Miss Ripley: Episode 11
More secrets are revealed! Some are new revelations, while others are just passed on to new people — like, say, our resident energizer puppy, who’s maybe not as big a pushover as he seemed at the outset. Oh, we’ve seen glimpses of his sharper side in brief moments, but now he stops playing the dupe and gets wise to a few things.
SONG OF THE DAY
Jisun – “바람아 불어라” (Blow, wind) [ Download ]
EPISODE 11 RECAP
Miri meets with stepmom-to-be Lee Hwa, while Yoo-hyun checks out Miri’s old home, pre-orphanage, which is a run-down hovel of a building. He also researches her family registry, which was revised upon her adoption. It shows that her father died in a car accident nearly twenty years ago, while Mom Kim Jung-soon’s national ID number has since been erased.
At the restaurant showdown, Stepmom suggests — with a smile on her face — that Miri’s meeting with Yoo-hyun was rather too coincidental for belief, and that she considers it a given that Miri would have “developed other reasons and goals” after knowing who Yoo-hyun is. She says she doesn’t consider herself particularly prejudiced in her beliefs (oh, you don’t say!), but that their kind of people generally ought to stick to marrying for business reasons. She euphemizes this by saying both sides ought to “help each other” in the union, implying clearly that Miri will be of no help.
Lee Hwa adds that love is great and all, but feelings change and eventually people regret acting purely based on them. “They ruin not only themselves but others’ lives in the name of love.” I wonder how she’d know, given that love seems to be an entirely foreign notion to her. She must do a lot of reading.
Miri understands her meaning, and says (rather prettily) that she can’t prove that she didn’t approach Yoo-hyun for his wealth — it both concedes a point to Mom and implies that she’s innocent of the accusation. She adds that she knows that she’s at a disadvantage as an orphan, which is particularly significant in Korean society that is so big on connections and family, but especially so in the chaebol realm, where you have wealth and status “purity” thrown into the mix.
Honestly, it’s not clear how much of her hurt reaction is real and how much is a show designed to play the part of wounded-but-true-hearted lover, and Miri sheds a tear as she says she can’t answer Mom’s question right now regarding whether she can be pushed into breaking up. Implication being that she resists.
But Mom has more ammo up her sleeve, and says that she’s heard about her “special relationship” with Myung-hoon, which makes Miri look up in alarm. Mom advises her to leave now, before that relationship gets revealed.
Miri sits there in shock and Mom says she’ll take her silence for assent, since that’s the quieter route for all involved. Oh, and this meeting should remain a secret from Yoo-hyun, naturally.
Lee Hwa drives away looking like the cat that ate the canary, while Miri staggers along, having trapped herself with her own greed.
Having been unable to get in contact with Miri all day, Yoo-hyun waits outside her building that night. He knows something’s wrong and prods her to explain, and after initially brushing aside his questions Miri retorts bitterly, will admitting her hurt will change her situation? Will it make her no longer an orphan, or win his stepmother’s favor? Yeah, she thought not.
Miri apologizes for her overreaction, while Yoo-hyun understands and says he’ll leave her alone today. Sharp enough to read between the lines, he asks his secretary to confirm his mother’s schedule today, suspecting she’s behind Miri’s depressed spirits.
Myung-hoon goes to the Tokyo University alumni center, having found yet another hole in Miri’s backstory: The adviser she’d named was actually on leave during the time listed. The employee confirms that there’s nobody on the graduation roster by her name.
Off to the Jazz Bar of Brooding, where Myung-hoon confides in his sunbae that he thinks it was all a lie. He admits that he let himself be fooled, saying he doesn’t want to blame anyone because it was his fault. Wow, he’s got it bad to absolve Miri of the guilt, even at this juncture.
Sunbae gets on the phone with Professor Park quickly to put the kibosh on the whole teaching thing, before more trouble arises. Which means for sure that more trouble is bound to arise.
Yoo-hyun gets the word that Lee Hwa had taken a personal meeting during the day, and asks her directly about her meeting with Miri. She says that all she did was say that she hoped Yoo-hyun would marry someone of equal standing. She knows she can’t expect one woman to have everything — family, education, background — but that Miri lacks class.
That’s too much, and he points out that it’s quite odd to hear her harp on class: “I still remember the hotel uniform you were wearing when I met you.” She used to be the demure employee who’d bow to them with hands folded: “You started there, yet came all this way, didn’t you?” Ooh. Shut. Down.
She counters that she isn’t ashamed of that, and he agrees: “So I expected you to understand Miri more.” He describes Miri as someone who is hurt by the smallest things, due to her painful background.
Mom backs off a little but disagrees with that assessment of Miri’s character, saying that there’s such a thing as an intuition that comes with age. Are we sure it’s not gold-diggers’ intuition?
Yoo-hyun’s voice takes on an edge as he says that he cannot stand by while Mom interferes and scolds Miri, and won’t let her opposition stop his marriage. Ah, so the round-to-sharp hairstyle transformation does coincide with the emergence of his sharper personality. (He’s always had a steely center, but it’s lain rather dormant thus far.)
Miri is stunned to hear that the special lecture she was to present has been given to a different lecturer. Professor Park had assumed that Myung-hoon would tell her, but she’s heard nothing. Not only that, Myung-hoon orders the Hotel A promotional video pulled, essentially erasing all traces leading to Miri. Ironically, this looks like he’s acting out of spite, when it’s really his cool business temperament taking over to deflect impending crisis.
Miri calls him in a temper, saying she’s disappointed in him, suggesting this is petty behavior on his part. While part of me wants him to fling her fraud in her face, the other, more sadistic part of me is strangely gratified at how self-righteous she is, knowing that her fall is coming.
Myung-hoon tells her coolly that his friends are mixed up in her business now, and he’ll make sure they aren’t hurt. And that he’s going to bring everything back “to its rightful place.” Miri contends that things are in their rightful places now, but he assures her that this is just the beginning, and “You don’t know yet what that rightful place is.” He concedes that perhaps he had a hand in making her this way — but because of that, it’s his responsibility to send her back from whence she came.
Ooh. How can he sound so understanding and yet threatening at the same time? Miri is unnerved and asks what he’s talking about, but Myung-hoon just tells her that she’s not going to be able to just get whatever she wants from now on. “You can’t do this anymore, Miri. That kind of pain — it’s enough to inflict it on me. How many of your lies do you suppose I know?”
Yoo-hyun visits his father in the hospital, and receives some words of caution and advice about marriage. President Song tells him that parental opposition happens for a reason, even as he says that he’s glad to see Yoo-hyun looking happy, and that he likes Miri too. Still, he’d like him to be more understanding of his mother.
Yoo-hyun takes Miri shopping for an engagement ceremony dress, closing the entire store for her use, and she’s touched at his thoughtfulness. There’s a sticky moment for Miri when the store manager says that the size he’d indicated matches with another customer they’d recently dressed — the order for which was put in by Jang Myung-hoon. Thankfully, nobody else connects the dots.
And then, the parade of bridal looks.
Afterward, Miri’s in a subdued mood, saying that it’s because she wishes she could do something for Yoo-hyun to reciprocate his generosity. (What happened to his hair, all of a sudden? How did it get from Cool Chaebol to MC Mong-key, all of a sudden? It’s like his bangs are doing their damnedest to re-form that bowl shape, haircut be damned.)
To explain her behavior, Miri says that she’s been preoccupied with work matters. Haltingly, she alludes to some bad rumors circulating about Myung-hoon, playing the moment perfectly to make it seem as though she’s embarrassed even mentioning it, especially knowing how Yoo-hyun respects him.
Playing pre-emptive damage control, she confides that Myung-hoon has been making the female employees uncomfortable, asking them out to dinner and buying them wine, saying he’s lonely and dislikes eating alone. As he also did with her.
Yoo-hyun can’t quite believe it, and Chul-jin dismisses the rumors out of hand, pointing out that they’d seen firsthand that the work atmosphere was healthy when they were at Hotel A. The only thing unusual is Miri — Myung-hoon gave her special treatment with her visa and hiring. I like that Yoo-hyun hasn’t shared the source of his suspicions, because there’s nothing tainting Chul-jin’s opinion (such as his dislike of Miri) as he says frankly, “Who’d you hear that from anyway? It sounds like baseless slander.”
Lee Hwa visits her personal vault, and her password entry screen confirms what we’ve suspected — that her real name is Kim Jung-soon, aka Miri’s birth mother. We all sensed something was off about her origins, but I find it oddly hilarious that in a drama of such Big Suspenseful Moments, we should learn such a huge secret via ATM.
In her deposit box are documents in her old name, including her national ID card with the number that has since been erased from the system. As well as an old photo of Young Miri. She adds an envelope of documents to the pile.
Hee-joo goes out with Director Kang and tells her she’s quitting her job in favor of more studies. Director Kang asks her about Miri, finding her actions suspicious, and wonders if she had a case of the prince and the pauper, to explain her interest in Yoo-hyun.
It’s interesting how all the women in this drama are actually pretty shrewd to Miri’s ways, yet they come off as petty and spiteful, while the men are completely blind yet seem kind and generous. So the message I’m taking from this drama is… men are stupid and women are bitches?
Hee-joo uneasily laughs off her questions, but this flashes her back to all the evidence that Miri had hated Yoo-hyun, until one night she didn’t. And that that night coincided with that hotel party, where she was brought to meet Yoo-hyun and cried off sick.
Hee-joo entertains those suspicions for a moment, then shakes them off as though they’re too ridiculous. Oh, the girl can forge diplomas, commit fraud, steal designs to pass off as her own, and lie through her perfectly whitened teeth, but she can’t be a gold-digger?
Myung-hoon takes his mother for health checkups and learns that she’s improved, though she’s not out of the woods entirely. Mom asks if he’s ended things with Miri, and he says yes, because Miri stopped liking him. Aw, such a hard thing to admit to your mother.
What twists my heart is that Mom sighs sadly, accepting his explanation with resignation, but then asks how he could let love go so readily, at an age when it’s so difficult to come by. Noooo, don’t push him back to the black widow, when he’s just freed himself from the web!
Then, Mom calls the hotel to ask for Miri’s information. Oh honey, no…
Yoo-hyun takes Chul-jin’s advice to speak with Myung-hoon directly. I’m thankful that he lays it out honestly, although Myung-hoon doesn’t defend himself with the things he has learned of Miri. He merely says that he’ll accept whatever Yoo-hyun decides is the appropriate measure for handling this, since he’s responsible for the hotel’s image.
Yoo-hyun tells him firmly that he didn’t call him here because he believes the rumors, but that even if they were to be true, he’d believe Myung-hoon — “because there can be no awu [younger brother] who doesn’t believe in his hyung.” His wording plays on the trust/loyalty bond in a brotherly relationship more than the blood connection.
However, he adds that rumors are swift to circulate, which is why he called him here tonight. And that if there’s somebody, anybody, that this issue brings to mind, Myung-hoon ought to deal with that relationship cleanly. (Implication: Let go of Miri.)
Myung-hoon confides that things are in a troubled place for him now, and he’s trying to figure out how things got this way. He’s working to restore order to a situation whose origins he doesn’t quite understand yet, which we understand is a reference to Hurricane Miri, though I fear that Yoo-hyun will get the wrong idea from his vague terms… Eep!
Myung-hoon assures Yoo-hyun that he will take care of it — “Even if I step down, I will return everything to their places, and then step down.”
Hee-joo comes home to see Myung-hoon’s mother looking around confusedly in front of the building. She learns that Mom’s looking for Miri, just as Miri arrives and stops short at the sight of her visitor.
Over tea, Mom entreats Miri to think twice about ending the relationship, saying that it appeared to her that they were truly attached to each other and that you don’t realize what a good thing is until you’ve lost it. She starts to explain what “a good kid” he is (which sounds so strange, given his age), but Miri speaks up to assure her that she knows that:
Miri: “I truly cared for him. Other people may say whatever they want, thinking that I liked him because I wanted something from him. In the beginning, maybe I did. But as I saw more of him, as we grew closer, my feelings were sincere. He was the first person to ever treat me so warmly. He was like an oppa, and sometimes also father.”
Mom: “Then why?”
Miri: “I met someone new. And I truly care for him.”
Miri says that even if everything were to come anew, she would still want to be with Yoo-hyun. She returns her ring, given to her by Myung-hoon, overflowing with apologies. But Mom tries again to persuade her for the sake of her son’s happiness and grasps Miri’s wrist to beg.
Yoo-hyun calls Miri’s phone, which has been left at home. After hesitating, Hee-joo answers and tells him that Miri stepped out briefly to meet someone nearby. He supposes he can wait for her, and so he drives by as Myung-hoon’s mother is begging Miri not to go.
He pulls over the car and watches as both ladies cry, one chasing the other one out the cafe. Miri leaves in a taxi, and this stress is just the thing to push Mom’s weak health over the edge, and she collapses on the sidewalk.
Yoo-hyun rushes out and carries her to his car. Taking her to At the hospital, he receives reassuring news from the doctor that she’s not in grave danger, and is told that her guarantor has been called. Myung-hoon arrives just late enough to miss Yoo-hyun’s departure, and thus he doesn’t know who brought her here because the hospital doesn’t retain that info when the guarantor arrives right away.
Hee-joo ventures out looking for Miri and finds her sitting alone after her traumatic meeting with Mom, crying. That night, Miri stays up wracked with guilt, while Yoo-hyun broods over all his newly acquired knowledge.
Despite having what must be massive doubts about Miri, Yoo-hyun treats her with his usual warmth as he takes her home for a family dinner. The meal has been prepared by Lee Hwa, which Dad optimistically interprets as a peace offering. A “surprise guest” has been called for Miri’s sake, and while Yoo-hyun doesn’t know who it is, he supposes it’s a relative who’ll welcome her to the family. He’d be wrong.
Yoo-hyun asks Miri who that woman was yesterday, explaining that he chanced to see her while he was driving by. Miri thinks fast, but I’m thinking she needs to start thinking faster, with lies that won’t be so easily refuted. She waves it off as a neighborhood grandma she helped in the past, who has grown persistent. Yoo-hyun accepts her explanation, though I suspect his doubts haven’t been laid to rest.
At the table, Miri offers to help bring out the plates, which Lee Hwa declines, calling her a guest. This is the classic Lee Hwa setdown — saying something polite with a barb hidden underneath — because in most families Miri would already be occupying daughter-in-law status and therefore be expected to help. Mom’s using the distance as her weapon, even mentioning that modern couples can’t be sure of the marriage till you’re in the wedding hall. Funny how being abused as daughter-in-law is often seen as insulting…and yet, being denied the acknowledgment of daughter-in-law is even more insulting. There’s no winning here. Remind me never to marry in Korea.
Lee Hwa sits down to await their special guest, whose identity is a secret she’s been guarding with anticipation. Mom looks entirely too gleeful for Yoo-hyun’s comfort (and Miri’s) — and for good reason, since it’s Myung-hoon who is escorted in.
And then, we get a weirdly edited sequence in which still images suggest that we’re looking at previews for tomorrow, only we haven’t jumped to the preview portion just yet. Yoo-hyun stands outside a little while later, looking in through the window at Miri and Myung-hoon sitting inside, and realizes…something.
It’s fascinating, watching Miri clawing her way out of a pit — one of her own making, no less — because one second she’s backed up against the wall by her own lies, and the next moment she’s somehow managed to flip the situation around entirely.
For example, she does this after Myung-hoon hints that he knows her secrets, and warns that he’ll be returning things to their rightful places. Yoo-hyun’s suspicions are ruffled as well, but Miri turns the situation around and gets Yoo-hyun worried on her behalf, turning Myung-hoon into the pervy villain, and herself the victim.
That’s why the only way to ever get the better of someone like Miri is to never show your hand — if she knows what you know, no matter how damning the evidence is against her, she can find a way to wriggle out of it. Case in point: Everything with Hee-joo, ever. (Although to be fair, Hee-joo’s doing a lot of helping out with that.) So in order to beat Miri, you’ve got to play it close to the vest and not give her even an inch of rope — which she’d use to hang YOU — which is exactly what Myung-hoon’s doing. He’s clever for doing it, but Miri’s even scarier because she’s fast enough to guess what game he’s playing and cover her bases anyway. Still, it’s a lot smarter than doing what I’d do, dictated by my impatient need to defraud Miri right away, if I shouted her wrongs immediately and blew my advantage. Cleverer to bide your time, waiting for your strategic moment.
Speaking of that rooftop conversation with Myung-hoon, I found the exchange very telling about her state of mind, as Miri argues that things are already in their rightful places. I don’t think she’s just lying about that (for once!); I think Miri actually believes that this is how life should have been, and that now that it has been “restored” to her, she can begin her life anew, for real this time.
She’s convinced herself that her job, her status, and her happiness are her due — that if she’d only had the life she would have had if Hee-joo had been adopted instead, this would all be hers anyway. Ergo, it’s not terribly out of line for her to claim them as hers. It’s totally twisted logic, but I can see how she has made herself believe it — therefore, she can alternately ignore her guilty conscience, and trick it into thinking there’s no need for guilt in the first place. Is she confused? Or psychopathic?
- Yoochun’s new Ripley haircut
- Miss Ripley: Episode 10
- Miss Ripley: Episode 9
- Miss Ripley: Episode 8
- Miss Ripley: Episode 7
- Miss Ripley: Episode 6
- Miss Ripley: Episode 5
- Miss Ripley: Episode 4
- Miss Ripley: Episode 3
- Ripley’s Park Yoo-chun and Kang Hye-jung looking cute
- Miss Ripley: Episode 2
- Miss Ripley: Episode 1