Tae-kang will have to put his money where his mouth is with the knowledge that working under Ji-an’s heel might be his sole shot at making it in the shoe design industry. Tensions run high as the pair constantly bombards each other in the workplace. How long will he last before he gets booted?
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Tae-kang takes the stage as the Shoe Reform Contest Grand Prize winner. Ji-an grudgingly presents his award and the two have a silent back-and-forth as they both tug at the award towards them.
It’s only when the photographer calls for a photo op do they slap on a fake smile to snap the photo.
In the safe confines of her office she orders him not to go through with the interview. Just because they don’t list the qualification doesn’t mean he’s qualified so he can save himself the humiliation of failure.
Tae-kang retorts that he’ll worry about failing or not thankyouverymuch since he’s serious about his job search. He finds her concern strange – does she have feelings for him?
Clocking her reaction, he eyes, “I thought that night meant nothing to you. Why are you overreacting like I hit a nerve?”
For another moment he eggs her on and then she knocks him over the head in response. Heh. She gets all Momsy and they both get up into each other’s faces. Ji-an raises her hand for another hit when he grabs her wrist in defiance.
He maintains a firm grip as she orders him to let her go. When the other hand flies towards him, he catches that one too. She struggles in his grasp until he overpowers her and pulls her towards him, bringing them into close proximity.
Tae-kang barks, “Have you ever seen this strong a bean?” Ji-an tries to wrestle out of his grasp and he finally yells, “Let’s… be honest with each other for a minute!” He repeats his question if that night meant nothing to her, awaiting her answer with expectant puppy eye this time.
They stand there, gazing into each other’s eyes, faces inches from each other… and then she knees him straight into his family jewels. HAHAHA. You totally deserved it. Ji-an quips, “This is my answer. Got it?!” Omg, so satisfying.
Ji-an rejoins the party, acting as if nothing happened when a pleading voice calls out to her, “Noona!” It’s Tae-kang whose voice breaks, “How can you just leave like that? Were you that ashamed of me? Is this really the end for us?”
It’s doubly hilarious because he limps towards her, unable to walk properly because he’s still reeling in pain. All Ji-an can do is to stand there paralyzed, her mouth agape at his dramatic farewell act.
Tae-kang allows a single tear to fall from his eyes, placing something in Ji-an’s hand. Then he painfully hobbles towards the door. Ji-an opens her hand to reveal a button and then reaches for her shirt.
At the same time, a mischievous smile spreads across Tae-kang’s face. He whispers, “Who do you think you’re messing with?” before exiting.
Na-ri and her uncle come bearing flowers to visit Madame Jang (Oh Mi-hee) at an art gallery. The air is tense between her and Na-ri, who is eager to please, and talks of the company imply that Madame Jang has more faith than Ji-an. Na-ri does her best to get on her good side, calling her “Mother” since they’ll be family soon.
(To clarify the relations, Madame Jang is the new stepmother soon to be married to Na-ri’s father, the company president.)
Tae-kang gets called in for his interview and his eyes grow wide when he sees that Ji-an is among the panel. He gets through the initial questions fine until they hit a snag about his lack of postsecondary education. He boldly answers that he didn’t attend university or a trade school and is self-taught at his craft.
Rather, he believes in his role model’s (Ji-an, to be exact) quote that, “Equal opportunity should be given to those who dream to be creative employees regardless of their academic abilities and work experience.”
This is where Ji-an steps in to agree with those words. Tae-kang breathes a sigh of relief, thinking she’ll support him. But then she drills him with fashion trend questions which he clearly has no knowledge of. He sweats and then she delivers her final blow, “Do you know what ‘imitation’ means?”
With a sigh, he answers, “Knockoffs.”
The interview panel reviews their candidates and Na-ri opposes the others’ choices citing that they’re not spirited or original. Her choice: Tae-kang.
The others are hesitant at his lack of experience and education but Na-ri bolsters that he’s proven himself by winning the Reform Contest and other famous designers didn’t have any formal education either like Jimmy Choo or Ferragamo. What if Tae-kang is the next Jimmy Choo?
Na-ri slyly adds that she believes in Ji-an’s choice since she plucked him out of the initial eliminations after all. Tossing her previous words back at her that “Professionals are not born but made,” she insists on Tae-kang and the higher ups agree to hire him.
The two women sip tea outside the office. Ji-an’s suspicious, rolling her eyes at Na-ri’s supposed friendly overtures. She recounts a tale when she was younger and gotten herself kicked out for working at a shoe factory. A kind unni took her in but she later found out that she had ulterior motives.
Ji-an learned through that experience, “Even if there are fakes in the world, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” With that, she slaps down the money to repay her for the spa treatment and drink. She advises Na-ri to use her heart not her head to win people’s hearts.
Na-ri reminds her that she’s aware that Madame Jang will support Ji-an but warns that the ultimate decision is left to the Chairman, her father. She should choose carefully which side of the line to stand behind.
Ji-an doesn’t skip a beat at this – the company would long have gone bankrupt if Ji-an abode by Madame Jang’s every whim. If she chose a side, did she think that Ji-an would be in her shoes as VP by now?
If Na-ri intends to lecture others about staying in line, she can go and tell it to the kids at the neighborhood daycare center, “Those kids are rrreeaallly good at it.” She gets up and storms out. What an awesome smackdown.
At the restaurant, Tae-kang and company throw a mini party in celebration. Dad beams with pride at seeing his little boy snagging his first job and Choong-baek laughs, “If people didn’t know any better, they’d think he got it because it was talented!”
He continues that it was pure luck that Tae-kang won since all he did was strip the shoe of everything but the shoe itself. Once he meets Dad and Tae-kang’s stern unamused glares, he changes his tune, “Luck is a talent too!”
They toast to the new chapter in Tae-kang’s life.
Dad and Tae-kang drunkenly wander through the neighborhood, singing on top of their lungs. They realize that they’ve strolled into their old neighborhood and decide to pay their old house a visit.
The sight of it brings back pangs of guilt and Tae-kang apologizes that he shouldn’t have sold it just to get Dad out of jail. Drunk Dad looks at the situation with the glass half full. He doesn’t mind living at the jjimjilbang and houses will come and go.
At his son’s vow that he’ll earn money to buy the house back, Dad declares, “Even if no one in this world believes in you, I believe in you!” Awww. They hug and stagger back home all the while arguing who should piggyback whom. Gah, you two are so adorable.
It’s no surprise that Tae-kang races to work after a late start. Dad hilariously just stands there trying his best to make sure he eats a bite. Adorably, Tae-kang is so giddy on his first day that he excitedly greets everyone he sees.
As luck would have it, he ends up in the same elevator as Ji-an. He witnesses her Medusa face firsthand as she lectures a subordinate.
Once she’s gone, an employee gossips that he’s heard that one of the newbies is actually Ji-an’s boyfriend. Another contradicts him that he’s just a boytoy. HA – I knew that fake confession was going to bite you in the ass.
The rumor mill continues to churn throughout the company (one speculates if he works at a host bar, a place where women frequent for young and attractive company. The female equivalent is hostess bar.) and Ji-an’s team gripe about adding a high school graduate to their staff.
The meekest (whose name we learn is Da-in) speaks up on Ji-an’s behalf; the previous rumors were false so perhaps this one is too. She runs out upset when the other workers inform her that she’s likely to be cut when the rookie comes in.
She shoots Tae-kang death glares as they pass each other.
Tae-kang is adorably earnest but is utterly confused when everyone clamors to work when Ji-an arrives. To say that he’s ruthlessly hazed on his first day assigned to do menial tasks would be an understatement.
So it’s heartbreaking when he calls Dad to let him know that everything’s fine and that he’s super popular at work. He consults Dad about heel types (his descriptions crack me up: wide like a brick = wedge, pointy like an ice pick = stiletto) only to be scolded that he doesn’t know the basics after working at a shoe store for most of his life.
The kicker? Tae-kang: “What are these numbers ’36, 37,38′? It says one-half on some of them.” Dad: “Those are shoe sizes you moron!” Pfft.
One of his sunbaes who we’ll call Weasel Boy, catches him at the tail end of the call and chastises him for not being finished yet. He digs that all Tae-kang had to do was match the shoes according to their sizes.
In a patronizing tone, Weasel Boy snerks that it must be nice to have the director, Ji-an, watching his back since they’re more than “close friends.” Tae-kang looks perplexed at this to which Weasel Boy hilariously thinks that he’s being glared at. He downplays it, adding that he’s not in any type of relationship with Ji-an.
Tae-kang catches the elevator at the last second and his face grows dim at the sight of Ji-an. She asks if the work is manageable to which he replies that it’s not that much different than at a knockoff shop.
She offhandedly dismisses his job that even a part-timer could do it faster and better. Tae-kang excuses himself that he didn’t want to off-put anyone by showing off on his first day.
Ji-an is amused at his confidence and figures it’s enough to last for about a month given that he knows nothing about the industry.
It’s not like he’ll be asking for her help and she remarks, “Why would I catch a fly with my own hands? That’s filthy.” There are plenty of other people more than willing to kill it themselves.
That ruffles his feathers and Ji-an mocks him in a singsongy voice that flies have an incredibly long lifespan… of 3 months. Tae-kang finally raises his voice and she immediately snubs his insubordinate behavior.
Tae-kang vows defiantly that he’ll stick to the end and stick close to Ji-an like her personal fly. Oh if you only knew the half of your words.
Suddenly Ji-an doubles over in pain. He thinks she’s joking at first but steps forward to help when he realizes she’s not. Ji-an pushes him away and coldly tells him to mind his own business.
Ji-an mulls over Tae-kang’s words about if that night meant nothing to her when she’s interrupted by a phone call. The caller addresses her as “Bride” and introduces herself as a wedding planner. Ji-an: “What? A wedding?”
Cut to Eun-sung who picks up Ji-an’s call… and then hangs up at the next moment. You and your petty revenge you manchild. Was setting up fake wedding plans a part of your brilliant little scheme? (And he has her saved as “Menopause Ji-an”)
Eun-sung has this huge grin on his face when Ji-an marches to him in front of the hospital. He can barely get a word in before she spits out, enraged, “What are you? A perv? A psycho?” Does he have nothing else to do but play pranks at his age?
“Your parents came.” An answer which stops her in her tracks. He explains that SHE claimed she liked the arranged date so her parents came to visit their supposed future son-in-law to see what he was like. They’d already seen a fortune teller before their visit and were informed that the two were soulmates in heaven.
Baffled she asks why he didn’t tell her before. Eun-sung: “You didn’t pick up your phone!” Ji-an: “You could have texted me!” Truer words. It’s the 21st century – get with the program, man.
Ji-an assures him not to worry since she’ll explain the situation to her folks. He stops her to ask what story she’ll spin for them – that they both put on a show because neither wanted to get married?
It’s a perfectly sound plan to her but he guffaws – what about his reputation? That’s something she could care less about. He follows Ji-an into her car asking why she’s not willing to compromise and settles in despite her attempts to get him out of the car.
But her master plan to confront her parents gets foiled as her parents happily greet them. Eun-sung snaps into the perfect son-in-law to be, much to Ji-an’s ire. She grits through her teeth to ask what he’s doing and he retorts, “I’m greeting them.” Heh.
Dad’s houseguests marvel at Eun-sung and compliment Dad on a fine catch. The topic of children naturally comes up in conversation and they wonder if Ji-an is past childbearing age. Oh if you only knew.
No matter because Eun-sang merrily takes her hand and says that just being with Ji-an makes him happy enough. They force the couple to sing a song (Eun-sung agrees readily) and Ji-an squeaks the first few lines when she notices Dad’s bright smiling face. It brings tears to her eyes.
Ji-an continues to keep an eye out while Eun-sung regales the older men. Mom comments that it’s the happiest that she’s seen Dad in a while. Ji-an thinks back to happier moments with her father as a child and her hand slips, giving herself a cut.
Good thing there’s a doctor in the house as Eun-sung patches her up. Mom plays off Ji-an’s annoyed expression but Eun-sung chimes in, “She might seem annoyed but on the inside, she probably already fell for me.” Death stare from Ji-an.
Once Mom leaves, Eun-sung peruses Ji-an’s vast array of awards and comments that Dad must be proud of her. Her glare remains unfixed and he apologizes, explaining that he was just rolling with the punches. She asks, “How could you do that? How can you make people laugh so easily?”
Ji-an vaguely recalls that she once made Dad laugh too. But it’s been too long and now it became difficult. No matter what she did, be it awards, promotions, or gifts, it was harder to make Dad happy. So she gave up and accepted it as a part of his character.
Eun-sung listens patiently and adds that he can’t make his father laugh either. He figures that it’s easier to make strangers laugh than family.
Poor Tae-kang continues to get outcast at the office party by his coworkers who are busy jabbing about who is to inherit the company next. He steps outside when he overhears someone in the stairwell.
It’s Na-ri who sounds desperate for her father’s companionship and her heart sinks when Dad passes on the dinner invite. This seems like a common exchange since Na-ri does her best to hide the obvious disappointment in her voice.
Soon, the staff looks over to see Tae-kang talking with another employee who’s been stuck at entry level for 15 years. Tae-kang’s been getting the 411 on Medusa and scans the room, setting his eyes on another lonely soul.
Tae-kang plops down in front of her and comforts her about how hard it is to be an intern here. Since they’re both new, he’ll share some advice. There’s one name that elicits fear in the company’s eyes: Yeom Na-ri.
Na-ri scoffs as he rattles that as long as VP Yeom is on their side, they can get away with absolutely everything. Then he inserts his foot in his mouth by mentioning that she’s a pain in the ass if you get on her bad side.
He points to another employee identifying her as the VP and Na-ri doesn’t correct him. He drags her to the dance floor and proceeds to dance to T-ARA’s “Roly Poly.” (It’s extra funny with the meta reference to T-ARA’s Eunjung on We Got Married.)
He twirls Na-ri around until the music awkwardly dies down and an employee calls Na-ri by her title. Tae-kang stutters, “Vice P-president?” Well, this isn’t awkward or anything.
Tae-kang self-inflicts himself upside the head and apologizes profusely, bowing at the waist.
Eun-sung invites Ji-an up for a drink after she drops him off. She gives him a thumbs-up in response and excuses herself on her cut thumb.
She lingers for another moment and then mutters, “You can… call me sometime.” You can tell that he’s suppressing a smile as she tells him that they can keep up the act and yunno, go on some dates too.
He gives a hearty laugh, “Are you proposing to me right now?” She says it’s no such thing –it’s more like an alliance. In exchange, Ji-an’s not required to introduce herself to his family. HE can be the one to talk marriage to their parents and HE can be the one to–
–and then Eun-sung shuts her up with a kiss on the cheek. Omo!
Well well, Eun-sung, that’s certainly one way to grab a lady’s attention. Whatchu gonna do next – give her a surprise backhug? I like the rapport that he has with Ji-an. He presses her buttons but is genuine in his actions, even if his words claim otherwise. His adoration for her is clear as day and right now, I have the classic signs of Second Lead Syndrome. Dang it, is there a doctor in the building?!
Okay, I have to mention this. I found the scene where Tae-kang pulled Ji-an close to him both awkward and cringe-worthy. I personally find no romantic sentiment in a man, be it young or old, using force to get a woman to answer his question. It enraged me to no end that he didn’t let her go when she was clearly telling him to and then he kept her there close to him. It doesn’t justify her trying to knock him upside the head but he was also incredibly infuriating in that moment. I got flashbacks of a scene in Secret Garden and then I wanted to jump into my screen to give him a well deserved slap. You can say that I wanted to be the one to kick him where the sun don’t shine.
On a different note, we’re certainly taking our time for Ji-an to realize that she’s pregnant, let alone by Newbie Tae-kang. Given her situation, it makes sense that she doesn’t know yet despite some signs of morning sickness: her doctor pretty much said that her womb is virtually inviable and she’s on the older end of the childbearing spectrum. I can’t wait until she realizes that not only is pregnancy a possibility but that it’s happening right now.
Then there’s the inevitable “I’m pregnant” news to deliver to the father of the child… only that he’s too busy trying to learn the difference between one heel and the next.