Lie To Me: Episode 5
The lie’s in full effect now, and with it come the shenanigans of perpetrating the farce, with a few teeny signs hinting at the budding attraction despite/because of the lie. Frankly I thought the lie-induced hilarity would be more, well, hilarious, but I hope that the things set up in this episode will play out to a more amusing payoff in tomorrow’s. *fingers crossed*
SONG OF THE DAY
Standing Egg – “사랑한대” (He Says He Loves Me) [ Download ]
EPISODE 5 RECAP
Ki-joon makes his proposal to continue the married act for another month or two, trying to make himself sound the generous soul for agreeing to HER dear wish. Ah-jung bursts into laughter, not buying it for a second, and wants to know the real reason: “Since you know all about my messy story, let’s hear your messy story.”
Unwilling to give her the upper hand, he blusters that he’d rather call it off, but Ah-jung calls his bluff, knowing he can’t walk away now.
A contract it is. Ah-jung agrees to put on the act — or rather, to refrain from clearing up the truth about the lie — until the issue of the Chinese investors is decided, while Ki-joon will play along until So-ran leaves the country.
For a guy so keen on bringing a lawsuit against her, Ki-joon is pretty loose with the contract, not wanting to bother with the details. It’s Ah-jung who points out the need to nail down the particulars like the reason for the “secrecy” behind their marriage.
He says that if they keep mum, people will come to their own conclusions, but she doesn’t like the idea that they’ll presume his aunt opposed the match. Half-offended at this imaginary slight, she protests that there’s nothing wrong with her, and proposes that her father be the one to fake-oppose their marriage instead.
Ki-joon shows his contract to Hoon, who approves this move and suggests that he take advantage of this situation by bringing along his wife whenever meeting the Chens, since they like her so much. When Ki-joon says he’s not necessarily going to drop his lawsuit against Ah-jung, Hoon clucks that he’s being particularly mean.
Ah-jung decides to enjoy this development to the fullest, and calls out So-ran for a day of shopping. She uses every opportunity to rub her marriage in So-ran’s face, which would be more irritating if not for So-ran’s own need to act in kind, being hell-bent on one-upping Ah-jung.
When the ladies head to the menswear department, it becomes clear that Ah-jung has no idea about men’s clothing sizes, much less Ki-joon’s. She covers by saying that her husband’s secretary takes care of all his tailoring, but wonders under her breath about how men’s shirts are measured.
A helpful voice chimes in — it’s Yoon-ju, also shopping here, who explains that shirts go by neck size, and Ah-jung thanks her.
So-ran actually gives Ah-jung a small gift in thanks for visiting her at the hospital, which makes Ah-jung think in dismay that she actually does like it. Hm, are these two going to become grudging friends after all? Jae-bum joins them to pick up So-ran, and although the couple is exerting themselves to put on the lovey-dovey act, they’ve perfected the farce and Ah-jung is left feeling cranky at their outward appearance of marital bliss.
The truth is a whole other story, though, and So-ran seethes on the way home, complaining about how Ah-jung has reached beyond her status. Jae-bum reasons that So-ran can just stop seeing her, then. Alas, those words have too much sense to resonate with So-ran’s brain.
At the cafe, Ah-jung asks if ajumma Ae-kyung knows her father’s size, and when she does, Ah-jung sighs glumly, “Knowing his size means love.” To rectify this, she texts Ki-joon (“What is your size?”), who happens to be golfing with the Chens.
Scoffing, he ignores her question…and hits the ball right into the pond. And the sand pit. And away from the can’t-miss-it hole right in front of him. Looks like her effect on his mental state isn’t as marginal as he’d like.
Ki-joon asks Hoon if he knows his size, and Hoon immediately spits out numbers: “37, 107, 31, 86, 110, 275.” Some of those are numbers even Ki-joon doesn’t know himself, while Hoon worries, “Why, is there a size I missed?” Ki-joon wonders, “Why do you know them so well?” Hoon: “Good question.”
Ki-joon starts to text the info back to Ah-jung, then catches himself and stops.
A phone call throws him into sudden chaos: It’s Yoon-ju, announcing her return. Immediately he bursts out of his office in a panic, too impatient to wait for the elevator. As he runs up the stairs to the rooftop, he flashes back to another time he’d run like this — to meet Yoon-ju, who’d accepted his proposal and flashed the ring.
This time, she’s waiting in the same place, sans diamond ring. Their greetings are tentative, but happy.
At the cafe, Ah-jung waits for Ki-joon’s reply, annoyed when she doesn’t get one. Sang-hee finds her here, and she asks if he knew that those Chinese guests were big investors who were important to Ki-joon. When he says yes, she jumps to the conclusion that he’s some kind of corporate spy and orders him to stay away — she can’t be involved in white-collar crime! She’s a government employee! She storms out, leaving Sang-hee chuckling in her wake at her overreaction.
He follows her and denies the whole spy theory, pointing out that she’s mighty unperceptive. The answer’s quite simple, and he alludes to his brotherly relationship with Ki-joon, though his hints fly right over Ah-jung’s head.
In any case, Sang-hee congratulates her for settling matters with Ki-joon, and guesses that Ah-jung will enjoy gloating to her frenemy. Well, put like that it sounds pretty childish, and Ah-jung mutters that she doesn’t want to do that, which I suppose isn’t entirely a lie since she’s already done it.
Sang-hee declares a celebration in order, so they hit up a noraebang, which starts out with loud, happy tunes and turns into a ballad-fest where she sings her heart out. (Hee. It’s totally the thing that happens in noraebangs — at some point, the mood turns, which can be a little cathartic and a little embarrassing when you catch yourself getting emotionally invested in a cheesy power ballad.)
Sang-hee reads between the lines and guesses that there’s something that didn’t quite work out. She tries to explain that being “married” isn’t what she thought it would be. What did she think it would be like?
Well, in Ah-jung’s fantasy, she’d meet up with her married friends and discuss the ins and outs of being married, bragging a little (“He takes out the trash so well!”) and worrying a little about petty concerns. (Ha, even in her fantasy, So-ran is sitting there tied up in knots to see Ah-jung happy.) Then, Ah-jung would be the first to leave, saying her husband’s waiting at home.
Sang-hee calls her out for being kinda bratty, which is true enough. When Ah-jung sighs, “Ah, must nice to be So-ran,” Sang-hee wisely says that he’s pretty sure that her friend’s life isn’t all puppies and roses, either.
Ain’t that the truth: Cut to So-ran, discovering a lipstick stain on Jae-bum’s shirt. Overwhelmed with betrayal, she takes out her anger out on the washing machine while hubby scratches his ass on the couch. Driving crazily out of anger, So-ran arrives at a bridge that evening to vent her frustrations.
Meanwhile, Ki-joon and Yoon-ju catch up on the past three years, their mood light until he accidentally mentions Sang-hee’s name. That causes the smiles to drop from their faces, and suddenly the air is awkward and heavy with the reminder of what split them up.
Ki-joon starts to change the subject, but thankfully Yoon-ju doesn’t ignore the elephant in the room and tells him she tried to find a better man, “But there was no one better than you.”
Yoon-ju reaches a hand to touch his face…and that’s the scene So-ran witnesses. Gleefully. Gah, why is everyone so irritatingly spiteful?
So of course So-ran calls Ah-jung out to “comfort” her in her time of difficulty, saying with false sincerity that it’s not her fault her husband’s a cheater. In her world, that doesn’t mean the guy’s a jerk so much as it means that Ah-jung is undesirable, and she confirms that she saw the couple together with her very own eyes.
Furious, Ah-jung bursts into Ki-joon’s office and yells at him to stay away from women, before realizing he’s in a meeting with Chairman Chen. Abashed, she leaves quietly, but Ki-joon follows her out, takes her aside, and confronts her angrily.
Ah-jung orders him to stay away from other women, declaring that she can’t put up with cheaters, leaving him seething. Just as she grumbles to herself that all men have the instinct to cheat — “Except sunbae, I mean!” — that sunbae steps into the elevator with another woman. Seriously, does this guy have coincidence radar or something?
At the cafe, Sang-hee and Ae-kyung chat together over lunch, and he asks why she never married. She says she wanted to once, but there was a lot of opposition. Their parents eventually relented, but his daughter refused, so she gave up. Sang-hee guesses that the daughter was Ah-jung, just as Dad comes in to take Ae-kyung out to lunch, much to lovelorn Seok-bong’s dismay.
Ki-joon runs into manager Ji-yoon in the parking lot, and since it’s just the two of them after hours, they drop the formalities and talk as friends. He advises her not to work too hard, while she asks how he’s holding up, having seen Yoon-ju at the hotel.
He avoids the question, then goes home to brood, which is when Ah-jung calls him out for a drink. After revisiting her old gosiwon, her idealized image of Jae-bum now destroyed, Ah-jung has relocated to a bar to drown her disillusionment in drink.
She’s well into her cups by the time he arrives, and as her mood turns heavier, Ah-jung wonders why men cheat. At his protest, she clarifies that she doesn’t mean him (this time), but that she saw a man earlier at the hotel in the midst of cheating. She acknowledges that it’s not her husband — that he’s another woman’s husband — and her eyes grow teary even as she wonders why she feels this way.
She walks out of the bar thoroughly drunk, though insistent that she’s perfectly fine. She loudly slurs at Ki-joon not to cheat, and unthinkingly steps into the busy road.
Ki-joon sees the car heading for her and yanks Ah-jung out of harm’s way and into his arms. And then she vomits into those arms.
While Ki-joon washes up in a bathroom, Ah-jung comes (at least partially) to her senses. With a jolt she remembers the vomiting, and tries to slip away before he gets back. Too late!
She hurries away with a lame excuse and rushes to a pharmacy for some hangover medicine, where she catches a glimpse of her reflection, to her utter dismay.
A bit later, now sober and cleaned up, she takes a seat on a park bench, only to have Ki-joon join her. She’s surprised; he explains that he wasn’t worried, per se, but that if something were to happen to her, he’d be the first suspect.
He’d clocked her emotional reaction to the story of the cheater at the hotel, so now Ki-joon asks if she still has feelings for that guy. Ah-jung clarifies that she cried not because she still liked him, but because she was upset and disappointed in him.
She sighs, “People change, whether for better or worse. But he was my first love — couldn’t he stay as cool as he was in my memory?” But Ki-joon replies no — that that’s painful too, thinking of his own unresolved first love.
The two sit back to enjoy their scenic environs, and while looking up at the falling cherry blossoms, they happen to meet eyes. Ah-jung thinks, “Today, finally, my first love ended.”
They get lost for a moment, looking at each other, and Ki-joon starts to lean in, ever so slowly. Ah-jung closes her eyes, and he’s just about to kiss her…when they both meet eyes again and are jolted out of the moment.
Hurriedly they busy themselves straightening up and trying to ignore the almost-kiss.
In the morning, he’s mortified with himself, and therefore somewhat flustered when he gets a call from Ah-jung asking to meet. He shows up at the appointed cafe, surprised at her cheery mood, and starts to set her straight in case she misinterpreted his feelings.
But just as he starts to say he got caught up in the ambiance last night, she announces her reason for bringing him here. She has an addition to write into their contract: that he’ll be careful not to be seen with other women for the duration of the agreement.
And is he actually…disappointed that she’s not into him? Ha! On her way out, she assures him not to worry, since she forgets about things that occur when she’s drunk.
Next, Ah-jung enlists Sang-hee’s help in picking out a giant rock of a ring, since So-ran noted her lack of one. She’ll use the money she’d borrowed from the bank intending to use for a lawyer, and assures him it’s fine.
Sang-hee tells her to just tell So-ran her husband’s cheating so they can end this game, but Ah-jung sighs that she doesn’t want to become like So-ran. Except for the fact that…she’s becoming just like her by prolonging this useless oneupmanship, isn’t she?
Sang-hee calls in a favor and takes Ah-jung to an even nicer jeweler, who’s allowing him to borrow the ring. Thrilled, Ah-jung calls him her genie in the lamp, and he corrects her, saying he’s Cinderella’s fairy godmother. You sure that’s an improvement, buddy?
Armed with new diamond-studded weapon, Ah-jung arrives at So-ran’s place dressed up like the sophisticated trophy wife she’s not, and greets her old friends warmly. So-ran has been quick to spread the story of Ki-joon’s infidelity to her friends, under the guise of comforting poor Ah-jung, so they’re all aware of the supposed situation. However, to So-ran’s disgruntlement, they’re wowed at Ah-jung’s ring and advancement in life, and heap on the compliments.
There’s an awkward moment when Jae-bum comes home (conspicuously bearing roses, so as to stir envy among So-ran’s friends) and gulps to see Ah-jung there. They haven’t spoken since their chance encounter at the hotel, and Ah-jung looks away uncomfortably as well, not sure how to act now that she knows his dirty little secret.
Eager to tilt the balance of power back in her favor, So-ran pastes on a fake smile and asks Ah-jung when she’ll invite them all over to her new home for a housewarming party. Ah-jung gulps — houswarming?!
Oh my god, I was so bored with this episode. Here’s the thing about Lie To Me: there’s much ado about nothing. Which, in and of itself, is not a deal-breaker, if the misunderstandings that arose were funny and the pacing zippy. Or if there were lots of other amusing other storylines to keep the drama afloat. You know, like a fun workplace (a la Coffee Prince), or other non-romantic storylines (a la episodic dramas like Dr. Champ or Dal Ja’s Spring), or thoughtful little insights peppered throughout (like with Samsoon or Dal Ja again). Or a greater overarching issue (My Princess).
I was actually onboard with the lie for the first two weeks, because the drama did a pretty decent job establishing Ah-jung’s reasoning in blurting it out the first time. You wanted her to stick it to So-ran a little, because here she is minding her own business when a hateful pest comes buzzing around, determined to put her down. So when Ah-jung finds a handsome chaebol at her disposal, I was all for the brief moment of satisfaction in declaring him her husband.
But the problem is, she’s no longer the victimized party, the unjustly beleaguered heroine. Now she’s the one going out of her way to flaunt her lie in So-ran’s face, and I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with Sang-hee’s voice of reason about ending the act. Heck, even Jae-bum had it right when he was like, “Uh, why don’t you just NOT talk to her then?” Sang-hee calls Ah-jung’s fantasy of married womanhood a pain in the ass, and I agree: Fantasizing about being married just so you can brag to people who are not your friends makes Ah-jung seem petty and infantile, not like the smart, approachable girl she seemed at the start.
Alas, not only is the conflict is incredibly flimsy, it’s all this drama has got. The best part of the series is Yoon Eun-hye and Kang Ji-hwan together (second place is the brothers), with So-ran being occasionally amusing and everyone else boring me to tears. No, to sleep. And while I love the leads together, they need the mechanism of this stupid lie to force them together, but because the lie is so lame, it weakens their interactions, too. Who cares about the fallout of this lie when there are no stakes? The lie continues = no big. The lie is revealed = no big. What’s the point?
Argh. I’m frustrated. I’m not sure I’m in it for the long haul for this drama after all, which pains me because I still love Yoon Eun-hye and Kang Ji-hwan and have stuck with them through worse dramas. But I do love the hints that Ki-joon may be feeling something for Ah-jung even before she feels anything for him, which is something that interests me. But still. Argh.