Drama Recaps
Miss Ripley: Episode 5
by | June 13, 2011 | 97 Comments

Never have I watched such cute, romantic moments with such a sense of dread. The cuter the scenes, the more I shrank back thinking of the fallout that is inevitably in the books for our intrepid anti-heroine, who’s doing whatever she has to do to climb herself out of her dire straits. But in clawing at the hole she finds herself in, it’s unclear whether she’s actually getting any purchase on its walls to drag herself out, or if she’s just widening and deepening her own grave.

Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic. It’s not totally clear that she’s headed for doom and destruction. But she is definitely digging some sort of Pit of Despair for herself.

SONG OF THE DAY

Miss Ripley OST – “입버릇처럼” (You always said) by Miru [ Download ]

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EPISODE 5 RECAP

In the car ride following the kiss, Miri gets to work sealing the deal with Myung-hoon, acting like she’s afraid HE didn’t mean it, while she did. Seriously, this girl = the true queen of reversals. She’s perfected the art of anticipating trouble, then stepping in to cut it off at the knees before it can turn on her. It’s the shrewdest way of creating a distraction to escape from being pegged as the culprit. And sure enough, Myung-hoon assures her that he meant it, too.

(Side note: I appreciate the thematic musical relevance, but I do wish this drama would dial down this whole Carmen excess. We get it. Lady is playing him. And if we don’t get it, then blaring the same bit of music over and over isn’t going to help any.)

After the baseball game, Yoo-hyun drops Hee-joo off at her door and says he had a good time. She surprises him by giving him a gift — a key chain marked with the Pisces sign (hers as well), as she happened to see his birthday on the ticket.

He appreciates the gift, but it’s Miri’s phone number that makes him smile like a giddy schoolboy. (Right hand = Hee-joo’s keychain. Left hand = Miri’s number.) Agh, it’s so cute, but the cuter it is, the more foreboding I feel for future events. Either this boy is gonna get crushed, or he’s going to surprise me by being tougher than he looks — and if that’s the case, he’ll lose that boyish charm that makes him so endearing now.

Miri asks Myung-hoon to drop her off at a distance, stating demurely that she doesn’t want to be seen entering the hotel together and get people gossiping that she’s out to kiss his ass in the name of career advancement. Again she sees the bomb and defuses it before people even have a chance to think the idea that would spark it.

Myung-hoon heads back to his office to await his confirmation faxes, where sure enough, the latest one comes in from Tokyo University stating that they were unable to confirm Miri’s graduation. She drops by his office with the pretext of bringing Myung-hoon food, and scores — he’s stepped aside, leaving the fax machine unattended.

Seizing this opportunity, Miri rifles through his folder, then finds the letter about her still in the printer (therefore unread). Thinking quickly when Myung-hoon enters, she stashes the letter inside a newspaper.

Thankfully, he’s tickled at their great-minds-think-alike moment — they’ve both bought dinner for each other — so he doesn’t press about her presence here. They sit down to eat and Miri uses the newspaper as tablecloth, so she can pack it away with the trash afterward.

Then, it’s cut-and-paste time: She doctors the fax, re-conjugating the predicate so it now confirms her graduation status. Apparently she can reprogram her machine’s outgoing fax number to appear as the Tokyo U number (which I didn’t realize was possible, but it’s nice and convenient) and uses that to send the forged letter to Myung-hoon’s office.

Myung-hoon gives a press conference announcing that Hotel A has investigated their employees’ educational backgrounds in response to the forgery scandal, and that everyone checked out. He states that the Mondo deal is being worked out, just as the reporters all start getting called away with breaking news that Mondo is about to announce their relinquishment of the takeover.

Lee Hwa makes this announcement over at Mondo Group, stating that problems with Hotel A’s management led to their decision. Yoo-hyun isn’t happy, and looks into a way to handle this.

Myung-hoon heads straight for Lee Hwa to demand the reason for her ambush announcement, pointing out that using the forgery scandal as an excuse won’t wash, since Mondo’s plenty powerful enough to withstand it. She answers that the merger was never attractive to her; it was all Yoo-hyun’s doing.

Speak of the devil; Yoo-hyun joins them to declare that he hasn’t yet given up on the merger, overriding Stepmom by pointing out a way to move forward, with the intervention of a new investor. He smoothly undercuts Lee Hwa’s protests, saying that his 2% of Mondo should be plenty to back his investment. That is, if both Mom and Myung-hoon agree to it.

Put on the spot, Mom grudgingly tells him to go ahead. I like that Yoo-hyun’s very politeness becomes his weapon in business dealings, which is an interesting facet of his business persona given how very naive and sweet he seems in his personal life. He maneuvers this situation deftly, and while everyone understands that he’s in charge of this discussion, they can have no complaints that he was impolite about it.

Papers are signed and with that, the alliance is complete.

The first thing Yoo-hyun does to “celebrate”? He visits the grave of his mother, where he thinks back to his childhood when she was still alive, praising him with motherly affection. He imagines that she’s here with him now, still comforting his childhood self, wishing he could hear her words of encouragement.

His father, President Song, guesses as much and asks if that woman Yoo-hyun is interested in resembles his mother. He’s unsurprised at the confirmation.

At work, Miri perks up to hear employees speculating about Hotel A’s plans to shoot a commercial — particularly when they note that the VP of Mondo Group (Lee Hwa) started as a hotel employee who then became their promotional model.

Time to get the new plan in motion: Miri sends sad eyes at Myung-hoon, saying that she’s been waiting for him to call. He apologizes for being busy, but assures her that she’s been in his thoughts all this while. She plays up the whole “Poor lovelorn me, afraid you’ll leave me without a care” angle, acting disheartened and worried in order to secure his assurance that she need not worry.

Then she works in the promotional video into the conversation, in a way that plants the idea into his head without outright saying she wants to be cast in it. She hangs her head in dismay, acting ashamed of herself for not even knowing about it, like she’s berating herself for being a bad employee.

Her heavy sighs prompt Myung-hoon to tell her that she’s important to the hotel and to him. Miri she says that she can tell she isn’t, not yet, and that’s tearing her up.

Turns out he doesn’t even have to do much to get her name in the mix for the promo video casting, because the employee in charge has already decided she’d be perfect for it. The Mondo employees prefer going with a Hallyu star, but the Hotel A side would prefer a fresh face to represent their brand. Thus when Miri is presented as the prospect, neither Myung-hoon nor Yoo-hyun have any objections.

Miri tapes the commercial, all beauty pageant smiles and Asiana model perfection. I’m amazed at how much this woman can accomplish through purely the power of suggestion, given that she never pushed for it. It must be her secret superpower.

Hee-joo finds out that she would have been the winner of the design competition, but for her pending case for abetting the forgery of documents. The contest director doesn’t believe she’s guilty either, but the facts of the case prevent him from picking her.

She calls Yoo-hyun in a funk, who comes to the bar where she’s well on her way to drunkytown. His description of their relationship as “friends” puts an obvious damper on the mood, which is pretty dampened already.

With self-loathing, Hee-joo calls herself a fool for being unable to do anything properly, but more importantly, for inviting scorn upon her dear deceased dad. It turns out Yoo-hyun knew her father, which surprises her — particularly when Yoo-hyun calls Hotel A her father’s sole failure.

Miri picks at her dinner, saying listlessly that she hasn’t had much of an appetite lately. She looks out the window and affects a display of existential pain, wondering if all those cars on the road know where they’re headed, or how lonely that road is. “If they knew that loving somebody could be this painful… Sigh.”

Gah, your poor-little-waif act is kind of making me nuts. As a manipulative tactic it’s quite effective (and impressive), but what really kills me is seeing how smart, successful men fall for it so easily, with one bat of a doe-eye or a pretty word spoken in false sincerity.

She tells him she doesn’t want to go home and face the loneliness, not when she’s wondering what he’s doing at home — where he sleeps, if he’s lonely, whether it would have been better to go with him. Oh, lady, you are good. You’ve basically given him the go-ahead to invite you home, but stripping it of any sleazy overtones because it’s been cloaked in this caring, emo facade. As a result, Myung-hoon’s gone from nibbling at the bait to swallowing it hook, line, and sinker, and he asks tentatively if she’d like to go home with him.

Speaking of smooth operators, so is Yoo-hyun, actually. By framing Hee-joo’s father’s work in terms of failure, he’s piqued her curiosity and also provoked her desire to right that supposed deficiency. Yoo-hyun explains that architects are usually involved at the very beginning phases of planning, but Dad had been too busy with Hotel A.

Clever, clever. Yoo-hyun’s straightforward methods to recruit Hee-joo have not met with favorable response, so he uses a backhanded method. With the seeds planted thusly, he admits that he’d told Chul-jin he’d try to persuade her to their planning team, where she can step in where her father left off. She’d previously declined the job on grounds that she wants to design rather than plan, but now with her father’s memory invoked…

Myung-hoon and Miri arrive at his place, and he’s visibly nervous, which I find adorable. Miri takes the lead in backhugging him, sighing that she feels better now, and with the mood established, let the sexy times roll.

(I guess it’s a good thing girlfriday and her Kim Seung-woo ajusshi-crush aren’t recapping this episode, or the words would stop here and you’d just get lots of nekkid screencaps. Not that there are many. So maybe just the same one, over and over. Amirite? Or are you too busy rewinding and rewatching to bother answering? *crickets*)

Their conversation afterwards touches on their childhoods, as Myung-hoon admits that he’d harbored no dreams growing up. He explains that they were so poor that he was afraid to dare dream, which would have cast his father’s poverty into even more extreme relief, and is why he hadn’t accepted her gift of a fountain pen. That was the first gift his mother had given him after he’d become a doctor.

Miri says, “It makes me think we’re quite similar, while being quite different.” She, on the other hand, had so many dreams — president, Miss Korea — and he understands even before her explanation that her poverty motivated her to do whatever it took to live differently.

She starts getting pretty honest, admitting that she wanted to be able to do work that she wasn’t ashamed of. This scene is such an interesting collection of sincerity and facade, because even though I believe her when she tells Myung-hoon that this is the first time she’s ever said these things to another person, I see her as wielding her words as a carefully chosen weapon, or at least a tool.

In the morning, Hee-joo asks Miri for her advice on what job to pursue next. What does she think about her working for a planning department?

Miri assumes that Hee-joo is speaking purely hypothetically and puts on condescending airs about how Hee-joo is hardly qualified: “Could you even do that kind of work?” She’s totally patronizing about it, but I suppose we are talking about the girl who keeps turning down a solid position at a prestigious company to be a chambermaid, so Tokyo U degree or no, Hee-joo hasn’t exactly demonstrated the soundest display of logical thinking.

When Hee-joo mentions Mondo Group and starts to explain about Chul-jin and Yoo-hyun’s pitch to her, Miri cuts her off, saying that those low-on-the-totem-pole boys know nothing, and that she’s aiming way too high if she think she can work for Mondo.

I sort of enjoy how big a bitch Miri is being, because it makes me anticipate the look on her face when she realizes that (1) Hee-joo’s actually being aggressively scouted, (2) Yoo-hyun is a director at Mondo, and (3) Oh crap I put my eggs in the wrong basket, wait, can I have two baskets?

Hee-joo is hurt, but more significantly, she keeps the truth to herself and drops the subject. I like that she’s starting to clue into Miri’s real attitude, and that she’s just letting the truth rest for now, rather than hurrying to give Miri an out or to explain it away. Something tells me Miri may be creating her own worst rival, when she could have found in Hee-joo her biggest fan.

On her way out, Yoo-hyun greets her. Miri tosses out the cryptic, condescending comment, “If you’re going to help, you should do your research first,” insinuating that he’s being totally clueless about Mondo and Hee-joo. Oh, honey, if you only knew. And I can’t wait for you to know.

Yoo-hyun is still so smitten by her personality character pretty looks that he shrugs it off as Miri being unhappy about something. Other than him, he means.

Both Yoo-hyun and Miri are invited (separately, of course) to a party that’s strictly VVIP-only. Yoo-hyun doesn’t want to go, but is obligated to put in a showing since all the major players in the merger will be there. In contrast, Miri is thrilled and honored to be invited as a company rep, and thanks Myung-hoon profusely. Already he’s started taking her under his wing professionally (as well as, erm, unprofessionally?), and he’s gratified to tell her that this will bring her one step further in broadening her horizons.

In the days that follow, Miri and Myung-hoon enjoy that early phase in relationships characterized by giddy flirting and adorable dates to the movie theater, bike riding, or just hanging out. We still know that Miri’s working her position (and Myung-hoon) to her best advantage, but it’s in these free, happy-go-lucky scenes that I begin to wonder just how much of it is an act, and how much of it is Miri allowing herself to enjoy this companionship.

Myung-hoon gifts Miri with a designer dress for the party, and she does that reverse-modesty again, saying that she was afraid she’d bring him down, in order to get him to assure her that’s not the case.

They laugh a little as he drops her off, as she tells him to “speak comfortably” with her, which is her way of telling him it’s okay to drop down to banmal. He does, a little awkwardly, and it’s cute. (She, on the other hand, retains the jondaemal for him because he’s older, he’s her boss, and he’s a man. Yeah, that’s just the way it works. Take it up with Confucius.)

She arrives home in grand spirits, and happily chatters about the party and the dress and how her life finally seems like it’s on the right track. She doesn’t notice that Hee-joo sits there in a dark mood, having found her diploma in Miri’s things while cleaning the apartment.

Miri finally clues in to Hee-joo’s mood and asks what’s the matter. Hee-joo holds out the diploma, having recollected all the suspicious moments she’d overlooked with Miri and finally connected the dots.

Miri’s eyes widen to recognize the diploma, though she quickly covers up by feigning ignorance. That doesn’t last long and Hee-joo says she found it in her bag, to which Miri asks, offended, “Are you going through my things now?” Mayyyybe not the best line of defense when you’ve just been caught red-handed.

Hee-joo asks why she did it, and reminds her that she lost her job and went to the police over this. But she isn’t after punishment: “Even if you did it, I don’t care — I just want to know the truth.”

Miri drops the denial and admits that yes, she did it to survive. Hee-joo says she could have just used her own diploma, uncomprehending, and Miri scoffs at Hee-joo’s naivete:

Miri: “This is so like you. You came from a good family and were able to go to school — how could you possibly know the feelings of someone like me?”
Hee-joo: “Did you…”
Miri: “You’re right. I didn’t graduate from Tokyo University. Not even that — I couldn’t even approach its gates. Got it now?”
Hee-joo: “You…”
Miri: “It’s because of you. Why did I have to live like this? If you just hadn’t drunk that spoiled milk that day, if you just hadn’t been sick, I wouldn’t have turned out this way.”

Hee-joo asks disbelievingly, “That’s what this is about?” Miri: “Yes. You don’t know what happened in my life. Do you know how I lived in that house you were supposed to live in?” She describes washing 50 blankets a day, hands chapped from washing, knees scraped from scrubbing floors, for years. Then there were the debts of a drunkard father she had to repay.

But Miri cuts herself off, saying Hee-joo won’t understand. Bitterly, she notes how differently she’s being treated now because of that one piece of paper, which nobody suspects is a fake. And that makes it even worse, that that piece of paper was so vital to her, yet matters so little to everyone else.

Hee-joo asks, without judgment, “Are you happy?” Miri chokes on a sob and says, “Yes. I’m so happy.”

It’s incredible, but maybe Hee-joo really just is that good-hearted — or maybe she buys into Miri’s flawed logic about being the reason for her crappy life. So she tells Miri gently that it’s okay — that she’ll count this as recompense for the years Miri spent in misery because of her.

And Hee-joo lets it drop. Wow. I’m a little impressed, a little disappointed, and yet also a little excited at what this means for the girls’ relationship. Because, despite Hee-joo’s willingness to let it go, there definitely is a change after the lie comes out. I don’t know that Miri would sacrifice any of her newfound gains for Hee-joo’s sake, but she does feel something — an indebtedness, perhaps, or guilt or gratefulness or any mix of all those things.

Hee-joo’s not so above it all that it doesn’t affect her at all, though, and she later calls Chul-jin to accept his job offer with Mondo after all.

Miri runs into Yoo-hyun on her way out, who is miraculously undaunted even after the numerous set-downs she’s delivered. He’s not just an eager puppy, he’s like the energizer puppy, who takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. Oh wait. I think that’s Timex. You get the point. He’s got the heart of a puppy, but the body of an indestructible steel robot machine that just won’t stay down.

Miri asks scathingly, “Don’t you have any pride, as a man?” and leaves. Apparently not. Or perhaps he’s lived such a charmed life, which he appreciates and whose burden he feels daily, and therefore he won’t get bent out of shape over things like this? Or maybe she’s just pretty and he can’t help himself.

President Song senses that his wife isn’t entirely thrilled about the party tonight, which marks a big step forward for his beloved son — her resentment of that is understood. It’s an interesting dynamic here, where it’s an open secret that there’s tension between Stepmom and Son, enough that they can refer to it in passing or through oblique references, but which all parties for the most part pretend doesn’t exist.

At the event, Yoo-hyun greets Myung-hoon and Hotel A’s President Lee, the warmth restored between them now that Yoo-hyun has proven his honorable nature. They congratulate each other and smile adorably. Aw, the bromance is alive and kickin’ after all.

Miri arrives looking radiant in her new gown, and greets a smitten Myung-hoon. He takes her with him as he greets Mondo’s President Song and Lee Hwa, introducing Miri as his employee. He guides her through the room, giving her tips on how to remember everyone she’s meeting.

And then he spots “the most important person” — the Mondo Group heir — standing across the room in the white tux. He describes the man as a humble, down-to-earth type of guy who values personal life more than social ranking.

Myung-hoon advises Miri to wait for the right opportunity to make a good impression, since they’ll be working together frequently. He starts to take her there for introductions but gets called away.

And it’s then that Miri recognizes the guy in the tux.

 
COMMENTS

I like that the drama complicated the process of Miri’s forgery, because as some commenters pointed out, it’s a little far-fetched to suppose that in this day and internet age, an employer would trust a paper diploma but not bother to check with the institution itself. At least with the faxed confirmations, they addressed the issue, and while Miri’s actual forgery wasn’t too tough to pull off, it required a careful maneuvering of circumstances that Miri had to orchestrate.

I have to say that watching Miri in action with Myung-hoon is both fascinating and deeply uncomfortable. I cringe, but it’s a cringe of appreciation at how the drama is showing her spinning her web and ensnaring Myung-hoon. It gets a little squicky when romance — and yes, sex — is involved because one could draw similarities between her miserable life in Japan bar-hostessing for money from men, and her using Myung-hoon for advancement. But what blurs the lines is the way that it’s unclear just how much is fake and how much is the real Miri coming out. I still think the ratio is heavily skewed in favor of big fakey faker, but there are moments when she’s quite honest, like her explanation of her dreams.

It’s interesting that Miri is acting the opposite of his ex-wife Gwi-yeon, who, ironically enough, was actually in love with him. Gwi-yeon pushed him away in her hurt and misguided anger, hoping he’d grab her but getting nothing — but Miri has perfected the art of pulling back just enough to actually spur him to come closer.

But my favorite development is the outing of the lie to Hee-joo, because I had no idea (or expectation) that the bumbling clueless wonder would ever realize this about Miri — and certainly not this early. She seems to be kind and understanding, but Miri has pushed all her buttons, gleefully and purposely, and Hee-joo’s still smarting from that sting. Perhaps she’ll tap into her own dark side?

While Hee-joo offers to let the forgery issue go, hell if it’s actually going to die here. Especially with Hee-joo taking up the job at Mondo, where she’s already in good with the director and his BFF. She’ll be a rookie there, but in the current hierarchy, Mondo > Hotel A — which puts her at a potential advantage over Miri. Now, that should be fun to watch.

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97 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. ck1Oz

    Can I just say every time I read a recap here.I love it but the way the story is going scares me.Can one be scared by such a good drama?

    Maybe it’s the theme.I may not be ready to tread such dark waters after endless rom com?

    Thank you for the recap again.

    • 1.1 Sethe

      I so agree. This drama is scaring me to death… I watch it with (as javabeans said) this underlying feeling of absolute dread.

      I guess that means the drama’s really good, if it’s sucking me in enough to be so invested in the characters’ fates, but I’m not sure I like carrying around this feeling of just waiting in terrified suspense for the (inevitable?) disaster.

      • 1.1.1 Ani

        I’m not watching it, but reading these awesome recaps. And I have to say it’s less of me feeling scared and more of me anticipating Miri getting her ass handed to her. I am really loving Heejoo, despite that she is kind of a dummy at times. I like Heejoo because I like KHJ. I have never really seen Lee Dahae in any drama (yes, even the ever popular My Girl) except for Sweet 18, and she was the evil second lead there, and therefore I never got a chance to develop any real love for her as an actress. Funny how one’s like/dislike for the actors/actresses is how we choose the characters to like. We’re suppose to separate reality from the drama, but it’s too damn hard sometimes. So maybe I am a little worried for Heejoo’s sake (her being my fave so far), but I’m over all just waiting for Miri to bounce on Heejoo already because I want to see how Heejoo, and heck the drama in general, will give Miri the asswhooping she will deserve by the end of this drama. Heh.

        • 1.1.1.1 omo_omo

          I agree. I’m also not watching this one currently and just relying on these wonderful recaps (which is actually equivalent to watching unless you want to pause some really good scenes like nekkid LMH ….ooopps).
          I’ve seen LDH in MyGirl and liked her a little but never loved her as i think there is something missing from her (im thinking of the right word but only sincerity-in-her-personality comes around). Thus I totally agree on this…
          “So maybe I am a little worried for Heejoo’s sake (her being my fave so far), but I’m over all just waiting for Miri to bounce on Heejoo already because I want to see how Heejoo, and heck the drama in general, will give Miri the asswhooping she will deserve by the end of this drama. Heh.”
          Lets read and see what happens… but I do hope Heejoo gets her revenge.

      • 1.1.2 kdfan

        i feel the same. watching it and dreading how much lower Miri could go. i really hope there is a path for redemption. And although it seems ending up with either one of the 2 men will not happen in the end for what Miri has done, i am still rooting for it to be Micky .. but he’s just too innocent and good for her .. :’(

    • 1.2 Chocobo

      I’m loving how dark this is and how uncomfortable it’s making us all feel. It’s honestly refreshing after so many predictable, light plot lines. I have no idea where this is going, we’re all just waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I love it.

    • 1.3 Hazel

      watch Miss Ripley Episode 5 English Subbed here: http://www.kimchidramas.net/2011/06/miss-ripley-episode-5.html

  2. laya

    Yes! I was waiting for this! Thanks for the recap! /goes to read before heading to the office cafeteria for lunch.

  3. tamarra

    FINALLY!!! thank you so much! *puts reading glasses on*

  4. mardie

    omo! its here!!! thanks JB. *off to read excitedly*

  5. sb

    I get so stressed out while watching this drama. I guess it’s a testament to LDH’s superb acting skills. I keep shouting !#$@#$^#$%*)$&*$%!!! at Miri as she hurts the people around her. It’s horrifying how she uses and tosses men like tissues. D:

    • 5.1 Ani

      All I could think when I read your comment was “If men are that gullible, than they deserve to be treated that way” but that’s just because I recently watched Ten Inch Hero. Part of me is wondering if it’s already too late for her to turnover a new leaf. I don’t think so, but I guess she can’t be Miss Ripley if she stops now. Sad day.

      • 5.1.1 sb

        That’s true, but if the gullibility is due to boyish innocence (more applicable to Yoo-Hyun than with Myung-Hoon) over straight-up stupidity, it’s still tragic seeing Miri take advantage of them with her evil scheming ways…

      • 5.1.2 CreamPuffs

        Yeah, I feel bad for these guys, but they are actively pursuing her and she isn’t forcing them into anything, so I’m not exactly empathizing with them.

  6. kiwi

    Yay! Thanks for the recap! :)

  7. Zoe

    Uwahhhh~
    This drama sounds so fantastic, but I probably won’t watch it. Your recaps are short and to the point, so I really enjoy reading them. Thank you!

    Maybe, when I’m older, I’ll be able to watch such (for lack of a better word) dramatic…dramas. CX

  8. srkambbs

    YAY new episode!!

  9. dean

    miri is such a bad woman, i just disgusts his character.

  10. 10 crazedlu

    wow. i mean, really wow. the writing’s headed somewhere good.

    so glad about where they took hee joo in this episode. i have a feeling yoo hyun is gonna go dark, but don’t let hee joo go there. please. at least not FOR the dark side.

  11. 11 Minnetter

    wow… LDH is great, but I’m not really liking the darkness. it’s very very squicky

  12. 12 moomooye

    I do feel a little conflicted about the development in this episode. Like you said, if she’s willing to sleep with him to get what she wants, and if it’s all an act with no emotional attachment, then that scene towards the beginning where she gets sexually harassed by the guy who was hiring her becomes kind of a farce, because what she’s doing now is essentially what that guy back in episode 1 was suggesting. The only difference is that she’s the instigator, and the target is way richer/better looking. Although I’m all for her falling to the dark side, I kind of want to have some reason to still root for her, so I’m hoping they don’t portray as a complete manipulator. That would be too one-dimensional and wouldn’t do her character justice.

    • 12.1 entertained

      but there is a big difference between having an instigator and deciding, all on your own, to do it. particularly because its your body were talking about. sex, in this drama, is more about power than anything else. being instigated to do have sex, particularly in the manner that the man did, skew the balance of power in favor of the man. on the other hand, being the femme fatale means you have the power – even if its fleeting.

      • 12.1.1 Sethe

        I think it’s great that Miri’s being the seductress here (such a refreshing change from so many other kdrama heroines), but I’m concerned that she has made a tactical error here, in giving it all up to Myung-hoon so soon. He’s her employer, after all (so he really has all the power), and things are great now cause he seems to really like her, but I think she’s done a very dangerous thing for her career.

    • 12.2 joujou

      I would like to think that seducing Myung-hoon could be the back-up plan if not Miri’s original plan A. As a wife to a wealth man, Miri would be pretty set, as long as her husband does not leave her. The only thing is Myung-hoon is not the catch that Miri thinks he is. I think Miri truly desires to have control over her life and others. Which is why I think she doe not need to be truly happy, as long as she feel that she is secure and in control.

    • 12.3 hannah

      Yes what shes doing is like what the old guy suggested in the beginning but I think the situation here is totally different. Old guy attacked, insulted and threatened her she fought back. I think at the beginning she just wanted to find a decent job, stay in Korea and start over. She hated and was probably disgusted with her past and she just wanted to get away from it. But in her attempt to do so, she got sexually harrassed and looked down on, not much different from when she was working as a bar hostess in Japan. Shit happened and circumstances pushed her to realise that with her education and background she will never get a chance. All that made her much more greedy for power, more determined and desperate to rise above so that people cant look down on her. Would I be going too far if I say she never thought of it? but I think in the beginning it was never her plan. Plus old guy suggested it outright like it’s a trade whereas with Myung-hoon feelings are involved (on his side atleast).
      I can’t wait to see how Miri’s attitude will change towardds Yoo-hyun and what she’s going to do. Thank you for the recap!! :)

    • 12.4 bittercandy

      In my humble opinion, I don’t see any conflicting or contradicting at all in Miri’s behaviour.

      Being harassed or sold or forced to sleep with some men is disgusting and humiliating to most women i believe. Women in this category is usually viewed as commodity. To these rapist men, they are prostitutes and they have no respect to her (examples : poor suicidals female singers, actresses in Korea)

      whereas…

      Sleeping with powerful men at her own initiative is another matter altogether. She’s in control of the relationship and not the man/woman pimp who determine which clients she need to serve. It’s an affair and I believe it’s definitely more pleasant.. If she is lucky, she might get hitched with rich tycoons :P

      If I may add, Miri is one cynical loveless bitter angry woman. I believe she hates men, especially ones that requested sex. She will have no problem to manipulate, use or discard them like tissue. That’s because she felt used and humiliated when she was a reluctant bar hostess.

      There is a chinese sayings – Softness conquering Hardness. I hope both Hee-Joon and Yoo-Hyun’s softness will break Miri’s Hardness.

  13. 13 nixxochick

    is it bad that the only reason I’m watching this is to see the main leads distruction? I really dislike her character and I can’t wait until she shoots herself in the foot

  14. 14 joujou

    I keep wondering how old Myung-hoon is in relation to Miri, so each time I see them together it makes me squeamish. ^~^ But I can totally believe that they would hook up because of the two actors. I would like to hope that Miri does learn to care for if not love Myung-hoon. I feel he deserves to be happy after his ex-wife and all. I just hope that Miri does not try to hook Yoo-hyun at the same time that she is with Myung-hoon. But I do not see how that can be avoided because of how Miri uses sex appeal as a tool. I am starting to hate her now not just thinking about how badly everything will end.

  15. 15 imoan.naomi

    I’m not too much a fan of melodramas starring manipulative women, but I’ve gotta say Hee Joo is saving this one for me. I love it when the “nice girl” decides that she no longer wants to “play nice”. I’ve got a strong feeling that although Miri will be her own undoing, Hee Joo’s not gonna just lay down and take her crap anymore.

    • 15.1 joujou

      I do agree that it is gratifying to see the “nice” ones fight back. It can get frustrating when people constantly take advantage of them. I hope Hee Jee does not lose herself to the “dark side” so to speak when she does fight back.

  16. 16 6002

    That!Smile!
    Yooochunaaaaaaaaaaah!

  17. 17 jenknight18

    i am quite sad that Korea does not enjoy much this kind of dark themes based on the ratings response.. however, i’ve watched a lot more twisted plot that i found this one just enough for my taste.. i hope the plot wont loose it’s sense of direction .. now the challenge is how Miri will convince us that her love for Yoohyun (the smitten puppy) is true (if it becomes to be like that) without us glaring at her throat thinking that she’s just out there to grab the bigger fish.. she’s tangled already with Myunhoon and it’ll be foolish for her to play with him then drop him suddenly.. so she has to do the scheming as smooth as possible .. this is dark and i like it!

    • 17.1 mary

      I bet Miri is going to use the:

      “I was pushing you away because I’m already taken, but I can’t help how I feel when I saw you with Hee Joo”

      to get back in Yoohyun’s good graces (and plant a rivalry between the bromance)

  18. 18 dls

    Oww, thanks so much for the recap.
    Heejoo knowing Miri’s lie in this episode is so unexpected.
    I won’t say Heejoo will be going to dark side, but I predict she will be stronger, braver, smarter to expose the truth and handle the aftermaths.

  19. 19 HanKang4ever

    the drama is good, very good …. but it is not for the faint of heart… so I am gonna drop it now coz i don’t think my heart can handle all the suspense…

    thanks for the recap…

    • 19.1 GrandLady

      I’m not very fond of her character too. But when I heard about this drama, of course I thought about movie “The Talented Mr. Ripley “, where the main character is quite manipulative too. And even though his action made him a bad character I didn’t felt any hate, just pity and there was also a feeling of hope that in the future he will be able to find peace. So, I was curious what Miri will be like. Now she looks like a classical heroine in soap opera where you either like her or hate her. I wonder if she can change my mind.

  20. 20 YerVang

    No offense or anything but I don’t like Lee Da Hae’s character.

    • 20.1 mardie

      well, ur not supposed to like her. heh.

      • 20.1.1 YerVang

        ahahah, pretty successful don’t cha think? lol

        • 20.1.1.1 mardie

          LDH did a great job at that. hehehe

      • 20.1.2 jenknight18

        LDH has done what she was paid for.. and that is for the audience to hate her.. dont worry dear i hate her character too..

        • 20.1.2.1 kdfan

          yes, LDH is doing a great job. I think Son Yejin would do a good job with such role too. wonder if K drama award would consider such roles for best actress. it’s really good to watch such suspenseful characters once in a while ..

  21. 21 Memmy

    Not usually my type of drama but I get sucked in into watching it because of your recaps.

    I’m nervously anticipating Miri’s downfall.

  22. 22 Revy

    This drama makes me feel all kinds of things like happy,stresses and scared. It’s like a haunting beauty

  23. 23 purexorange

    nooooo Miri do not hurt myung hoon T_T
    when will you stop!?!!?

  24. 24 anna

    I see a lot of hate for Heejoo and I DO NOT get that. Do people have some sort of syndrome where they always fall in love with secondary male lead and hate every secondary female lead? even in this case where the female lead is a total manipulative bitch and the secondary is a total sweetheart? why the hate? do not get it.

    • 24.1 JD

      wait what? where’s the hate? i see a lot of hate for miri at the present, not heejoo

      • 24.1.1 hookedonmonix

        Yeah, I see a lot of people hoping they won’t have to hate her (HeeJoo) in the future, because we like liking her now.

      • 24.1.2 anna

        i see a lot in the comment a couple episode back and a few on soompi too. there’s just no reason behind them other than they find her annoying or probably just because she’s the secondary female.

    • 24.2 Locturne

      Personally, I can’t help rooting for the main lead every time I watch a drama. Right now, it’s making me schizophrenic because I can’t stand Mi Ri and at the same time I want to like her. And it’s the same thing for Hee Joo, I should like her, but I think her being the second lead makes me find her irritating… It’s making me crazy T_T

      • 24.2.1 kdfan

        gasp! that’s exactly how i feel. this is the reason i like to read readers’ comments. i dont have anybody at home, work or even close friends to share my k drama addiction with. thank you all you virtual fellow k drama lovers :)

  25. 25 xanderlee

    OMG…it’s so scarce finding such kind-hearted girl like Heejoo! T.T She’s soooooooo nice, deserving far distance of being embittered. Though I bet she can’t escape from the long thorny way she has to face. T.T

    As for Miri, is going to take away her all of her senses? LOL. Her character is developing to be more and more and more and more and more wicked.
    I do understand the pain she had to feel when she was young! If I were her, I might feel the same feeling of her towards HeeJoo! So I can’t blame her for treating HeeJoo maliciously.
    But for the other two beautiful kind hearted sweet guys (?), she’s too overplaying. Particularly for Myunghoon. He should be crazy if he found out that Miri was actually playing a trick on him. T.T For a man man who has ever had fiasco experience of love, he definitely wants to not fail no more. But…if it’s with Miri, he surely would feel double pain, otherwise he was unexpectedly strong. LOL.

    Poor Myunghoon. You’d better to run away from Miri, finding your ex-lover and yell your honest feeling toward her. I’m sure she’d like to understand no matter how hard she tried to hide her ingenuousness. Start your step, man! LOL. I’ll be always supporting you. LOL.
    Go Myunghoon Go!

  26. 26 JD

    WOW LDH looks gorgeous in that red dress.

    I’m actually scared that I won’t be able to differentiate LDH and Miri later >_<

  27. 27 galen

    I must say, I’m just really confused with the faxing. What happened to scanning & e-mailing? Who still uses faxes these days? Plus spoofing addresses would be so much more plausible.

  28. 28 letmeeatcake

    Yeah. I agree with the feeling of dread. I’m willing to bet that later on, Hee joo will out the fact that Miri copied her diploma.
    This drama is written so well! Miri’s character is so smart (if you can call it that) and I’m just really dreading the moment when everything gets revealed.

  29. 29 zzzmadison

    energizer puppy.. so cute!

    Miri’s jacket in the advert is the reverse to Yoo-Hyun’s jacket at the dinner? haha

    • 29.1 mardie

      LOL! i thot i was the only 1 who feels that tux is not quite there…

  30. 30 Daniela

    I think it had been better if she had realize who he was, face to face.
    I’m in a dilemma, because I want to see how far is she is going to go but I don’t want her to go too far because Its going to be worst for the others.
    I like both men and Hee-joo and in this point she is the most affected by Miri’s actions, but she is the one that is starting to wake up from Miri’s enchantment.
    I don’t like when she is all emo and puts his martyr face, but it works everytime and that’s the worst part.
    I like her post-sex conversation Myung-hoon. She looked honest, her face looked different.
    Does anybody else thinks that the father-in-law of Myung-hoon, looks like Carl Fredricksen from Up (the pixar movie)?

    Thank you for the recap.

    • 30.1 Daniela

      Now that I searched the specific meaning of dread ( I kind of understand it because of the context) Its the perfect word. I feel the same. Im nervous and anxious, but I want to keep watching.

  31. 31 Nanny

    I have not watched this yet, but have been reading the recaps, thanks JB and GF for the recaps.

    It is quite intriguing, and it’ been a while since I saw LDH, for some reasons my favourite character and acting of hers was in Sweet 18, but she looks so different now it’s hard to watch her…for some reasons in this drama she looks like Kim Jung Eun, maybe it’s the hair (KJE’s hair in I am Legend and LDH here)…
    That first screencap I thought it was KJE with Myunghoon!

    Definitely don’t like her character here (as it should be), and don’t see how she reminds Yoohyun of his loving and encouraging mother the way she is cold and rude to him? For some reasons, even with all the convenient “circumstances” as mentioned before, some parts do not make sense and feel just too pushed/over the top for this genre no? (like how Heejoo ended up in jail due to a bust that just happened to coincide with Miri’s cover up plans and now Heejoo is supposed to feel guilty and Miri is justified?). Maybe I’ll have to actually watch it to get into it…

  32. 32 Cynthia

    How is it that LDH gave such a sucky performance in Chuno and is steller for MR? It’s like someone lit a fire under her butt – she’s pulling out all the stops here. She has a definite grip on her character – that, coupled with a mighty fine director and excellent production and camera work are adding up to an award-quality product.

    I agree w/JB about the loud, flat-footed use of “Carmen”, but I must say what is becoming more noticable to me is that the ambient music is becoming much more effective.

    After watching this latest episode, it came to me that this drama has the moodiness of the ’30′s “Laura” & “All About Eve”. LDH is giving Gene Tierney/Bette Davis vibes.

    I’m interested in JB’s take on the Miri psyche – she spotting some good in this woman.
    I don’t. I think that Miri doesn’t draw a breath without calculating the cost. She’s a user through and through – the only time she lets her guard down is when she’s thrown back into her past and momentarily forgets her present interaction. She has ice at her core – permafrost has nothing on her fearful/damaged psyche.
    Am loving our two guy leads! And feel sorry for them. Real sorry…

  33. 33 Nana

    I finally have a bitchy heroin in a K-drama. Need to celebrate. I hope they don’t turn her around to be “normal” later on.

    I don’t like LDH, but I like her acting bitchy because it seems to suit better than those cutesy roles she had taken.

    • 33.1 anna

      but that’s how kdramaland works. lol you need to have a cold bastardly good looking chaebol + a happy go lucky heroine or you have a bitchy heroine + a boyishly adorable hero.

      i love the balance in baby faced beauty though. they’re both adorable and happy together.

  34. 34 girlfriday

    I guess it’s a good thing girlfriday and her Kim Seung-woo ajusshi-crush aren’t recapping this episode

    Seriously. I just woke up from the five-hour coma that he put me in.

    SWOOOOOOON.

  35. 35 magz

    this drama intrigues me despite it not being my usual sort, the fact that LDH plays miri’s manipulative behaviour so well somewhat fills me with complete dread everytime i’m reading the recap/watching it. she is however supremely good at showing the vulnerabilities of her character. deeply flawed and layered this miri, but to this end i must say watching this is like watching a train crashing in slow motion for two hours a week

  36. 36 Noelle

    I think I understand GF’s crush because that man is good looking. Thanks for the recap!

  37. 37 busy_bee

    Somewhat OT but what has Ms LDH done to her face?

    I could still vividly remember her in My Girl and she was lovely.

    I can’t put my finger on it but was something done to her eyes? the cheeks pumped up a bit? and nose contoured.

    I hope not because why improve an almost perfect face.

    Ottoke, ottoke….

  38. 38 Maho

    I’m eagerly waiting for Miri’s self destruction. I’ll say it i’ve absolutly hate Miri since Ep.1, I figured LDH could play a scheming bitch well and i’m not disapointed. The relationship between HJ and Miri will be really good to watch becuase as JB said that Hee Joo’s discovery possibly turned her into a rival and hopefully set up the battle royal between the ladies. The dynamic between the men should get really good moving forward as well. The drama’s exactly what I expected and im not disappointed.

    Also whats this Carmen song that keeps getting referenced? Any links to it or something?

    • 38.1 eljay

      A french opera written by Georges Bizet.

      From wikipedia: ” The story is set in Seville, Spain, around 1820, and concerns the eponymous Carmen, a beautiful Gypsy with a fiery temper. Free with her love, she woos the corporal Don José, an inexperienced soldier. Their relationship leads to his rejection of his former love, mutiny against his superior, and joining a gang of smugglers. His jealousy when she turns from him to the bullfighter Escamillo leads him to murder Carmen.”

      • 38.1.1 Maho

        Ah…I see. Gracias!!!

        • 38.1.1.1 eljay

          de nada!

      • 38.1.2 kdfan

        wow thanks for the explanation. i hope myunghoon will not murder miri!

  39. 39 ija1871

    Wow…. I really, really love ur recap. U describe every 1 up to a T…
    For me, I can’t seem to accept Miri action…For Miri how can u willingly do something that u ran away from without even feeling slightly wrong. I also can’t seem to find a justification for how far she’s willing to go to climb out from her hell….
    Hope I can see some of good in Miri soon…

  40. 40 Amg1

    JB, thank you for your hard work!!!!!

    I am loving every minute of MR!!! I am glad that this show is not holding any punches! Miri is a character that draws me in like a “Moth to a flame,” I think that LDH has won my respect all over again, her acting is worth my two hours every week…
    MR>FTW!!!

  41. 41 b

    -I had just finished watching the episode subs-less and read the recaps. I have to agree with javabeans over the music. At first I thought the choice in some of the themes were pretty clever, but now I’m starting to feel the Carmen sledgehammer beating me over the head. Where’s my bottle of Excedrin?

    -When I read, “Oh crap I put my eggs in the wrong basket,” regarding Miri, I seriously thought javabeans wrote, “Oh crap I put my legs in the wrong basket.” Clearly different from what she actually wrote, but could be considered apropos in this case :D

    -I got so used to female leads in K-dramas being so virginal and chaste that I was actually shocked too see steamy make out scenes and actual (well, implied) s-e-x on the screen. I admit it was a bit uncomfortable for me to watch even though I had seen that too often on American TV. Damn you, Miss Ripley, you broke my K-drama innocence.

    -I had just marathoned Baby-Faced Beauty last weekend (12 episodes in 2 days!), and I couldn’t help finding similarities with the rom-com and Miss Ripley. Both involve the leads lying about their backgrounds, education, and work experiences to get work. Both heroines try to perpetuate lies they told to hold on to their jobs only to end up digging themselves into deeper holes. BFB, on one hand, plays most of the situations for laughs. Some of the slapstick, and scenes where the characters attempt to extricate themselves from sticky situations, are laugh-out-loud funny. Ripley, on the other hand, is dark and forboding, with the consequences of the heroine’s actions much direr. Show, you have not made me laugh even once. I still like you, though.

  42. 42 Bluefyre

    Haha! energizer timex puppy! Can I have one? ^^

    I LOVE that sidenote to GF!! Had me laughing for some minutes. Also, I’m loving where this drama is going even if it is, as JB said, getting “squicky” :D
    Thanks JB and GF, can’t wait for your turn (swooning and all^^)! Somebody dash some water over her. Heheh.

  43. 43 CoH

    :o I’m scared Miri will become so evil that even her tragic backstory will not draw sympathy from viewers…
    I hope the other three leads don’t get hurt. And heejoo kind of reminds me of the second lead in dream high with the way both were treated by their friends, the first female leads. I hope if heejoo wants to fight back that she won’t become evil as well.
    I’m scared but I’ll keep watching cause I like this drama, it’s definitely different and more intriguing. How far will Miri fall? How is she going to redeem herself?

  44. 44 Hana

    I was going to start watching this one but i don’t think I can . I’m scared by the intensity of this drama just by reading the recaps . I kinda treat the characters the same as if in a romcom , I totally sympathize with Miri and want het to succeed while on the other hand I dislike Hee Joo who is mention to be the good one lol the actress who plays Miri is pretty and has such great hair ^^ I can understand why that guy would like her so much lol

  45. 45 tomobuddy

    Oh God
    It’s a scarry drama
    I’d better read the recaps till couple of next episode
    But Lee dae hee act so well as miss ripley
    She’s pretty but evil also

  46. 46 Ladymoonstone143

    Thanks Javabeans for another amazing recap…

    Knowing Miri, she can think of a strategy that will make sense why she is mean to Yoo-hyun. Probably like in the line of “I know you are the heir and am suspecting that you are playing with me…so I will not take the bite” or “am not sure what your intentions are”….that in the end, it will make her be the victim. Am anticipating that scene so much.

    This drama is not making me sit comfortably in my chair…lol. I am always sitting on the edge and having so much “Oh no” moments. It is just like riding on a roller coaster….you know you are inching towards the top, but after the top, it will be going down fast and you can’t help it but go for the ride.

    And how great that dress look on Miri on a sea of black and whites? :)))

  47. 47 mel

    I’m hating Miri here. in any other circumstances I would have loved to watch a bitchy heroin but sadly, I know someone who’s so like her character in this drama, manipulative, lying, scheming, using men. sighs. though of course not as dramatic. still. looking forward to her downfall.

  48. 48 KC

    What I am most excited about is now that Miri knows Yoo Hyun is pretty much top cookie, what will be her approach to him. She knows that he likes her and that’s a plus but she can’t use the same techniques she used on Myung Hoon because YooHyun knows more of what she’s really like. A 180 degree change will definitely alert him. This is shaping up to be really exciting! I was quite sad you guys dropped Lie to Me in favour for Miss Ripley but now I totally understand :D Bring on more twisted melo :D:D

  49. 49 trish

    Thanks for the recap..^_^

  50. 50 meteorfever

    love love this drama! but im kind of confused on who the main characters are! who is Miri’s “lead” male? i

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