Gun-hee gets her first taste in motherhood. Kang-jae gets pooed on. Jang-won acts on his budding crush. Sun-hee reveals a secret. The politics of business take a backseat while we take a stab at the heart in this episode.
EPISODE 5 RECAP
Hearts beat fast as Kang-jae closes in… and next thing we know, he’s recoiling from a sharp slap by Gun-hee’s hand. HAHAHAHA.
Eyes wide, he spits out if his actions deserved a slap, citing that even a dog won’t bite a cat trying to become friends. Her veins pulsing, she warns that she’ll do more than just bite if he tries to pull the same stunt again.
She leaves in a huff and as the scene replays in her head once she’s home, she can’t help but squeal like a teenage girl, burrowing beneath the covers. Kang-jae gives a self-satisfied smirk to her bedroom door.
The next morning, Mom calls her girls in for a family meeting. Chinjung is expected to receive 3 billion won (about $3 million USD) to reinstate the business. It’ll take 6 months for Chinjung to get back on its feet.
But here’s the kicker – the first daughter who gets married within those six months will inherit the company. If they don’t, then she’ll hand it over to her employees. Well, that’s one way to get those birdies out of your nest.
This entire conversation is overheard by none other than Kang-jae, whose sly little grin indicates that the gears in his head are turning.
Gun-hee mulls over the news at her desk, reviewing the reasons why she doesn’t want to get married as well as possible solutions. Like how she wants to keep working, but there a plenty of married women in the workforce, so she’ll need a househusband…and looks over at Kang-jae. Pfft – she shivers at the thought. She also doesn’t want to have children, but sighs that she’s not confident at becoming a mother.
She’s affronted when Kang-jae tells her that not only did he eavesdrop but that he’s got a solution – they should get married. Contract marriage time already? I’m going to jump in my seat a little. Gun-hee seethes that it’s inappropriate, but Kang-jae reminds her that SHE was the one who slapped him after all.
They bicker some more in the car and Gun-hee informs them that they’re searching for “Plan B.” Hilariously, Kang-jae scoffs at the mention of this: “Do we have to go looking for foreigners now?” ‘Cause he thinks that everything with 3 syllables equates to a name.
He insists that they stick with “Plan A: Getting Married” and shouts: “Who’s Plan B? Is he a man?!” Gun-hee just rolls her eyes at the crazy.
Kang-jae acts totally biased during the competitor’s meeting, remarking that they’re no Chinjung. He even deems the kimchi too salty after one bite. Gun-hee is unamused – her Plan 3 is to bury him in kimchi.
He asks, why is she breaking her back over kimchi if she doesn’t eat it. Simple, she replies. It’s just business to her. Then is someone who sells women’s underwear considered a perv?
Gun-hee jumps at the opportunity to eat lunch with the president and his posse, despite that they’ve just eaten. They lurch at the mere sight of food, both one bite away from hurling.
Dad asks for a report, and Gun-hee begins filling him in about her research when Kang-jae cuts in with a slogan that sounds like an ode to the ox tail soup. The odd interruption is enough to distract them back to their food and Gun-hee ushers him outside.
At which he admonishes her publicly about excusing oneself publicly before superiors before getting up the next moment anyway, leaving her confused.
Kang-jae snaps around, “What? What? WHAT?!” like a kid who’s been caught causing trouble. He tells her that the president is unlikely to approve any merger unless it’s Chinjung.
Gun-hee finds that hard to believe, since she doesn’t know the father-son link, and challenges him to call him “that man” if he knows him so well. Kang-jae sighs that they should just get married.
Which is when Dad’s bumbling secretary walks in on their conversation, thinking that Kang-jae’s just proposed. HA – I love that he’s all excited. But Gun-hee jumps in defensively that it’s NOT true. I love how Kang-jae tenderly strokes her arm and fans the flame: “Let’s get married. What can’t we do?”
He even agrees to call the president “that man” to his face. He gets as far as “Hey you—!” before Gun-hee pulls him back. Thankfully for him, Dad is on the phone, delighted that Gun-hee’s mother has asked for another meeting.
Kang-jae chides Gun-hee for trying to pursue other alternatives. Is it that important to her that she succeeds?
Pointing to some nearby kids, he asks if she plans to feed them Chinese kimchi even if there are penalties involved. She retorts that they’ll be fine if they meticulously study the process. She finishes: “And I hate children.” just as one of the kids is knocked to the ground.
Kang-jae comforts the crying child while Gun-hee gets into her car. She vows that she’ll not only succeed in the kimchi business but in life as well. He presses her buttons – will someone arrest her if she doesn’t? He reminds her that she’s like a Himalayan deer that constantly climbs up the mountain even though it is scared of heights.
Gun-hee tells him, “I’ve suffered penalties ever since I was born.” But before he can press further, she drives off without him. Seriously, it’s routine for them now.
He curses, “I hope there’s a load of kids waiting for her at home.”
Cut to the baby who has been abandoned at the boardinghouse doorstep. Sun-hee asks her sister to take care of the infant for an hour while she finds the parents (And Kang-jae thanks the heavens for answering his plea).
Gun-hee wants nothing to do with the child, not sorry at all. The parents could come back looking for the babe, and Gun-hee bites back: “If they were going to find it, why did they abandon it?” Ooh, looks like someone struck a bad nerve.
Good-natured unni argues that a mother can’t abandon her child – she must have been confused for a moment that she erred on the side of abandonment. The baby is blameless which is when Gun-hee delivers the final blow: “Sin? Its birth was a sin.” Uh-oh. Yeah, that’s bad.
Kang-jae eyes at her suspiciously while Sun-hee breaks down in tears. Gun-hee reluctantly agrees to watch the baby, but hands him off to Kang-jae.
Gun-hee calls Mom the very next minute to tattletale on Sun-hee that “she ran away and left her kid here.” Keh, she says it so matter-of-factly as if it was “her” child. Mom tells her to pipe down as rumors will circulate. She’s agreed to keep the child overnight and sides with Sun-hee, which ruffles her feathers.
In mid-conversation, Kang-jae takes the phone and drops the baby into Gun-hee’s arm, complaining that his arms ache. His faces of agony and trying to amuse the baby with silly faces in the background crack me up.
Kang-jae: “Why do I have to carry the baby?” Gun-hee:”Because I’m on the phone!” He puts Mom on speakerphone, who orders her to tend to the baby or she’s out of the running in terms of inheritance.
Mom pulls up to the restaurant and Soon-dol gently reminds her to make the doctor’s appointment. Hmm, possible life-threatening diagnosis ahead?
Inside, she inquires whether he’ll still be using Gun-hee for the merger, reminding him not to toy with emotions when it comes to business. He agrees, however, Gun-hee wanted to do the project. This is now within her hands, he says – Mom isn’t perchance trying to hold onto her daughter, is she?
He advises that they leave the matter into Gun-hee’s hands. Mom hardens – is that why he sent Lee Kang-jae into her home? To accelerate the merger? That wasn’t his intention, Dad says, but she’s heard enough and gets up to leave.
Dad sits, sighing, “That Lee Kang-jae is my son.”
A father-son playing soccer outside reminds him of when Kang-jae was younger. There was a sudden drop in his scores, to which Kang-jae explained that he only tried to see if he could do well. Now that he knew he could, there was no point in trying.
Dad told him that he should work hard to make it to university. But then what? Teen Kang-jae had asked – enter the company and become like his father? That father is no good to him. He points out that Mom’s left them and Dad’s never home. No, he resolves, he’ll be poor but he’ll be a good father to his kids.
At home, Kang-jae points out that Gun-hee has two younger sisters – didn’t she take care of them? That was Sun-hee’s job, she replies. In a loud voice starts, “How can you as a woman–!”
But a foul smell reaches both of their noses before he can continue. The culprit? Kang-jae: “It pooed!!” HAHAHA and a little eww.
She orders him to change it while he whines that it’s the one thing he can’t do. Gun-hee encourages him that he can do it. He stares – must she make him feel so inadequate?
She bolsters her argument that it’s like a challenge. Fine, then SHE can do it because it’s a woman’s domain. Sexists comments like that are the reason she can’t get married and he calls it a cowardly excuse.
Unfortunately for him, Kang-jae loses this round and his hands quiver over the infant. Dude it’s a baby, not a bomb.
SPLAT. Well, a pooping bomb then. At least we get a shower scene out of it.
A baby smiling can even melt the coldest of hearts. Gun-hee can’t help but smile back, admitting that she’s cute and making baby noises. She thinks aloud how any parent could abandon their child and not take responsibility for them. That doesn’t make them human, but a monster.
Does this mean that someone abandoned her? And is Mom…not Mom?
The baby suddenly cries in her arms and Gun-hee quickly apologizes, trying to comfort her.
Behind a warehouse, Jang-won fights off a horde of gangsters, kicking and punching them. But one of them kicks him to the ground and before he can deliver another blow, someone shouts, “Jang-won!”
The director shouts, “Cute!” We pan out to see that it’s Sun-hee who has interrupted the scene. She apologizes, citing that she has a tendency to be a Good Samaritan. He brushes it off and accepts the file she’s come to deliver.
Before he leaves for another takes, he asks if she’s free and willing to wait for him until the shoot ends. Reminded that Mom told her to let Gun-hee handle the baby, she agrees. Cute cute.
The living room looks like an explosion of dirty diapers as two exhausted adults retire on the couch. Amused that they went through hell and back together, their giggles nearly wake the baby while Kang-jae watches Gun-hee comfort the babe.
The doorbell rings and it’s Su-ho at the door. His knack with babies sparks Kang-jae’s jealousy. How come he’s so good with kids – is he secretly married? Or an only father? Or maybe this child’s real–?
But Gun-hee cuts him off, accusing him of jumping to weird conclusions. Turns out he’s taken care of some younger family members over the years. Gun-hee slides in an underhanded remark about who was it that complained over on measly diaper?
Gun-hee watches Su-ho the baby expert with a smile. He’ll make a good father, she comments. He hopes to be and returns the compliment.
Kang-jae calls them down to eat before the moment turns any more sentimental, but Gun-hee stays behind to admire the infant and tuck her in.
In the kitchen, Kang-jae asks if Gun-hee and Su-ho ever fought while they attended college. Su-ho cuts right to the chase – is he asking if they ever dated? The answer’s no – he liked her, but she always found him “comfortable.” Whereas with Kang-jae, he can tell that she enjoys herself. At that comment, Kang-jae lets out the slightest little smirk.
Jang-won and Sun-hee enjoy their mini-date, conversing over a drink. He gets nervous when she checks her phone, thinking she has other plans. She’s only checking the time and she admits to him about the baby left on their doorstep.
Instead, she proposes that they call Min-ji to join them – she looks up to him as an oppa since they don’t have a paternal figure. He’ll be her friend, right? He says he will…and would also like to become Sun-hee’s friend. Smmmooooth.
They settle formalities while they eat. Kang-jae cringes at Su-ho asking to call her “Gun-hee ya.” He retorts that means he can call her “Ms. Gun-hee” (which is still polite but suggests some more familiarity). She furthers shortens his name as a dig, calling him “Mr. Lee”.
They go around asking if they plan on getting married and Kang-jae answers that he has a wife… it’s just that he hasn’t met her yet. Gun-hee scoffs at this response, telling the boys that she’ll go when it’s necessary. Kang-jae: “Right about now would be considered necessary.”
But they’ve got bigger problems on hand as Gun-hee rushes back in saying that the baby’s missing. Terrible babysitters these three.
They burst outside to find the infant but Gun-hee stands frozen as Kang-jae calls out to her.
Now that they’re friends, Sun-hee asks cautiously if she can share a secret. She downs another drink while at the same time, Gun-hee drops to her knees.
A flashback reveals that the girls were playing hide-and-seek when they overheard that one of the four wasn’t Mom’s biological child. Mom had refused to send her to be adopted since she considered them all her children.
Bended over, Gun-hee worries if they can’t find the child, “They abandoned her. Like they abandoned me. I’m an abandoned child.”
Sun-hee reveals the same to Jang-won. Inntereesting, both think that they’re the odd one out of the family. Jang-won assures her that her mother is most loyal to her. It’s sweet but Sun-hee defends that she’s the oldest and an abandoned one at that, so of course Mom feels sorry for her.
Jang-won bucks up the courage to share a secret himself. It doesn’t quite compare to Sun-hee’s, and he starts, “I…actually…” And then Min-ji crashes the party.
Sick of seeing her sulking, Kang-jae picks Gun-hee up, telling her now’s not the time to feel sorry about herself. She just stands there so he grabs her and says, “No one knew that you were abandoned. Then she should grow up to be like you. She can become strong like you. If we don’t find her now, then that’s abandoning her.”
He takes her hand and they start searching.
A call from Su-ho leads them back home, where the mother stands, her baby in her arms. She explains in a timid voice that she meant to just look at her baby one last time. The mother apologizes, to which Gun-he asks: “What are you sorry about? That you abandoned her or that you came to see her again?”
The baby smiled at her, the mother answers, acknowledging her even though she abandoned her child. She falls to the ground, crying that she didn’t know what to do – the father left and she had no means to keep the child.
The mother thought it would be best to leave her somewhere she knew the baby would be loved and better cared for.
“A mother thinks that she loves her child more than the child does. But actually, truthfully… the love the child has for the mother is greater. Because the child doesn’t doubt it. The child doesn’t know if their mother is good or bad, or if they’re caring for them properly.
A mother may doubt whether she loves her own child, but that child never doubts that they’ll be loved. No matter the circumstances, you just have to love that child as much as you can. Then that child will take that love and accept you.”
Mom finally steps in, having heard her declaration and invites the mother for a warm meal before she leaves.
Gun-hee thanks Su-ho for all his hard work, and in childish petty jealousy, Kang-jae marches right up to her, “What about me?” She doesn’t give him the satisfaction, and he smirks.
The others burst in, carrying a homeless man as Sun-hee explains that he was sleeping outside. Is the boardinghouse turning into a social service center? Kang-jae grins at Gun-hee’s flared response because he was afraid she was starting to get soft.
Mom walks in to Gun-hee’s room and they both sit on the bed, side-by-side. Gun-hee says that Mom was right – not to abandon a child. In return, Mom asks if what she said to her mother was for her sake or her own.
She gently tells Gun-hee that she once told her own mother, “I won’t ever grow up to be like you!” But the moment she said it, she realized that she had already become like her. She doesn’t regret it because it was the best thing in her life to lead a life like her mother’s.
Gun-hee nods in response and muses, “Will I ever become like you?” and Mom stays silent.
Kang-jae returns to his room, having heard a portion of their conversation. Gun-hee walks in soon after, warning him not to breathe a word about what she revealed earlier.
He agrees and adds,”From now on, don’t be scared anymore.” He gets why she’s lead her life trying to mask her fear by acting brave. In case you thought that he’s gotten really sweet, he finishes, “And you… your evil witch version fits you much better.”
Oh you ass.
Why I oughta… (rolls up sleeves). C’mere Kang-jae.
I’m pleasantly surprised that each episode has managed to maintain a balance of hilarity and heart. Given the promotions and the show before its run, I was expecting ridiculous antics within house, especially between our boarders. But we still needed to know and understand Gun-hee, because let’s face it, she didn’t give off a great initial impression.
This episode helped us to start opening those cracks of her brave façade with a chisel. I initially thought that the abandoned baby was a rather random plot detail, but it turned out to be an instigator for digging at a deeper conflict, which I still have to cringe a little at. A birth secret is still a birth secret no matter how you package it, but what I find oddly intriguing here is that we’re left to guess which one out of the four is not Mom’s biological daughter.
Furthermore, both eldest daughters overheard the same conversation and both have responded in very different ways. Sun-hee wishes to please her foster mother by living a life of fidelity whereas for Gun-hee, it’s a painful secret but she keeps it and everyone else at a distance. I’m notorious for concocting my own plot tangents, but it’d be interesting if these two daughters are our red herrings, and it’s either Min-jung or Min-ji who might not have a genetic link to the rest of the family. But the production could stick with these either of these two and the subsequent brooding session once the secret’s out.
Not like it matters to Mom because she considers all of her daughters as her children. I’m sure that once the truth reveals itself, it can only make their relationship stronger.
How does Kang-jae always happen to overhear these heart-to-hearts and plans to marry off those four daughters? It’s refreshing to see a hero who listens to that and thinks that it will make Gun-hee CEO and not himself. It’s clear that he’s driven, but owning a company or becoming rich and successful isn’t number 1 on his list of priorities in life. In fact, if anything it’s the opposite (even if he jokes about it) – to leave a plain normal life, being happy, becoming settled, and maybe one day, a good father.
- Marriage Plot: Episode 4
- Marriage Plot: Episode 3
- Marriage Plot: Episode 2
- Marriage Plot: Episode 1
- An introduction to tvN’s Marriage Plot
- Kang Hye-jung returns to television in The Marriage Plot