I Am Legend: Episode 9
Episode 9 marks the return of… NOO RI! Yes – the most important character of this drama. No? OK – well, it is also the turning point of the drama – soo, just how do you follow up an epic courtroom scene and the end of a divorce?
Jin Bae offers Seol Hee a job as a part time assistant. She can come in a couple days a week and help out if he has cases. It’s not a steady income, so Seol Hee has her reservations.
Hwa Ja to the rescue! (Or not…) She sets up a meeting between Seol Hee and her business-friend President Im at a sushi restaurant. He takes a liking to Seol Hee (because she’s pretty) and advises her to find cases for the law office. That way, she can get more work. How to find cases? Well, he’ll find them for her! Seol Hee frowns. She drags Hwa Ja outside for a private chat and tells her she’s not interested in working with a broker. He basically gets lawyers cases with huge, private companies to keep them occupied so that they won’t have time nor interest in helping poorer people who really need the help. Seol Hee’s sense of justice prevails, and she goes back to Jin Bae to accept the job.
Jin Bae’s secretary isn’t quite too pleased that she is no longer Jin Bae’s one-and-only, so she asserts her authority over Seol Hee almost immediately. Seol Hee only has to be in twice a week, and every morning must prepare the coffee for her, tea for Jin Bae. She also eyes Seol Hee’s dress: it’s a tad too short. (HA!) But Seol Hee thinks its fine. Besides – Seol Hee probably doesn’t have any other decent clothing; they’ve all been left behind at the Cha House of Doom.
But! Something just has to go wrong. Min Kyu discovers that the video of the Comeback Madonna Band dancing in the elevator has been leaked online. Ah Reum, Hwa Ja, and Soo In are flabbergasted and embarrassed, especially when they see that the comments are mostly negative. Ah Reum particularly doesn’t like being called an “ahjumma,” and the ladies are insulted when the comments say they should stay at home doing chores, and the men in their lives must be suffering to have a woman like them. (Min Kyu snorts with laughter, while I scream at how Korean society can be so very patriarchal and sexist.)
When Hwa Ja gets home, her husband Duk Soo is already fielding calls from his family in regards to Hwa Ja’s “improper” behavior. Feeling like he’s losing control as man of the house, he orders her to quit the band. Hwa Ja’s son Tae Sung even yells at her for being so embarrassing that he can’t face his classmates in school. (Geez kid – the proper comeback line to the teasing is, “At least my momma can dance better than your momma!”)
Seol Hee – being single and free now – has other worries. She haunts the police station in search of a case to bring to Jin Bae, and witnesses a fight brewing between a car owner and the motorcyclist who cut in front of him for the parking space. She interrupts them and begins making notations, all of which paint the motorcyclist in a negative light. She gives them Go Jin Bae’s card so that they can contact her if they need a lawyer. But lo and behold – Ji Wook is also at the police station, and he just saw the whole thing.
Ji Wook tells her she should avoid being seen like this, desperately searching for a case to work on. Seol Hee counters him with, “You shouldn’t be worried about whatever I do now.” He once again offers money to her so that she can live comfortably, and she says, “Sorry, but I’ve been feeling really great. My body is so light I feel like I can fly away!” And on that whimsical note, she leaves with a smile.
But it’s all an act. Once she’s a safe distance away, her face falls. Clearly, she’s still in the process of fully removing him from her life.
Noo Ri calls his mom up at work and asks if she could show up to his birthday party at school. Everyone else’s parents are coming. Seung Hye quickly says she has an important meeting on that day, and then rushes to hang up the phone. Ugh.
MoaE is in her son’s room for a chat about “lady issues.” She is aware that he and Seung Hye have gotten close, (sharp woman), but advises him not to get too close to her. After all, he couldn’t possibly be thinking of moving in with a divorced single mother? (OOOOH – SHE KNOWS…) For his future, he can’t risk anything. Ji Wook reassures his mother that he’s only going to focus on his work.
And guess who overhears the conversation!? No, it’s not Tae Hyun. Seung Hye stands right outside his office door, and brushes away a tear. (That’s right you spiteful woman – go ahead and cry. I have no sympathies for a woman who hangs up on her son.)
The video leak has definitely soured everyone’s mood at practice, and tensions are running high. Hwa Ja and Ah Reum start off by complaining about the other’s guitar playing. Ah Reum mutters that she shouldn’t have ever played with ahjummas, and Hwa Ja spits out that Gun is actually Ah Reum’s child. Soo In and Seol Hee’s eyes grow wide. Ah Reum thinks that Soo In spilled, but Hwa Ja keeps yelling that Ah Reum shouldn’t think she’s so great – she was wild and young from the start, so it’s not surprising she’s made so many mistakes in her life.
Ah Reum stalks off. Seol Hee tries to tell Hwa Ja to apologize, but already feeling the pressure from her husband and son, Hwa Ja decides to quit instead. And then there were two.
Soo In reveals to Seol Hee that Min Kyu and Ah Reum were both trainees. They had a little “accident” but instead of succumbing to family pressures and aborting the kid, they decided to have it, move out, and make it on their own. In the end, they’ve actually done a lot despite their young age.
Later that day, Seol Hee meets with Tae Hyun at their usual cafe. She asks if Tae Hyun saw the video (Duh) and then lets him know that the band might break up because of it. Tae Hyun finds the situation funny instead of sympathizing with her, and so Seol Hee offers her idea for a solution to the problem. Can he remake a song? (And we all know what song THAT is!)
Tae Hyun readily agrees. Seol Hee says she’ll pay him for it…later. Tae Hyun would rather collect the payment – with interest – when they make it big. Just then, he gets a very important phone call – from Noo Ri, who is sobbing outside his classroom. Mommy can’t make it to his party – what to do!?!?!?!
Understanding that it’s a crisis, Tae Hyun promises he’ll be right over. He then gets an idea – can Seol Hee come too? If she goes, he’ll take it as payment for the song.
Meanwhile, Seung Hye is feeling guilty and cancels her important meeting to go to Noo Ri’s school. (Why – ’cause you finally got your priorities straightened out now that MoaE has rejected you?) Ji Wook catches her as she heads out, and she tells him that they should be more open about their relationship – why don’t they set up a dinner together with Noo Ri? Seung Hye is testing him, and Ji Wook replies (unsatisfactorily) with, “Let’s slowly think about it.”
By the time Tae Hyun and Seol Hee see Noo Ri, he’s sitting alone in the classroom and the party is over. His voice is choked with tears as he tells dad that only his mom didn’t show up. Tae Hyun tells him that mom is very busy – and he’s a boy, so he should stop crying. Noo Ri finally registers Seol Hee’s presence, and she presents him with a gift. It’s an acoustic guitar. Noo Ri doesn’t like it – mommy had hated it when daddy played the guitar, so he won’t play it either.
Tae Hyun orders his son to apologize to Seol Hee for being so disrespectful, but Noo Ri pouts. He wanted mom – not an ahjumma who is also dad’s fan. The two Jang men face off eye-to-eye, and suddenly they hear a chord strummed on the guitar. Seol Hee has put on a birthday hat and is using a plastic flower as her mic: “The dad who acts like his son…and the son who acts like the dad… let’s please not fight today!”
Tae Hyun settles Noo Ri on his lap, and Noo Ri’s birthday concert begins! She sings him a sweet birthday song, which he enjoys very much. And guess who sees this!? Seung Hye – pissed that Seol Hee is charming her way into Noo Ri’s heart.
In the car, Noo Ri strums the guitar excitedly. And suddenly I have my favorite coupling of the series:
Tae Hyun: You said you hated it before.
Noo Ri: I should consider the gift giver’s sincerity. But what is that ahjumma’s name?
Tae Hyun: Jun Seol Hee.
Noo Ri: She’s a lot better than I expected. Her personality is cool too.
Tae Hyun: *thinking* Ah, my son has such good taste. Like me…
Noo Ri: (with suspicion) Dad! She’s your girlfriend right?! Right!?
Tae Hyun: Ah…you rascal. No! That’s not it!
Noo Ri: Aiiii – it looks like it though~!
Tae Hyun: No it’s not!
Noo Ri: Don’t lieeeee! It looks like you areeee!
Dude – how much cuter of a kid can you get?
Seol Hee is not in a too pleasant mood though – after leaving the school, she met a suspicious Seung Hye who thought that Seol Hee was getting close to Noo Ri as revenge towards her. Seol Hee retorts with the best comeback ever: “I don’t think your existence is meaningful enough for me to warrant any vengeance.” She goes on to advise Seung Hye to not miss Noo Ri’s future birthdays. Seung Hye tells her not to worry – when she marries Ji Wook, she’ll take Noo Ri away from Tae Hyun. Say whut?
A phone call from Tae Hyun interrupts her thoughts and it’s nothing more than Tae Hyun expressing his thanks. Seol Hee asks about Noo Ri – the boy is sleeping with the guitar. Tae Hyun then sweetly tells her to go to sleep. Calling just for that? You must reaaaally like her.
Hwa Ja and Ah Reum are MIA for practice – both are refusing to pick up their phones, and their respective husbands can’t ignore the ringing telephone. Min Kyu even informs Ah Reum that Soo In has been calling him instead.
Both ladies get an ominous message from Seol Hee – today is going to be their last practice. Ever. They rush over to the studio.
Seol Hee tells them that if they can’t compromise, they will never survive as a band. If the two girls don’t apologize immediately, they are splitting up forever. Hwa Ja and Ah Reum don’t really want that to happen, and after Seol Hee gives the ultimatum a second time, Hwa Ja immediately apologizes. She was being childish when she should have supported Ah Reum for suffering other people’s scorn at such a young age. Ah Reum is sorry for losing patience with them – other people her age are more successful than she, and she was feeling frustrated.
With all that said and done, Seol Hee presents a new project: a reply video! Cue Kwang Yul on the camera and Min Kyu for special effects (via pointing a fan at the girls for the wind effect, and blowing bubbles)! And the girls rock out to their version of “Genie.” Even Tae Hyun enjoys their version infinitely more, his eyes only on Seol Hee. [download]
Off to the internet it goes – and immediately it’s a hit! The comments become supportive, saying that they are much better than SNSD, and Hwa Ja is so glam-rock she’s addicting. (Her husband wrote that.) But Seol Hee’s little nosebleed dampens the mood, and the girls realize that she hasn’t had proper rest for a while.
Kwang Yul bursts in with good news: the video has become so popular that an agency called him, asking if the Comeback Madonna Band could participate at the Hongdae Street Festival. Apparently, it’s hard to book a gig there, so the girls cheer. They’ve made it!
On the street, Seol Hee excitedly tells Tae Hyun over the phone the good news. He’s happy for her, but tells her to stay humble – it’s not good to get a big ego too quickly. After she hangs up, she starts to get dizzy, and faints.
Seung Hye arrives at Tae Hyun’s place with Noo Ri’s gift. Tae Hyun reprimands her for disappointing Noo Ri so much, and she remarks that Tae Hyun seemed happy that she wasn’t there. Yep – she did go to the school, and saw Seol Hee there. She tells him that she will become an official couple with Ji Wook soon, and warns him to protect what is his. After all – does he want to explain to Noo Ri how the four of them are all connected?
Just then, Tae Hyun gets a call from the hospital, and off he goes. Seung Hye takes note of the concern he has for Seol Hee.
By the time he arrives at the hospital, Seol Hee is already conscious and answering the doctor’s questions. Tae Hyun is furious with her – how could she not take better care of herself? Even the doctor tells Tae Hyun that as her guardian, he shouldn’t have let her skip meals. There’s still a battery of tests to be done, so when it’s over Tae Hyun can take her out for a hearty meal. Seol Hee insists she’s fine, but Tae Hyun won’t have any of it.
And just who happens to be thinking of her? Ji Wook, brooding in his office, gives Seol Hee a call. But her cell phone is with the nurse, and he immediately rushes over to the hospital that she’s staying at.
Tae Hyun watches over Seol Hee as she sleeps (and his song starts playing in the background…). Secure that she’s ok, he steps away for a moment of fresh air and some deep thinking. Ji Wook arrives at the hospital and approaches Seol Hee’s bedside. He places her hand in a more comfortable position and gently holds it. But then – someone is standing next to him…
Tae Hyun: What brings you here?
Uh-oh. And Seol Hee opens her eyes…
Honestly – Noo Ri stole every single scene he was in. I love that kid! (I did not miss Ran Hee at all, and didn’t realize she was gone until I reviewed the episode again.) He’s one smart cookie, and a charismatic actor whether he’s crying or laughing. Seol Hee proved in this episode that she could be a really great addition to the Jang family – she could settle the fights between father and son in an instant. Min Kyu was also quite a surprise in this episode. He’s appearing more often now (which is good because I like seeing more of the ladies’ other lives). He too has the funniest expressions – kind of like the grown up version of Noo Ri.
There were a lot of little things that I loved (and loved to hate): for example, I’m glad that the dancing in the elevator was in the drama – it provided good comic relief. But what was better was the writers used it and made it into a plot point for this episode. It took something that could have been a stand-alone gag, and made it far more significant. Ji Wook’s expressions towards Seol Hee were curiously benevolent, and it’s funny to watch Seol Hee be more outgoing in her dialogue with him. She was usually so demure that, now that she’s divorced she can go back to being more carefree – which is probably what he loved about her in the first place. The whole fainting issue with Seol Hee felt a little contrived. Even though it’s somewhat possible considering all the stress she went through, it’s just a lazy way of pitting Ji Wook and Tae Hyun against each other. (That’s what it seems like so far…) And my opinions towards Seung Hye – well, I think they were pretty obvious. I’m amazed that she was going around proclaiming her relationship with Ji Wook quite confidently, when she didn’t even have the confirmation or approval from the people who mattered most: Ji Wook and his mother.