As frustrated as I am with the divorce storyline being dragged out, it’s literally one of the best parts of the drama. It’s all about Ji Wook’s eyes and the dramatic tension that oozes when you put him, Seol Hee, and Seung Hye in the same room.
Oh, and Noo Ri is also the other best part of this episode.
SONG OF THE DAY
I Am Legend OST – “기분 좋은 날” by Kim Jung Eun and the Madonna Band [download]
By the time Seol Hee has finished telling Ji Wook to go shove it, word has spread to the other members that Seol Hee’s in-laws have canceled the documentary. They’re not entirely surprised; in fact, they wondered why the in-laws didn’t act sooner. Seol Hee promises to fix the situation, but a drunk Ran Hee doesn’t believe her, because experience in the industry says that once something is shot down, it’s hard to restart it.
True to Ran Hee’s word, the director of the documentary tells Seol Hee that he can’t do anything about the program since he, too, must listen to his bosses. However, a colleague of his recognizes Seol Hee as Ji Wook’s wife. When she tells the director that punk-rocker-Seol Hee is the same as refined-elegant Seol Hee, his interest is piqued. Looks like the documentary is back on track!
Now that she’s ripped up the divorce papers and vowed to see Ji Wook in court, Seol Hee throws herself further into her studies about divorce law and consulting with lawyers. One lawyer tells her that it’d be much easier to prove her case about a bad marriage if she could prove infidelity. (It’s kind of maddening how everything about this case revolves around adultery, as if no other reason BUT adultery is cause for divorce. Either this detail is shedding light on Korean society, or it’s a big, glaring neon sign from the writer saying, “HELLO SEOL HEE – YOUR HUSBAND’S HAVING AN AFFAIR!”)
Back to the band. Ran Hee is grudgingly thankful that Seol Hee got the documentary crew back to the studio. She invites Tae Hyun back to the studio so that he can help them improve their playing. However, the band isn’t too happy to see him, nor are they generally happy about Ran Hee’s presence, so when they rehearse it’s a lackluster performance.
Tae Hyun drags Ran Hee out for a “talk” – and we all know what that means: “I said I’ll write you a song. Who said I would teach those ahjummas?” Ran Hee pouts and whines a little, saying that he just has to do it for a little bit for the sake of the documentary, and if not for the doc then do it for her. Tae Hyun looks like he just swallowed a bitter pill.
But! We skip his hissy fit with the rest of the band members and go right to a drinking session, because that’s when the truth always comes out. Everyone toasts and chug down their beers, except Tae Hyun. Seol Hee snipes at him, saying that since he chewed them out on their skills, he must be so full he can’t even drink. Tae Hyun retorts that the stage is for pros, and they’re just amateurs who think they can perform onstage. They trade barbs back and forth, until Seol Hee asks him to just change them completely – make them the pros that they ought to be by teaching them – and Tae Hyun says, “You think that will make a difference?”
The Madonna gals all take offense, but Seol Hee is the first to stomp away from the table.
As she heads back to the table (presumably from the bathroom) she overhears a group of wannabe-punk boys making fun of Tae Hyun for sitting at a table with ahjummas. Seol Hee dares them to repeat what they just said, and the boys think she’s insulted about the “ahjumma” comment. However, Seol Hee fires back, “Who said I was talking about that? Before that, you were saying this and that about Firebird!” And of course, Tae Hyun chooses that time to step away from the table to answer a call, and witness Seol Hee’s scolding.
Tae Hyun is mighty interested – after all, Seol Hee is the one that everyone is claiming was his number one big fan and he doesn’t remember her at all. Seol Hee scolds the boys, “If it weren’t for a band like Firebird in our country, do you think the likes of you would be able to sing today?”
[I personally find this entire argument a little contrived. Funny, but contrived, for the following bit:]
The boys ask what on earth Firebird has to do with her, and she says:
“I’m…the fan who made a necklace with the discarded guitar picks of Firebird’s Jang Tae Hyun and wore it every day until my wedding! What are you going to do?”
Oh yeah – she’s proud of it. One of the boys gets so frustrated because to them, she’s really just a crazy lady. But he gets a nice whack on the head… from none other than Tae Hyun. Whoops – Seol Hee realizes that he probably just heard about her unhealthy obsession with him that she would have rather kept to the grave. Tae Hyun demands that the boys apologize and leave for insulting Seol Hee.
The boys shuffle off, and Tae Hyun adds, “You say you’re my fan nearly every day, so why is it that you keep picking fights with me?” before walking away.
Seol Hee pretends to be aghast, but the moment he’s gone she becomes that Oh-my-God-the-cutest-guy-in-school-just-spoke-to-ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!-school girl.
Hee. Oh Seol Hee, you silly girl. This was one redeeming moment for their relationship for me, because it makes them unequal to each other.
They return to the table, and Seol Hee mixes drinks for everyone. They all have to drink in a wave pattern, starting with Hwa Ja. The wave stops with Tae Hyun, however, who still refuses to drink. Party pooper. The girls try to get him to drink up, but Ran Hee comes to his defense and says that he can’t drink well. (Yeah, I think Ran Hee’s got a *big* crush on him.) Everyone gives him a “look” – and it’s worth seeing Hyuni act in this entire scene solely on facial expressions (she literally has no lines during this outing).
Seol Hee tells him, “I’m offering you the drink as a fan who, back in her schooldays, poured all her passion into Firebird.”
Well now, how can Tae Hyun argue with that? Especially since he overheard her admitting that she saved every single one of his guitar picks.
Hours into the drinking session, Seol Hee drunkenly tells Tae Hyun off; she knows he’s not happy being stuck with them because he thinks he’s too “cool” for them. She’s not offended by that though. Instead, she’s disappointed that Tae Hyun can’t be more honest with his feelings and admit that the person he really hates is himself. Tae Hyun puts her in her place and points out the flaws in each of them: Soo In is too stiff in her wrists, Hwa Ja is too over the top, Seol Hee plays the guitar without enough commitment to her strumming, and Ah Reum… well Ah Reum is better than all of them by a bit. But in the end, they all just suck.
Hwa Ja mumbles that Seol Hee isn’t left handed, but in order to play the guitar left handed, she does everything using her left hand – eat, write, sew, etc. For Seol Hee, to play the guitar left handed is cool, even if unnatural. Tae Hyun scoffs at her reasoning, but he cannot deny her passion for music.
Back in Tae Hyun’s home, the dishes are left unwashed, music sheets are scattered around the kitchen table, garbage is littered around the living room, and Seung Hye is steaming mad. Noo Ri says that Daddy didn’t know Grandma wouldn’t be coming in to help with the housecleaning, so can Mommy not yell at him? And he gives Seung Hye a big smile with both his front two teeth missing.
How can you say no to that!?
Seol Hee is left as the only somewhat-sober one in the bunch, and is forced to drag a very drunk Tae Hyun back home. As she struggles up the hill to his house, Seung Hye spots the two of them together from inside her car. She is shocked to see that of all people, he had to get drunk with Seol Hee. Guess Tae Hyun is not going to take heed to her advice of staying away from Seol Hee. (I foresee bad things in the court case.) But as she drives on the highway, Seung Hye is actually more disturbed than she initially seemed. She’s not too keen on her husband dallying with Seol Hee, because of all people, why must it be her man’s wife?! (Methinks she’s mighty jealous because Seol Hee is getting everything that she wants, while Seung Hye isn’t quite there yet.)
Seol Hee manages to find the key to his house and she stumbles in, falling under Tae Hyun’s weight and landing at Noo Ri’s feet. She smiles, embarrassed, at Noo Ri, who only gives her a reproving glare, hands on the hips no less. She drops him on Noo Ri’s bed, and suddenly a glass of water is in her face. She gulps it down gratefully, but then realizes that it’s Noo Ri who gave it to her. Uh oh – time to answer some questions…
Noo Ri: Ahjumma – are you my dad’s girlfriend?
Seol Hee: N-no way! No way! I’m just a fan of your dad’s. A fan!
Noo Ri: Then why were you drinking together so late at night?
Seol Hee: Ah that… as a pure fan I was talking with him about music. Anyways, from now on, I’ll just continue being your dad’s fan.
The next day, Seol Hee meets with one of the housekeepers of her in-laws’ household and asks her to testify that her husband lived apart from her for most of the marriage. The housekeeper is deathly afraid of Mother of all Evil and doesn’t feel comfortable testifying in court. (Sorry I keep calling her ‘Mother of all Evil’ – I just don’t have the heart to learn her name unless I REALLY have to.) Seol Hee asks if she can get a recording instead, but the housekeeper lets out a look of pure terror at the recording device and apologizes – she can’t help even though she knows Seol Hee is having a hard time.
During rehearsal with the documentary crew, the director begins telling Seol Hee to step up closer to the camera. Ran Hee doesn’t think much of it until she notices that the camera is now mostly focused on Seol Hee.
Then to add insult to injury, the director says the feel of the song is off: Ran Hee is singing too expertly while everyone else is an amateur, and so can Seol Hee do the vocals instead? Everyone else is excited, but Ran Hee is not too pleased. Seol Hee is also shocked, and thinks that Ran Hee should just do it – after all, the documentary is about her.
Ran Hee stomps off and bumps into her manager, who then tells her that the director has changed the focus of the documentary. It’s more interesting to focus on the wife of an uptight lawyer than a has-been singer. Seol Hee is willing to let Ran Hee just do the vocals, but Ran Hee refuses to let Seol Hee be the “bigger” person and just hands off responsibility to Seol Hee.
And of course, Tae Hyun arrives outside the studio just in time to witness this entire exchange.
Tae Hyun: What are you agonizing over? From hearing you talk last night, it sounded like you’ll sing well.
Seol Hee: What a backhanded compliment…In any case, thank you.
Tae Hyun: Oh. The next time you see a drunk person, just leave him there, instead of trying to be nice.
He walks into the studio, with just a mini smile on his face. Seol Hee is all aghast, but once he’s gone she goes back into silly school-girl-mode. *Sigh, what a goof.
And now it’s the Madonna Band front and center! Everyone’s playing much more animatedly, since this is how it should be. Tae Hyun is even nodding his head to the beat.
Only one person is not happy – Ran Hee, who sits in the office area, unable to block out Seol Hee’s singing. In her frustration, she throws Seol Hee’s bag at the couch and a bunch of papers fall out. Curiosity getting the better of her, Ran Hee peeks at them, and finds out that Seol Hee is filing for divorce from her husband. Jackpot!
The director is super impressed with the passionate performance and starts clapping. Ran Hee comes in and puts on a fake squeal of happiness. She compliments Seol Hee, but then says, “But does your husband know how great you are at singing? Why don’t you invite your husband over here?”
The director’s eyes lights up – yes! Why don’t they get Ji Wook in the documentary too? Seol Hee tries to tamp it down and say that he’s busy. Ran Hee immediately jumps in – are the rumors of divorce true then? Hwa Ja thinks Ran Hee’s just being bitter, but Ran Hee starts pulling in phrases like, “For years it’s as if they have been separated already,” and “his family doesn’t treat her like a human being.” Seol Hee realizes she read the files.
Just as Soo In stands up to Seol Hee’s defense, Seol Hee confirms the rumor. She announces that she is filing for divorce, much to everyone’s surprise – except Tae Hyun. She asks if Ran Hee is now happy that it’s been said aloud, but Ran Hee has nothing to say. (Oh snap!) The director asks if it’s true, and Seol Hee apologizes, hoping that it won’t be a problem for the documentary. The director actually looks bummed out. I can get why he would be – after all, he sold the documentary to his bosses on the angle that they would get to reveal Ji Wook and Seol Hee in a different light, but now it can’t be done. But on the other hand, this is the news of the century! Perfect, youngest Representative Ji Wook is NOT successful at work AND home!
Seol Hee leaves the studio and as she passes Tae Hyun, he gives her a look of sympathy.
Hwa Ja and Soo In refuse to let Seol Hee be by herself. Seol Hee apologizes to them; she wanted to tell them after it was all over. Hwa Ja asks if it was because Ji Wook had an affair, and Seol Hee wryly notes that that is all she gets ever asked these days. She insists it’s not the case, and Hwa Ja says she should just live on being a madam. She has the good life already, and it makes no sense to go against someone who is considered the best lawyer in Korea. No love? She can just spend money instead!
Seol Hee says that life isn’t that great when all you do is spend money. There’s no point in anything she does; in the end, Ji Wook pays her no mind and her in-laws look down on her. Hwa Ja asks, “When a friend is saying she’s going to separate from her husband, which girl will cheer her on?” Soo In adds, “Can’t you just put up with it?” But Seol Hee shoots it down: “I don’t want to live a lie any longer.”
Girls’ Night In! The three of them have a drinking session in Seol Hee’s home, and Soo In and Hwa Ja have finally come to terms with the news that Seol Hee is divorcing. They ask how she’ll make a living after the divorce. Seol Hee doesn’t think she’ll get much alimony, so she hopes that she can just make a living performing as part of a band. Soo In and Hwa Ja scoff – the band is just a hobby, not a career. They joke that she should go seduce another old lawyer who will definitely love her.
Seol Hee says she’d rather stand on her own two feet this time. She wants to be Jun Seol Hee, not “So and So’s Wife.”
Word reaches Ji Wook that rumors have been spreading throughout the broadcast station. The bad thing is, the rumors all portray Ji Wook and his family in a bad light. Seung Hye advises that Ji Wook do something now before the rumors get out of hand. After all, Seol Hee really has nothing to lose. Even his mother has been telling him to hurry up and settle it as quietly as possible.
Meanwhile, Hwa Ja is angsting over Seol Hee’s situation at home, refusing to believe that Ji Wook has not had an affair. Her husband says Ji Wook must be – he’s driven home many couples late at night to hotels, so he knows. With that, Hwa Ja enlists Soo In and Ah Reum to go tail Ji Wook for a day.
The funny thing is, they’re SO BAD at it! As they tail him someone starts swerving into their lane, and Hwa Ja starts honking at her horn to get the car out of the way. Wow – what a way to kinda announce your presence right? The even funnier thing is, Ji Wook is SO OBLIVIOUS to it all.
They follow Ji Wook all the way to a hotel, where he meets Seung Hye at the lobby. Hwa Ja hurrahs – her husband was right! They watch as Ji Wook and Seung Hye go up to the hotel together, and call up Seol Hee.
Seol Hee is actually in the middle of meeting her chauffeur Hwang at a cafe. She begs him to testify, since he knows best on how Seol Hee lived. Hwang feels guilty, but he is scared to help her because if the in-laws find out, he’ll be fired. He needs the job to support his pregnant daughter too. Seol Hee doesn’t push any further, and receives Hwa Ja’s call just then.
She rushes to the hotel, and is initially mad angry with her friends. She didn’t want them to interfere, and she feels that spying on her husband like this is a cheap way to win. But Soo In says that Seol Hee is in no position to play fair, and so they drag her on up to the hotel room.
Hwa Ja leads the pack, Soo In with her camera, and Ah Reum with the video camera. Soo In presses the doorbell, and Hwa Ja pretends she’s a maid with fresh towels. Seung Hye replies that she never ordered them, but Hwa Ja is insistent, and so Seung Hye goes to open the door.
Immediately, Hwa Ja grabs Seung Hye’s hair and starts screaming, “You wretch! You have nothing better to do so you’re after another woman’s man?”
AAAAAAAAAAND it turns out it’s a business meeting, with Ji Wook sitting at the table with two other lawyers. Everyone falls into an embarrassed silence, and Seol Hee finally peeks into the room. Seung Hye is actually surprised that Seol Hee is there, because now it proves that if Seol Hee really wants to, she just might find evidence of their affair.
Ji Wook has a talk with Seol Hee down at the lobby. He asks if she’s so shallow as to think that he’d be having an affair just because he went into a hotel with a woman. (Well, yeah. Anyone would think that, but you Ji Wook are too smart for that anyways.) Ji Wook rails against her for practically going to the media about her divorce case, and dares her to try to defeat him in court – “My future can’t be destroyed by people like you.” Oooh – burn…..
In another hotel bar, Tae Hyun meets Seung Hye. She’s mildly surprised, since he never calls her first. Turns out, Noo Ri’s class made presents for their mothers and he wanted Tae Hyun to give it to Seung Hye today. It’s a clay model of their family, and Seung Hye is visibly touched. She thanks him, and notes that it’s Seol Hee and Ji Wook’s divorce trial the next day.
Seung Hye confirms with Tae Hyun once again that nothing is going on between Seol Hee and him, and he says, “Why? Does it seem like there would be?” But he then asks her to go a little easy on Seol Hee. After all, everyone she goes against ends up getting crushed so wouldn’t karma come back to her twice as hard? Now that Tae Hyun has said that, Seung Hye vows to completely trample over Seol Hee.
Seol Hee is busy preparing for tomorrow’s trial when she suddenly gets a phone call from Tae Hyun.
Seol Hee: What’s going on? I’m so honored that you personally called me. As a fan, I don’t know what to do.
Tae Hyun: I just… tried calling this once. To tell you to do well.
Seol Hee: Do what well?
Tae Hyun: Whatever. I’m hanging up.
Hee! Tae Hyun – you try too hard to act cool.
Then, Driver Hwang calls up Seol Hee and agrees that he’ll testify. I smell something fishy…
At the court house, the judge catches everyone up on the case and then asks Seol Hee to present her first witness. She asks Driver Hwang how long he’s worked for the family (seven years), how many times Ji Wook slept at home (once every two months), and if their marriage seemed good (“The truth is, it was hard to see it as a normal marital relationship”).
Satisfied, Seol Hee sits down, and Seung Hye cross-examines him. Seung Hye brings up the fact that when Hwang first worked for the family, he had to sign a contract that prevented him from speaking about private matters within the family. By appearing in court today, he was breaching that contract and thus risking his job. She asks if Seol Hee agreed to provide some financial compensation for appearing in trial. After all, in exchange for not revealing Seol Hee’s nights out in a club, didn’t she pay for Hwang’s daughter’s tuition once? Hwang carefully replies that she did give him money, but it didn’t have to necessarily be for his daughter’s tuition. Seung Hye asks again – did Seol Hee promise monetary compensation for appearing at the trial today?
Hwang casts a nervous glance towards Ji Wook, who gives him a meaningful look. Hwang finally answers: “She promised me that she’ll reward me when she receives the alimony.”
Seol Hee is aghast, and Ji Wook gives her a triumphant look.
And somewhere in the world, with tears in her eyes, Seol Hee and the Madonna Band perform on a stage…
OK – for all my frustrations about Seol Hee not telling her friends about the divorce, I kind of get it now. After seeing how they played out the issue in this episode, I can see why she didn’t want to tell them. After all, Seol Hee did put up a front with them too in making it seem like her marriage was good. I’m still a little miffed (especially about her friends’ encouragement at working on her marriage), and it might just solely reflect my own views about divorce, but I can see why her friends think Seol Hee has the perfect marriage.
I’m surprised that the drama didn’t take advantage of her high profile status and go crazy with news about her divorce. After she revealed it in front of the director, I thought that the film crew would be hounding her with more questions about the divorce, or that reporters would start banging down her door wanting to get the first scoop to this salacious gossip!
As for our dear OTP – HMM. Something is just a tad off for me, and I think it’s because I just can’t buy into the pairing. Tae Hyun is just “that guy” who is always at the right place at the right time. It’s a little unbalanced and weird, but in retrospect, Tae Hyun is also the only one who knows what Seol Hee is going through. (It helps that he’s always at the right place at the right time.) Before everyone else, he knew that she was going through a divorce and would go against his ex-wife in court. That might explain why he feels a little protective of her. And when she goes and reveals that she’s his number one fan, she becomes amusing. But really – this divorce case REALLY needs to be resolved soon. I do not want to watch 6 or 8 episodes about this divorce. I think there could be plenty of opportunities to keep Ji Wook around without the case. If the writers can manage to keep Ran Hee around, then they can find a way to keep Ji Wook around.
As for Seung Hye, it’s interesting that some have mentioned that she’s a hypocrite. I haven’t seen her that way so much, even if she is. I think she’s more torn than anything else. She truly loves her son, and I think she’s still in love with Tae Hyun, but she knows that their lives won’t go well together. I don’t even know if she truly loves Ji Wook either; I’d like to think that she knows Ji Wook is simply a better fit for the life that she is pursuing. Seol Hee on the other hand is breaking free and pursuing what she really wants in life, and she could very well end up with Tae Hyun. Seung Hye is feeling jealous, because she can’t have it both ways!
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