We’re halfway through the series! And the plot is pushing along because it’s a showdown between the scrappy Chungdamdong Gumiho versus the well-funded Count Monte.
Most importantly, Goo Hye Sun has finally given me a reason to cheer for her just a bit as the main character and one-half of the drama’s main coupling.
The cast is still back at the restaurant, worriedly wondering where their director Gu Jak is since they’re about to start a second round of rehearsals. Poor guy – he’s sniffling through soju at a riverside pojangmacha with his great pal Jae Hee. Too many things had happened at once – he had gotten Kang Hee and 4 million to produce his play; he had Jae Hee to write his score; he got Eun Bi for free and she turned out to be great. If only good things came in small doses, maybe he wouldn’t have lost it all at once.
They share a couple more drinks, and then Jae Hee is ready to leave. Gu Jak isn’t, so he asks for money to pay the bill. Jae Hee throws him a few bills. “Taxi money!” Gu Jak reminds him. Jae Hee throws his entire wallet at him. “Ok bye!” Ha – I love that this is all a habit for them.
Yoo Jin is deep in thought in the office when Sang Won comes up to express his relief that Yoo Jin decided to take on Count Monte. But Yoo Jin isn’t an idiot. He knows that Sang Won could have told him about Count Monte two months earlier, rather than sitting on it for the “right time.” He knows that Sang Won has ulterior motives – perhaps to protect his marriage? The bottom line is Yoo Jin doesn’t care about all that; he only minds when others use him for their own personal goals, and he doesn’t like it.
Sang Won tries to throw it back on Yoo Jin, saying that he just followed Yoo Jin’s decision. But Yoo Jin won’t take that crap – he wonders how much Sang Won would sacrifice to keep Kang Hee. Perhaps, he’ll give up a business partnership? Sang Won: “Probably everything.”
Good for Sang Won – hope that eases his guilt. Bad for Yoo Jin – he practically feeds his guilt by watching Eun Bi’s audition tape. Even worse for Ra Kyung – she’s up all night in her office and has not heard a single word from Yoo Jin. She doesn’t have the guts to call him either.
The cast of Chungdamdong Gumiho are in the middle of practice when suddenly the lights go up and Gu Jak interrupts with his own ending of Eun Bi’s solo song. He does a spread eagle on the stage and announces to everyone that Chungdamdong Gumiho is over. No one believes him, until Gu Jak says that Yoo Jin chose to do Count Monte instead. Eun Bi dashes out of the restaurant.
Eun Bi first tries contacting Jae Hee, but he’s passed out. He may not have money, but he spends the rest of his night in a private room at a high class bar, drinking himself to a stupor. Worried, she hurries over to his house and knocks on the door, but no answer.
So she camps out on his stoop for the entire night.
The next morning, Eun Bi wakes up to hear Jae Hee stumbling home, singing. He’s so surprised to see her there that he calls out “Do Hwa!” rather than “Eun Bi!” Aww… and he sighs contentedly when he falls into her arms.
Eun Bi drags him up to his room so that he can sleep on his bed. She then gets a call from Yoo Jin – he wants to meet her before he has to break the bad news to the whole cast.
They meet in his office, and Eun Bi is rightfully angry with him, thinking that he’s so insensitive to other people’s dreams to crush them so suddenly. But Yoo Jin had hoped she would have understood how hard it was for him to get to this point. She’s the only one in that production who knows about his family. He hoped she would have understood that this switch was necessary, and also forced upon him.
Instead of looking at it from a more objective point of view, Eun Bi stubbornly believes that if you are passionate about something, then that’s what you should do; the extenuating circumstances do not matter. Dreams are much more important than money for her, and she even (perhaps naively) believes that everyone must think that way. Yoo Jin challenges her with this: what about the money that’s needed to make those dreams come true?
Since he insists he won’t regret this decision, Eun Bi wonders why on earth he called her out separately to tell her the news. Yoo Jin: “Because…you paid the biggest price?” She mockingly thanks him for his consideration, which angers him as well. She storms out of the office, and does not see Ra Kyung standing outside another door, who’s heard everything. She too wonders why Yoo Jin called Eun Bi out separately to tell her the bad news. Ra Kyung had come by to give Yoo Jin some homemade food so that he can gather strength before delivering the news. He can tell it’s going to be bad, and she wonders if he’s worried about her. Or…if he’s worried about someone else?
Uh-oh, that’s it. The Dam of Insecurities has broken. She heard what he said to Eun Bi, and though it shouldn’t be a big deal, but whenever something has to do with Eun Bi, she can’t help but get jealous like heck. She hates being this insecure, and she hates him for making her feel this way. Though she feels bad for the cast and crew, she’s secretly happy that he canceled Chungdamdong Gumiho because now at least he and Eun Bi won’t see each other.
He takes hold of her hand, and apologizes. I want to say it’s sincere, but I highly doubt that his (mixed) feelings will go away so easily. After all – when he’s being his most sincere, he would usually say more than is necessary.
Ra Kyung then goes to find Eun Bi to apologize, and to say that it was a very difficult decision for Yoo Jin, so she hopes Eun Bi will understand. Oh – so because you’re no longer insecure about your boyfriend, you’re feeling strong enough to face your “rival” and apologize on your boyfriend’s behalf?
Eun Bi’s still stewing in anger, so Ra Kyung asks for her to understand one point at least: Yoo Jin was sincere in his apology, and just because he’s rich it shouldn’t diminish his sincerity. Ra Kyung then goes back to her car and sighs with a smile – she’s done a good enough deed (to ease her conscience?). Now, Yoo Jin and Eun Bi won’t ever have to see each other again.
Jae Hee finally wakes up with a terrible hangover, and finds Eun Bi waiting in his kitchen with soup prepared. Since she’s now unemployed, she’s taken on a community service job by helping him get over his hangover. Ha!
It also means she’s missing the meeting where Sang Won, Kang Hee, and Yoo Jin face the cast of Chungdamdong Gumiho. Sang Won tells all of them that they can join the production of Count Monti, and those with roles don’t have to go through the 1st and 2nd rounds of audition. Despite this new opportunity to take part in a large scale, high-profile musical, everyone’s still feeling conflicted about ditching Chungdamdong.
So Yoo Jin stands up to remind them that they can all take part in something truly remarkable, and set the example for this musical’s worldwide performances, all because they have Kang Hee. Then the music for Count Monte blares through the speakers, and everyone’s faces change: they become awed at the grand splendor of the music. And then to lay on the guilt – Kang Hee stands up to say that any musical actor rejecting Count Monte is a fool.
Back at Jae Hee’s home, Eun Bi brightly says that Jae Hee can sell the musical to someone else in the future. As for her – she’ll just audition again if she gets a chance. Jae Hee grumpily reminds her that the role of Do Hwa is solely – only – for her! He’s going to get the musical made – and made a lot sooner than expected. Eun Bi doesn’t believe him, so he takes her hand: “We said we’re doing this together. We’ve got to go to the very end.”
After his shower, he comes out to find Eun Bi asleep on his sofa. Gently, he pats her head. He’s SOOOO in love with her. He carries Eun Bi to his bed, and then sits next to her. And leans in! And – and! He kisses her forehead!! And she’s still asleep! And so he aims a little lower. 5 inches… 4 inches… 2 inches… So! Near! the! Lips! and Eun Bi shifts her body more comfortably.
Jae Hee backs off, and laughs at himself for his momentary loss of sanity.
He goes to the restaurant to find Gu Jak, who’s sleeping away his drunkenness. How to wake him up? Ask him to go play pool. HAHA! Jae Hee has a surprise for Gu Jak – he’s found an investor!
His friend is the chairman of a pharmaceutical company inherited from his father. Read: he’s rich with plenty of money to burn. This friend is so happy to hear that Jae Hee is asking him to invest in one of his works that he’s willing to pay the $4 million. However… he does have a certain condition for such a steep price: he wants them to cast his idol star.
It’s too good to be true. TOO GOOD to be true – so Gu Jak finds a “psychic” stall outside the building and quickly asks for a reading. The reading? It’s all bad! Gu Jak laughs gleefully – of course it’ll be bad! It has to be! Poor guy – he’s gone from superbly depressed to superbly happy. He immediately starts texting everyone – Chungdamdong Gumiho is back on!
Of course – everyone thinks he’s just being delusional now. Heh.
Meanwhile for Yoo Jin, he’s sorting out the expenses for the American staff of Count Monte, and he is spending a lot less than the liaison would like. It’s a certified hit – so can’t he be a little more extravagant with the accommodations? But Yoo Jin is being very conservative – it could be a big hit, or it can be a big flop due to cultural differences.
When Bok Ja gets the message, she calls up Eun Bi for confirmation right away. Just at that moment, Jae Hee comes up the stairs to his bedroom and confirms that they got the funding. Eun Bi hangs up right away – what if Bok Ja found out they were together! (She doesn’t know she came to cook for him?) At this hour?! (It’s the afternoon…) Jae Hee teases her for feeling weird about sleeping on a guy’s bed, and she starts running to take off his bedsheets so she can wash it.
Jae Hee: “By the way, there’s a new toothbrush in the cabinet…” Eun Bi: “My breath smells?!!?” She runs for the bathroom, and he yells after her that she can use his towel – or new one on the sink. So while he fixes the bed (and smushes his face in the pillow she used to take in her scent), Eun Bi washes her face and contemplates using the new towel. But she looks at the white towel hanging on the side… and then we see her putting it back in its place.
She’s accepted him!!!!!!!!
Eun Bi gets ready to leave, but Jae Hee cries foul – she won’t give him a reward?! Doesn’t she realize that he worked all night to make sure he can make the musical happen for her!? He swoops in for a kiss, but Eun Bi shies away and closes her eyes. Jae Hee: “Until you want to give me what I want, I’ll wait.” Eee! He’s so sweetly persistent!
Yoo Jin is having a meeting with the Japanese representative when he spies his cousin Jae Joon arrive at the restaurant. As soon as the representative leaves, Jae Joon pounces: Yoo Jin doesn’t know a word of Japanese, relying on a translator, and yet calls himself a businessman? Tsk tsk! He’s really just here to start a fight, and makes a low jab about Yoo Jin’s father abandoning him. Since it’s in the genes, no wonder Yoo Jin easily abandoned the musical people too… Yoo Jin bites his tongue instead of responding to these insults against his character, and it riles up Jae Joon so much that he screams, “I hate you more and more every day!!”
Not that Jae Joon can do anything about it – he’s tried sabotaging Yoo Jin before and always failed. Pathetic.
Yoo Jin storms towards his car and throws his Spider-Man toy against the car window. It quickly falls down the side, and as Yoo Jin drives away, his wheel runs right over it. SYMBOLISM!
Joon Hyuk meets with a famed lighting director to try and get him to join their small musical. Though he’s pricey, Gu Jak orders Joon Hyuk to get him at whatever cost. He’s suddenly on a spending spree, now that he’s well funded. Along with Jae Hee, they go check out this idol star that the chairman wants in the musical. It’s so obvious that this chairman has a thing for her, and they probably sleep together even. I mean – she coos and acts cute with him, and he pinches her cheeks. Ick.
Jae Hee can tell immediately that this girl is a bit of a ditz. Not to mention, she speaks in so much slang, and she’s only doing this because idol stars who do them end up becoming even more famous! Yeeeaaaaa… no. Can someone get them out of this deal please?!
Sang Won returns home to his wife a little worse for the wear. He’s completely puzzled; in so short of a time, most of the people who signed up for Count Monte gave back their advance payment and said they were going to do something else. He can’t believe that they all would have found work so soon elsewhere. And yes, Go Eun Bi is part of that group not joining them.
HMMM – looks like Kang Hee has an idea about what’s going on…
Hee – is it too spiteful to just glee over the fact that Count Monte might have just lost their entire cast? Not that it’ll be hard to replace them, but it’s a nice setback.
Finally I can joyously put my hands up for some progress on the Eun Bi front! It was nice to see Goo Hye Sun hit the more emotional beats when she cried over the end of Chungdamdong Gumiho, since I don’t think her “angry” expressions transferred over so well when she was with Yoo Jin. My favorite moments were when she took care of Jae Hee during his hangover because after trying to avoid a personal relationship with him for so long, she’s finally accepted that he’s more to her than just a mentor. It’s not an outright declaration of love, but she’s getting there slowly. I’m glad she still resisted to Jae Hee kissing her, because that would have been really fast, but her small act of using his towel instead of a new one shows that she’s willing to share herself more with someone else. She’s totally disregarding Kang Hee’s feelings at this point, which for me, is close to a statement of self-worth. Though a couple episodes back she had said she wasn’t trying to change herself for Kang Hee, she was always taking Kang Hee’s words into account. Now she is showing that her loyalty to the man who’s always helping her is stronger than her loyalty to the idol that made her who she was, and inspired her.
As for Yoo Jin driving over the Spider-Man, I found two things interesting: 1) He seems to carry that toy everywhere. 2) He seems intent on destroying Jae Joon. My interpretation may be totally wrong here, but I initially found that Spider-Man to be the one last remnant of his happy childhood, and that he was angry it had all been stripped away from him. Now, I find it more of symbolizing Jae Joon and how much he wants to crush his idiotic cousin and trample the dreams of his manipulative uncle. If he took control of the company, he would be redeeming his father’s name in some way, and he would have more power to defy his grandfather and do what he wanted.
But the toy can also represent the old, cold, calculating Yoo Jin who did everything ruthlessly and quickly. He’s developed a heart, and now feels greater guilt when he’s forced to cut his losses. By driving his car over the toy (intentionally or unintentionally), it’s like saying “Screw you Old Yoo Jin. I’m going to follow my heart and instincts and support Chungdamdong Gumiho.” Or perhaps, that’s just what I really want him to do.