I suppose there are worse things in the world than a hottie on either arm. Amiright? The chemistry is great. Problem is, it’s there with BOTH brothers… setting us up for a world of pain down the road. We’re still in paint-by-numbers territory with this drama, and it’s possible that Show will just take up residence there, but hopefully once the setup is in place, we’ll get to more interesting things, plotwise. But it’s zippy and fun, and ‘sides, what’s a little fake marriage between perfect strangers?
EPISODE 2 RECAP
Ki-joon arrives at work the next morning, and by then the Rumor Mill Express has already made its way around the hotel. The story has become quite elaborate, including the reason for the secret marriage—because President Aunt disapproved.
Ki-joon notes everyone talking behind his back, and discovers that even his assistant doesn’t believe that he isn’t married. He asks if there’s a woman named in this so-called secret marriage, and decides to go straight to the source.
He drives up in front of Ah-jung’s office and finds her stumbling along on the street. Though she appears to be drunk again, I think this is her, just being clumsy and messy. Sigh. Drama can’t be a drama without them being set up to be opposites.
Over coffee he tells her the gist of the rumor, and she laughs at the ridiculousness of it all. He doesn’t think it’s so funny, and implies that she started the rumor herself, and possibly even faked the alcohol-bee incident to bait him.
She denies being the source of the rumor, (It hasn’t occurred to her yet that her white lie to So-ran would have morphed into THIS.) and when Ki-joon threatens to sue her for defamation, she takes offense. Why, what’s wrong with marrying me? Huh? Huh?
It’s clearly not going the way he’d hoped, so he just tells her he’ll see her in court and she counters that he has no proof. Needless to say, they don’t come to an agreement on anything. Ah-jung’s co-workers see her with Ki-joon and ask who he is, and she just groans, “My stalker!”
Ki-joon tells his assistant to call a lawyer, “The best one!” You think he just means find the best lawyer in town, until the assistant goes to find a lawyer… named Jung Che-go [che-go = best]. Pffft.
Aw, man they totally scooped the che-go joke! I was so sad when Best Love got renamed from its originally punny title Discovery of Affection [ae-jung = affection], and was waiting for them to name the hero Che-go, ergo title = Che-go’s Love. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen the Hong Sisters leave a pun just dangling there.
Sadly, Che-go isn’t actually the best lawyer around, ’cause he gets knocked unconscious by an ajumma for losing a case. Ki-joon’s assistant wonders what to do, which is when Jae-bum (Ah-jung’s first love) offers his services.
The assistant gets some advice on the matter, without naming names. A few more things we learn about Jae-bum: he’s not exactly a hotshot lawyer, he’s kinda cheap, and he’s not too happy to be married to So-ran. Well it’s always satisfying to know that the grass ain’t greener.
Ki-joon returns to the hotel and when he sees people still snickering behind his back, he tries to counter it by shouting loudly in the middle of the lobby that he’s going to take “her” to court for spreading such lies.
His assistant doesn’t actually think that’s such a good idea, and suggests smoothing things out with her to resolve it quietly. Ki-joon thinks it’s absurd that people are taking her word over his, but even his assistant answers him like he’s playing along, but believes Ah-jung.
Just then, Ki-joon’s friend (a cameo by Danny Ahn) comes down and tells him to come out later, and bring his wife. Ki-joon tries to explain, but he just gets a wink and a, “I know, I know. But you don’t have to be like that around us. I know it’s because your aunt disapproves. We’re on your side.” Haha.
Ki-joon just stands there, ineffectually trying to clear his name, while his friend makes a big heart over his head, shouting, “Love is forever!” and runs off. Heh.
Ah-jung tries to focus on work, only Ki-joon comes running in and corners her, blaming her all over again. She screams that he doesn’t have proof, until her memory flickers and Past Ah-jung from the day at the salon reminds her that she did tell that one lie.
The whole thing is a dream, but she wakes up with the realization that it might’ve all started with that. She knows she never said anything about WHO she was married to, so she doesn’t get why it has anything to do with Ki-joon.
He’s actually on his way to see her now, and calls. She answers and when she finds out who it is, she hangs up and hides, needing time to think things through. She realizes that he might be on his way over, so she tries to make a run for it, only she gets stuck in the lobby, where he’s set up camp by the only exit.
She imagines all manner of scenarios where she might get caught trying to run away, until the minister from the other day discovers her. She shrewdly uses him as a shield to walk and talk her way past Ki-joon, and manages an escape right in front of his face.
She goes to a friend’s coffee shop, who seems Mom-ish. She doesn’t say so explicitly, but I’m getting Mom-vibes from her. It turns out that this universe is really, really small, because Sang-hee and his friend Suk-bong happen to be there too.
Ah-jung does her trademark talking out loud to herself, to suss out her problems… which catches Sang-hee’s attention. They look at each other with that confused glint of familiarity… and then simultaneously remember: “Resignation!” “Thief!”
He’s happy to see her, thinking that it must be fate, but she dismisses it as bad luck on his part and walks out. He follows her and thinks she ought to thank him, for stealing her resignation and saving her job.
As he watches her walk away, he says to himself, “If I can’t catch her, it’s coincidence. If I catch her, it’s fate.” He calls out her name and asks what he should do with her resignation, and she sighs.
Fate it is. She buys him a bowl of noodles, and he promises to return her resignation napkin. It’s worth noting that they use informal speech with each other from the get-go, which is unusual.
They met under drunk circumstances, and seem the same age, and neither is feeling particularly inclined to be formal and polite. Though it’s not a common occurrence that adults would just use banmal without an agreement to do so, it also speaks to the fact that neither really takes the other seriously.
He wonders that she’s never once asked his name, and offers it up: Hyun Sang-hee. He tells her to remember it, even if she’s not interested. She thinks to herself that Hyun seems a common last name, and re-angsts about her messed up situation with Hyun Ki-joon.
Ki-joon, meanwhile, goes back to work and meets with his aunt. She asks about Sang-hee with a heavy sigh, and he reports that he’s staying with his friend Suk-bong. She’s surprised he hasn’t met up with him yet, but Ki-joon says that Sang-hee probably can’t face him yet, because he feels bad.
She confirms the backstory that we were all suspecting—that Sang-hee is the reason Ki-joon got un-engaged, and adds her own disappointment in the boys having fought over one girl. In his office, Ki-joon takes out an old photo of the three of them, pre-rift.
He gets a call from Ah-jung, who asks to meet. So he shows up at the Han River, wondering why she wanted to meet here, and finds her waving at him, behind large sunglasses and a hoodie, which just hilariously makes her look extra crazy.
She drags him onto a duck boat and starts paddling furiously, while he squirms at the uncleanliness and doesn’t lift a finger to help. She insists that it’s better to be safe than sorry, and that this is the safest place to talk, lest anyone they know sees them together.
So they paddle out to the middle of the river and she tells him that she told a friend that she was married, but never said anything about to whom. He doesn’t believe her, but remembers his assistant’s advice to just reason with her calmly, and decides it’s best to move forward rather than argue over who started the fire.
Just then, a couple in a nearby boat is in the middle of a screaming match, and the woman falls overboard. She doesn’t look like she’s swimming, so Ah-jung jumps in after her. She’s not doing a great job either, so Ki-joon jumps in after HER.
Everyone on the bank swarms over (including photographers from a wedding shoot) and the crowd applauds them for saving the woman. Ki-joon yells at her for jumping in and goes to his car in a huff, only he discovers that his pockets have emptied in the river. He’s got no keys, no wallet, no phone.
Ah-jung has her car key, and offers him a ride, the table-turning not lost on her. He refuses snidely at first, but then when the crowd starts approaching them, he jumps into her car in a big hurry.
She drops him off at home, guessing correctly that he isn’t the type to ask for help in these circumstances, since he doesn’t want to be seen as less than perfect, though he sorely denies it.
He tells her to come in, not only because she’s dripping wet, but because he wants to finish their conversation, and not have her go changing her mind later. She covers her face like a creepy stalker and follows him in.
She showers and he sends her clothes out to be dry-cleaned. She takes a peek around and marvels at how much a place like this must cost, and he sort of scoffs at her for dreaming so big. Ah-jung: “Who said I was buying? Just need to snag a man who’s…um… just kidding!”
She tells him that she’ll take care of the situation and tell everyone that it’s just a big misunderstanding. He says the problem is that no one believes him, and she wonders how he’s lived his life if people don’t take his word.
She thinks it’ll be simple—he can gather whoever he wants to, and she’ll just tell them the truth. He smiles, kind of amazed that she’s so simple (as in, thinking that the world is so straightforward), but she doesn’t see the problem with her plan.
Her clothes arrive, and she changes and leaves, again with her hood, sunglasses, and face mask on. This is SO going to look bad on the cover of a gossip rag.
The next day, Ah-jung has a drink with Dad, who is also a lawyer. Lousy with lawyers, this drama. He sweetly tells her to succeed in her career, unlike him. Aw. She promises to do so.
Ki-joon returns to work and his assistant asks how it went with “that woman.” Ki-joon confesses that he might have misjudged her in the beginning, and says that they’ve reached an understanding now. His assistant notes the change in his demeanor, not that it means anything about his feelings, nope.
He finds Manager Park acting strangely around him too, and he insists that he’s not married. In banmal, he asks, “You too? You’re supposed to be my friend.” And she snaps at him in banmal that she doesn’t keep friends at work, and then back in formal speech, she calls him Boss.
Hm, iiiinteresting relationship there. That’s not going to get complicated AT ALL.
So-ran meets her friends and hears about Ah-jung and Ki-joon. She thinks it’s crazy, but then one of the girls says that another friend actually went… to their wedding. HA. I love how crazy out of control this rumor has gotten. So-ran thinks that girl can’t be trusted, since she also once told them that she attended Brangelina’s wedding too. Heh. So-ran gets called out for being jealous rather than happy for her friend (these people really use the term “friend” loosely), and she stalks off in a huff.
Sang-hee finds Ah-jung’s resignation napkin and puts it out on the table, only to have it fall into Suk-bong’s hands on his way to the bathroom. He comes back to find it missing, “Hyung… no, you didn’t, right?”
He meets Ah-jung to tell her the bad news. She freaks out, “My conscience! My pride! …to wipe someone’s butt?!” Hehehe.
He follows her out, and when he can’t get her to stop, he just pulls her in for a hug. Gah! You can’t make me swoon this quickly, out of nowhere!
He seems rather pleased with himself, and when she doesn’t respond right away, he’s confused, as this tactic has always worked for him in the past. Cheeky. He offers to make it right by taking her out on the town, but she turns him down cold: “I’m not interested in you.”
But then she notices all of the girls surrounding them, all swooning at how good-looking he is, and takes a second look. She walks around him, and then decides that he’s worth another shot. She smiles up at him, “Are you free tonight?” OMG, I kind of love her.
He’s like, now THAT’s the kind of response I’m used to. Oh NOES. She’s cute with both of them! Aaaaargh.
She picks him up later that evening, and he sighs at her outfit, saying that it’s fit for a civil servant, but not if they’re going to a party. Time to shop! He picks out a dress for her, and she nearly has an aneurysm at the cost, but decides to cough up her credit card reluctantly.
It seems she’s invited him to this party to be her boyfriend-beard, and he promises to play along and stick to her side. He asks where they’re going… and she names Ki-joon’s hotel. Ruh-roh.
He tries to make excuses not to go in, but feels bad at letting her down, so he goes in hiding his face. But when Ki-joon’s assistant comes to greet her at the elevator, Sang-hee recognizes him and makes a run for it. She chases after him.
Meanwhile, Ki-joon greets his friends down at the party, and tries to squash the rumor, to no avail. He waits impatiently for Ah-jung to arrive, since she’s supposed to clear his name.
At the same time, So-ran and Jae-bum come to the hotel for dinner. The girls run into each other in the bathroom, and have it out. So-ran tells her not to go around pretending she’s married to Hyun Ki-joon, since it’s ridiculous that someone like Ah-jung could marry someone like him.
She has the gall to lie that Jae-bum disliked Ah-jung, and that So-ran actually kept their relationship secret from her for her benefit, so she wouldn’t be so heartbroken as to not pass her civil service exam. What the…? Bitch be delusional.
It just hits Ah-jung where it hurts, and she muses that it must’ve been fun for them. Aw. So-ran tells her that it’s impossible that Ah-jung would marry above her, declaring that it defies the laws of the universe. GAH.
She watches So-ran leave with Jae-bum, her words still stinging.
Just then, Ki-joon walks out and waves at her, relieved to find her. She thinks in voiceover: “Sometimes I think with my heart instead of my head… when I do, there’s always an accident…”
She smiles and puts her hand up, “Yeobo!” Oh. Crap. So-ran and Jae-bum turn.
Ki-joon’s smile vanishes.
We’re kinda retreading the same ground that Episode 1 covered, though Ah-jung is definitely taking a giant step into the crapper with this one. I like her as a character because she’s not so bumbling that it’s frustrating, or outright stupid that I want to pull my hair out. She’s smart and sassy, and even a little opportunistic, but she’s got a weakness—a huge one—her pride coupled with her Achilles’ heel, frenemy So-ran.
I like that she’s got spunk to spare, especially with the boys, but that she’s also got a lot of growing to do in the maturity and self-esteem departments. It seems that Ki-joon’s going to match her in the immaturity game (always a plus), but I’m dying to see a little more weakness from him, other than the control freak in him being off-kilter because of the rumor.
There’s a whole lot of coincidence at play in the first two episodes, though the drama is smart to call attention to it rather than pretend that it’s not relying on them at every turn. The question of fate is always going to be a dominant theme in dramas, so it’s not a stretch for everyone to meet fatefully, as it were. But if everything becomes hinged on fateful coincidence after fateful coincidence, imma start grinding my axe.
So far, so cute.