Cute! Cuteness abounds in this episode, where romance blooms left and right, for every pair and every side of the love quadrangle, making this one of the most effective three-pairing foursomes I’ve seen in a while. Literally everyone is cute together (with dramatic tension to boot). How is anyone to choose which couple to root for here? I suppose there are worse problems to have, eh?
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Chul-jin follows up on the owner of the designs that Yoo-hyun wants to hire onto his staff, and discovers that it’s Hee-joo. He smiles broadly—he doesn’t just know her; she’s living in his house, or rather the other unit of his building, where he’s now living with Yoo-hyun.
He tries to convince her that this is a good opportunity, but she declines, reminding him that she wants to design a hotel, not join its planning team. Yoo-hyun comes home, and before Chul-jin can make introductions, they greet each other awkwardly.
Hee-joo whirls around in embarrassment, only to spill her tub of soapy water all over the boys, and then when she goes to clean it up, she slips and falls, breaking a cup as she lands. This girl isn’t accident-prone. She’s a downright hazard zone.
Yoo-hyun gently tends to her wound, as Hee-joo looks up at him starry-eyed. I’m beginning to see a pattern with her instantly loving those who patch up her ever-increasing list of injuries.
He notices her googly eyes but she downplays it by mentioning his tux, and he tells her he’s coming straight from an event. She takes it to mean that he’s in sales (the word in Korean doubles as a colloquialism for a sales event), and he doesn’t correct her. He just says that he does “this and that,” because he’s new. She further takes that to mean that he’s the rookie at his company.
Myung-hoon drives Miri home, and she jabbers on in that totally affected demure way, now that she knows he’s about to become Hotel A’s head honcho. The thing is, that might work better with a guy whose office you didn’t barge into earlier that day, angry about what you’re entitled to. Just sayin’.
He says nothing and just looks at her curiously, in a subdued mood the whole drive over. When they stop, he finally asks her if she’s really gay, fessing up that he overheard her unintentionally. She smiles shyly, asking if that’s why he’s been so quiet tonight.
She turns the whole story around, saying that she’s glad he overheard, because she’s been feeling bad about it all night. She confesses that it was a lie—that she just didn’t want Yuu to end up fatherless and alone, like her. She trembles, saying that she knows it was wrong, but she just saw her as a little sister and knows firsthand what it means to grow up without a dad.
Oh, man. She is CRAFTY. Not only is she recovering herself after being caught in the lie, but she’s playing up the abandoned daughter role to incite his protective instincts. It’s so smart it’s scary.
She adds that she’d like an opportunity to talk to him and learn more from him, laying it on thick that she’s found someone she can look up to, like a teacher. He doesn’t say yes, but he doesn’t say no either—he simply says vaguely that if the opportunity should present itself, and that he’ll see her at the office.
When she turns to get out of the car, a rain shower comes out of nowhere, and he starts to get out of the car to get her an umbrella. She stops him, insisting he needn’t get wet just for her, and takes off her shoes with a smile. She runs out barefoot in the rain and waves him away with a big smile. It’s actually kind of cute. I think more than her wily ways, this is the kind of stuff that does him in—her bright and bubbly side (though this is also a show). He looks out at her with a little smile.
At work the next day, Yoo-hyun decides to try a little harder to recruit Hee-joo, and tells Chul-jin that he’ll do it himself (with zero intention of outing his birthright). He also gets Hotel A’s employee files as he requested, and smiles to find Miri’s profile.
Miri’s hug with Yuu is splashed all over the front page, and Myung-hoon calls her into his office to formally congratulate her on a job well done. She’s genuinely surprised, and then elated when he tells her that the president is talking about expanding her job description to the planning committee. She asks, “Does that mean that someday I could become the general manager?” He smiles and nods, happy to deliver good news.
She doesn’t waste any time, and asks him to dinner that night, to get advice and whatnot. He actually lets out an audible “Ha,” kind of amazed at her brazen and totally transparent attempt to get in good with the boss. He’s no dummy. But he’s also strangely intrigued by her. So he says yes.
With her job now secure, Miri goes on a shopping spree to reward herself. In the bookstore she comes across a magazine featuring the scoop that Myung-hoon is getting divorced. She reads it wide-eyed, her opportunity-dar going off in megawatts.
Meanwhile, news of diploma forgery breaks, and people are being arrested for selling their diplomas to black-market operations. As the news story hits, the police come for Hee-joo at the hotel, and before she knows it, she’s behind bars for having her diploma found amongst the originals copied.
Yoo-hyun calls a lawyer for her, and Chul-jin and Director Kang stay with her until she’s freed.
Miri glams up and waits for Myung-hoon, who is not above admiring her beauty. He tries his damnedest to stay professional and detached, though she’s not making it easy, with such lavish praise for him. They talk of work and she says that he’s probably worried, having to suddenly entrust so much to her, and he doesn’t deny it. “But if I were only worried, I wouldn’t have entrusted it to you.”
Miri: “Does that mean that you trust me? … Is it because I’m your person?” She says “your person” like an employee or an underling is the boss’s person, yet the double entendre “Am I yours?” isn’t lost on him. He half-laughs uncomfortably, and can’t find the words to answer. He just takes a sip of his wine, and she smiles, playing dumb to her awkward choice of words. Dude, this girl is a mind fuck. It’s a marvel she can keep it all straight in her head.
He drops her off at the gosiwon, and she asks if it isn’t lonely to go home to no one. He just considers it something he has to get used to. She drops the fact that she knows his mother is in the hospital, and he’s back to being a little impressed.
She takes a gift out of her purse, telling him that it’s a pencil, just to say thank you and also apologize for everything before. He’s taken aback, and doesn’t accept it, insisting that they should just count it as given, but refusing to take it.
She starts to apologize now for trying to give the gift, and his discomfort is palpable. You’re upsetting his work/life separation and it’s making him sweat. Literally. He puts a hand out and tells her that he’ll see her at work, and she randomly tells him that his fingers are long (ie. attractive).
They say their goodbyes and he walks away a little flustered, and she smiles as she watches him go. Oooooh, that’s a creepy smile.
He gets in his car and mulls it over, and laughs to himself. I get the feeling that he’s both savvy to her wiles and yet impressed by her, all while trying to suppress his own attraction to her. On his way out of the neighborhood, he passes right by Yoo-hyun, on his way in.
By the time he comes up to the gosiwon, he sees Miri coming back out to take the trash out, and then sees her crouch in fear when she sees Hirayama just a few feet away. She’s so shocked that she lets out a gasp, and he turns to see her.
She takes off running, and he follows her shouting wildly, and Yoo-hyun takes off after them, not knowing what’s going on but sensing that she’s in danger. His driver attempts to stop Hirayama and get beaten to a pulp instead, and it gives Yoo-hyun and Miri a chance to run ahead.
He chases them all the way into the subway station and onto a train, and then Yoo-hyun pulls them off onto the platform just as the train closes its doors and departs, with Hirayama inside. Whew.
They stand on the edge of the platform, and Miri’s fear and shock finally settles in. He asks if she’s okay and she nods as she starts to cry. Her legs buckle and he catches her fall. She leans on him, trembling, and he tells her that it’s over.
Aw, it’s actually kind of a touching moment, and their first real connection. It’s interesting that so far Myung-hoon has only ever seen Miri’s put-on personas (of which there are many), while Yoo-hyun has only ever seen her real self, vulnerable and lashing out at the world out of fear and self-defense.
He asks who that was and offers to help her, and now that she’s calmed down, her walls are back up. She tells him that it’s her business, and thanks him for his help, but asks him to stay out of it and insists on going alone.
He offers her a ride, calling her “Jang Miri-sshi,” and she’s taken aback that he knows her name. He quickly tells her that he saw her at the hotel, but that doesn’t actually sound, yunno, less-stalkerish. She calls him by his full name to tell him to mind his own beeswax, but he just grins like a goof because she remembers his name. Aw. You are SO doomed.
Miri packs her bag and finds herself at the bus stop with nowhere to go. She takes out her cell phone and the address book only has three numbers: a company (maybe the forger), Hee-joo, and Myung-hoon. That’s so depressing.
She calls Myung-hoon, but stops herself before he picks up. He calls her back and asks if something’s wrong, but she can’t bring herself to tell him the truth, and swallows back tears as she says that everything’s fine and she just misdialed. Yoo-hyun watches her sit at the bus stop from across the street, again seeing her at her most vulnerable moment.
Myung-hoon goes to the hospital to check in on Mom, and tucks her in tenderly. He looks down at his hand, remembering Miri’s compliment, and smiles thinking of her. Yoo-hyun does the same, thinking of what it felt like to have her lean on him.
Miri ends up at Hee-joo’s door, but she’s not home (due to her stint in jail, no thanks to you). She sits outside waiting, which is what Yoo-hyun encounters when he comes home to Chul-jin’s place.
They look at each other in shock, and then Hee-joo and Chul-jin walk up. Everyone looks back and forth at each other, marveling at the coincidences. Yeah, you and the rest of us, people.
Well, at least the neighbor hijinks are still afoot. In their respective apartments, Chul-jin wonders why Yoo-hyun likes that rude girl, and he just smiles, saying that one doesn’t need a reason to like somebody. True, though you could just say, ’cause she’s pretty, like a regular boy.
Miri finds out (based on Hee-joo’s misconceptions) that Yoo-hyun is a newbie at Chul-jin’s company and basically living off of him. Hee-joo thinks he seems nice, but Miri scoffs that it doesn’t matter how good a person you are; it matters what you have. Ouch. You’re gonna want some antacid for later, when you have to eat those words.
She asks why Hee-joo was so late, and she sighs that she got hauled off to jail because someone stole her diploma to forge fakes. Miri freezes in fear, and then asks if they caught the people who bought them.
Hee-joo tells her that there’s apparently no way to trace it back to the people who got fake diplomas, and Miri lets slip her relief at that. Hee-joo looks at her for a moment, pausing. Does she suspect? Has it crossed her mind that Miri might be the culprit? But her better nature takes over and she just lets it go, and Miri breathes a sigh of relief.
She goes to work the next day only to find that the situation has blown out of control. Reporters flood the hotel as an employee (the one from HR) gets escorted out in handcuffs, caught for forging his diplomas. Oh, crap. He’s the second employee they’ve already found, which means that the scandal (with Hotel A’s name attached) has already gone public.
Miri watches as he gets walked out, and as reporters rush Myung-hoon for a statement. Meanwhile Mondo starts scrambling to do damage control, and Yoo-hyun heads over, while Lee Hwa prepares a press conference, ready to drop the merger altogether if it’s going to tarnish Mondo’s image.
Myung-hoon greets Yoo-hyun tensely, knowing that whatever he’s come to say is not good. But he doesn’t expect this: Yoo-hyun tells him that their deal is off, and that Mondo plans to drop the merger.
Myung-hoon tells him that his hotel won’t recover from that, and its stock will plummet. Yoo-hyun doesn’t flinch, and simply tells him that he can’t stake Mondo’s image on this, and leaves. He reaches out for a handshake goodbye, but Myung-hoon leaves him hanging. In the car, his assistant seems surprised at his move to pull out of the merger, but Yoo-hyun implies that he’s got an ace up his sleeve. Perhaps this is simply a test to see how Myung-hoon handles the crisis?
Pressure comes down from all sides, and Myung-hoon orders a hotel-wide background check of every single employee’s credentials. At the same time, Hee-joo is fired, mostly a victim of circumstance and bad timing—if it were an isolated incident, she might be overlooked, but this scandal is threatening to bring the whole house down.
She packs up her stuff and leaves, and Miri checks on her, worried and feeling guilty. Well, not worried enough to get fired in her stead, just regretful. But she’s got worries of her own, since they’re already digging around to verify everyone’s school records, and it’s just a matter of time before she’s found out.
She overhears that Myung-hoon is the only one with access to all the files, and plans a course of action, starting with hitching a ride from Myung-hoon that evening (strategically cab-hailing in his path till he stops). I take it back. He might be dumb after all. Heh.
She finds out that it’ll take about two to three days for him to get confirmation on everyone’s records, and her wheels start turning.
Yoo-hyun heads toward home and sees Hee-joo crouching in the street in front of a flower shop. He stops and asks which one she likes, and then buys it for her and tells her it’s to brighten up her day. It totally makes her swoon, of course, since already finds him dreamy to begin with.
They walk home and he mentions that he heard about her losing her job, and asks if she isn’t considering the offer that Chul-jin gave her. She asks why, is Chul-jin’s boss giving him a hard time? She declares that she doesn’t like this boss guy; he’s just the type she hates, not accepting people’s refusals cleanly. Yoo-hyun coughs, “Really? He doesn’t seem like such a bad guy.” HA.
He works up the courage to ask about her friend Miri, and what she likes. Hee-joo shrugs, saying she likes work, and anything active, so maybe sports? He lights up at something concrete to be able to act on, and suggests they all go to a baseball game together.
Hee-joo smiles and agrees. And then, to burst her cute little heart, the dolt tells her that he finally feels like he’s getting somewhere, since he’s been trying to find an opportunity to go out with Miri since the gosiwon. POP! There goes Hee-joo’s Yoo-hyun-shaped bubble. Aw. Somebody hug this girl! Is there anything worse than your crush saying, “So…what’s the deal with your friend?” Gah.
Miri tells her that she doesn’t have that kind of time to waste, but seeing Hee-joo’s disappointment, she agrees to go. Yoo-hyun lights up like a christmas tree when Hee-joo calls to tell him the good news, and eagerly makes plans for that night.
Miri goes to work and takes a chance, sneaking into Myung-hoon’s office to take a peek at the faxes he’s been receiving from schools. I don’t know about diplomas, but the faxes look easy enough to replicate in any case. Her heart sinks that there’s already one from Tokyo University in the stack.
She sneaks back out, only to be confronted by Myung-hoon on his way in. She gasps, totally on edge, which she really needs to learn to control, if she’s going to get away with all this. She recovers by saying she came by to ask him out to dinner that night, and he hesitates, but then changes his mind.
Miri calls Hee-joo to cancel on their baseball foursome, so Hee-joo goes it alone, only to find Yoo-hyun there alone too. He’s visibly disappointed that Miri isn’t there, but cheerily decides that he and Hee-joo should see the game anyway, since they’re here. Is it wrong if I find every possible pairing in this drama cute?
Myung-hoon stops at the hospital to check in on his mother, on their way to dinner. He tells her she can wait in the car if she’s uncomfortable, but she smiles and follows him in, introducing herself brightly and calling her “Mother.”
Mom wets the bed and Myung-hoon asks Miri to wait outside, but she pushes him aside and tells him to get water and towel, while she takes care of it. She tends to Mom sweetly and without complaint, changing her sheets and talking to her brightly.
Myung-hoon watches her amazed, the recent outburst from his wife that it’s time for Mom to die still ringing in his ears. Oh, he’s a goner now. No amount of dressing up or smiling coyly measures up to the blow that does him in—she’s nice to his mom, towards whom he carries so much guilt and responsibility. She’s the perfect daughter-in-law. (Or so she seems.)
They wash her sheets up on the roof and flirt with soap and water, his guard finally down, and his fate sealed. They’re adorable, which means this is going to be painful later.
Speaking of adorable, so are Hee-joo and Yoo-hyun, getting all excited as they watch the game, and smiling like crazy as they have a great time. On their way out, he buys her a stuffed toy as a souvenir, and she tells him that she’ll give it to Miri.
Yoo-hyun: “No, it’s for you.” Eeee! He tells her that he had a great time because of her, and thanks her. Oh, how’s she supposed to not like you now? She looks so happy it kind of kills me.
On their way home in the train, Hee-joo nods off to sleep and ends up leaning on his shoulder. He smiles and scooches closer, letting her rest her head comfortably.
Myung-hoon drives Miri home and looks over at her nodding off in the car (which she’s faking), and pulls over to let her rest. He starts to think about her, all his thoughts of her flooding his head, and she does the same, remembering everything from their first encounter to the president’s declaration that he’d be left with everything.
She gets out of the car and backhugs him. He moves to free her hands, but she asks him to just let her stay like this for just a little while longer.
He points out that he’s already been married (as in: I’m not considered worthy of you). She tells him that liking someone means disregarding their position and baggage. God, how she managed to turn this whole thing around like he’s unworthy of her, and she’s accepting his flaws… bravo. It’s impressive. Scary, but impressive.
He turns around and looks into her eyes. He brings his hand up to her face, and kisses her.
Sigh. No matter which way you spin the bottle, I like the pairings. It looks like the way that it’s shaking out now, the current couples will settle up as the status quo, and then the Yoo-hyun / Miri pairing will turn everything on its head. Because presumably, at some point, Miri will discover that Yoo-hyun is set to become her boss’ boss. That means bigger fish, which we know she can’t resist.
I love that Miri is now fully embracing her temptress role and working her hoodoo on Myung-hoon with zero remorse. It’s so much fun to watch her simultaneously work Myung-hoon and dig her own grave with Yoo-hyun, thinking that he’s poor and not worth her time. She’s actually starting to have FUN with this whole game, smiling to herself in those little moments when she realizes how easy it is for her to wrap Myung-hoon around her little finger.
But what’s more amazing to me than the coy typical flirting is the way she’s casing him, psychologically. She’s got the whole relationship reversed somehow, making him think that she’s doing HIM a favor by accepting his advances. It’s tripping me out.
I’m actually surprised at how quickly he caved—I thought he’d be a little warier of her after seeing her manipulate the Yuu Incident and lie to get the job done, but as it turns out, the heart wins out over the brain. Half the time I’m like, “Don’t trust her, ya fool!” And then half the time I’m wanting him to just go for it, because he’s clearly falling for her. Bah. So torn.
What’s so fascinating about Miri as a heroine is that she’s so bald-faced about her intentions, she’s not apologetic for anything despite clearly being in the wrong, and yet, you want to see her succeed, or at least see how far she can get, before her comeuppance is due. You know what they say about the higher you climb…
- Miss Ripley: Episode 3
- Ripley’s Park Yoo-chun and Kang Hye-jung looking cute
- Miss Ripley: Episode 2
- Miss Ripley: Episode 1
- Miss Ripley’s rain-soaked first meeting
- Ripley poster and character stills
- Lee Da-hae hit with lawsuit for breach of contract
- Lee Da-hae’s Ripley poster shoot
- Ripley’s leads shoot their first scene together