewildered.

This is a nice scene, and no doubt an important one that marks a shifting in their relationship dynamics. However, I notice that so far every episode has had at least one scene that feels glaringly out of step, which is what this feels like to me. More on that below.

The next time we see Gun-wook, he’s back to his hardened, cold self. He meets with a contact who has been digging up information for him, who presents him with the requested reports on Haeshin Group and its affiliates. He also hands over research on Tae-ra and her husband, and advises Gun-wook not to mess with the husband or his family, as they’re quite powerful. Gun-wook tosses back, “Why not? That’s more fun for me.”

Next, he finally makes contact with Mo-nae by finding her at school, which brings a smile of relief to her face. She takes his appearance as a sign that all is well, and that he’s going to answer her calls from now on. But Gun-wook asks, “Why do I have to do all that? I’m nothing to you.”

That wipes the smile from her face; she doesn’t understand. Gun-wook explains that he doesn’t fit in with her dilettante ways — she can immerse herself into something for a few months and drop it later, easily.

Ah, so this is his tactic! He’s taken on the role of the vulnerable bad boy who’s afraid to let himself like Mo-nae because she’ll drop him. He plays this part to the hilt, dropping his eyes, looking wounded, and giving her the illusion that she has power over him, not vice versa. Brilliant.

Mo-nae tries to protest that that’s not how she feels, but I think he’s got a point about her spoiled-rich-girl privilege and her freedom to dabble in hobbies and drop them at a whim. Which is what makes his handling of this scene so genius, because his strategy is rooted in truth.

Mo-nae asks how long he has felt this way. He answers, “When I realized you wanted to hide me.” He tells Mo-nae not to act like that, sneaking him around and such — she’s most beautiful when she’s forthright and confident.

Acting like he’s going to do the “right thing” in letting her go, Gun-wook adds, “Don’t feel uneasy or hide things or hurt because of me. I’ll be fine, so don’t worry about me.” With a gentle smile he leaves, and Mo-nae feels the sting of his words because she can’t deny them.

As Gun-wook speeds along on his motorcycle — kdrama shorthand for “I’m a bad boy!” — he reveals his three names. First is the one his parents called him, Choi Tae-sung. Second is the one given to him by the Haeshin family, Hong Tae-sung. And the third he chose for himself, Shim Gun-wook. He thinks, “Sometimes I don’t know who I am, either.”

Tae-ra brings the phone to Mo-nae’s room; Director Eom is on the line. At first Mo-nae declines, but she changes her mind and accepts the phone. Without preamble, she tells her fiancé that she wants to go to the amusement park on the weekend. This surprises Tae-ra, but Mo-nae explains that she has “last words” to tell him.

Meanwhile, in case we weren’t sure that Eom was a douchenozzle of the first order, he makes this call while in the bed of his ladyfriend, and then proceeds to get back to the adulteratin’ as soon as he’s off the phone with the virginal bride-to-be. Or rather, his no-longer-bride-to-be-who-is-about-to-kick-your-sorry-ass-to-the-curb-courtesy-of-her-new-bad-boy-crush.

They arrive at the park that weekend, where a large area has been sectioned off for filming. Mo-nae spots Gun-wook filming with Hye-joo, and as he rides his bike along the road, she runs out in front to stop him. It’s a pretty bratty thing of her to do — this is a professional production that she’s interrupting — but it also speaks to Gun-wook’s unspoken challenge to show openly that she’s not ashamed of him.

Gun-wook’s annoyed and tells her tersely to move, as they’re working. Mo-nae apologizes for hiding him away and promises she’ll present him to her family and the world. Shooting a look at her fiancé, she declares, “Hong Mo-nae likes Shim Gun-wook!”

When Eom tries to drag Mo-nae away, Gun-wook points out that she doesn’t want to go. Eom yells at Mo-nae to go “wait in the car,” and faces Gun-wook angrily, asking, “Are you dating my woman?” Gun-wook smirks, “Mo-nae? Or Choi Hye-joo? Neither one seems that interested in you.”

Eom blames Gun-wook for Mo-nae’s sudden attitude change — because, you know, it had nothing to do with his cheating or anything — and warns him to stop dangling after her.

Now Gun-wook’s stare hardens and he sneers at the rich boy’s sense of entitlement. Incensed, Eom takes a swing, but Gun-wook is essentially a fighter by trade and easily gains the upper hand, twisting his arm and shoving him to the ground. Then, to add insult to the literal injury, he tosses him a few bills for a bus ride back to Seoul — Mo-nae has driven off in his car and he hadn’t even noticed.

She drives along wiping at angry tears, and a lone motorcycle rider speeds ahead from behind and starts swerving in the lane ahead of her, zooming along in wide arcs, left and right. Mo-nae pulls over and happily gets out of the car, only to find that the bike has disappeared from sight.

At first glance it seems as though he had merely zoomed off before she had a chance to catch him, but upon second watch it seems likely that she’d imagined the encounter, which is supported by the fact that she is soon bedridden with a high fever, murmuring “Gun-wook oppa” in her sleep.

Madam Shin informs Tae-ra that Dad has decided to cancel Mo-nae’s engagement. Tae-ra feels sympathetic toward her little sister, which is probably prompted by her own unhappy marriage, despite its perfect facade, and hesitantly asks Mom to consider allowing her to date whom she wants. Mom curtly says no — they’d never marry Mo-nae off to a nobody — but Tae-ra points out that they can’t force two people apart. She offers to meet Gun-wook to try persuading him to leave Mo-nae alone.

Mom mutters that they can hardly send Mo-nae off to a faraway country… but that triggers a thought: What if they send her to Tae-sung? He’s in Japan, and to set up a future reunion for our characters, we find that she is also sending Jae-in to Japan to acquire more artwork.

Tae-ra meets with Gun-wook to discuss Mo-nae and as usual, Tae-ra is wound up tight under Gun-wook’s unsettling gaze.

Tae-ra asks to know what his intentions are regarding Mo-nae, and is insulted to hear he has none in particular. How dare he mess around with her without even knowing what he’s intending? The girl can’t eat, can’t sleep, and is generally miserable because of him.

Gun-wook asks if Tae-ra has ever had a first love, because when you’re in its throes, it doesn’t even matter who the other person is, because you become so immersed in your own emotions. Idly, he supposes that Tae-ra’s husband probably wasn’t her first love.

Tae-ra demands tersely, “What is it you want?” He cuts her off: “It’s too bad I don’t want anything.” He’ll date Mo-nae if he likes her, or not if he doesn’t, “And if there’s something I want, I’ll get it my way. Nobody can interfere, not even you.”

As he gets up to leave, he leaves Tae-ra with a message for Mo-nae: Don’t feel hurt because of a guy like him.

Gun-wook retreats to his lair again, his real apartment. This place is much more like the cool, smooth Gun-wook we know — chic, modern, clean. Not like the mess he showed Jae-in as part of his other persona. As he contemplates his wall of info on Haeshin Group, this time he focuses on a photo of Tae-ra.

He doesn’t answer Jae-in’s phone call, so she leaves a flirtatious message suggesting dinner together tomorrow night.

He also continues to ignore Mo-nae’s calls, who sulks. When Jae-in calls, she’s disappointed and turns down the invitation to meet for drinks tomorrow. But her listless mood receives an immediate jolt when Jae-in urges her to reconsider, as she’s invited her brother along as well — they can all have dinner together.

Mo-nae’s puzzled, as she didn’t know Jae-in and Tae-sung were acquainted. However, she perks up when it becomes clear that Jae-in has mistaken Gun-wook for her brother. Changing her mind, she agrees to meet.

When Mo-nae meets her at the restaurant, she’s dolled up and excited to be seeing Gun-wook again. Jae-in hadn’t told Tae-sung/Gun-wook that Mo-nae was invited here, which pleases Mo-nae just fine.

Gun-wook saunters in moments later, betraying no surprise whatsoever as he sits down at the table and says, “Mo-nae, you came too. Hi.” Pleased with herself, Jae-in smiles widely, blissfully ignorant of all the other subtleties at play in front of her.

 
COMMENTS

Episode 3 confirmed what I’d thought in the first two episodes, which is while this show has the potential to be a great show, it’s lacking just a little something special. It’s still good, very well-executed, and has a great soundtrack, so I’m not at all calling it a bad show. But there’s that tendency for story contrivance — for forcing beats that don’t get there naturally on their own — that keeps it from wowing. Instead of impressing you with the intricacy and depth of its plot, it feels like it’s not in tune with its emotions. It’s not a huge gripe, but it’s the difference between being led somewhere gently and being pushed there.

Take, for instance, the scene at the police station. There are so many ways that the writers (there are three) could have introduced an eyewitness, but the way they chose to do it was lazy and therefore less than convincing. An arrested lawbreaker happens to see the case materials lying on the desk and happens to recognize the victim? Furthermore, he starts out trying to recall the man’s name, thinking it could’ve been Jae-sung or Joon-sung before settling on Tae-sung, yet the cops choose to take his word as positive assurance and then accuse Tae-sung of being the man in question? And his word is oddly enough for them to be sure that the woman was in fact Sun-young, which is flimsy at best. Furthermore, I find it laughable that they’re genuinely flummoxed at Tae-sung’s explanation of being called Tae-sung-sshi rather than Tae-sung-ah. We’re not in an Encyclopedia Brown novel here — I want solid setups and solid logic.

Another example is Gun-wook’s “connection” with Jae-in. As I said, that was the scene in this episode that felt wildly out of character. I don’t mind seeing a vulnerable side to Gun-wook, and it’s probably a good thing we saw this now, because he needed to be humanized. Let’s be honest, a lot of love for his character is due to the charisma of Kim Nam-gil and our love for the actor/acting, not the character itself — at least that’s how it is for me. The character has been set up as this calculating revenge machine, so Gun-wook needed to show that flash of humanity within and I get that. However, he’s just not connecting with Jae-in (or is it Han Ga-in?) and to have him show signs of a deeper emotional connection based on one wistful mention of her father — well, that made me laugh out loud, not aww in sympathy.

If these two are going to be set up as “con men who connect with each other’s painful pasts” (which is the vibe I’m getting), we need a lot more to go on than that. I loved seeing a nicer Gun-wook when he was playing soccer with the kids, which felt natural and unguarded, so I’m not averse to the idea of Jae-in tapping into his emotional vulnerability. It just needed a lot more pizzazz in practice. In that regard, Han Ga-in also bears some blame, because forced writing or not, she needed to sell Jae-in as a character and she’s not doing that.

This doesn’t mean I need her to be tortured and screwed up like the rest, because we need the straight man, so to speak, and she fulfills that role. However, their connection has to sizzle for the drama to work properly — like Kim Nam-gil does with Oh Yeon-soo — and if we don’t get that spark, yeeesh this may be a grand disappointment in the making. (For instance, imagine if Tae-ra were played by an actress who said her lines perfectly but was unable to convey the character’s palpable nervous tension — how boring would those scenes be, right?)

On the plus side, I love the look of the drama. Everyone looks gorgeous — of course it helps that everyone IS gorgeous — and the lighting and mise en scene really evoke a moody, uneasy ambiance.

 
THEORIES, SPECULATION

To reiterate: I don’t stand by any of these theories, since I’m just throwing out possibilities. The drama is dropping little clues as we go, so I know things will continue to change, but it’s fun to speculate.

I would have loved for Tae-ra to be previously acquainted with Gun-wook, but this episode sorta counters that theory; it’s looking more likely that Tae-ra’s reaction is prompted by intense feelings of sexual attraction, which send her into wild internal conflict since she knows what is expected of her and what she ought to do. She’s the pristine society wife with the perfect life, and her overreaction to Mo-nae’s attraction to Gun-wook is an overcompensation for her own. And Gun-wook, being a sexy beast and fully aware of this, is exploiting her frazzled nerves to his own advantage.

This makes me fairly certain that Gun-wook can’t be the real Hong Tae-sung, nor can he think he is, if only because that would make his sexual tension and romantic entanglements with Tae-ra and Mo-nae awfully uncomfortable. First off, I highly doubt that Gun-wook would go that far if he knew they were his sisters, so I’m pretty confident that whatever the truth, he believes himself to be an impostor. Furthermore, as much as Korean dramas love to play around with the incest angle, note that they never actually go that route — it’s always that unsettling in-between stage that they explore, the two lovers who MAY be (but of course are not) blood related. (The only time I can recall a drama doing it on purpose was 90 Days Time to Love, where that conflict formed the very basis for the storyline, and even then they were first cousins who fell in love before realizing their kinship.)

Last but not least: Sun-young knew Gun-wook is Tae-sung! Moreover, she called him “Tae-sung-ah,” indicating that she knew him well and possibly for a long time. So did she approach Hong Tae-sung under Gun-wook’s orders, and end up falling for him? It seems awfully unlikely that a girlfriend of Tae-sung’s would have just happened to also know Gun-wook…

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59 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. aigoo

    two good things about this show – Kim Nam Gil and the soundtrack. they both fit perfectly well :)

    btw, i totally agree with your theories as i was speculating of them too. thanks for pointing out the flaws since i was overwhelmed by the “good things” hehe

  2. Risa

    I got the theory that Sun-young and Gun-wook came from the same orphanage so they knew eachother for a long time. And I saw a picture somewhere of Gun-wook grabbing on to Sun-young’s arm as she is dangling on the edge of the building.

  3. Taber

    I Love MN I can’t help but feel she the key to unlocking this all, I wonder why he didn’t approach the older sister directly, it can’t be because she married. ROPE? I can’t wait to find out the meaning behind that description, what ever it is it not good for MN. Love how she claimed him in from of the actress and Fiancee priceless, a different storyline I would of smile from ear to ear, but that confession going to remind MN how GW made a fool of her, poor thing.

  4. maehwagirl

    This is my first time posting a comment here but definitely not my first time on this site!! Javabeas…you are AWESOME!!!

    I love Bad Guy, flaws and all, but I completely agree that the coffee date between Gun Wook and Jae In felt rather forced.

    On another note, I thought Gun Wook had Jae In clean Director Jang’s house because there was a scene before when Gun Wook flipped a picture face-down in the house, and after when Jang rushed in and thought somebody robbed his place :D

    And also, Gun Wook was originally named Choi Tae Sung…and Hong Tae Sung’s ex-gf is Choi Sun Young. Since they knew each other before… maybe she is a relative? But then again, there are a lot of people with Choi as their last name…

  5. bobbie

    I thought the messy place was the martial arts coach’s? And, Gun-wook was just there to give Jae-in the impression he lived poorly.

  6. javabeans

    Oh, you guys are sharp! You’re right, it makes sense if it’s Jang’s apartment; I watched this episode at least three times and I just figured he was shocked that the apartment was clean. LOL.

  7. jandoe

    i’ve to finish my finals (just three papers and three more days to go!) before i can get hellbent on this show. i LOVE oh-yeon soo and had sort of fastforwarded eps 1-3 (and roughly followed your recaps) and getting the vibe that kim nam-gils chemistry with her is soooo much more sizzling than with han ga-in (which i do like, but… i feel they lack chemistry, its frustrating!).

    …give me a few more days and i’ll hop on for the ride :D
    (in the meantime, of course, as always, thank you for the recap!)

  8. aberdeen_angus

    I have the same worries with this show as you, JB. I found it entertaining enough to continue watching, but I’m not into it (as of now). The “all the women must fall for KNG” and “KNG has this weak point with Jae-In” are too rushed for my taste.

    My problem with Jae In is not exactly the actress, but the writing for her. Her character is weak per se, and if you add a somewhat weak actress, you have a lethal combination. Tae Ra? I don’t like (absolutely don’t!!) how she’s fallen into his mysterious hotness trap so easily…

    All in all, there are some gorgeous scenes and the OST keeps me hooked in some parts, so I’m looking forward to this drama’s development.

    • 8.1 megumi

      i think in Tae Ra’s case it’s not only the mysterious hotness that’s making her fall for Gun Wook, part of it has to do with how familiar he looks to her, we all know that familiarity is because Gun Wook was her fake brother from childhood, they spent time together as brother and sister but she doesn’t know that, she feels like she has a connection with him and that is why she is drawn towards him, also add in the fact that Gun Wook looks a sexy beast, she also has a loveless marriage life, she doesn’t look happy at all…

  9. Nhu

    Lovely recap as always. Bad Guy isn’t my style, so I’m not watching the drama but I’m enjoying the recaps.

    Yay for the return of girlfriday! You guys compliment each other extremely well. Maybe you guys can alternate for at least one Weds-Thurs drama from now on?

  10. 10 JenMarie

    …I used to read Encyclopedia Brown novels… (I know, of all the things to comment on, right?)

    I haven’t watched this (although of course I’m enjoying the recaps!). I think I’ll wait and see if it starts to wow you or girlfriday before I start.

  11. 11 lucy

    omg i loved the ending he was like oh hey mo nae~ lol and the preview ahhhh i can’t wait
    and the call me noona had me dying i wished it was for real though…

  12. 12 scarlet pimpernel

    your recaps are really helpful.
    thanks and keep up the good work!

  13. 13 ripgal

    Totally agree with you on the police station scene. How awfully convenient to have someone just pop up and mention that he saw Sun Young and “Tae Sung” together?! Random random.

    Well HGI/Jae In had more scenes in Ep 3, and I thought she was pretty decent. Her character’s pretty typical so I figured that any actress could have done her character Jae justice. Don’t think her character requires that much depth yet so I’m not so worried about her as of now… wait till she gets all engrossed in Gun Wook/Tae Sung, I’d like to see how she’ll tackle all of the angst.

    I’m kinda hoping they’d show more of Tae Ra and Gun Wook as I absolutely LOVE their brief but intense moments together. It’s really interesting to see Gun Wook approaching both sisters in different/opposing ways. He tries to intrigue Mo Nae with his cool yet sometimes endearing ways, but on the other hand, tries to provoke Tae Ra by making her angry. Very interesting. And while I may not be fully convinced with his chemistry with Jae In yet, I thought it was rather cute seeing him being playful and cheeky around someone at least.

    As for Kim Nam Gil the actor, you’re quite right. I think I was more charmed by his acting rather than his character. But that’s the point right, if his acting works, the character works. At least for me in this drama.

    The only major gripe I had in this episode – lack of Kim Jae Wook!!

  14. 14 Ladymoonstone143

    Thanks Javabeans for this awesome recap as always…

    I love this drama so much and I agree with you that all the characters are gorgeous…esp Gun wook….just oozing with charisma, that I have to repeat twice or thrice the scene where he is in…lol

    I love Monae’s character because the actress need not act too much…she got this innocent face that plays well with her character without so much effort. How I wish they will end up together because she has so much chemistry with Gun wook…but I doubt that will happen.

    Jae in’s character, I am still having my doubts. The other characters already established their presence even the actress that played her younger sister. Hopefully her character will improve some more and will be added more dimension.

    Anyways…am sooooo sad for next week. No bad guy airing…what will I do??? :))

    thanks again Javabeans…

  15. 15 Nina

    ahhh!!! you watched 90 days? That’s when I first fell for Kang Jihwan!!! I think this story would make so much more sense without Han Gain, or at least the love story less strong between her and Gunwook. I think Gunwook falling for Taera after seducing her would make for a cleaner story. Sorry weird use of words, but I hope you understand. I love his smile/nod in the last scene of this episode. I literally melted, then replayed it over and over again. I really like the actress that plays Monae, she’s soooo pretty and her double eyelids are very natural.

  16. 16 Basuha

    Wow it’s rare to see very similar opinion regarding Jae In, I agree with them all. I still haven’t found her purpose and I doubt by the time this drama is complete I will. I do find MN charming, she a onion I believe while GW carelessly peels away her layer (innocent, love, trust, courage) it will bring tears to his eyes.

  17. 17 pabo ceo reom

    I was hoping girlfriday would pick up another drama (that way there would be more to read! hehe selfish) but I’ll get her where I can get her. Thanks for the recap JB!

  18. 18 maria

    hurrah for THE recapping tandem! *high fives all round* :D

    okay, off to read. you brought a little dose of sexy-bastard, just when i needed it the most… :D thanks, jb! LOL

  19. 19 Belva

    Thanks for the recap! Been waiting for this :)
    This is actually the first drama I’m re-watching the episodes before the next one airs, must be the combination of KNG + music + camera shots + mystery <3

    Didn't realize the bus scene was a contrived gesture on JI's part. Now the look on her face there make sense.
    Love the way you describe "his no-longer-bride-to-be-who-is-about-to-kick-your-sorry-ass-to-the-curb-courtesy-of-her-new-bad-boy-crush" lol!

    I knew the scene where the lawbreaker happens to see the case materials and what follows would guarantee some critics from you. I thought it was a lousy way to introduce new leads for the cops too.

    I'm really loving the interaction between GW and Won-in. It helps that I love both KNG and Eun Kyung too. Hoping to see more of them and the sincere side of GW.

    I agree with your speculation on Sun-young and GW too, they must have known each other since young. Here's another theory of mine:
    I'm guessing GW and TS got switched after birth. Well, Hong president did mention something about them being switched in the flashback. This will mean that the "parents" who took care of HTS before he was brought into the Hong family is actually GW's biological parents.
    And since the DNA test were done in the US, they are probably residing there and had brought GW to them after he was thrown out by the Hongs.
    This might also explain GW's connection with people from there (remember that voice message in English?) So I guess GW's money and other resources should be from his biological parents who are in the US.
    But if this is the case, why is he plotting revenge with such vengeance. There must be some other reason to it other than the accident of his adopted parents. Maybe his biological parents was harmed by the Hongs in someway too?

    Lastly it sucks big time that there's no BG next week I hate election and soccer boooo!

  20. 20 asianromance

    thank you for the recap!

    I’m feeling a bit claustrophobic with this series. There is a large cast of characters and It seems like everyone happens to know everyone else (or think they do). I feel like i’m in a tiny bubble. What town/city does this drama take place in again? I feel like it should be some sort of very small town with people tripping over each other so suddenly.

    While the Gunwook and Jae-in scenes were cute, but I agree that the sudden rush of empathy for her and reaching out for her (after she told him about her father) was a bit too much, especially this early in the series. And Jae-in isn’t really that interesting. I don’t think it’s just Han Ga In- the writing for the character is a bit blah too. At this point, I think you can made Jae-in into some 4th or 5th tier character and still have the original story continue. They should just have made Tae-ra the main character.

    Anyways- love the Shim Eun-kyung scenes, the Taera and Gunwook dialogue, and the part where Monae took away her bastard fiance’s car.

  21. 21 sophia

    i honestly really am not liking jae-in’s character…she just seems like a huge gold digger, who’s NOT good at gold digging because obviously gun-wook knows everything.
    and i agree that something from this drama is missing. i don’t know what it is, but it’s like a little street bump that prevents it from completely awing me. i’ll have to keep watching…
    it puzzles me that sun young knows both gun-wook and tae-sung, but i guess that’s something that’ll be in the air for awhile.
    oh last thing, it bothers me that tae-ra is so attracted to gun-wook. and i think she’s partly telling mo-nae to stay away from gun-wook because she kind of wants him too…

    great review JB… i love reading your reviews <3

  22. 22 animedork101

    *Takes all the pictures of Gun-wook (the cute/hot ones) and makes a wallpaper* Ok, no not really. But he is yummy to look at … Looking forward to the next recap… since Lord knows when I’ll be able to sit down and watch it… I thought this was supposed to be summer…. GAH!

  23. 23 HoneyCo

    ah! been waiting for this recap for days… thanks javabeans!

    To be honest, I’m watching this drama because of Kim Nam Gil, if it’s another actor playing Gun Wook, I don’t think I’d be this hooked with the drama. But I’m loving how flawless Kim Nam Gil is portraying Gun Wook. I’d like to see him more this hip and modern. Plus the soundtrack keeps playing in my mp3. The sound and the vibe goes along well with the story.

    As I said, Kim Nam Gil is flawless. He’s acting three different characters in just one role. Ah!!! He’s really something! His smile (sarcastic or genuine), his eyes (glaring or not), his voice (serious or not)… How hot can this guy get? Why everybody else didn’t discover he’s this hot earlier? Why just now?

    Han Ga In, what can I say??? …. *blank* … can I say, when everybody and everything in this drama is heavy, she’s the light one. She’s like the coffee break from all the angst we’re seeing. I really liked her sister Won In though. She’s cute and tough but moved by a tear-jerking film… Haha!!! Her scenes make me laugh.

    I like Mo Ne’s character and the actress portraying it. I vowed to her ‘one stone hitting three birds at the same time’. I mean that amusement park scene. Mo Ne is bold and brave. Confessing her love for Gun Wook, letting her fiancée know she doesn’t like him and telling to the actress ‘my fiancée is all yours but Gun Wook is mine’…

    Gun Wook and Tae Ra’s short moments are intense. Even without spelling out the words seduction and hot, it is hot and seductive. I super love their chemistry.

    Over all, I’m determined to watch this drama till the last episode and of course, it’s because of Kim Nam Gil but because of your recaps, I appreciate the plot and other characters as well. Why is not someone ever mentioning the rookie cop? I mean he’s cute too…

  24. 24 milo

    The part where GW felt sympathy for JI because of their common sad experiences was rather contrived and cliched. The writers could have written that better or lose that coffee scene entirely in order to fit his character as a bad guy. It somehow loses that kick portraying a bad guy as a bad one if you humanize him too much. I agree with JB that GW isn’t likeable at all. The only reason why viewers like him is the charisma that KNG as an actor brings to it. Besides, there are other ways to make GW fall head over heels for JI without the “fatherless” angle. But I do love the way he smiled when he’s taking the photo with JI. It seems quite significant, though I hope in not the cliched way.

    Unlike others, I do feel the subtle chemistry between GW and JI. It’s so natural, especially the part at the bus stop and the part where JI’s imagination had her poking at GW’s chest and talking back at him. Perhaps it’s just the initial phase of the script, there’s not much to go along with her gold-digging character now anyway, so HGI isn’t able to bring forth her character that well. Maybe later… I always believe acting alongside/against some of the best actors can bring out the best, if not some of it in another actor.

    Although it seems as if JI’s character is rather useless, given that he’s gunning for revenge against most of the other female cast, it’s a nice change that he’s not doing so towards one or two of them. Instead of JI, the ones that should be dropped should be the police because they are totally useless to solving the puzzle. Even the way they get leads is so laughable. Unlike the cop in the jap drama “One million stars”, the police here just devour more screen time that should belong to GW. Heh.

    The biggest diamond-find I had in this episode is surprise, surprise, JI’s sister, WI. She didn’t take up much screen time in these 3 episodes but boy, did she make full use of every scene she appeared in, even the mundane ones with JI at the cinema. I thought that was a fantastic display of kinship and she seemed to be so much at ease, acting against HGI. However, the part I thoroughly enjoyed was the interaction she had with GW when she tried to get her money back from him. One word-cool. She showed no fear and held her own against KNG. I found it difficult to focus on just one actor in that scene. I like the way she kept stroking the sideburns, if I may call that, of hers when talking to GW. The little quirks actors bring to their characters enhance them a hundred times more than any dialogue sometimes can. I just hope she wasn’t featured into his revenge plans because besides the children he played football with, she was the only one who could elicit a more humane response, not a calculative/planned one from him. But given she is JI’s sister, I highly doubt that he would let her off?

    Is it just me or was TR preening herself a little while she was waiting for GW in the restaurant? What’s up with that look when he’s walking over towards her? That seemed a tad too quick for some dramatic emotional involvement on TR’s part, considering how poised and in control she was of her feelings. I get the intense attraction between GW and TR but it’s only the 4th meeting like GW said and already?!

    Mo-nae seemed to be heading for the brink of self-destructive love. I hope that wouldn’t happen because she started out as such an innocent and lovable character. It’s all GW’s fault!

  25. 25 milo

    Oh, just an afterthought, to humanize a character doesn’t mean having a sob background story of having a dog and parents die on the same day. A simple scene of him happily playing football with a group of children without any burden of revenge can elicit the same effect too.

  26. 26 supah

    JB, Thank yoooou!! Also excited over reading girlfriday’s BG recaps, this should be a helluva lot of fun.

    Such an endearing episode. I can really see now that the director here is the same one behind MiSA, which makes for a great rollercoaster ride, giving us mundanity and the thrills and the alternating between chilling and heartwarming moments, also a stark unfairness highlighted through the use of some ridiculous characters — it’s all there. And please show, I’d like to see more of this sexy-as-hell icicle-eating Gun-wook.

    Did anyone else laugh at the innappriateness of Jae-in’s wardrobe? Yes, a gold lame-esque skirt (screaming golddigga!), great to sit on a bathroom floor with when handwashing clothes. The heels came in handy though, although it would’ve been funnier if he hadn’t caught her fall. I’m loving Jae-in all the same and her ”noona’s gunna take good care of you” ‘tude.
    I’m consigned to feeling all moments shared between Jae-in & Won-in, Gun-wook & JI and GW & WI are oh so golden, can’t wait for moar.

    I agree about the flaws in this show, at this point I feel they’re easy to ignore, when one’s enjoying the ride who cares about a couple minor bumps here and there, haha! I do hope though they don’t end up taking over though, let’s hope they’re eventually phased out, which is a possibility seeing as episodes 2 and 3 continue to improve.

    Haha! I love that first picture of a goofy-looking sexy bastard.

  27. 27 Star

    OMG!!!

    Thank you for the recap! ^^ Love the small picture you put in the recap section too!

    If there is no election, there will be an episode 4 now. Sigh……

    I heard that there will be a big twist in the story once they reach japan?

    Can’t wait for it to happen!~

    I agree with the flaws….. But I love this drama regardless! ^^

    Thank you JB once again!~ :)

  28. 28 vis

    Thanks for the recap! I’m glad I’m not the only one who found the scen at the park totally out of place… Let’s hope the writers get better at this~

  29. 29 lalala

    Thanks for the recap. It’s my habit now to read recap before watching the drama ;)

    When Han Ga In’s husband appeared in Invincible Youth and said that his wife was shooting in Japan, I wonder at that time, what is the drama/film. I don’t know HGI is in this movie at that time until this drama aired ^^

  30. 30 happydiamond27

    I just wanted to make a comment about Jae In and the falling. In scenes when she is herself and not participating in Operation Gold Digger she is wearing boots. In episode two when she is climbing the stairs to go back home, she takes off her boot to soothe her feet. In episode 3 (when calling GW/TS to ask him to dinner) she is wearing boots (the flat variety). When she showed up at his (actually the director’s) apartment to clean the shirt there is a shot of her shoes. Now, I love a great pair of shoes, but there was no reason to focus on them for beauty alone. Basically my point is that when she was falling on the bus and when she was falling while walking home seemed to be legit because she isn’t used to wearing high heels. Her wearing heels is one way she’s molding herself into a woman capable of snagging herself a rich guy.

    I think her real style is much more fitting to the cool/edgy/sexy GW and when she shows the real her their attraction or whatever will make more sense. I hope so at least.

  31. 31 estel

    Lovely recap, as always, Javabeans. Thanks for taking the time. :)

    As for the scene in the park, it did feel a little bit forced, but I thought that he was reaching out to brush off the leaf that had fallen onto her shoulder and was hesitating about touching her. It’s still a little forced, but it gives it a little more rhyme and reason than just him wanting to touch her.

    Also, how much do I wish Jae-in had actually poked him in the chest and told him “noona” will take care of him. Ha! That would have been awesome. Hoping the next episode will really bring it in regards to their interactions.

  32. 32 Fafa

    Thanks for th recap.

    i am so loving this drama. KNG is brilliant.

  33. 33 momosan

    Can we have a big shout out for Won-in, the little sister? Because she’s pwning big sister big time in her scenes with KNG.

  34. 34 glo

    Thanks again for your recaps, all your hard work truly make it more interesting to reflect on the deeper aspects

    I think I was kind of caught off guard at the lighter elements in this episode, especially when Jae In fantasizes about acting rough to Gun Wook and he draws back in a humorous and shy manner. Not real of course but still enough to catch my attention.

    동아줄, or rope, is in reference to the Korean folk tale about the sun and the moon. In a brief summary, a tiger eats their mom, attempts to lure the siblings out of the house (little red riding hood style) by pretending to be the mom, and the siblings run away to the top of a hill. When they reach the top and find no way to escape as the tiger approaches, they yelled to the heavens for a sturdy rope if they were meant to be saved and a rotten rope if they were meant to die. A sturdy rope falls, whisking the children away to the heavens to become the sun and the moon. The tiger asks for a rope too, in order to follow them, but instead receives the rotten rope and as he climbs it to heaven, it snaps and he falls to his death. In general people refer to ropes as being their lifeline, a chance to escape some other form of suffering and a chance for a better future. But in this case, I thought it was interesting because although Mo Ne could be that lifeline for Gun Wook, she could also be a “rotten” rope and cause him and his ambitious desires for revenge to fall to his demise.

  35. 35 Birdie

    Great recaps JB. I am watching it to see how the plot develops if it remain interesting. However i do not see any chemistry between GW and JI. The actress doing JI seems to have the same expresssion all the time. Can’t warm to her character or acting.Other than the flaws mentioned by JB, this is the other spoiler in this drama for me.

  36. 36 Basuha

    Thanks glo for that insight regarding the rope.

  37. 37 pat

    Every female in the show has more chemistry with GW than JI. MN has more complexity and nuance IMO. JI is just wasting GW’s screen time for me. ( then I could just watch him swagger the whole show. So biased……….)

  38. 38 asherlev1

    Point: Kim Nam Gil IS a sexy beast.

    And I feel nothing for Han Ga In’s character, so if she ends up “using” him, like you suggested in your last recap, I will really hate her, and it might end up ruining the show for me. I hate those dealbreakers that you really, really wish weren’t.

  39. 39 asherlev1

    @supah. Yeah, the moments with the other two leads are so awesome that I can kind of forget about JI. I think part of what bothers me about her is that she seems so innocent (even as the writers portray her character to the audience), but yet she’s deliberately plotting to “get in” with GW. I can get behind a deliberately mean character who makes no bones about her intentions (TR), or an innocent who really is that pure (MN) (and not in annoying, cloying, overtly sweet way), but the line that JI straddles is a little too much for me too handle.

    And, yes, mostly, because I love GW, and I hate to see people using him. But also because it’s wierd for me to see him falling so fast/letting down his barriers for her. It’s odd…doesn’t MN have the same kind of appeal that JI does, then? What’s so special about JI?

  40. 40 anastassia

    Hi dear.

    Thanks again for the recaps.

    I haven’t got a chance to write a comment for Bad Guy ep 2 which I have lots to say:

    1-Regarding the motive or reason of why he want a revenge I beg to differ. If the reason behind his all plans is as you mentioned like suicide killing, financila problemes or go to court family like that I will bang my hand on the door or throw up of frustration.

    I HATE korean plot like that. LOADS of dramas is evolve around money problems, suicide killing because of money problems etc that I felt turn off when I watch a drama like that. Either it is a funny/comedic or dark drama. I remembered what made me turn off watching Story of A Man is because of that.

    So I’m totally relieved that this drama didn’t bring the same plot/reason again.

    While watching Bad Guy ep 3, which I feel the best epi for me I can understand the reason of all his planning. Its subtle.

    Rather than murdering OR money what he want to do is RUIN a family. That what matters most to him and what he has lost.

    Whilst I dislike ep 2 overdo the flashbacks of his childhood moments, but for me, Hong family’s shoving him around like an animals, in a rainy days, if WORST than killing somebody. It’s called physiological damages than can destroyed one soul. We knew since the very beginning how Shin Gun Wook loving a family very much. He doesn’t care on how poor they are, he put trust all over for his family. Love is what matters. Whether his real family OR Hong’s family.

    The scenes in the parks when he watching Jae In taking pics of a family and listening to her story has subtly told us that having a family and losing a family is what this is all about.

  41. 41 anastassia

    2- Whilst reading all of the discussion of Jae In character I found out that I like her character and how it is written. Usually I will be overly critical of a woman character.

    At first I felt nothing about her but waiting for some development. Watching the previous two episode I found that I beg to differ again. She is not a gold digger. Someone who is just straight forward not that smart enough just using a lame excuse of wanting to know a person. Not strong. Just mediocre tactic. Not strong reason. Just a lame – fill up the times. Just like her character.

    While watching ep 3, I just loving and liking more of Shin Gun Wook and Jae In moments and character. What I see if those two opposite each other but resemble each other in an opposite way. He knew what she plans like throwing the cups but she is just a lame/transparent person. She can’t plan well. Everything just written on her face. On the other hands, he is the opposite. He has a strategic plan, a cunning person. BUT, both of them just want simple thing which is LOVE. Vulnerable on that part. I think he thought so too when they were walking on the park.

    And the chemistry. I love subtle chemistry. But I love both JI and SGW chemistry the most. I thought I wouldn’t since I don’t like Han Ga In acting since before but this drama prove me wrong. She is still not strong in acting but I can understand how and why the two of them will fall for each other.

  42. 42 anastassia

    What I mean is she is using lame excuses to want to involve with a rich guy but her tactic, movement is not strong enough which prove she is not a serious or that type of person.

  43. 43 Valerie

    A few random thoughts:

    I was genuinely surprised by the overall Hong family reaction to the information regarding MoNae’s fiance and his philandering ways. I was expecting them to brush it under the carpet and force her to continue on with the the engagement for business purposes. Tae Ra asked her mother to let MoNae date who she wants and even offers to be a go between for the couple (or she just wanted an excuse to see the sex on a stick that is Gun WooK). The mother is even offering to send Mo Nae to hang out with the real (?) Tae Sung in Japan. These things just aren’t jiving with the idea that the family is full of ruthless, heartless soul sucking people.

    This is why I’m struggling so much with the revenge plot. Is he going to seek out revenge on these people only to find out after he’s destroyed them that he got it all wrong? That there were other evil forces at play or just dumb bad luck. I mean, Gun Wook is the one that let go fo the dog’s leesh causing the accident. And was it really wise for Deaf Dead to be emotionally signing when he’s supposed to be driving in a downpour at night?

    I guess I don’t really believe that the story will be about revenge. I almost look at it as he is going to mess with their lives in the same way that they messed with his. That is to say without giving a care about who gets hurt or how they get hurt. If he wanted them dead, that could have easily happened. He could have done things to mess them up financially or any other bevvy of ways to get them crumbling. He’s successful, apparently rich (all that back ground info is pricy), and able to have normal human interactions with people. It’s not like he’s damaged beyond repair and the only thing that seems to keep him alive is the idea of revenge. He is calculating for sure, but not that evil–to me. Perhaps I think that way because I just can’t connect to the reasons behind the revenge. Yes they kicked him out, but it was because he really wasn’t their kid. All signs point to him being happier to be with Deaf Dad (no pun intended) and mom than the rich folks who he hardley knew. I know I’m rambling…but I LOVE that this show leaves so much to the imaginiation and it’s so fun to speculate.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the interactions between Ja In’s sister and Gun Wook. They are so cute/at ease with one another. I think him getting a kick out of the sister will warm him to Ja In and just be another tie to her.

    Gun Wook….err Kim Nam Gil whoa. There is just something about that man. I’d clean his damn apartment too! No matter how much money he had. Whoosh. When he sauntered into the restaurant to meet with Tae Ra I nearly fell off the couch. Let’s be honest…the show could be total rubbish and I’d still watch just for him.

  44. 44 lilac

    @asherlev1: It’s her background and her relationship with the Hongs, I suppose, so GW has never considered her in a romantic way. Not like JI, who lost her father when she was young and probably poor too. GW’s only showing interest in her, primarily to get to her sister, TR since she’s the tougher nut to crack.

    Can JI even use him in every sense of the word? She’s so clumsy in her attempts to seduce him, whom she had mistaken for TS.

  45. 45 lilac

    Most importantly, JI isn’t part of the Hongs.

  46. 46 supah

    I’m probably in the minority but I liked the way he reached out to her, he simply wanted to squeeze her shoulder in a comforting ‘I’m sorry to hear that” kind of way. But then he drew back realising it was out of character.
    We’re seeing GW revealing himself to us in layers and it feels as though he finally felt comfortable enough around someone enough to be reveal his tender, childish side. It didn’t necessarily have to be a romantic moment, just a warm, human one.

    @asherlev1
    I know what you mean. I see Jae-in as being ”ill prepared” she’s simply falling into the trap fate set up for her in wide-eyed wonderment, by following her curiosity.
    And you know what they say about curiosity.

  47. 47 YouKnowIt

    his no-longer-bride-to-be-who-is-about-to-kick-your-sorry-ass-to-the-curb-courtesy-of-her-new-bad-boy-crush.
    LOL…..well said

  48. 48 Carinne

    Is Gun-wook enjoying a Papico? My family is watching Coffee Prince for the first time, I on the other hand have watched it 6x’s, and I recall this Papico and saw it at my local Korean mart on sale and got to try it for the first time. I’m lovin’ it.

    Haha! Food envy! Darn it, it gets me every time.

  49. 49 jenny

    I remembered reading somewhere that KNG was considering shaving his moustache in ep 6 because of some emotional change. This could be the big twist in the story that star mentioned, can’t wait til then but don’t know when due to world cup. I do agree the chemistry of GW & JI is lacking a little and there’s is more intense in the chemistry between GW & Tae-ra. But overall, I’m loving this drama, praying the world cup will only stop it from airing for ONLY 1 week.

  50. 50 Kim

    I thought the scene where Gun Wook found a connection with Jae In to be a bit forceful. It’s understandable that he connects with her because he experienced the same lost but I felt maybe a thoughtful surprised look would have been better. It seemed too out of character for him to make a gesture as to reach out for her. I found that a bit rushed. I will be keeping up with this drama but Jae In’s character needs to be better developed.

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