Secret Garden: Episode 6
Oh, the goodness. There is SO MUCH of it to go around. I knew it’d be explosive when they started inhabiting each other’s bodies, but this? This is drama heaven. I can’t promise that the schtick won’t grow old, but if Hyun Bin and Ha Ji-won keep playing it up like they do here, they can go ahead and beat these gender-bendy shenanigans into the ground.
For naming purposes, we’re going with soul-first / body-second. So: Ra-Him for Ra-im-in-Joo-won’s-body (played by Hyun Bin) and Joo-wanda for Joo-won-in-Ra-im’s-body (played by Ha Ji-won). Got it? Okay. I couldn’t pass up Joo-wanda. I mean, who could pass up Joo-wanda?
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Joo-wanda and Ra-Him wake up the whole of Jeju Island with their screams, as they each freak out over their new…assets. They both make their way over to mirrors, and doubly freak out to find out just exactly whose bodies they’re in. Ra-Him does an especially girly jump-hop in front of the mirror that makes me so giddy for all the girliness to come.
She tears out of the hotel room, leaving Oska to wonder if maybe he did something in his sleep. (Ew! Aren’t you first cousins?!) She’s greeted outside by screaming fans, who let out a collective “aw man” when they see that it’s just some random dude, and not Oska. Heh, that’s probably the first time Binnie’s ever gotten that response from a group of fangirls.
Joo-wanda comes running over to the hotel, having run out of the sauna without changing. There, outside the room, they meet face-to-face, and stare gobsmacked at…well, their own faces. Can you imagine the strangeness of your own face staring back at you?
I like that they don’t have to go through the very obvious you’re-in-my-body-and-I’m-in-yours conversation, since, duh—it’s clear they’ve been switched. They don’t know how it happened (although Joo-wanda doesn’t lose the opportunity to insinuate that Ra-Him somehow did this to him), and he tells her to meet him around in front, but discreetly, since he owns the joint. She snarks that he says that everywhere he goes, and he says that’s because it’s true. You have a point. But it doesn’t make you any less of a snot.
Ra-Him gets sidetracked by the appearance of Seul, as she wonders how a woman so young became a director. Yeah, it’s called Daddy’s Money. You’ll soon find out what that’s about. Joo-wanda catches her peeping, and drags her out, only to be cut off by Jong-soo.
He addresses Joo-wanda by his usual informal speech, eliciting a very pointed reaction from him. Hahaha. This dynamic is going to be endlessly funny. Jong-soo stares strangely, and the situation only gets stranger for him, as Ra-Him apologizes for “Gil Ra-im’s” rudeness.
She nudges him to apologize and not forget who she is, getting an insincere “sorry” out of him. Jong-soo decides that he needs to talk some sense into Joo-wanda, grabbing him by the wrist. Ra-Him jumps in to stop him, but then when Jong-soo tells her to butt out, she hangs back meekly.
As he’s getting dragged away, Joo-wanda says, “Aren’t you going to stop me? What am I, just supposed to go with this guy?” Bwahahaha. Ra-Him decides that she has to assert herself here, and insists that she’ll take care of Joo-wanda right now. She grabs him by the wrist (Heh) and takes him away, as Jong-soo and Seul watch curiously.
She had also made him bow his head at Jong-soo, which he gripes about when they’re alone, because he doesn’t even bow to his own grandfather that way (who he calls by title, “President,” rather than grandfather). She reminds him that it’s HER head bowing, not his, but he replies that while he’s in there, it’s his head too.
They’re interrupted when Ra-Him asks just how much he drank last night…and then proceeds to do the pee dance, as Joo-wanda’s eyes widen in horror. Ruh-roh. How to pee with boy parts? He waits outside the bathroom, and asks how things are going, adding that she should just go like she normally would….as Ra-Him lets out a scream of terror from the stall. Oh my god, I’m dying.
They sit down in a café, and Ra-Him hangs her head down in defeat. She starts to cry, and Joo-wanda snaps at her to just TRY crying with his face. She spits back why he didn’t trade bodies with Kim Tae-hee or Jeon Do-yeon. Heh.
Joo-wanda tries to think through the problem rationally, but can’t focus because of his falling bra strap. Ra-Him tells him to shorten it, and reaches into his shirt to help him do it, startling everyone around them. Uh, awkward. They decide to take it outside.
Joo-wanda decides that this isn’t a problem to be solved the usual way, and shuts down all of Ra-Him’s suggestions—a doctor, a fortuneteller, a church, a temple. She says there’s only one thing left then…a kiss. Omo.
Ra-Him says that it’s what happens in all fairy tales—crazy stuff happens, and then a kiss puts everything back. This is an unusual problem, so they need to go with an unusual solution. Joo-wanda asks if it’s the best they’ve got, but it’s ALL they’ve got, so they decide to try it.
Joo-wanda: Okay, but we have to decide beforehand. Light peck, or heavy…
Ra-Him: We’ll know when we’re there. Close your eyes.
She goes in, and lands a light peck. Joo-wanda smiles involuntarily, but when he opens his eyes, nothing’s changed. Cue cawing crow to signal awkward failure.
He decides it’s because there wasn’t enough contact (heh), and pulls her in for a real kiss, long enough for both of them to get into it, and forget about the reason that they’re kissing in the first place. They’re about to get handsy in the middle of the kissing, but they catch themselves, and pull apart. Aw, man!
Back at the Mysterious Garden, the mysterious lady turns out to be…Ra-im’s father. Ten points for those who guessed it in the last episode. He watches their mystical reflection and apologizes to Joo-won, saying that it was the only thing he could do to save his daughter. Oh, no you di’n’t, Cancer. Stay away, or I will smite thee!
Joo-wanda teases her that she just wanted to kiss him (Dude, you’re the one who initiated the makeout session) and further gripes that if they end up like this permanently, she has nothing to lose.
Incredulous, Ra-Him agrees that he’s right—then she’ll just need his PIN number and birthdate, so that she can clear out his bank account, buy everyone at the action school a new car, produce an action film, buy Ah-young an officetel, oh and yeah…marry someone horrible that he’ll never be able to endure. Hahaha.
She leans in close, stopping for a moment to stare, kind of surprised by her own face: “So this is what I look like…” to which Joo-wanda scoffs, “Wow. Listen, I’m amazed at how handsome I am too, but I’m keeping that to myself!” Pfft. So I guess there’s no chance the soul-switching knocked the arrogant out of your ass?
Ra-Him’s phone rings, but she realizes that it’s not on her person, so she goes digging around in Joo-wanda’s pockets. Joo-wanda can’t control being ticklish all of a sudden, and giggles adorably.
Ra-Him is due on set, and tells Joo-wanda that they have to go, otherwise she’ll be fired. He doesn’t care, so Ra-Him says she’ll have to go straight to Seul and confess…how yesterday he was just playing hard to get. Joo-wanda’s eyes widen in horror and he chases after her, exasperated at how short his legs are now. Heh.
Back at Oska’s suite, his manager tries to get him out of his funk to shoot the video, reminding him how much he secretly wanted to see Seul. He advises him to face her, and start over, or get over her, but Oska confesses that he doesn’t have the courage to do either.
Ra-Him and Joo-wanda head back to the sauna to pick up her stuff, and Joo-wanda hilariously does a double-take at a well-endowed woman, ready to follow her into the women’s locker room to change. Ra-Him grabs him by the scruff of his collar, telling him that he’s not allowed to change (because she doesn’t want him seeing her naked body).
They get interrupted with the shoot for Ra-im’s getaway date with Oska…only now he’s hugging Joo-wanda who tells him to get lost, as Ra-Him apologizes. He seems more confused by his cousin being nice, than by Ra-im seeming to be cold.
They make it back to the hotel room to clean up and get changed, and Joo-wanda heads in for a shower. Ra-Him stops him, saying that she’ll clean her own body. Joo-wanda: “So…what you’re saying is…you want us to look at your body…together?” Ra-him: “Pervert.” Pwahaha.
She says that it can wait a day (in case things magically go back to normal tomorrow), so they’ll just wash their faces. He starts with shaving her face (aw, so cute) but she says she can handle it—she shaves too. Joo-wanda asks, interest piqued, “Where?” She just shrugs coyly.
With a command to keep his eyes closed, Ra-Him hands him a bra to put on, but he struggles to get it on and gives up. She shows him how to do it herself, adding that he’s probably faking it, since he’s taken dozens of bras, off of dozens of girls before.
Joo-wanda: “Yeah, but putting them on is different from taking them off.” Ha. Ain’t that the truth. But wearing them is really the hardest part, especially if you’re getting into any bras with verbs: push, lift, separate…there’s no good there. What I’ve learned is: verb + bra = bad.
Oska shows up to the video shoot, but refuses to do anything but close-ups, leaving Jong-soo to do all the heavy lifting. He sits and broods over Seul, clearly not over her in any way. His ex Chae-rin shows up, having been cast by Seul, but thinking that it was Oska’s doing.
Back in Seoul, Joo-won’s mother meets with his shrink, asking in her condescending way why she’s been coming by his place—does she sleep with him? Dr. Lee is clearly used to her, and deals with her coolly. Mother has asked her there to consult on older women’s likelihood of pregnancy, but succeeds in belittling her, just for fun. That thing you feel on the back of your neck? Yeah, that’s horror.
Mommie Dearest meets up with Oska’s mom, and the sisters have a meltdown over the possibility that their father might actually succeed at having a son with his new wife. As the only heirs to the family fortune, they obviously can’t have another sibling now, and a SON at that, who would inherit everything.
Ra-Him and Joo-wanda show up to the video shoot, and Ra-Him apologizes to Jong-soo, bowing again. Jong-soo just gets angrier at her apology-by-proxy, and Joo-wanda suggests they discuss it over a cigarette.
Cue chorus of stunned silence. Jong-soo: “You…smoke?” Joo-wanda: “I…..do….NOT. Coffee, then?”
Ra-Him trails after them, donning a wig…um…why now? Whatever, there’s no reason but it’s freakin’ hilarious. She tries very badly to spy on them, and meanwhile Joo-wanda figures out the score with Jong-soo in two seconds flat. He announces that his crush has been found out, smirking arrogantly. Jong-soo just slinks away, unable to say anything. Aw, he was pathetic enough when Ra-im was driving her own body, but now with Joo-won behind the wheel, he’s done for.
Ra-Him returns to the set and hands out refreshments to her sunbaes, overzealously acting like her usual self. Oska shows up, and at Ra-Him’s formal greeting, he decides something’s really up with his cousin, and feels her face for a fever. She smiles sweetly, blushing, as her right foot pops up in her signature girlish gesture. Hahaha.
Oska shoots his scene with Chae-rin, a car chase followed by a dramatic plea not to leave. Seul makes them do take after take, dissatisfied with the acting, and stops the production to ask him publicly whether or not he knows what it’s like to hurt because you lost the person you love. He lies no. She’s happy to tell him, and continues to unburden all her pent-up pain, at having to cry alone for fear of ruining his reputation, all the while believing that he never hurt at all because of her.
Well clearly there’s some GIANT misunderstanding here, not that both parties in a breakup don’t ultimately feel hurt and betrayed anyway, but they both feel like they are the ONLY ones who felt that way. It’s enough to send Oska packing, as Ra-Him observes the whole scene keenly.
She goes up to Seul afterwards, with a kind word that it was clear she was telling her own story. Seul just assumes that Joo-won has found out her past with Oska, and declares that she’s had her share of experience with love, but she’s done now. She asks that he do the same, and come around to her, when he’s done playing with Ra-im. Good grief, woman. Ra-Him stands agape, realizing just how different their worlds really are.
She tells Joo-wanda that Seul isn’t actually into him, while he tells her that her director IS. Into her, that is. Sheesh. This is confusing. She flatly denies it (clueless girl) and leaves to go room with Oska gleefully. Tee hee.
Joo-wanda tries to stop her, putting one leg out in front of her, and she knocks it out of the way, muttering, “There’s nothing to see anyway.” Hahaha. He shouts, “You saw everything, didn’t you?!” Well, she had to pee, remember??
Ra-Him sneaks quietly into Oska’s room, and freaks out when he appears in nothing but a towel. She shyly turns her back and offers him a robe. Oska doesn’t know what’s gotten into his cousin, but he likes it, whatever it is—because it’s the first time he’s felt like his little brother again since the accident. He catches himself (presumably Joo-won wouldn’t stand for his accident to be mentioned), and glosses over it. Iiiiiiiiiinteresting.
He jovially pats Ra-Him on the chest, making her do this:
…and scream bloody murder, as Joo-wanda bursts in to make sure it’s all on the up and up. In order to make her stay in the other room (he can’t have her staying here with another man!) Joo-wanda starts coming on to Oska, with his best oppa-pout-wiggle. Classic. Ra-Him watches horrified, as he asks if he can spend the night here with oppa, making her leave in a huff.
Having gotten the wrong idea, of course, Oska thinks he’s settling in for a cozy evening with Ra-im, but Joo-wanda just tsk-tsks him in his head, and leaves him hanging.
Everyone does some soulful staring in an angst-go-round, and Joo-wanda sits in his hotel room, finally coming to a very important decision…he’s just going to take one peek. Heh. He starts lifting up his (her?) shirt, but then sees all her scars and bruises, and discovers that her body is literally covered in them.
They wake up the next morning, hoping against hope…but find that they’re still swapped. Joo-wanda comes over to Oska’s suite, and finds Ra-Him there alone, with a note from Oska saying that he’s left early.
Joo-wanda sighs that she may as well wash up then, making Ra-Him rush him in protest. He just throws back the same insult she did yesterday: “Nothing to see anyway…” He lifts up the shirt to ask how a woman’s body can have so many scars and bruises, as Ra-Him tackles him to keep him from showering.
Rawr, with the skinship! She wraps her arms and legs around him and they struggle, which is exactly when Seul arrives.
Not really a cliffhanger, as far as endings go, since Seul is neither someone we care about yet, nor a real presence in Joo-won’s life. She basically told Ra-Him to play around and just come around to her, so really, they’re just doing what she said to do. Would’ve been more dramatic if Jong-soo had discovered them, as he seemed to be the more invested party in this episode.
As for the switch, I love the physicality of these two actors. They embody the switch so naturally, in their posture and their gestures. Hyun Bin is killing it with his comedic sense, but so is Ha Ji-won, as the arrogant bastard trapped in the body of a much shorter woman. Somehow Joo-won’s loss of stature in her body just makes him that much funnier as a character. He’s immediately taken down a peg, because he doesn’t get to do whatever he wants, and he’s beholden to her in such a perfect way—she’s driving around his body, so he’d better do as she says. As for Ha Ji-won, I love that she gets to play the aggressor now—her smirky faces are so spot-on, and she owns everything, from the kiss down to the surly attitude.
What’s great about the swap is that it serves as an awesome new excuse for skinship. That’s not me touching YOU. That’s me touching ME. Wait. That sounds dirty. You know what I mean. They feel at ease to get all handsy with each other, because they still feel like that other body is theirs. Because the ownership goes both ways, they have no qualms about being all over each other, but get squeamish if the other is about to shower or go to the bathroom. My inner twelve-year old is squealing in delight.
Before, I was mildly interested in the scenes with other characters, but now that the switch has happened and it’s nonstop comedy hour with those two, it actually angers me when we cut away to the other characters. Thankfully, we don’t do it too much, otherwise I’d be throwing things. I do really enjoy how Oska is being used as a triangle-but-not, as a middleman for affections, a rival, a brother. Their post-swap interactions with him are priceless. Don’t even get me started on the genius of Binnie’s girlish swooning over Oska.
I honestly don’t know how we’re going to get anywhere in the story if they keep up this level of tomfoolery. Not that I’m complaining. It’s the best thing since carbonated makgulli. But pausing 47 hundred times in one episode for laughter isn’t productive for anyone. I’m also enjoying that it’s a different kind of laugh-a-minute tone. For example, with My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho, I laughed in a that’s-so-hysterically-cute-it-kills-me way, but here it’s an I-delight-in-your-comeuppance sort of gleeful laughter. Does that make me evil? Wait. Don’t answer that.