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A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 3

The facial expressions alone make this episode really entertaining to watch. Who knew a person’s face could be so flexible?

 
EPISODE 3 RECAP

We open at a nightclub where a pretty 20-year-old girl is ushered into a room with our four men. Jung Rok immediately starts to charm her and Tae San reassures her that they’re 30-year-old oppas, not ajusshis. Do Jin scolds Tae San for lying; they’re actually 31. Hah. This is both horrific and hilarious.

The guys start talking about an old classmate named Jong Suk who married early, and the girl asks how they know who her dad is. What?! They leave before you can say “pedobear” after making sure nobody said their names. I am so creeped out by this opening sequence right now.

The date is February 15th and we flashback to Yi Soo’s confession from the day before, in which she begs Do Jin to accept her feelings. He warns her that if he accepts, they’ll live together happily for a long time. I can’t tell if he’s serious or not. Yi Soo blurts out that’s all she wanted and runs away in embarrassment as Tae San reels from shock at what just occurred.

Back in the present, Tae San recalls Yi Soo’s confession and laments that he wanted to set her up with Yoon. When Do Jin arrives, Tae San warns him not to play around with Yi Soo. In fact, just keep away from her all together.

Do Jin responds that he might pursue a serious relationship with her but Tae San shrugs off his words and hands Do Jin his phone, telling him to keep his playboy dignity. He can find a serious relationship with someone else. Aw. Not even his friends have any faith in his interest.

Yi Soo freaks out when Do Jin’s name appears on her phone and turns to Me Ahri, who’s currently being punished for sending the chocolates. Hahah. I wish Yi Soo was as forceful and confident around Do Jin as she is when teaching.

At Do Jin’s fifth call, Me Ahri picks up and pretends to have found the phone, only to have Do Jin ask if this is Me Ahri. Kek. Yi Soo grabs Me Ahri by the collar, saying they’ll just die together. It’s not her best moment as a role model.

Do Jin pulls out the card that Me Ahri wrote to Tae San in Yi Soo’s name. Yeah. It’s confusing me too. The note is mixed with poetic language and shortened phrases of aegyo, like “Why do you take my heart without permission” and “Can I just be yours::smileyfaceheartsrainbows::?” Puhahaha. Do Jin stews in jealousy and drives to Yi Soo’s house to confront her.

He meets Se Ra, who tells him there are two reasons when a woman doesn’t pick up her phone. She either likes him way too much or hates him. Does he know which option Yi Soo picked? Yi Soo sees the two talking as she walks home and hides in front of her neighbor’s gate, which then leads to a long lecture about Christ’s love for sinful children when her neighbor sees her outside. Hahah.

Jung Rok’s wife struts into his café to order a tea and hands him her card. Instead of signing her name, she writes, “Why don’t you pick up your phone,” and “Where did you sleep last night,” which flusters Jung Rok. He lies that he was with Do Jin and is saved by Se Ra’s entrance.

The two women tear each other down by commenting on how drab the other looks today. They’re equally matched in terms of arrogance, superficiality, and cattiness, which actually makes me care about them in this scene because their conversation is so snappy and entertaining.

Do Jin texts Yi Soo from inside his car after he sees her leave her neighbor’s house. He watches her flip out numerous times as she tries to figure out what to do. I don’t think jumping around like a monkey on the street will do much though. Yi Soo spots Do Jin mid-jump and the two stare at each other.

He approaches her, saying he can’t sleep or eat because she used him. She tries to use her aegyo to alleviate the tension, which makes the atmosphere even more awkward. Kek. She suggests a talk over coffee but Do Jin shakes his head. He wants something alcoholic in a place with four walls and she balks at the idea of going to a hotel, only to have Do Jin ask if her house doesn’t have four walls. Lol. It’s hard to keep track of his fake-outs.

As Do Jin drinks a beer, he asks her when she started to like him. Bwaha. He continues that she must really have wanted to confess to him. The chocolate basket was certainly a testament to that. She continues to apologize but he talks over her by twisting the words from Tae San’s card to fit him.

Do Jin: You try to contain your affection for me but it’s a bitterly painful love, isn’t it? I’m so sadly beautiful, aren’t I?
Yi Soo: Uh…it’s so bitterly painful that I didn’t hear what you said at the end. You’re sadly…a bad person?
Do Jin: Is that what you heard?
Yi Soo: That’s not what you said? Then…you’re sadly…busy all the time?
Do Jin:
Yi Soo: Oh! I forgot. You’re as beautiful as a flower, right? I remember now. You’re so sadly beautiful.

Bahahaha. He knows she’s messing with him but her last words unconsciously inflate his ego. Yi Soo tells Do Jin that he should just inform his friends that he rejected her, but he simply says that he’ll take care of it; just make sure to pick up the phone whenever he calls.

Me Ahri comes home to find Yoon leaving with a duffel bag. He notices that she has leg pain, which she explains is from a punishment. She half-pleads, half-commands him to drink coffee with her before he leaves. She reaches for some saucers on a high shelf and almost sends them crashing to the ground before Yoon catches them, leaving the two of them uncomfortably close to each other. Ooh la la~

Yoon goes back to his office and opens his bag to reveal a wedding photo. Ooh. Is the wife dead? Did she leave him? All we know is that he’s still not over her. Somebody hug him please.

The four men meet up at Jung Rok’s café and make plans for an overnight trip to play baseball with their colleagues. Do Jin perks up when Yi Soo’s name comes up but Yoon and Tae San make carpool arrangements without him, which I’m sure will become re-arranged by Do Jin. Notably, a woman comes into the café whom Jung Rok recognizes.

Tae San comes back to the office to complain about a surprise meeting with a client, which prevents him from driving Yi Soo to the baseball game. Lol. I wonder who set that meeting up. Do Jin puts on a feigned look of concern but refuses to take over the meeting, prompting Tae San to wonder why Do Jin can’t be as charming as he is.

Do Jin says that he can drive Yi Soo if Tae San is busy but Tae San turns him down. He decides that Yoon will take Yi Soo, which earns him an evil stare from Do Jin. Surely, this cannot be the end of it.

As expected, on the day of the baseball trip, Do Jin shows up at Yi Soo’s house and informs her that Yoon’s car is very full. Puhaha. I love the sound effects. Cut to Me Ahri, three players, and a very unhappy Yoon. One of the players inform Yoon that they also have to pick up uniforms, which ticks Yoon off even more.

In the other car, Do Jin answers Yi Soo’s question of what baseball position he plays by saying the only sport he likes is golf. She then asks him why he’s going to the game and he replies that the team still needs someone to be the visual. Bahaha.

Yi Soo brings out rolls of kimbab and boiled eggs and Do Jin scolds her for thinking of eating in his car. This car is not to be dirtied. She scoffs at his obsession with a stupid machine and wonders if he’s named the car too. A sheepish look crosses over his face and she giggles at his childish tendencies. Heh. I wanna know its name!

He stops at a rest area so she can eat her food. Except when she does eat, he gives snide comments about how she eats a lot. Aw. Come now. Leave the girl alone. Do Jin brings up the red dress incident and Yi Soo chokes on her food. He probably doesn’t even know the Heimlich maneuver. She bursts out shouting that she has no freaking idea what he’s talking about and that she never will. So please stop asking. Hee.

As Yi Soo sleeps in the car, Do Jin drives to a different town after an emergency call from Jung Rok. He needs Do Jin to lie to his wife that he and Do Jin are vacationing together. When Yi Soo wakes up, she rightfully lashes out at Do Jin for driving to a different area without telling her. She has her own schedule too! Do Jin ignores her and goes inside to meet Jung Rok.

Inside the hotel, Do Jin informs Mrs. Jung Rok that her husband was with him this weekend on a golf trip. Really. You made him come all the way to lie to your wife? Jung Rok tells Do Jin that he met a former flame that had dumped him to marry another guy. They touch upon another woman’s name, which makes Do Jin’s jaw stiffen. Hm. Interesting…

A message comes to Do Jin, saying that “Mrs. Do Jin” left with the car. Hahahaha! Sure enough, Yi Soo has taken the car to drive down to the baseball game. Along the way, she sees the Vampire Boy from the airplane trying to hitch a ride. Fate, meet Coincidence. She tells him that she’s a high school teacher who just stole a car, but she’s more than willing to offer him a ride. He responds that he’ll go with her as long as she doesn’t have a gun.

Fuming, Do Jin takes Jung Rok’s car and shows up at the hotel where the baseball team is. He stomps up to Yi Soo and demands to know where his car is. However, during his conversation with Yi Soo, one of his employees sees him and strangely throws out an “I love you Director!” as well as a “You are so good-looking!” Apparently the employee had made a mistake and his punishment is to flatter Do Jin whenever they meet. Hah! Oh no. I see where this is going…

Do Jin finds his car parked near the ocean with a smiling dried octopus hanging from the rearview mirror. At that moment, it drops onto the car seat and Do Jin screams for mercy. Puhahahah. As revenge, he drops the octopus into Yi Soo’s bag, which he then places in the sun to make the octopus even smellier. LOL.

The baseball game begins and all Do Jin can do is stare at Yi Soo from the bench. Ha. I guess the “visual” isn’t that useful on the field. Unfortunately, the game ends prematurely because cheerleader Me Ahri gets hit in the face by a baseball. Yoon ends up taking her to the hospital while the rest prepare for dinner.

Yi Soo screams when she opens her bag, which Do Jin takes as a sign that his revenge has been completed. He heads upstairs and she asks him why he’s so petty; isn’t he supposed to be a gentleman?

He simply responds that he’s not a gentleman. Ah, and in exchange for taking his car, he now expects her to flatter him to no end whenever he says her full name. She laughs at his absurd request, but a reminder that he can tell Tae San about her one-sided love shuts her up quickly.

Yi Soo ends up wearing some of Me Ahri’s clothes, which gives the boys a chance to drool over her purty legs. Tae San remarks that he’s never seen this side of her and offers to give her a ride back home, but Do Jin cuts him off, saying that Yi Soo wanted to have a sushi date. He repeats “Suh Yi Soo sshi” and she grudgingly whispers, “I praise you for your high intelligence,” in his ear. LOL.

Do Jin takes Yi Soo by the shoulders and walks behind her to cover the guys’ view of her legs and Tae San comments that they look good together. Do I sense jealousy?

At the sushi house, Yi Soo asks for the real reason for keeping her from going home. He replies that she’s a little old not to know what happens when a man wants to spend time with a woman alone… but all he really wants is a designated driver. Haha. She grabs the soju bottle and starts gulping it down until he comments that she must really want to stay with him here. She instantly starts to spit the alcohol back into the bottle. Haha! Also ew.

Later, the two watch the sunset and Do Jin wraps his jacket around Yi Soo’s skirt when it flutters around from the wind. She reluctantly thanks him for his warm gesture and he asks why she’s an umpire. She responds that baseball is her favorite thing in the world after teaching. She also likes Tae San, a baseball player. She apologizes for complicating things with her rash confession and the two stare off into the ocean.

The next month, Do Jin passes by the store he bought the tablecloth from. A $20 price tag has been put on it, which brings a smile to Do Jin’s face.

At school, some of Yi Soo’s students belittle her for teaching ethics, which they see is an irrelevant subject. As they continue to complain, Dong Hyub approaches with his crew. He kicks the classmate that trash-talked before leaving with a warning never to bad-mouth the Ethics teacher again. Aw. I see someone’s heart getting crushed in the near future.

Jung Rok finds out that his wife came to the café and picked up his credit card statement, which sends him into panic mode. He arrives at the gym she works out at with a bouquet of roses only to find his wife flirting with the trainer. He marches up to them and commands the guy to step away. She introduces him as her soon-to-be ex-husband. Uh-ohs.

Yi Soo sees an architecture magazine that features Do Jin on its cover at a bookstore. She reads his interview and finds out that he picked architecture because it was the highest profession his grades would allow him to pursue. In addition, she learns that he doesn’t believe in marriage because he has no confidence to be with and love just one woman. Well, at least he’s honest.

Tae San informs Do Jin that Yi Soo is going on a blind date set up by Se Ra. Did he really reject Yi Soo, as Se Ra said? A surprised Do Jin tells him that he’ll call again and hangs up to figure out the situation. He later shows up at the restaurant where Yi Soo will have her blind date and finds that she came ten minutes earlier than the meeting time.

He plops down in front of her and tells her that Tae San told him to “rescue” her. Her eyes light up at Tae San’s name, which grates on his nerves. He reminds her that he’s the one who’s in front of her, which prompts her to ask why he came in the first place. He responds by saying that it’s because he likes her and that he won’t take no for an answer.

COMMENTS

So, not much happened in terms of plot movement, but I don’t think this drama will be about plot as much as it will be about development. That worries me a little bit because you can only have so much dialogue before you want things to happen, like in Thousand Day Promise. Thankfully there’s a lot of humor to liven the drama up.

There are some people that can’t stand any of the characters besides Yoon and Tae San in this drama and I can see why that would happen. This drama, like many of Kim Eun Sook’s shows, has a tendency to walk that fair line between pretentious, annoying hot mess and smartly-written, zippy fun. Secret Garden veered more into the zippy fun territory mostly because its premise of switching souls had a lot of fun stuff to play with.

I know people get annoyed by the Secret Garden comparisons and I do agree that A Gentleman’s Dignity should be judged by itself for its own characters and plot. However, seeing as how it’s written by the same writer, there are certain familiar elements that always crop up. For one, a lot of Kim Eun Sook’s heroines turn out to be slightly one-dimensional. I say one-dimensional in the sense that there is rarely any character growth.

I feel that Yi Soo can sometimes be over-the-top and I do think that Kim Ha Neul overacts a lot here. I can see why her baby voice and bumbling tendencies can be off-putting to some viewers. It doesn’t bother me too much right now though because I like the actress, which goes a long way towards giving her some slack. Hopefully she tones it down in the upcoming episodes. Yi Soo is technically past 30, right?

Anyway, it’s too early to say that Yi Soo won’t have any real development, but she has yet to really capture my heart. I do feel some sympathy in that she lost her crush to her best friend but I feel like we’re told that she likes him more than we ever really see. I really like her sassy, teacher mode and I hope we get more of that Yi Soo than the cutesy Yi Soo later on.

In the same vein, there are times I like Me Ahri and there are times when I don’t. Her crush on Yoon is uber cute and I love her relationship with Yi Soo. I just wish she didn’t come off as so childish sometimes, like in the cheerleading scene. She still has a lot of maturing to do before she’s paired up with Yoon so I’ll be looking forward to her development as well.

There are a lot of questions to be answered, including who that mysterious Vampire Boy is. Some people have said that he’s supposed to be the son of one of the guys which would make sense. I just hope the whole first love angst doesn’t become too central to the drama.

I’m most interested in Yoon’s backstory. I want to know why a smart, well-established lawyer has to live with one of his buddies. Granted, he is my personal favorite of the four men but it’s something that makes me look forward to the next episodes even more. Maybe he just really likes his friends. He does get all handsy on Do Jin before he leaves. Heh.

Lastly, Jang Dong Gun and Lee Jong Hyuk are knocking it out of the park with their ridiculous facial gestures. I can’t help but laugh at the screen caps as I write this.

 
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