Looks like love is in the air. And the real kind, not the Little Mermaid version. Or so we hope. Down with the Mermaid! Sheesh. When did Ariel ever get such a bad rap? Declarations get made, gauntlets get thrown, and secrets get found out. It’s Christmas in the Secret Garden, and it looks like Fate has some interesting things in store…
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Ra-im walks in, dressed to the nines, and on Oska’s arm. He thankfully doesn’t try to use his entrance with Ra-im to bait Seul. Instead he leaves Ra-im with one look at Joo-won, and takes Seul away to talk.
Joo-won has the gall to be mad at Ra-im for her absence these last few days. Dude, you haven’t even apologized yet for YOUR part in all this. He then, because he is Joo-won, looks at the label on her dress and notes that it’s a nice one. Pffft. He is such a girl, sometimes. He asks her if her fairy godmother said that she can stay till midnight, after which she’ll go poof and disappear; she responds that it’s all up to him.
Oska brings Seul a slice of cheesecake, saying that he remembers she likes it, and didn’t eat it because she didn’t want to gain weight. She glares. Oops. Wrong again. This is quite the dangerous game you’re playing. I mean, there’s only so many rounds of this I’d tolerate from a guy before I gave him the boot. Needless to say, Seul’s pissed: “Who’s that girl? So, is she skinny?” Ha. She asks what the hell he’s doing, and he just replies vaguely that he’s going to remember everything, and he’s going to reverse it all.
Joo-won asks what the makeover is about, growing nervous for her answer. She tells him the truth: that she was outside and couldn’t come in, but that her fairy godmother told her to say it to his face—that she’s here to see him. She tells him that she swore to his mother, on the memory of her dad, that she wouldn’t see him anymore. “My body has turned away. But my heart won’t leave.”
She admits that it’ll be hard for her if she continues to see him, but decides that the pain from being with him will be easier to endure…than the pain of not seeing him. Aw. Ra-im: “I’m here. To see you. That’s my answer. But…I’m not going to be the Little Mermaid. So, go ahead and answer. Is the Little Mermaid all that I can ever be?”
He stares back at her, frozen, and then they get interrupted by the last woman that Joo-won met on a blind date. She tries to worm her way into the conversation, but Seul swoops in and takes her away. Hm. What angle is she playing now? Then another interruption, from an annoying acquaintance who asks who Ra-im is.
Joo-won answers that she’s someone he’ll never encounter again, because she’s something else (the connotation of which is purposely ambiguous).
Joo-won: She drives like a car racer. If she witnesses someone’s purse being snatched, someone she’s never met in her life, she’ll throw fists. She has no money and her body is covered in scars, but she doesn’t want to spend even one second of one minute with people like us. She’s that kind of woman. I’ve never seen a woman as cool as her. That…is my answer.
Finally, some words of awesome from his mouth. Ra-im’s eyes fill with tears at his answer.
Seul takes the other girl outside and hilariously gives her the “I’m the crazy bitch in this town” speech, quoting it from dramas. Omg, I totally love her lately. Is she getting more awesome, or is everyone else getting less awesome? Either way, her sass kills me.
She even adds that the girl, whom she calls a thorn, shouldn’t meddle when two people (Ra-im and Joo-won) are just about to admit their feelings and get somewhere. Dude, words right out of my mouth, again.
She heads inside and is taken aback by the music…she looks over to the piano and Oska is playing her favorite song. She walks over and he smiles at her, saying that he finally got one right. Seul is moved to near tears.
She and Oska are both surprised when they look over to Joo-won and Ra-im who have gone from slow dancing to slow kissing. Rawr! Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout, Show! WTF with all that forced bed-hugging when you could have just had smokin’ chemistry like this, all equal-participation-points-with-yummy-lips-and-all?
Ra-im is self-conscious at first because everyone is staring at them, but Joo-won doesn’t care. Of course they’re staring at them, because he just sent the value of his company spiraling down because he kissed a poor stuntwoman. Well that’s an incredibly self-absorbed…oh, wait…right, this is Joo-won. Yeesh.
He kisses her tenderly on the forehead, and then they start making out like no one else is in the room, as Seul, Oska, and the whole party stares on. It does feel like they’re in their own space, moving to a different beat, as they lose themselves in the kiss.
The next day, Oska finds out that his old rival and frenemy Jun-hyuk is back, and that stirs something in his memory…and then he FINALLY remembers that conversation where he said that Seul was nothing to him. It dawns on him that she heard everything, and to his credit, though he remembers it a decade too late, he still goes running over to her.
He’s thwarted by another crisis though, this one a rumor that he knew the plagiarized song was a copy, but pushed it into production anyway. Seul and Tae-sun see the news as well, and Tae-sun calls someone and storms out.
Meanwhile, Joo-won is scared to check his company’s stock value, which only takes a slight dip and remains largely the same, to his relief. He cuts his meeting short, because he has a date. Aw, cute.
Jong-soo gives Ra-im her audition reel for Dark Blood, and Joo-won steals her away for a date. Since Jung-hwan is going to be the new director of the action school, he asks him for permission to take “my Ra-im-ie” away.
They go to her apartment, and he covers her eyes as they enter. She opens her eyes to find her whole place lit up with Christmas lights and a tree. Aw, so cute! Why couldn’t you be this sweet from the beginning and not have been such an ass?
He tells her to wipe her terrible memory of what happened in this place (in answer to her cries in the last episode that she has to eat and sleep in the place where his mother cut her down so harshly), and he tells her to only think of this moment, right now. Aw, so you did all this just to replace her bad memory with a good one? Okay, you’re kinda making it hard not to love you right now.
Then he asks how long Ah-young will be out tonight. He decides he’ll take care of this himself, and pretends to call Secretary Kim to tell him to keep Ah-young out till morning. But in fact he’s calling Ah-young herself, who of course must’ve been the one who let him into the apartment to decorate. She assures him she’ll stay out for a good long while, and tells him to have a good time.
He hangs up and Ra-im gets squeamish about his intentions (oy, let’s not go there again, Show) as he starts to chase her around the apartment. She tells him to keep his distance, as he follows her around, asking what the issue is, since they’re two adults. Well there’s lots of problems, not least of which, you are NOT an adult.
She backs onto the bed, and he looms over her, asking what she thinks he’s going to do, and then crouches down in front of her to hold her hands. Whew. God, I really don’t want to be living with the annoying fear that Episode 13′s bed scene is going to repeat on us. Gah. More on this later.
He has the gall to call her out for having her mind in the gutter. Whatever, There’s-a-room-next-door Boy. He holds her hands and revels in the fact that he finally gets to say, “And what’s so hard about this?” as he clutches her hands and stares lovingly at her face. I love the sweetness of that—that the one thing he’s been dying to do is hold her hands with no reservations.
Oska goes to see the songwriter who lied to the press, and it turns out that it’s someone Tae-sun knows, who happens to have been in love with him despite his being gay. She’s obviously still bitter about it; you really shouldn’t take it personally, not that you’re not a thoroughly evil person, but, you know…you’re just not his type.
Oska fumes, but she just trounces all over him, saying that he’s the one who did this to himself, for being the kind of no-talent star to buy his way to fame rather than work hard for it. She clearly doesn’t know about the kettle and the pot, because she then follows it up with blackmail, asking him for a payoff for her to recount her story.
His manager wants to pay her off, but Oska tells him that he’ll fold all his activities instead. All of this hitting him at once is clearly making him reevaluate himself as a person, and what he’s seeing ain’t so pretty.
Mother Viper gets word of the VVIP party’s kissing couple, and decides to retaliate hardcore. Next thing you know, Secretary Kim is railing into Joo-won for ordering Ah-young fired. Oh, damn. She’s good.
He insists it wasn’t him (which hilariously gets Secretary Kim to back down from his visual representation of You’re a Meanie Evil Boss) and digs around. Meanwhile, Ra-im gets a call from the Mother Snake herself, telling her that this is just the warning; she hasn’t even begun the real torture yet. She tells Ra-im to ask herself if she can be happy at the expense of her friend’s happiness, and leaves her hanging.
Ah-young comes home and doesn’t let on that she was fired, because she clearly knows why. She lies that she had it out with a co-worker and quit, and is happy to take some time off to catch up on old dramas. Sigh. Is it wrong if I’m jealous?
What a good friend. But since Ra-im is one too, she runs out of there right away, to go have it out with Joo-won’s mother. Joo-woon pulls up to the house at the same time, and they argue outside about who should be the one to take care of the situation. Joo-won insists that he has a master plan…to tattle to Grandpa. Pfffft. And Man-Child of the Year goes to…
But as they argue, thunder clouds roll in, and it starts to rain. Here we go…it’s re-swap time! And not a moment too soon, really, because while I’m happy with this episode’s developments, sure did take us forever to get here.
They look at each other and know right away what happened. It’s actually hilarious that they’re not even surprised anymore. They curse their luck at switching at this moment, which is of course right when Mother pulls up and tells them both to come inside. This should be good.
A refresher on body-swap names: soul first, body second. Ra-Him is Ra-im in Joo-won’s body (Hyun Bin) and Joo-wonda is Joo-won in Ra-im’s body (Ha Ji-won).
They both point out that going for the best friend is a low blow. Mom counters that this isn’t the Olympics; fair play does not apply. Oh, um. Good point. One point, Mom. Joo-wonda notes the tactic that Mom will inevitably employ: first the friend, then the job, then the home, then out of the country. Mom’s eyebrows go up as her master plan gets recited to her, and she assumes that Ra-im has encountered this treatment before.
Joo-wonda says they’ll stop dating…they’re going to live together instead. Cue unholy horror. He adds that this is all for her son, because if they’re not together, he might die of lovesickness. Ha.
He tells Mom that she doesn’t have the right to fire Ah-young; he’ll see to it that she’s sued if she pursues it, and that if she really can’t stand to see them together, they’ll just go live abroad or something. He asks if that’s what she really wants—to never see her son again.
Mom of course (not knowing that this is coming straight from her son) thinks that this girl is threatening her with balls of steel, and asks what Joo-won thinks. Ra-Him answers that she thinks Joo-wonda is right. She’s decided to trust this person from now on. With that, they leave Mom.
They head to Ra-im’s place, where the Magic Veil of Un-switchiness takes over so that they’re back in their own bodies. Already? So un-fun, this veil.
Ra-im wants to figure out why they switched again, but Joo-won’s got other things on his mind. He meant what he said to Mom and wants Ra-im to pack a bag now so that they can start living together, this instant. Ra-im shuts him down; they have bigger worries than that, with their swapped state.
She wonders if there’s a common connection every time the switch occurred, and they realize it’s connected to the rain. She looks up the weather forecast and it’s not due to rain for another week. Joo-won: “What? That means we can’t kiss for a whole week?” Ha.
Ra-im wonders how he ever endured all this time NOT kissing her, then, and he shares his little secret of the rhyme he chants. He takes the phone and looks again at the weather. “New York. It’s raining in New York. Let’s go.” Ra-im: “You want to go to New York, so we can kiss?” Heh.
They decide that they can live each other’s lives for a week till they switch back, and agree that it’ll be easier this time around, since they’ve got the routine down.
To that end, they sit down and go over the important things going on in their lives. Ra-im has the big audition for Dark Blood coming up, so Joo-wonda has to train. We flashforward to see them training together. Joo-wonda in turn trains Ra-Him on his signature, and what to sign for. He tells her not to accept greetings from his staff, but she tells him that she will, since that’s a habit he should fix: “You have to earn respect. If you don’t like it, date another woman.” Awesome.
Joo-wonda says there’s one more thing. They stand up, and he tells Ra-Him to close her eyes. He walks over and hugs her (as the veil un-switches them for a moment) and says, “Our bodies are swapped, but once a day, we hug each other, like this.” Aw.
At their respective jobs, Ra-Him signs for Ah-young to be promoted, and Joo-wonda trains…only it doesn’t look so hot when he’s swordfighting, making Jung-hwan and Jong-soo wonder what’s wrong with Ra-im. Jung-hwan wonders if she got dumped by Joo-won. Jong-soo: “Let’s bring him here and beat him up.” Hahahaha.
Ra-Him and Joo-wonda confer at the end of their day at a coffee shop, and decide to meet here every day to go over the major decisions. This is so much easier when you guys aren’t at each other’s throats and trying to purposely ruin each other’s lives! Ra-Him gets excited about attending the action school’s Christmas party, which Joo-wonda rags on for being lame.
Oska cancels his Christmas concert, and when they try to offer the fans their money back, they decline and send him gifts instead, with a message that they’ll wait until he does the concert some other time. That’s cute. But Oska is feeling too low to face any of it, and insists that their money just be returned.
He spends Christmas Eve alone, until Seul arrives, worried about him and thinking it was better than him being all alone. She brings him the cutest Christmas cake ever, and while she lights the candles, he goes over to the piano.
He starts playing, and thanks everyone for attending his concert, and for sticking with him…through the end. Seul’s eyes fill with tears as he serenades her with a slow version of “Here I Am.”
It’s a stellar performance from both of them, as he sings full of regret and longing, and she cries, unable to hold back her emotion any longer. It’s actually moving, which I didn’t think I’d be saying about these two characters’ potential for a reunion.
Ra-Him arrives at the action school with her gift exchange present in hand, and is surprised to find that Joo-wonda is not only there, but has contributed to decorations and party supplies. She asks what he’s doing here, and he responds with the duh answer: he wants to spend Christmas Eve with you, doofus.
One hilarious moment is everyone’s reaction when one of the trainees confesses his love for Ra-im, to everyone’s horror. Joo-wonda ends up laughing at the action school hijinks and having a good time, despite himself. Ra-Him adorably even sneaks a handholding session with him behind Jung-hwan’s back.
The next day Ra-Him looks in the mirror as she shaves, and swoons over feeling close to him, like they’re standing together, if she closes her eyes. She notices the bottle of pills on the counter, and flashes back to Oska’s oblique references to an accident, memory loss, and seeing someone named Ji-hyun about pills.
She walks over to Oska’s house, and he happens to be sitting there with Ji-hyun, because he needed some sleeping pills. Ra-Him doesn’t know her, so she treats her like a stranger, confusing them. She realizes that she’s supposed to know her…
Meanwhile, Jong-soo sees Joo-wonda looking at the picture of Ra-im and her father, and asks about the exact day. Joo-wonda asks what day, is it Jong-soo’s birthday? Jong-soo looks at her, puzzled…
Back at Oska’s, Ra-Him plays it off like she was just kidding, and gets away with vague responses as Ji-hyun makes her exit. Then Ra-Him sits down to ask Oska if he knows Ji-hyun’s phone number, since he lost it and needs to ask her something. HA! This is hilarious.
Oska looks at him like he’s gone insane…
Jong-soo can tell that something’s not right, and to confirm, he pretends the date he was talking about was his birthday. Joo-wonda just responds in kind. God, any idiot can tell it’s supposed to be the day her father died! He confirms it with one more fact: he casually mentions that their sunbae Ji-hoon called to ask about her. Joo-wonda pretends to recognize the name and wonders if he has the number…
Jong-soo stares a hole right through Joo-wonda’s head, as he finally asks, “Who are you?”
Cut to Oska, asking Ra-Him the same question: “Who are you? You’re not Kim Joo-won.”
Jong-soo: Kim Ji-hoon died three years ago. And that’s the date that Ra-im’s father died.
Oska: Ji-hyun is the person who just walked out. Who are you, and where is my little brother, Kim Joo-won?
Aw, hells yeah!
Finally, something new in the dynamic! I can’t wait till Jong-soo and Oska muck things up with their knowledge. What a great scene to have their realizations come simultaneously like that. It makes so much more sense that people this involved in their lives would notice that something was awry. The fact that they didn’t notice it the first time was hilarious for the hijinks (lest we forget the kissing cousins) but not so realistic, so I’m glad that something’s finally going to come of their swap this time around, other than the novelty of driving each other’s bodies around.
This episode was a much-needed up-tick, because as stellar as the chemistry is between the actors, the story wasn’t doing anything new for a good long while. In this episode we finally saw a major shift in the relationships with declarations and answers, and now some real suspense as Oska and Jong-soo hone in on the body swap. Hope they stay swapped for longer this time, enough for the suspicions to make things more complicated, and more hilarious.
As for the spirited debate over Episode 13′s bed scene: many people have argued that intent (to only hug) excuses actions (forcing her onto the bed for a hug). Does that mean if I steal twenty dollars from javabeans with the intention of giving it back (really, I swears it!) that means my actions are justified? Intent is important, sure—it’s the very crucial difference between murder and manslaughter, for instance—but that doesn’t mean that there are no consequences for the action. You still gotta do time for manslaughter.
I don’t know what Joo-won’s intent was, because I’m not him. But his actions violated the one principle, in my book, that should be universal: when I say get off of me, get the fuck off of me. I don’t care if Ra-im is a Badass Stuntmaster Extraordinaire™ or the goddamn Second Coming of Yoda; whether man or woman, big or little, strong or weak, this is a fundamental respect for another human being’s body that should be adhered to. That’s MY universe, and dramas, and all fiction, no matter how fantastical or mystical, are a reflection of that ‘verse.
When they mess with my fundamental rules, it’s my prerogative to get my sparkly panties in a bunch over it, as it is anyone else’s, to do the opposite. That’s the fun, yeah? It’s naïve to assume that television as a form of popular entertainment is not borne of a culturally specific time and place, and that it has no effect on the world it came from, or the one that will come after it. That is the cycle of pop culture and the way we consume, react to, and create it.
Unwanted-advances-as-romance is a socially problematic issue. If the argument is that Ra-im really did want the advances, well then I’d say, Drama, she should have said, “Yes, please, with a snuggle on top!” and not, “No.” Javabeans was calling attention to something that is actually a rather old issue to have plagued many works of fiction and in many ways more egregious than Secret Garden‘s. But that doesn’t excuse the drama from having made the call to portray that scene in all its ambiguity. Of course we’re going to call Show out on that shit. Hello, have you met us?
- Secret Garden: Episode 13
- Secret Garden: Episode 12
- Secret Garden: Episode 11
- Secret Garden: Episode 10
- Secret Garden: Episode 9
- Secret Garden: Episode 8
- Secret Garden: Episode 7
- Secret Garden: Episode 6
- Secret Garden: Episode 5
- Secret Garden: Episode 4
- Secret Garden: Episode 3
- Secret Garden: Episode 2
- Secret Garden: Episode 1