What’s love anyway? How does filial love compare with sisterly love and to friendship love and romantic love? Sun-hee learns what it means to start standing up for herself while Gun-hee has to choose between her first and her new love.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Mom’s jaw drops at the sight of breakfast the morning following Sun-hee’s walkout, appalled at the mountains of kimchi before her. She refuses to acknowledge that Sun-hee’s left home, her daughters’ lack of concern for their unni adding to her ire.
Kang-jae doesn’t seem to be put off by the array and Jang-won suggest they start looking for her in places she commonly frequents. His face falls when he’s told that Sun-hee doesn’t have many friends.
Outside, Kang-jae makes a jab at Gun-hee’s made up face but still calls her beautiful. She explains that there’s a lot on her mind which makes him wonder if Sun-hee’s runaway act is among them. Gun-hee considers that she probably needed some time alone.
Once they’re in the car, she smiles: “I believe in unni. Because she’s my unni.” The sisterly love is so sweet.
Kang-jae muses what else could consume her worrisome thoughts. At her silence he says, “The more you think, the more you become scared. And the more you’re scared, the more you can’t do what you want to do. An ignorant fool is courageous.”
They barely make a foot before an obnoxious driver cuts them off and both Kang-jae and Gun-hee curse up a storm. It turns into a one-up competition between the two of them about how far they went to chase the driver who pissed them off.
Gun-hee wins the battle (she drew on someone’s windshield), and Kang-jae gives her a thumbs up in approval. “Daebak.” He points that they’re a great match when it comes to mouthing off to other people which Gun-hee admits. So what do I call you now – the Cursing Couple?
After a good hearty laugh, he asks if thoughts of Su-ho are in the mix too. He reminds her that Su-ho’s a bus that’s already left the station. Gun-hee muses about how that bus has stopped again; the image of Su-ho’s bomb about it has to be her flashing in her head.
Min-ji frets in her room, worried that her chaebol radar is getting rusty – how could she have not recognized one from right under her nose? And then Kang-jae lets out a burp in the car. HA – how much do I love that he defies all chadonam “cold city boy” stereotypes?
His constant indigestion catches up to him by midday and Gun-hee thoughtfully buys him a drink to soothe his stomach. Kang-jae mentions that it pales in comparison to what she’s dealing with. He uses a boiled egg as a metaphor for being pressured in both directions – subordinates and superiors alike.
Gun-hee’s confused at first, but it clicks what he’s doing and asks if he’s trying to comfort her. So he feigns pain to avoid giving her an answer and smiles while she pats his back to relieve his heartburn.
He casually tosses out the question of how Su-ho comforts her, figuring that he’ll learn a thing or two. She answers honestly that he doesn’t say much, leaving her free to express all of her emotions until she’s done. All he does say is that she can lean on him if it’s hard for her.
Kang-jae turns around, taking her hand in his and starts in a comforting voice, “Whenever it’s hard for you…” and he sneers to shred the ones who try to knock her off a peg and headbutt the superiors who ride on her ass.
She’s hardly in the mood to tolerate his jokes today and smacks his back to beat some pain into him.
Which is when Su-ho walks in, asking if Gun-hee’s free. They agree to meet after work and Kang-jae gives Su-ho the stink-eye throughout the entire exchange.
When he’s gone, Kang-jae complains why she’s still trying to catch a bus that’s already left. She stammers that she felt compelled to respond to his invitation and he shrugs that she can just reject it then. He turns to shout, but Gun-hee defends that they’re just college friends outside the office.
He gets all riled up, getting lost in his own words in the process and doubles over in affected pain again.
Next thing we know, he’s crying out in pain. But that’s just practice too as Gun-hee readies to prick his thumb with a needle to ease his upset stomach. It sounds barbaric, but it’s a type of acupuncture that releases blood, and essentially the indigestion via the pressure point. Many a Korean mother will swear by it, and I’ll admit that it works for me as well.
Kang-jae insists if he can tag along – he’ll just hang back like a shadow. He takes offense when she asks why he’d want to come and she uses the distracted moment to stick him.
HA – and then he plays up the dramatic that he’s feeling woozy from the blood loss to lean on her shoulder. He looks at the cartoon band-aid that covers his wound and she smiles that it’s cute: “It matches your character.”
We catch up with Sun-hee at a jjimjilbang, or a sauna. In a moment of uncontrolled rage, she throws down her food tray in front of the ajumma citing that it’s unsanitary. That earns her dirty looks from the other patrons, and at least we’re aware that the anger lies much deeper.
She apologizes to Jang-won who’s come to help, telling him she didn’t know who to call. He’s thankful, however, that she did call him when she needed help.
She asks if he finds her wicked or odd and he replies in a matter-of-fact tone, “Yes. You’re very odd. It’s probably really hard for you, but you’re oddly holding yourself together so well.”
Jang-won offers his shoulder for her to lean on and continues, “Sun-hee sshi, you can live for yourself. You can get angry, you can shout, and you can be greedy. If you’re not happy yourself, you can’t bring joy to those around you. There’s nothing more excruciating than to watch someone you love suffer.”
Kang-jae’s all smug about his new bandage, and asks if they’re running late to make Su-ho sweat. He jumps up when the phone rings, but it’s Min-jung on the line and she needs a ride.
Gun-hee tells her that she’s got plans, and then eyes Kang-jae who yelps, “I don’t wanna!” She simply mouths Why? and he whines and shakes his head no.
It’s a lost battle and he picks Min-jung up, complaining as to why she didn’t just call a cab. He instructs Miss Princess to fasten her seatbelt, taking the liberty to do so himself when he spots a few traffic officers approaching.
Min-jung hilariously misinterprets this gesture and his prickly demeanor throughout the ride as typical of a second generation chaebol, seeing him in a new light. Or prey. Take your pick.
Looks like Su-ho came armed with Bomb 3 Part 2 as Gun-hee reels in shock – he called off his engagement for her?! He asks for one more chance and he’s knows that he’s late to the game, “So I can’t give up anymore.”
Yeah, you’re not selling yourself too well here buddy. It’s like hearing my pet rock asking me not to exchange it for a puppy.
Gun-hee finds said puppy at home in the middle of making kimchi. She calls him crazy, to which he wonders why he appears so crazy so often in her eyes. Then he hunches over like Igor proclaiming that he must replicate the taste of Chinjung Kimchi.
He smiles when he tastes his own concoction and then reaches to touch her face with his kimchi paste-covered glove. He’s confident that he can do it, calling himself a hyena looking for the right flavor.
They settle down and she asks what’s so special to him about Chinjung Kimchi. Kang-jae reveals that he didn’t realize it at first, but he recognized the taste later on. At the same time, Dad enjoys some kimchi with makgulli with the general manager, recounting his love for it as well.
Flashback to earlier days when kimchi making was a family event. The men would finish off their labor over some makgulli that the women made and it was a communal party. The taste of Chinjung’s kimchi, he explains, tasted just like the kimchi they made back then.
Kang-jae: “So that’s why I want to protect Chinjung Kimchi. No matter how much Sangcharim wants the merger, I want to keep Chinjung Kimchi as Chinjung.”
Dad has the same intention but different follow-through: if Mom stays persistent, he’ll have to go about it his own way. You mean like corporate takeover?
Kang-jae tells Gun-hee that it’s her turn to share why she won’t eat kimchi. She replies there are plenty of things she doesn’t eat like kimchi, dogs, or bugs. She’s here to just sell the best kimchi she can.
He stands up to her, telling her that this is an issue she can’t evade if they get married. Flustered, she responds, “I don’t know if we’re getting married, but when I get married, I’m going to go right ahead with the merger!” He pouts that she would respond that way after such a sentimental statement.
Gun-hee gives him an affectionate smile and asks if he feels any better. He is, apart from his wee wittle thumb with the cutesy bandage still wrapped on it.
Before she heads inside, Kang-jae asks after her conversation with Su-ho. She deflects that he could have called if he was so curious. We cut to him restlessly waiting on the porch, contemplating whether to call or not.
He didn’t and she sticks out her tongue at him in response that it’s not his style to be all clingy.
Jang-won takes Sun-hee to a motel to rest, instructing her to return home tomorrow. He turns to leave when she suddenly stops him midstep with a back hug (omo!). She asks him not to leave, “Stay with me.”
He turns around to look at her with a stern expression. His eyes nearly filled with anger at first, they soften as he takes her hands in his.
Her voice breaking, Sun-hee asks if he hates her or if he doesn’t deem her good enough. But he says no, she’s actually too good for him. Oh no! That’s what they all say before they reject you!
Jang-won, “It’s not that you won’t do, but I don’t.” The reason? He’s divorced.
So he’s not ready to accept anyone and doesn’t want anyone to get hurt because of him. “If that was to be you, Sun-hee sshi, I wouldn’t be able to bear it.” Ah, this must’ve been the secret you didn’t get to reveal earlier!
Sun-hee arrives home the next morning and before Mom can squeeze a word in, Gun-hee lays the scolding on thick for unni. Why didn’t she call? Everyone was so worried about her. She’s the one who makes a fuss if they come in past midnight and she was out for two days.
But that’s the last straw for Sun-hee who slices, “Yoo Gun-hee! How dare you speak to your unni that way? I’m your unni – do I need your permission do to anything?” Looking at the feeble breakfast (which is sans kimchi by the way) and rebukes her for lacking such concern over the most important meal of the day: “Do it over again right now!”
Damn she comes back a fightin’! I like this new Sun-hee!
At work, Kang-jae asks if Gun-hee is still reeling from shock at Sun-hee’s work given her munnngg (blank) expression on her face. But Gun-hee is just happy that her sister is back with more spirit than ever.
So Kang-jae asks if she’s the type of person who loves getting cursed at since he was so good at dishing it out.
As they talk more business, he can’t help but point out that their motives are growing more similarly. To get over the slight awkward moment, he jokes around to get her to laugh.
Min-jung drops by the office again, making it clear to Gun-hee that she’s here to see “Kang-jae oppa,” not her. Gun-hee is shocked to hear her sister address him so affectionately but Min-jung dismisses that and comes right out with it – is she and Kang-jae dating?
Hello Mr. Walks In During Crucial Question Man aka Su-ho. Gun-hee kicks her sister to be quiet, but she’s obstinate, demanding loudly for an answer.
Su-ho introduces himself to little sis, and Min-jung recognizes him (Gun-hee: “Is everyone ‘oppa’ to you?”). Then she directs her question back to Gun-hee again. She interprets her lack of an answer as a no and hops off.
Kang-jae is none too pleased to hear that Min-jung will be waiting for him to finish work. He asks why and she replies matter-of-factly that it isn’t easy for a woman to ask a man on a date. Kang-jae: “Oh is it? Then I’ll have to refuse.” I’d feel bad but it’s nice seeing Princess getting knocked off her pedestal.
She threatens that she’ll scream and he immediately calls her bluff, citing that his voice would probably be louder. HAHA.
Min-jung clarifies: “That you’re Sangcharim President’s son.” So she’ll just hang around and wait.
THAT grabs his attention and he calls after her, “How did you know?”
Mom is more than ecstatic to hear that Sun-hee wants to get married and tells her that it doesn’t matter who it is. She trusts her daughter’s judgment…just as long as he doesn’t have a past. Ruh-oh.
Sun-hee looks up at that last statement, knowing full well that would mean that Jang-won would be out of the running.
She appears a little while later with a wardrobe makeover and little Min-ji quips that Jang-won ajusshi came home drunk last night.
Min-ji asks with caution if something happened between the two of them and before Sun-hee can answer, Min-ji skirts out, unable to hear the truth and skirts off to hakwon.
Kang-jae hops out the office, telling Gun-hee he has to impress his future sister-in-law. Cut to Kang-jae gargling water in public, excusing himself that he didn’t brush. With those luminous veneers? Lies.
But Min-jung isn’t off put in the least, ordering more water for the “deer who pants for water” sitting across from her. She’ll accept his weird habits as a part of his charm, she resolves.
Kang-jae asks point-blank if she’s looking to rake in his family’s wealth, not him. But Miss Princess gives another life lesson of the day that love between two people has to start somewhere.
Guys usually look at a girl’s physical appearance and she’s pretty perfect in that area. For her, she’s concerned with the guy’s family background – is that so bad?
He tells her outright that she must be mistaken somehow because he’s currently dating Gun-hee. Min-jung tells him that Gun-hee denied that they were and he acknowledges that she’s just embarrassed to admit it – she lives off of irony.
Suddenly they see Gun-hee and Su-ho walking together outside and Min-jung digs that she’d never meet another man if she was in a relationship.
We cut to them outside as they walk together, distanced and the air tense. They’d just wrapped up a chat earlier where Gun-hee wanted to answer Su-ho’s request. Gun-hee had made it clear to him, “There’s someone I like.”
Jang-won is on set when Sun-hee suddenly appears to the crew’s great shock:
“You told me once to live for myself, to get angry, and be greedy. That those around you can’t be happy unless you are happy. You say that and you run away? You ran away so that you wouldn’t hurt me? If you hate me, just say so. Just tell me to get lost. There wasn’t a single thing that I wanted ever since I was born. I always sought the needs of others before my own. Do you know how scary I am? Do you know what can happen if I like you, how scary that would be?”
It’s doubly hilarious because the minute before she arrived, the prissy actress on set was having a hissy fit about playing a stalker girlfriend. And out of context, it’d be totally scary and creepy.
What they don’t know is that Min-ji is hiding behind a pillar, having heard the entire confession.
What the? You guys go for Round 2 after she tells you she likes someone else? Uh okay. Min-jung and Kang-jae, who have followed them here, hang outside. Min-jung wonders if they’re just stalking the other two and Kang-jae’s all like No we totally were just passing by!
They not-so-subtly crash the Debbie Downer party and Su-ho takes a protective oppa approach asking if Kang-jae is dating Min-jung. Hold up buddy, know your place – I think you’re in no position to protect any of the Yoo sisters.
Everyone downs their pints in one-shot and Min-jung is the first to go down. Kang-jae gets straight to the point to ask why Su-ho called off his engagement.
Gun-hee tries to step in, but Su-ho reassures her that he’ll be fine. He confesses that he lied to his ex-fiancée. What he’s most sorry about is that he didn’t even know it was a lie himself.
Kang-jae calls that kind of lie as cowardly, because it deceived the self as well.
But Su-ho views it as a waiting period and Kang-jae serves right back that it’s scariest when you’re about to do something be it business, driving, or love. So they hesitate and make excuses. Those excuses include, “I’m being careful, I’m waiting.”
In truth, they’re scared to get hurt so they’ll say, “This is all for you.” Gun-hee cuts in to gently ask him to stop.
Su-ho admits that Kang-jae’s words might be right. “But is there just one person that’s meant for someone else in this world? Love is to shout that you love them and work towards keeping it. However, there’s always someone waiting behind you. There are those who wait, until they turn around to see them.”
Criminal, civil, commercial law, even laws of love are things he’s not well-versed in, but Kang-jae is confident in declaring what he likes and dislikes. “Park Su-ho, you’re not qualified.”
Su-ho argues that he IS qualified: the time he spent together with Gun-hee and the memories they shared.
Getting up now, he tells Kang-jae:
“Gun-hee likes strawberry milk. She likes Kim Kwan-seok’s third album. She likes to have a piece of chocolate before she drinks her coffee. If a glass pane fogs up, she’ll draw on it because she has to before it disappears. She likes white sneakers and knows how to discern between white and beige. She used to like dogs, but she doesn’t after she saw one run over. She likes pots that haven’t sprouted yet because she doesn’t know what they’ll grow to be. She likes taking out wet tissues. Even though people tell her it’s silly, she says it makes her feel better. She dreams of receiving a cheesy proposal that’s like straight out of a drama.”
Gun-hee chases him out, telling him that there’s something she wants to tell him but he answers, “Later. Tell me all of it later.” I wanna scream this is why you do not get the girl!
He leaves, shedding tears in the taxi, pining over a photo of Gun-hee.
Kang-jae slips out after calling a ride for Min-jung and instructs Gun-hee to stay put.
In voiceover, he thinks, “You’re right, Park Su-ho. I don’t have any long memories with Gun-hee. But I’m not the least anxious. No… it doesn’t matter if I am. Be it those who are starting to fall in love, or those who are scared to start, or those whose love is one-sided, everyone is anxious.
I love the sequence as we move through the different pairings and third-wheels and end with Kang-jae preparing an spontaneous event with cake and champagne.
He continues: “If there aren’t enough past memories with Gun-hee, I’ll make more memories with her in the future. Because I’m Lee Kang-jae.”
Then at the worst timing because dramas just love to do this to us, Su-ho calls in that weak faltering voice, asking for her to come to him.
Because you know, he might do something he’ll regret if she doesn’t come right now. Like getting into a fight or getting drunk. As if I could see you doing that. As a last favor, could she come?
Her phone rings after she hangs up – it’s Kang-jae. And his voice narrates: “Yoo Gun-hee, I’m going to love you in the Lee Kang-jae way. I won’t bury your pain and not say a word about it like Park Su-ho. But I’ll be angry with you and I’ll share that pain with you and I’ll make you laugh. Because I’m Lee Kang-jae.”
We see him with the phone in his hand, calling her: “Answer me Gun-hee – will you chase your past memories or await your future?”
I’m starting to become a little wary of where we’re headed because now it looks like the cutesy, light-hearted comedy bus is starting to pull out of the station. Perhaps it will make a short return but as the story continues to drive itself forward, it might seem out of place unless it revolved around our main couple.
I’m so happy that Sun-hee gained some confidence to speak up about herself. She spent so much time as a wallflower that I understood Jang-won’s hesitance – attracted but afraid to bruise a delicate blossom. I do feel that she hit the deep end to sound a wee bit stalkerish in that latter speech, but if you’ve suppressed a part of yourself for over 20 years, what can you really expect?
*YaY* that she and Jang-won finally kissed and I can’t wait to see the developments on their story. On the other hand, I’m not too worried about Min-jung just yet, because although she holds the truth in her hand, she doesn’t strike me as anyone with evil intentions but just selfish ones.
Su-ho is by far still one of my least favorite characters in this series. It’s really such a shame since he could become a silent pillar I could have rooted for. But with his odd plot arc with getting engaged, then breaking it off, then asking for Gun-hee to choose him anyway, I can’t come up with any solid reason for her to choose him over Kang-jae. She may have needed this kind of withdrawn support earlier in the series, but his confession comes way too late in the game.
I did, however, found it very interesting how in Su-ho’s speech about all the things he knew about Gun-hee that Kang-jae simply did not. It’s true – the past memories that he and Gun-hee have shared are something Kang-jae can never take away. Yet in his great litany of the small details, he never once looked at Gun-hee whereas Kang-jae kept a steady gaze on her. The truth of Su-ho’s words may have settled in but Kang-jae got a sense of confidence that he can offer that Su-ho can’t – the confidence that he can partner with Gun-hee to build a future together.
Send that other bland kimchi away – he’s a bad batch.