I Am Legend: Episode 3
Hello! C’est moi, kaedejun, here to take over recapping duties on I am Legend! Hope you’re all not too disappointed. Here’s where I stand on the series so far: loving Kim Jung Eun, hating Kim Seung Soo, “meh” on the name “Madonna Band” and Lee Joon Hyuk’s beard-stache, and going ga-ga over Lee Joon Hyuk’s singing.
SONG OF THE DAY
I Am Legend OST – “그대가” by Lee Joon Hyuk (A note: It feels like Lee Joon Hyuk/Tae Hyun is singing about Seung Hye leaving him and taking away his heart, based on the lyrics, but I think this song can easily be another insert song for Tae Hyun and Seol Hee in the future) [download]
It’s face-off time as Seol Hee and Ji Wook testify in front of a committee. Seol Hee uses her practiced speech and tries to give an impassioned statement about how she does not fit in with the constricting high-society lifestyle. The judge claims that her grounds for divorce are too “abstract”; she needs something that is easily more proven in court with hard evidence.
Ji Wook, on the other hand, is
a FRAKKIN ASSHOLE an excellent actor. He makes a heartfelt speech – with the eyes almost watering with tears – about how he tried to make his wife happy, but was too busy to actually sleep with her. He also claims that Seol Hee’s health was poor, and that’s why he didn’t want her to be a donor for her sister. All of it sounds so nice and dandy – and somewhat provable – that it frustrates Seol Hee. Slowly, she loses her resolve as she realizes that Ji Wook could win this time in front of the committee.
Nevertheless, the judge is also quite unbiased. He points out Ji Wook’s other flaws, such as not letting her choose what to do with her own body (i.e. test to be a matching donor) and for not visiting his in-laws’ memorial graves every year. (Go Korea and their strict filial piety-culture – this is one time that it’s kind of working in our protagonist’s favor without being used as just a plot device). Ji Wook makes up the excuse that he’s always away during that time of the year (how convenient), but Seol Hee points out that he was in Seoul last year. Though it’s just a statement, there is probably easy proof that can be conjured up to back her up, and so the judge realizes that Ji Wook is not a reliable source.
Judge: In the current situation, it will be difficult to proceed further.
Ji Wook: *silent “YESSS!”*
Seol Hee: *silent “NOOO!”*
Judge: (to Ji Wook) We’ll see you in court.
Kaedejun: MWAHAHAHA! Sucker….
Ji Wook does not want a trial, because it means everything will be for the public to see. But Seol Hee has nothing to lose, and so she is willing to fight him to the end. He wants her to just change her mind – but you know what? that street goes both ways, and he could change his mind too, ya’ know? Seung Hye pushes for him to just consent to a divorce, because a public trial will really just hurt his image. (And, you know, it doesn’t hurt for her because now she doesn’t have to be the “secret, other woman”)
Now on to other more “important” matters…
Soo In returns to the office to find Min Kyu; he comes to report that the other members either went back home or went MIA – either way, the band disbanded. Soo In sends him home, but now she and the CEO Kwang Yul have money problems with the gig they had booked at a cafe. At this rate, the company is going bankrupt. She meets Seol Hee with the intent of asking money, but can’t bring herself to. Soo In wistfully remarks that perhaps she should just get married. Even though she wanted to become successful career-wise first, Seol Hee managed to become successful (read: rich) through marriage. Seol Hee dryly asks if her marriage seems that awesome to Soo In, but she does not mention her impending divorce. A few words of pep talk later, and Soo In decides not to get married (because, you know, marriage isn’t the be all-end all)
And then we have Tae Hyun’s performance! Wow Lee Joon Hyuk’s vocals are amazing. In the back of the cafe, Seung Hye sits quietly, enjoying the music. She has a wistful smile on her face, and it’s easy to see why she fell for Tae Hyun in the first place – he’s got a voice, charisma, and oozing with good looks. Tae Hyun spots her, but instead of being surprised, he gives a look of “Whatevaa” and turns the other way. At the end of the performance, he sits at her table to find out what she’s doing there.
Seung Hye mentions Noo Ri’s upbringing, suggesting that their son will soon realize what Tae Hyun’s job really is, and will be ashamed of him. (What, being a former super rock star with women falling at his feet is bad? I’m sure the kid would want that too – especially when he gets older and learns about girls!) Tae Hyun doesn’t want to fight with her on this – they already decided years ago that he was to raise Noo Ri, so why is she bringing it up now?
Turns out, Seung Hye is only there because she wants him to stop seeing Seol Hee. She produces the photo that Ji Wook’s spy took of him and Seol Hee. As Ji Wook’s lawyer, she informs him that she can easily make it look like Seol Hee is having an affair. She asks that he not see Seol Hee – by coincidence or on purpose – but knows that she can’t control him. It can be a favor or a threat – either way, she doesn’t want him involved in this messy affair. (Ha! But K-drama laws require that you all be involved in an entangling love square, so your wishes shall go unheeded, Seung Hye.)
One thing I love about the photo is that it looks like Tae Hyun is looking at her intently, while Seol Hee looks like she is brushing him off and couldn’t care less. I don’t know whether this photo will play a role later on or not, but right now, it seems to foreshadow their future relationship: Tae Hyun will become increasingly interested in her while Seol Hee rebuffs him continuously – until she can’t take it no more!!
Hwa Ja and her adorable husband Duk Soo cozy it up in a sauna, feeding each other hard boiled eggs through their mouth – it’s cute but unsightly for Seol Hee, who comes out of the locker room only to witness the scene. She covers her eyes, but when Hwa Ja spots her, Duk Soo wisely leaves the girls alone for some major girl talk. (As annoying as Hwa Ja may be, she is the only one who has a happy life – a happy marriage with a husband who lets her do as she pleases with the band. She may not be rich, but she doesn’t have to worry about her company failing or losing her job either.) Hwa Ja tells Seol Hee about Soo In’s true intentions for meeting her, but Seol Hee says that she has no money to spare because of her “situation.” Again, she refuses to divulge about what that “situation” is, and instead runs away from Hwa Ja.
And what great timing Ran Hee has – she calls up Hwa Ja right then and there and promises to buy some of those beauty products that she’s been selling. In return, she wants to meet Seol Hee. Ran Hee butters up Seol Hee with words like “friendship” and “gratefulness.” It’s all so fake, and Seol Hee catches on right away. So what’s the deal?
Ran Hee recently got offered a spot in a documentary segment on TV, and she wants to perform as a singer who still works with her band (read: the Madonna Band). All she needs is some time to perform with the other gals in front of the camera, and then she can make her comeback. She’s clearly using them, so Seol Hee says that if the other girls agree, then Ran Hee must do something in return for them.
Cut to Tae Hyun mixing some music in his apartment. As he strums on his guitar, someone starts annoyingly ringing his doorbell – it’s Ran Hee and her manager. They beg for him to let them use one of his songs for the TV segment. It would be good for him to make his own comeback as well, with this as a stepping stone, and invite him to go watch the filming.
Meanwhile the girls are trying to decide whether they should back up Ran Hee or not. Hwa Ja is all for it (because she’s been bribed with the beauty products sale). Soo In and Hae Na (the other guitarist) are not too keen; Soo In even gets more pissed off when she finds out that they’re doing it for her and to save her company by performing at that cafe where her band was supposed to perform. Soo In doesn’t want them to do things for her sake, but Seol Hee reminds her that they’re a band – they live on performing!
With Soo In finally OK with it (and Hae Na backing out because of her “family” and “mother in law” – seriously, families are the easiest and lamest excuses for everything…), Seol Hee calls up Ran Hee. But Ran Hee has another condition – she must be the vocalist. Well now, everyone just officially became backup wallflowers. Seol Hee accepts the condition, since it’s not like they have much of a choice.
To throw a wrench into these plans, Ji Wook visits Seol Hee at her apartment. He will agree to a divorce under one condition (again with the conditions!): she must lie low and never appear in a public place with her friends. She can never meet up with her pals, and it would be better if she moves to somewhere far away and be so incognito it’s as if she were dead. In exchange, he’ll give her her freedom and all the alimony she wants.
Now we turn to Ah Reum – who’s a waitress at a small fried chicken place. Min Kyu comes in carrying a baby boy and begs for her to feed him; oh hapless baby daddy – not knowing how to feed your own baby. Ah Reum takes the baby, and orders him to serve; clearly, this isn’t the first time it’s happened, and secondly, I guess they’re on good terms! Soo In comes by, because she wants to recruit Ah Reum for the band.
The day of the recording arrives, and Hwa Ja is none too pleased to see Ah Reum. Ran Hee is already in the studio going over the script with the PD and such. It’s full of bustling activity, and the Madonna Band members stand in awe at the idea of being on TV. Seol Hee, on the other hand, is conflicted. She stands outside the studio and remembers Ji Wook’s words: “Playing with your friends in a band at some market – I will never tolerate that.” With that echoing in her mind, she hitches her guitar bag over her shoulder and walks determinedly into the studio.
The PD tells everyone to act natural and relaxed, but it’s easier said than done. They practice the song easily, but once Ran Hee comes up to Seol Hee with over-the-top, fake kindness saying, “Oh no! You all started already?” Seol Hee freezes up. She stutters, “You came?” and looks nervously at the camera. Hwa Ja comes to her rescue (showing too much eagerness to be on camera) and says, “Hurry up. We were waiting for you.” It’s all so fake and unnatural that Ah Reum breaks into laughter. (Yes – old ahjummas don’t really know how to act “cool,” eh?)
They start their practice, with Ran Hee singing, and Tae Hyun comes into the studio. He looks at each of the members, and the following is what he thinks of each of them:
Ran Hee: Meh – whatever.
Hwa Ja: Hmph. Chubby ole’ ahjumma trying to rock out. She is trying too hard.
Ah Reum: Hm, not bad strumming skills.
Soo In: Huh? Wait, that’s the lady who managed those boys? What’s she doing here?
Seol Hee: Oh it’s – WAIT IT’S THAT LADY! HUH. *and the words of Seung Hye come flashing back to him*
That evening, the girls go out for a drink, and lo and behold, Ran Hee crashes the party with Tae Hyun in tow. She introduces him, and Soo In gives him a dirty look right away. The table lapses into an uneasy silence, and finally Soo In gets up to leave. Neither of them clearly have the intention of making peace, but Seol Hee makes her sit back down. She orders Tae Hyun to apologize first, since no matter what he did he spoke to her in a rude manner. Tae Hyun surprisingly agrees and they toast it off with a glass of beer each.
Then Hwa Ja butts in. Does Tae Hyun remember her and Seol Hee? They used to follow him around in high school, and he should remember Seol Hee the most. Tae Hyun is amused, but Seol Hee is downright embarrassed. Amused, he replies (a little cockily I might add), “My apologies. At that time I had many fans following me, so I can’t seem to remember.”
Yeah, yeah. Whatever.
Pictures get back to Ji Wook, and he realizes that Seol Hee disregarded his wishes and decided to appear on TV. He calls her up to yell at her; he had gone through many pains to accept divorce but she can’t grant him this one condition? Seol Hee fires back that she doesn’t want to live a life still under his control. And then, TADA – Mother of all Evil appears at the studio.
OK – so she meets Seol Hee outside the studio, but it’s clear she’s not too happy at having to come to such a place and see Seol Hee in sequins and short shorts. The mother tells Seol Hee that no matter what Ji Wook said, she can’t allow divorce to happen in the family. She apologizes if the cause for the divorce was about the donor issue (that’s only half of it, lady), and asks that Seol Hee just come back home.
And TADA – who but Tae Hyun stumbles upon this exchange from across the street?! Of course, he watches the entire conversation.
Seol Hee respectfully declines, and affirms her resolve to go through with the divorce. Mother says, “I came all the way here to apologize and you say this to me?” (Uhm, lady, at this point, you need to kneel, grovel, kow-tow three times, and kiss Seol Hee’s feet. Then you have to give yourself a few whip lashes on the back while begging for forgiveness and promise not to be a snarky, pain in the ass mother in law. And even with all that, I wouldn’t guarantee forgiveness from Seol Hee.)
With restrained anger, Seol Hee says she never wants to hear Mother saying “What are you to say that?” and treating her like dirt. She won’t back away from divorce, and gets a mighty *SLAP* from Mother. Mother dares her to try and go far in life after the divorce – see if she’ll let her succeed – and then drives off. I mean, she gets driven off by the chauffeur.
The next day at practice, only Soo In, Ah Reum, and Hwa Ja show up. Seol Hee was supposed to show, but she’s busy at home agonizing over whether to sign the divorce papers or not. Ran Hee is supposed to come in with the producers.
Seol Hee buckles under pressure and stamps her seal on the divorce papers. She then gets a call from Hwa Ja: Ran Hee isn’t there. Seol Hee finds Ran Hee at a cafe and asks if rehearsal was canceled without their knowledge. Ran Hee’s response? She tosses water at Seol Hee’s face. Because of Ji Wook, he pulled the plug on the program. He stated that he couldn’t bear to see his wife playing in a band on TV because it will lower his family’s status.
As Ran Hee cries that nothing ever goes right for her if Seol Hee is in the picture, Seol Hee’s anger rises, and the rock music in the background gets louder. (I love how they mix in the soundtrack so that the rock music reflects Seol Hee’s emotions.)
Seol Hee marches into Ji Wook’s office, and demands an explanation for his actions. Just to control her, must he ruin someone else’s life as well? Ji Wook says, “That doesn’t concern me. If you had done what I told you, this wouldn’t have happened. Leave the papers and go.”
She takes out the papers; she didn’t want to fight him in court, but now that Ji Wook has stepped all over her dreams and resorted to methods that would ruin her friends’ lives as well, she’ll fight him to the bitter end.
And with that, she tears the divorce papers and throws it in his face.
JI WOOK IS SUCH A SELFISH BASTARD!! ARGH! I hate him so much, and yet I love him because he’s so deliciously evil. He’s not apologetic for being an ass, and I like that he has no hesitations in wanting everything to go his way. But I really want him to suffer. Really. Suffer.
Two things bothered me in this episode. One was how the series was dragging out the history between Seol Hee and Tae Hyun. It’s been hinted at endlessly in the past two episodes and I am afraid that the past is gonna be a lame thing where she had a crush on him and tried to prove that she was a god singer too, but he totally scoffed at her and ruined her dreams, and that’s why she remains an amateur. If it’s something like that, then I really couldn’t care less. I don’t care much for how their relationship will develop, since right now it’s focused on her and the band. The writer needs to get started on making them interact more, without the animosity and the “Oh I just happened to hear…” moments. That way, I’ll feel that there’s greater potential in that relationship, rather than feel, “Oh, it’s meant to be because it’s just following the rules of K-drama universe.”
The second was how Seol Hee refused to tell her friends that she was getting a divorce. I saw in the previews that they’ll find out in the next episode, but if they were her best friends, shouldn’t she have at least told them? I don’t think they would have looked down on her, but would have supported her. And I was under the impression that Hwa Ja was her best friend so she should have at least told Hwa Ja. Right now, it makes no sense as to why she needs to keep up this hidden angst to herself.
Seung Hye as a character has so much potential for development. I love that she had her little moment watching Tae Hyun perform, because it implies that she’s not just a cold-hearted ambitious lawyer. I think she still has some room in her heart for Tae Hyun, but sees no future with him, and that’s why she went to him with the picture of Seol Hee. On the other hand, I can’t see much room for development with Ran Hee. She might be used as the musical rival to Seol Hee, but it’s so clear that Seol Hee will win. I don’t even care about her enough to want to pay attention to her storyline.
Anyways! PLEASE no spoilers of episode 4! I hear it’s gonna be good… 😀