Cute, cute. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, helped in large part by Lee Dong-wook’s hundred and one facial expressions. Exasperation, pride, confusion, irritation, smugness, satisfaction, and yes, even jealousy — he nails ‘em all.
SONG OF THE DAY
Junsu – “You Are So Beautiful” from the Scent of a Woman OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 5 RECAP
Having interrupted the butt-writing session, Ji-wook announces that cranky old Grandpa Sohn refuses to talk to anybody but Yeon-jae. Therefore, Manager Noh must continue with his apology.
Yeon-jae runs into Ji-wook at the elevator and asks why he stuck up for her. He answers that Grandpa Sohn values her loyalty, citing the time Manager Noh took a bribe to switch a service and Yeon-jae fought him, risking her job to stick with Grandpa Sohn. Now Grandpa thinks that Yeon-jae was fired by Manager Noh, and is even less willing to work with the company than before.
Ji-wook tells her not to take his support too much to heart, because he didn’t mean anything special by it; he just considered her the more useful side in this instance.
He asks for the reason behind the butt-writing exercise, and Yeon-jae answers that it was her revenge. Manager Noh hadn’t treated her like a human once in the past ten years, and she’d been too afraid of being fired to speak up. Ji-wook says that it’s pretty weak, as far as revenges go — butt-writing is embarrassing, sure, but it’s something all kids have done at one point — but Yeon-jae replies that it’s not like she could call him an asshole or hit him. Jerk or not, Manager Noh is much older, and she can’t disrespect an elder.
The younger ladies at the office are left wondering why Ji-wook took Yeon-jae’s side, figuring that he must have only done so because it’s related to the MOU with Sae-kyung’s family’s Seojin Group. Hye-won, on the other hand, mutters that there’s gotta be something between the two, since she knows they met in Okinawa.
Ji-wook drives Yeon-jae to Grandpa Sohn’s house so she can persuade him to cooperate. She wonders why Ji-wook is tackling this with such alacrity when he’d been so indifferent in Japan, and sighs that it’s a shame that some people get to inherit companies from their fathers, while talented and hardworking folk are left out in the cold. Ji-wook retorts that she must mean herself, and she replies, “Isn’t that why I’ve been called here to fix this problem?” Ha. Touché.
Ji-wook waits in the car while Yeon-jae meets with Grandpa Sohn, who greets her with a smile and gets all offended on her behalf for being ousted by Manager Noh. She assures him that she quit of her own accord, and that she merely found something more important to do with her time.
Ji-wook gets tired of waiting and heads inside to look for them, arriving outside the door to hear Yeon-jae whispering, “I’m scared.” Curious, he peers in to see Yeon-jae lying on the ground and Grandpa hovering over her.
Immediately his mind goes to the dirty place, and he bursts in angrily and grabs her, missing the fact that she’s got acupuncture needles sticking out of her face. She’s completely confused, not following as he accuses her of falling back on such base “skills”: “Were you this kind of woman?!”
He yells that he doesn’t care what happens to this case and demands she leave. Oh man, I am so embarrassed for you dude, and yet I also love this because it’s so revealing.
When Ji-wook finally registers the needles, he shuts his trap and takes in the scene and the horrified faces all around. Next thing we know, he’s kneeling his apologies to an offended Grandpa Sohn while Yeon-jae explains that he’s quite the renowned acupuncturist. Grandpa orders him out, so angry he’s almost about to change his mind about cooperating after all.
As they leave, Ji-wook offers Yeon-jae compensation for this job. It seems like she might not take the money (the implication is that he can just throw money at things to fix them), but she accepts, figuring she earned it. She gasps at the zeroes on the note — it’s the equivalent of a thousand-dollar bill — and marvels that there are real people who carry bills of this size in their wallets on a daily basis.
Ji-wook puffs up at that, pleased to be considered one of those special people. She muses, “Well, people who earn money easily spend it easily,” and he readily agrees — it’s not until a split-second later that he registers that it’s not a compliment. Hee! I love how she cuts him down to size so effectively; whenever he throws his weight around like he’s some big important person, she cuts to the chase and calls him out for benefiting from his privilege, which he didn’t earn.
On the drive back, he offers her to drop her off in her approximate vicinity, and she points out that he has this habit of doing everything “approximately.” Why not take her where she’s going, since they’re already on the way? (The Korean word she uses is daechoong, which means to do things roughly, stopping at good enough. The word connotes a lazy disinterest, which describes Ji-wook’s half-assedness perfectly.)
Ji-wook asks if she’s looking for a new job, surprised when she says no. He asks why not, and she replies, “Because I don’t want to work.” He can’t make heads or tails of her behavior, and asks, “Do you know that you become even more confounding the more I get to know you?”
She answers, “Sitting in front of a 120 centimeter desk in the Line Tour office — I didn’t want to end my life that way. That makes me too pitiful.” She says this in such a matter-of-fact voice that he naturally assumes she’s speaking in hyperbole.
Remembering Sae-kyung’s intended lawsuit of 300 million won, Ji-wook starts to broach the topic, but doesn’t get a chance. She indicates her drop-off point and gets out; hilariously, Ji-wook cranes his neck so far while watching her walk away that he hits the horn unwittingly.
Just then, an unfamiliar ringtone sounds, and he finds Yeon-jae’s cell phone in his car. Ooh, an excuse to follow. That takes him to the tango studio looking for her, where he finds her dolled up and ready for her lesson.
After returning the phone, he returns to his car contemplating this new bit of information, which just confuses him further about Yeon-jae. He wonders, “Tango?!”
In the studio, the students introduce themselves as the class begins, and everyone takes on nicknames rather than their real names. For instance, the round-faced man calls himself “Sculpted Beauty” (the kind of thing we call guys with angular faces, like Lee Dong-wook), while a cute couple calls themself Andal and Bokdal, which is like splitting the word fussbudget into two names. Yeon-jae calls herself Audrey. Teaching this beginner class is Ramses, aka coin-collecting Bong-gil.
Ji-wook returns home to find Sae-kyung at his front door with a bottle of wine. She calls this a gesture of apology for her previous behavior, and he asks about her lawsuit, saying that going after an individual is excessive. Sae-kyung smirks, saying that it’s out of her hands already.
The next morning in the building lobby, Manager Noh asks how it went with Grandpa Sohn, still smarting from his humiliating part in the matter. Ji-wook gives him a satisfying smackdown, saying that it was difficult, thanks to Manager Noh. In fact, they wouldn’t have needed Yeon-jae at all, “If only you hadn’t taken that bribe six years ago.”
Manager Noh sputters that he returned that money right away. Ji-wook replies, “Write your resignation immediately and report to my office… is something I won’t ask of you, because of that.”
Sang-woo reports on one of their new projects, which is unfamiliar to Ji-wook. Sang-woo reminds him that he’d told him to “just take care of it, whatever.” It’s that cursed word again — daechoong — and Ji-wook sits up straighter, instructing Sang-woo to bring him those materials: “From today, I’m not going to work in a daechoong way.”
In the travel package materials, he finds a photo that he recognizes from his travels with Yeon-jae, and that makes him smile. Taking his first active interest in a project, he suggests including the squid-ink yakisoba he’d eaten with Yeon-jae in the travel package.
Sang-woo reports these changes in Ji-wook’s attitude to Chairman Kang, who figures that his son’s upcoming engagement has knocked some sense into him. He chuckles at how women can influence men, pleased that Ji-wook has met a good match. Well, Dad’s not wrong… Just off.
During a meeting, Ji-wook doodles (“300 million…Ms. Lee”) while the company’s president discusses the joint venture with Seojin Group. He’s already got a prickly attitude toward Ji-wook, so he jumps to conclusions when Ji-wook mumbles aloud, assuming he’s opposing him.
Manager Noh is the president’s sycophantic lackey, and he is quick to profess his support of the president and disdain for Ji-wook. Unaware of this, Ji-wook cuts into their conversation after the meeting to ask whether Yeon-jae would ever have cause to come back to work. Manager Noh assures him that she wouldn’t — a prospect that has him uncharacteristically displeased.
Yeon-jae chats with Hye-won, who asks about the Okinawa trip and digs for details. Like…did they sleep together? Yeon-jae answers that they slept in the same room — but it’s nothing to get excited about, since nothing happened.
Hye-won gushes about this drama-like scenario of the old maid and the chaebol, but Yeon-jae shuts her down by saying that he’s got a fiancee. Oh, right. Her.
And yet, Ji-wook finds himself lurking outside the dance studio again. He calls himself crazy, which another dancer overhears. Assuming he’s embarrassed about wanting to learn how to dance, she assures him that everyone feels that way at the start, and pushes him inside. Hee.
Surprised, Yeon-jae wonders what he’s doing here. Surely…not to see her, right? He blusters, Of course not, but that leaves the question: Then, is he here to tango?
Thus Ji-wook finds himself participating, reluctantly, and muddles through without much enthusiasm or interest. Yet he can’t stop watching Yeon-jae through narrowed eyes as Ramses leads the class in a partner exercise. This requires the ladies to put their hands on their partners’ chests and follow their lead.
After one turn, the partners are switched and Ji-wook is paired with Yeon-jae. Despite informing Ramses earlier that he has no interest in learning to dance, when Yeon-jae asks suspiciously why he’s here, he lies that he’s got quite a lot of interest in tango. He affects indifference, but when time comes for her to place her hands on his chest, both become aware of his pounding heart.
She’s just affected by the contact as he is, and silently, he leads her across the dance floor while she silently follows his lead. Like that they walk, all the way to the mirrored wall, staring intently at each other all the while.
He continues to step forward even after she’s come to a stop, bringing them even closer together, until Ramses breaks into their reverie. The looks in their eyes — ack, it kills me.
Both of them deal with their startling emotions on their way home. Ji-wook’s got an added complication to worry about, as he reminds himself, “Three hundred million.” It’s not necessarily his problem, but he feels guilty for knowing, but unsure if he has any business getting involved. He sure as heck doesn’t want to get involved — keeping the world at a distance seems to be his prevailing life motto — but he’s conflicted about this.
Yeon-jae sends Mom on a four-day vacation, partly to fulfill the bucket list item to make Mom smile daily, but also to keep her busy while Yeon-jae goes in for cancer treatment.
Eun-seok asks if she’s decided whether to participate in the clinical trial, and she admits that she’s scared. Eun-seok tells her that her outcome is staring her in the face, so she ought to try to find ways to avoid it rather than heading straight for it. He adds, “I don’t remember you being the fearful type. You were always curious and said what was on your mind, and were full of confidence.”
Yeon-jae smiles at this sign that he does remember her. She tells him she used to be like that, but she’s changed. Still, she figures that he won’t lead her into a worse path than one she’s already facing, and agrees to the test. With that, she’s reinstalled in the bed next to the 21-year-old cancer patient, who teaches her how to use her smartphone…to follow Junsu online. HA! (That’s Junsu the JYJ idol star, formerly of DBSK.)
Finding out that Junsu is holding a fanmeeting, Yeon-jae wants to apply. Her roommate tries to convince her not to, like a teenager embarrassed by her uncool Mom, but ends up helping her think of ways to apply that will improve her chances of being selected.
Ji-wook arrives home and flips through his closet for a change of clothes, stopped at the sight of the shirt he was wearing when he danced with Yeon-jae. Man, if your plain ol’ button-down is conjuring up emotional flashbacks, maybe it’s time to admit that there’s more to this fixation, hmm? He arrives at tango class, but Yeon-jae’s not there. After sitting on the sidelines in agitation, he leaves.
Ji-wook then calls Yeon-jae, having thought of a way to save face: He wants her to tell the instructor that he can’t make it to tango class today. That gives him a chance to ask for the reason when Yeon-jae tells him she can’t go, either. She’s vague about the reason, but confirms that she’ll attend the next class…just as Ramses calls out to him in the background. HA! Cover blown.
Per her roommie’s advice, Yeon-jae applies under various people’s names to inflate her chances of being accepted to the fanmeeting. Just as she’s musing that she’s run out of people, Eun-seok walks in to check on her status…giving her An Idea.
Yeon-jae asks to speak with Eun-seok, saying that she feels better than she thought she would after her treatment. She explains that her father had suffered through chemo, which was so hard on him that he’d wanted to quit and spend his remaining days at home with his family. Yeon-jae was the one to oppose it, so he continued with treatment and ended up dying in the hospital. Over the years, she’s come to regret her decision.
But she tells Eun-seok that she feels relieved to have him here with her. He reminds her that she told him he had no right to be a doctor, and she says that was just angry talk.
Just then, they’re hit with a bucketful of water, thrown by the husband of the dead cancer patient. Eun-seok declares that the death had nothing to do with him, but the husband is too furious to believe differently and scorns Eun-seok and his lack of guilty conscience.
Eon-seok apologizes to Yeon-jae for getting her involved, only betraying his frustration when he’s in private. By the time he sees Yeon-jae again, he’s in a better mood and tells her he’s not staying in this hospital for long, since he’s transferring to a cancer hospital in Texas.
Unfortunately, those plans are short-lived. The cancer patient kerfuffle has changed his prospects, and the hospital decides to send someone else instead. He’s devastated.
Yeon-jae prepares to check out of the hospital when she receives the call that she’s been accepted to the fanmeeting. Or rather, Chae Eun-seok has. Yay! And also, uh-oh.
The fanmeeting will be checking IDs, so Yeon-jae has to ask Eun-seok to take her — at least past the doors, at which point he can ditch her. He finds the request preposterous, arguing that time is precious to her — she should spend it doing more meaningful things. He reaction is harsh, almost derisive of her choice.
She balks at that — what, exactly, would he suggest she do? Invent something? Climb Mt. Everest? “All these years, I’ve been so busy saving up money and being aware of people’s eyes that I haven’t done anything. Doing all those things before I die is the most meaningful thing I could do!”
Then she plays her final card, and reminds him that she got hit by water thanks to him. Checkmate.
That does it. Off they go to join the teenagers to meet Junsu, hee.
Ji-wook is also at the fanmeeting, having escorted a Japanese businessman here. He takes a seat in the audience and watches indifferently as the show gets under way, in contrast to Yeon-jae, who’s enjoying herself. Eun-seok isn’t terribly thrilled to be here, but even he has to smile at Yeon-jae’s enthusiasm.
After the performance, Junsu announces the one fan who will get to have dinner with him. Or rather, fans — it’s a couple. With that, he calls out, “Chae Eun-seok-sshi!”
Yeon-jae prods Eun-seok to respond to the call, so he reluctantly raises a hand, bringing the spotlight over to illuminate them. Junsu proceeds to read Eun-seok’s supposed story, to Yeon-jae’s alarm.
It goes thusly: “I first met her when I was nine years old. In the twenty-five years that passed since then, I’ve loved her unrequitedly.” (Yeon-jae shakes her head in horror, but Junsu continues.) “But we never met during that time. However, not long ago she came to the hospital where I work. She is sick. That woman is a devoted fan of you, Junsu-sshi. For her sake, will you have dinner with her?”
As everyone cheers and urges the couple to stand, Ji-wook looks back casually…and recognizes Yeon-jae.
Eun-seok stands to answer Junsu’s questions. When Junsu asks if she’s very sick, he says that a doctor can’t reveal his patient’s case, which earns him everyone’s favor. Everyone but Ji-wook, who clenches his jaw and scowls. His temper rises another notch when Eun-seok excuses himself from the dinner, saying that Yeon-jae will enjoy having dinner with Junsu alone, and everyone oohs at how cool he is.
After the show, Ji-wook spots the lucky couple in the lobby and watches from a distance as Yeon-jae thanks Eun-seok for playing along. When Eun-seok mentions the story she submitted, she apologizes, saying she had no idea it would be read aloud. He’s hesitant as he tries to fish for information, asking how she came by that story, which means — AHHH it’s true! He’s totally scared she caught on to his secret! Eeeeeeeeee!
Yeon-jae doesn’t catch on to his nervousness and waves it off as an invention — she was advised to make the stories attention-grabbing. Eun-seok visibly relaxes in relief, and she figures that most of it was true — everything except for the one-sided love thing, right? He agrees awkwardly. Hee!
After Eun-seok leaves, Ji-wook comes strolling up, eyeing Yeon-jae with a “Aha! Gotcha!” expression of smug satisfaction. He assumes she made up everything, and mocks her for skipping out on dance class for this. But Yeon-jae, with her unerring skill to turn the tables on him, points out, “Ahhhh, so you did go to tango class that day.” Busted! She adds, “Well, you do need the practice, after all. You don’t have the talent for it.”
She skips off with a giggle, and he has to smile.
At dinner, Yeon-jae hardly touches her food, but assures Junsu it’s because she’s enjoying herself. He asks what she likes about him so much: “My statue-like good looks? Or my melodious voice? Or my perky butt?” HAHA.
He makes her laugh, and Yeon-jae says that he’s the coolest when he’s singing. He asks to see her cell phone, using it to record an impromptu rendition of “You Are So Beautiful,” the song posted above from the OST.
Yeon-jae looks happily at her autographed photo with Junsu on the bus ride home, storing it in her bucket list notebook. She flips to item #6, since she can now mark it completed: “Go on a date with Junsu!”
Mom’s back from her luxurious stay at a 5-star hotel, and mother and daughter settle down for a night of trading stories. But then, Mom flips through the mail and finds an envelope from the District Court, and opens it to see notice of the 300 million won lawsuit. Yeon-jae is puzzled until she reads the name of the plaintiff. Im Sae-kyung.
Two things made this episode particularly enjoyable for me: Lee Dong-wook and Eom Ki-joon. I love Ji-wook’s ill-concealed interest, jealousy, and conflict with his own attraction to Yeon-jae, refusing to acknowledge it for what it is even though it’s the most obvious thing ever. Dude, you’re following her to dance class and caressing the shirt she touched. You can get a clue now.
I know that Yeon-jae is likewise attracted to Ji-wook, and she’s never had a reason to deny that she could be interested in him. (And she has no reason to deny it, since she has nothing to lose, unlike Ji-wook and his ingrained sense of social class.) However, she has dropped Ji-wook into the mental category of “Unattainable” (also “Engaged” and “Out of My League”), so she harbors no fantasies about being with him. Therefore, when they’re together, she treats him like any other person, not trying to flirt or seduce him or convince him she’s worth his affections. And it’s such a joy to watch him go nuts at her indifference, trying to get her attention back on him yet maintaining his dignity at the same time. It’s a losing battle, but who knew it would be so much fun watching him lose it?
I was disappointed to realize that the fanmeeting story was Yeon-jae’s fabrication, because I’d been so excited when last week’s preview tipped us off to that detail. Until I saw Eun-seok’s fear that Yeon-jae might have magically stumbled onto his carefully guarded secret and realized that the story is totally true. It has to be. It’s adorable and endearing, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.
Sae-kyung meanwhile…Mrrph, she can go jump off a bridge. (I love Seo Hyo-rim and think she’s doing a great job, but Sae-kyung’s such a buzzkill.) That stupid lawsuit better not take up too much of our precious screentime. We need as much of that as possible devoted to the three characters we actually care about, right?
- Scent of a Woman: Episode 4
- Scent of a Woman: Episode 3
- Scent of a Woman: Episode 2
- Scent of a Woman: Episode 1
- Scent of a Woman posters
- Lee Dong-wook bares skin for Scent of a Woman
- Kissy stills from Scent of a Woman
- Scent of a Woman shoots in Okinawa
- Lee Dong-wook in Scent of a Woman
- Stills from SBS’s Scent of a Woman