Secret Garden: Episode 7
If Episode 6 was a fantastically zany, nonstop hour of insane body-swap antics, then Episode 7 is a dash of that mixed with more of an emotional element. Always welcome, in my book.
Also: If the naming gets confusing, just remember: The name that it sounds like (Ra-Him = Ra-im) is the name of the actual soul/spirit/character. The second part of the name is there to remind us that the soul is in the opposite body.
SONG OF THE DAY
Secret Garden OST – “Here I Am” (Piano version) [ Download ]
EPISODE 7 RECAP
So here we are with both characters in swapped bodies, arguing over allowing (or not allowing) Joo-woman, or is it Joo-wonita?, to shower. Ra-Him is mortified at the idea of him seeing her female body and wrestles Joo-wonella, trying to prevent him from taking any further liberties with HER body.
And how is Seul to interpret this tableau but the obvious? She says in her cold staccato that she didn’t take Joo-won to be this kind of man, while Ra-Him stares up at her with (Joo-won’s) widened, mortified eyes. Joo-woman, on the other hand, sneers at Seul, more affronted by Seul’s unannounced entry into his room than at the misunderstanding at hand.
Too bad for him that Seul writes this off as mere male hormones and says that Joo-won still has a chance with her. Not that he asked for one, but the delusion is strong with this one.
With Oska ditching the MV shoot, everyone returns to Seoul, where it becomes clear that Joo-won’s claustrophobia has in fact transferred to his new body; everyone looks at Ra-im curiously because she’s sweating and nauseous, which gets attributed to motion sickness.
Ignoring Jong-soo’s dissatisfaction with his stuntwoman’s strange behavior, Joo-wonita tells the others to go on to the action school without him (her), because (s)he’s got something to say to Mr. Chaebol, which is “a matter of life and death for me.” Ra-Him bursts out that that sounds like they’re in a strange relationship, but Joo-wonda retorts that they’re not exactly “normal” at present, and drags Ra-Him off by the wrist.
Joo-woman drives the two of them to his compound, saying that this is the safest place for them, free from prying eyes. He means for Ra-Him to move in and quit her stunt job — they clearly can’t maintain BOTH their jobs — to which she balks, asking why it’s only his job that matters, but not hers? Ah, she’s finally starting to understand him.
This is when Joo-won’s mother, Madam Moon, appears, and boy does this make things awkward. Not to mention chilly; you can practically hear the ice forming as she turns her disapproving look onto Joo-wonda, who forgets his outward appearance and blurts, “Mother.” Mama Snob takes offense, because in her eyes the low-class upstart is being presumptuous by calling her “Mother,” as though Ra-im is already picking out the wedding china.
Ra-Him tries to assure Mommie Dearest that they aren’t living together, to which the latter asks, “Then what’s all that clothing in the closet?”
Joo-wonisha immediately realizes what she means, but Ra-Him is left wondering until Mom presents them with the clothing Joo-won had once thrown at Ra-im’s feet, then had wrapped up — clearly he’d meant to give it to her at some point. Joo-wonita hurriedly grabs the clothing, but Ra-Him takes a look anyway and recognizes it. Realizing what this is, Ra-Him says pointedly to Mom, “SHE must have bought it herself.”
The problem (and narrative strength) about this body-swap is that both characters have to stand there while Mom heaps abuse on Ra-im. Joo-wonda wants to protest, but as his words are coming out of Ra-im’s mouth, Mom just barrels right over his feeble defenses, asking if she’s going to have to resort to paying her off and throwing water in her face to get her to leave her son. Ra-Him isn’t the type to defend herself, so she just stands there quietly taking this in, feeling the sting of the words, even if they’re directed at the other body.
Some magical veil drops over the scene briefly, to show what things would look like with the proper souls in their own bodies — I wonder if they thought it would be too hard to follow the emotions, otherwise? — and now we see Joo-won driving, while Ra-im gazes out the window with tears in her eyes, clutching the clothing. Joo-won apologizes for his mother, but she retorts that Mom’s hurtful words were nothing compared to the ones he said to her.
Even so, Joo-won feels that their body-swap was fortunate in this case, since she didn’t bear the brunt of it. He admits that although he knew that life was different on the other end of the income bracket, he didn’t expect it to be so severe. She tells him to consider this experience a cultural exchange.
And that magic veil drops again, showing us the characters in proper body-swap mode.
Since they’ll have to be prepared to live out each other’s lives, they’ll have to get down the basics: Joo-woman starts by showing Ra-Him his family tree, beginning with his grandfather, the chairman of LOEL Group, who’s working on his fourth marriage. Then there are his daughters — Oska’s mother is from his second marriage, and Joo-won’s mother from the third. They don’t get along (and, like their sons, are engaged in a constant game of oneupsmanship).
Like a true son, though, when Ra-im comments that his aunt is beautiful, he retorts that Auntie has had work done, while his mother hasn’t.
Last but not least: The most insidious character of them all, LOEL department store’s Director Park, who is Joo-won’s employee AND his step-grandmother’s brother. Beware of him and ignore his calls. In fact, he instructs Ra-Him to ignore all calls but his.
Ra-Him protests when Joo-wonita warns him to stay far away from Oska as well, but he warns that if she doesn’t, he’ll go to Jong-soo and ask him out. I love that this is their blackmail to keep the other one in line: Stay put or I’ll flirt with your body! Hehe.
Joo-wonda is taken aback when it’s Ra-Him’s turn to explain her personal connections, which are startlingly sparse. There’s Ah-young, Jong-soo, and the action school family. No family. Joo-wonda reacts to this, almost like he thinks to himself that even if his family is infuriating and dysfunctional, at least he has one.
In the wake of the aborted Jeju shoot, Seul and Manager Choi are left to handle the mess and field reporter calls.
Manager Choi angrily confiscates Oska’s passport and car keys, knowing he’s booked a getaway flight to the Philippines. He’s grounded — literally! Fed up with Oska’s diva antics, Manager Choi threatens to sell his stock in Oska Entertainment and walk away.
Ra-Him drops Joo-wonella off at her apartment, where he looks around in horror at the shabby place. Ah-young welcomes her roommate with open arms, which leads to Joo-wonda staring openly at Ah-young’s boobs. Heh.
Ah-young looks through Joo-wonella’s bags of designer clothing gleefully, supposing that Joo-won bought them for Ra-im, and relates a curious dream she had last night. Her dreams are always spot-on, and this one featured Ra-im and Joo-won speeding along in a car, watched by “ajusshi.” She means Ra-im’s father, but Joo-wonda is so distracted by Ah-young’s womanly parts that he asks confusedly, “Ajusshi? Who, Won Bin?”
Secretary Kim drops by to give Ah-young a gift — the fancy tonics that Joo-won drinks — and to brag about how important he is to his boss. Joo-wonita sneers at the lies and shoots off a warning text to Secretary Kim, who’s immediately alarmed.
So when Ra-Him appears in the doorway — she’s uneasy about leaving Joo-woman there with her roomie — Secretary Kim falls to his knees and blubbers his apologies, thinking his boss has appeared to punish him.
Ra-Him takes Ah-young aside to give her a few earnest warnings, but Ah-young is confused to hear her boss telling her that he values her and thinks warmly of her.
Ra-Him powers forward and informs her friend that Ra-im is going to be acting strangely for a while, and that Ah-young must be careful to keep at a distance and not walk around in her underwear anymore. Ha. Can you still cock-block if one of those words don’t apply?
While the ladies talk, Secretary Kim paces nervously as Joo-wonita glares at him, and he says uneasily that her gaze seems familiar. Joo-wonita agrees, warning him, “You are deaaaaad.”
Joo-woman doesn’t take kindly to Ra-Him warning her roommate against him, so he takes petty joy in withholding the passcode to his house, leaving her stranded outside in the cold. Ra-Him tries to guess the PIN, wondering if perhaps it scans fingerprints or retinas instead, but can’t crack the code.
So off it is to Oska’s.
Ra-Him’s not quite as drooly in Oska’s presence as she was last time, although she forgets herself enough to let slip that she really loves the song he’s playing. And then she cooks dinner, leaving Oska gaping in shock at his cousin’s culinary proficiency. Also his newfound niceness.
What she cooks is simple, hearty Korean food — not the fancy stuff the cousins are used to — but it’s cooked well. Oska’s so bewildered that he tells Ra-Him to eat first, thinking it might be poisoned.
Suspicious, he wonders if this is retaliation for his Jeju behavior. In his defense, he’s sorry he didn’t fulfill the romantic weekend prize with Ra-im, whom he liked — she’s smart, pretty, and shapely. Ra-Him smiles, pleased at this praise, though it fades when Oska comments that Joo-won’s relationship with that “apartment-renting girl” is going on longer than he expected. And there’s some sort of bet between the cousins involving her.
Oska plays a song for Ra-Him, and she barely holds her giddiness in at his proximity. It’s a song that he says is similar to the title song on his upcoming 7th album, and that comment spins him off into a flashback from earlier in the day.
Tae-sun had found him at the Jeju arirport to return his mp3 player — it fell out of his pocket that night he ended up in jail — which contains works-in-progress intended for Oska’s next album. While slinging a few more insults about Oska’s lack of musical talent, Tae-sun tells him that he added a song to the device that he should give a listen.
Oska gets a text from Manager Choi to expect him and Seul tomorrow, so he hurriedly packs and exits the house from Joo-won’s door — where Ra-Him has been unsuccessfully trying to guess his passcode.
Oska wants to borrow Joo-won’s car, and impatiently flips through Ra-Him’s pockets to retrieve the keys, leading to a string of hilarious facial expressions at the unexpected pat-down:
Ra-Him confides that she’s forgotten the passcode, writing it off as stress. Oska advises his cousin to check it out with Ji-hyun (Dr. Lee), then tells him the passcode, which turns out to be the measurements of Joo-won’s “dream body” — 36-24-34. HA! But even more hilarious is Ra-Him’s worried reaction: “Oh no! Ah-young!”
Ra-Him acquaints herself with Joo-won’s expansive home, marveling at the high-tech luxuries, and also texts Jong-soo to apologize for her behavior earlier.
Meanwhile, Joo-wonita grimaces in bed, dissatisfied with the uncomfortable mattress. However, Ah-young hilariously misinterprets that as sulking. She thinks Ra-im’s upset that Joo-won has seemingly transferred his affections from Ra-im to Ah-young, and sighs guiltily.
Later that night, Ah-young rolls over in her sleep and tosses a leg over Joo-wonita’s body, giving him an ample look at her “ideal” assets. Unable to shake her off, Joo-woman does the only thing he knows how to do to cope: he recites his familiar refrain to distract himself.
Ra-Him can’t sleep either, and spies a key on Joo-won’s night table, recognizing it as her motorcycle key. Of course, Joo-wonisha has to go and ruin the moment by texting her a “hint” about the passcode having four digits. She mutters, “That jerk,” and goes back to bed.
Ra-Him enjoys riding the motorcycle to her apartment in the morning and asking Joo-wonella how he fished out the key. He deflects the question, and wonders how Ra-Him figured out the house code, which earns him a disgusted glare back and a muttered, “Pervert.”
In response, Joo-wonda peeks down his shirt and smirks, noting how she’s sensitive about the topic — does she want him to go ahead and give her a boob job?
When dressing to go to action school, Joo-wonda picks an outfit HE likes — a red coat and lacy top — which mortifies Ra-Him, since it’s so far from her usual style.
Ra-Him raises a fist threateningly, so Joo-wonda takes advantage of appearances and cries out, “Help me! This tall, handsome man is about to hit me, a woman!” Ra-Him responds by pulling Joo-wonda into a “hug” and explains, “It’s just because she’s so beautiful, from her head to her toes!” Heh.
Jong-soo reads Ra-Him’s apology text, which asks him to have faith in her despite the confusion her appearance and behavior may elicit. The message mollifies his hurt, but that just flares up when Joo-wonda arrives at action school dressed in her fancy clothing and sporting some major ‘tude.
Although Jong-soo’s satisfied to see Ra-im carrying the purse he gave her, that’s dashed when she (er, Joo-wonda) tosses it carelessly aside. Still, he gives her a screenplay that she’d been looking forward to, for “Dark Blood,” a Hollywood project looking for an Asian actress. It’s a rare, promising opportunity for her.
It’s a hot project whose script has been notoriously hard to get a hold of, so Jong-soo expects a more grateful reaction. Instead, Joo-wonisha skims the script and reads aloud — in English — the screen directions for an action scene, scoffing in his sexist way that this is too dangerous for a woman.
Jong-soo can’t make sense of it, so he tries to lay everything out on the table and admits that she was right about his feelings. (The word he uses has the connotation of finding out something that was supposed to remain hidden.) So if that’s why she’s acting like this, there’s no need — they’ll both keep their personal feelings separate from their work. At this, Joo-won thinks to himself, “He doesn’t like Gil Ra-im — he loves her.”
Joo-wonisha agrees to ignore the discovery of Jong-soo’s feelings, in exchange for his agreement to never confess his feelings officially. Aw… that’s kind of a low blow, isn’t it, Joo-won? Using your circumstances to knock off your competition? Well, they say all’s fair in love and war…
Ra-Him arrives at the department store that morning on motorcycle, which is a curious sight for all the employees — especially when the formerly snooty boss now bows respectfully to them and offers to take the elevator. Hilariously, Ah-young hears the news with heavy heart, assuming that it’s a sacrifice made for her benefit. LOL.
Director Park is surprised, since he knows Joo-won’s well-hidden claustrophobia secret, which he’d tucked away as his trump card against him. He and his secretary try to interpret what this means, overanalyzing the gesture — perhaps Joo-won was faking the illness all along. Then, his elevator trip today must be a sign that he’s ready to throw down. Eep!
At lunch, Secretary Kim looks perplexed as Ra-Him eats, because she chooses lowly foods — ddukkbokki (rice cakes in spicy sauce) and soondae (blood sausage made by stuffing intestines).
When Ra-Him asks about Ah-young, Secretary Kim immediately thinks that she’s going to be punished and pleads for mercy. Instead, Ra-Him just asks about her salary, as though intending to raise it. Director Park doesn’t understand what this strange behavior means, but he assumes it’s not good for him.
Both Ra-Him and Joo-wonita are called by a frazzled Manager Choi, because Oska has fled once again, albeit without his passport. Ra-Him speaks up for Oska and offers to take responsibility for the situation and bring him back. Any sort of kindness between the cousins is odd, so the manager has to wonder if this suddenly nice Joo-won is drunk.
When Ra-Him admits that Oska took Joo-won’s car, Joo-wonita immediately gets on the phone to report it stolen.
Oska is, at the moment, lost in thought as he strolls along a golf course, remembering a happier time when he’d taken Seul on a date here. Seul, thinking the same thing, also heads here to find him. She’s too late, however, and arrives one step behind the police, who have arrested him for car theft.
Ra-Him finds these measures extreme, but Joo-wonita replies that she oughtn’t feel too sorry for Oska, who’s more than capable of treating him similarly.
Even the cop advises that the cousins settle this amongst themselves, but Joo-wonisha counters firmly, “Lock him up.”
Oska looks puzzledly at Joo-wonita from behind bars, wondering why he’s facing Ra-im when he’d asked to see his cousin. Joo-wonita presents herself as Joo-won’s spokesperson, and faces him with an offer.
Joo-wonita refers to the Jeju challenge wherein both cousins vowed to win Ra-im — a fact that Ra-Him hears with interest. Now Joo-wonita offers Oska a deal: If Oska gives up his part in that bet, Joo-won will drop the car theft case.
Oska replies that Joo-won can be a mean mofo but doesn’t resort to cheap tricks. The fact that he’s stooping to these depths now means that Ra-im must mean a lot to him.
Once again, the magic veil falls to show us the scene with the souls in the proper bodies, which I suspect the drama’s gonna do every time a scene is particularly important. It’s like they want to make sure we absorb the full impact, so now Joo-won stands facing his cousin.
Joo-won merely replies, “That must be the case.”
As Ra-im and Seul look on, Oksa returns, “But that’s too bad — I can’t give her up, either. Tell Joo-won this for me: That I won’t have Gil Ra-im stolen from me. That I don’t care if he doesn’t drop charges.”
Woo, the emotions are developing at a brisk pace, no? I don’t really think that Oska’s connection to Ra-im extends beyond the superficial — he’s still way too hurt by Seul’s desertion and hasn’t had enough time to develop any real bonds with Ra-im — but I love that his stance here gives Joo-won no quarter, either. Joo-won could deduce that Jong-soo loves Ra-im from his actions, and we can do the same with him — the way he’s intent on shutting down other contenders for Ra-im’s affections. He’s going about it all wrong, but the fact that he’s going to such extremes to do it — and “stooping” when he never did before — is more telling than the words he says.
Frankly, I’m not a huge fan of the magic veil swapping the bodies back and forth just to remind us who’s really who. Like we’re gonna forget? The switch is pounded into every moment of this drama, and we are surely aware of the true identities, so why rob us of some great potential acting moments from Ha Ji-won and Hyun Bin? They’re so fantastic at the comedy, both physical and verbal, so it feels like a cheat to take away the dramatic moments.
Ha Ji-won stealing a look down her own shirt, Hyun Bin giggling (and then almost moaning) when Oska pats him down, Ra-im simpering when she acts like Joo-won acting like Ra-im… these bits are GOLD, I tell you. It’s a shame to withhold their dramatic equivalents. I’m loving their two-man comedy hour so much that I wish we could just skip over every scene not involving them.