Alice in Cheongdam-dong: Episode 6
How do I describe this episode: it’s 50% cute, 40% Park Shi-hoo, and 10% sweet. And that adds up to… 100% of full crazy fun that makes my heart lift with giddiness. I never thought we’d get this kind of episode from the way this drama started off, but I’m thankful for it.
Ya hear me, Shi-hoo Hubby? I’m thankful!
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Seung-jo returns home and smiles over the suited bunnies. (I want one. Hint hint, Drama Marketing Team.) Se-kyung smiles as she remembers how Seung-jo so tenderly packed away her creations, then receives a surprise text message from “Jean Thierry Cha” with a photo of the happy bunny.
Se-kyung is so excited she starts jumping around her room, while Seung-jo wonders whether he made the right choice in sending that text with his spare phone. She replies with a thank you, then calls Seung-jo (on his other phone), squealing that the CEO received the bunnies and texted her. She warns Seung-jo to take care of himself in case he gets any lingering side effects from the benzene. D’aww…
Seung-jo sits at his desk and starts filling out the questionnaire, imagining Se-kyung there with him, asking the questions. He answers easily about favorite foods and places, and admits to having last cried on December 8, 2012. The day he saw Se-kyung’s letter.
The following day, he heads to a Samsung store for
some product endorsement an updated phone for Se-kyung. She spends all day and night designing different outfits for the CEO.
Se-kyung falls asleep at her desk, and doesn’t realize till the morning that Ah-jung has been in her room for a while… reading Yoon-joo’s diary. Se-kyung freezes and Ah-jung asks accusingly what it’s all about. Se-kyung admits that it belongs to Yoon-joo. Say what?!
Before she can rail against her, the movers arrive to take the family’s belongings to Ah-jung’s house, where they’ll be renting. Ah-jung welcomes them to her tiny abode, and though everyone accepts their smaller surroundings, Se-jin has a hard time accepting a bathroom without a proper shower.
Ah-jung pulls Se-kyung aside, demanding an explanation. She can’t believe Se-kyung wants to live like Yoon-joo, the girl she looked down on all these years. Se-kyung admits that she pretended to look down on her, when in reality she was jealous of the lifestyle Yoon-joo and Ah-jung led. Ah-jung cries out in horror: Shouldn’t Se-kyung live as herself? But that’s the thing – Se-kyung doesn’t want that. She doesn’t want to be a poor errand girl.
Se-kyung escapes to the rooftop, and Ah-jung finally takes her judgment down a notch. She won’t stop Se-kyung, and she’ll do her best to get the information Se-kyung wants on the CEO of Artemis. Ah-jung worries that Se-kyung will be hurt going down the same road as Yoon-joo, but Se-kyung promises that she’ll lead a happier life.
Dong-wook looks through Seung-jo’s questionnaire. He finds the personal questions weird, but Seung-jo is excited by the thought that Se-kyung wants to know hundreds of things about him. (Um – I guess you could look at it that way…) He got to relive some happy memories because of her, so Dong-wook replies that Seung-jo should be more honest about his answers then. Ha! He’s amazed that Seung-jo didn’t get caught the other day, although the three people who really need to keep his secret (Dong-wook, Secretary Moon, and Chauffeur Kim) are now aware of his ruse.
Se-kyung reveals to Ah-jung that she works through “Secretary Kim,” a man who knows everything about the CEO. To get information on Jean Thierry Cha, they’ll need information on Secretary Kim first. Ah-jung already knows the perfect way to find out, because she went on a blind date with a secretary in the company…
…Who is none other than Secretary Moon.
HA! What’s funny is that Seung-jo is most worried about Secretary Moon, as his big mouth could ruin everything. He gets a call from Se-kyung and freaks out, wondering what to do. Dong-wook: “What do you mean? Just pick up.” Seung-jo picks up, makes some noises of agreement, then hangs up. Dong-wook: “So what’d she say? What’d she say!?” (Look who’s excited now…)
Seung-jo promptly tries to kick Dong-wook out. Se-kyung seems to want to meet on a Sunday, which leads to teasing from Dong-wook. Seung-jo shows his friend the wrapped presents and wonders if the ribbon flowers are too much. Dong-wook: “You’re the one that’s too much.”
Se-kyung and Seung-jo meet at a cafe, where he presents her with the cellphone and camera without the gift wrapping. He pretends that the company gives these gadgets to all its employees and that he managed to snag a set for her. When she takes out the ribbon flower that’s still attached to one, he snatches it away. Hee. But on to business: Se-kyung has come up with a few designs and wants Seung-jo’s opinion. He looks favorably on her styles, and makes suggestions regarding the cut. Guess she is talented after all.
While waiting in a cafe, Ah-jung logs in to the company website and looks up the secretarial department. Imagine her confusion when she doesn’t see a “Kim Seung-jo” listed. She calls Se-kyung and warns her that “Secretary Kim” doesn’t exist. Just in time – Secretary Moon arrives, wondering why the woman who dumped him wants to see him.
Now, Se-kyung’s defenses are raised. When Seung-jo comes back with drinks, she pelts him with questions: Did he bring the questionnaire? Did he take pictures of the CEO’s dressing room like she asked, or get his measurements? Of course, Seung-jo failed to do all that, but he makes up the excuse that it’s Sunday. So Se-kyung asks for his business card; the entire time he’s been giving her Jean Thierry Cha’s card, not his own.
Ah-jung gets right to the point with Secretary Moon: is there someone named Kim Seung-jo in the secretarial department? He shifts nervously and his eyes bug out when he learns that Ah-jung is actually Se-kyung’s friend. He discreetly texts Seung-jo that they’re having an emergency, and thankfully gets a call back, preventing him from giving Ah-jung an answer. Whew.
The two men touch base and realize that the women are onto him. How are they going to get out of this web of lies? Secretary Moon wants Seung-jo to tell the truth, but he’s not ready for that yet. Suddenly he gets a bright idea, and tells Secretary Moon to listen carefully…
They return to their respective ladies, and both lean in with a serious expression. Kim Seung-jo is actually… Jean Thierry Cha’s kagemusha. In other words – his doppelgänger, his impersonator. He acts as the president and performs most of his duties because the CEO is just so weird. That’s why he doesn’t get listed in the company registry or has his own card. Technically he is Jean Thierry Cha!
Oh. My. God. You didn’t just try and make this lie more complicated, did you?!
Se-kyung is still skeptical, and demands proof. Who’s to say that Seung-jo isn’t actually a con man? But she gets a call from Ah-jung, who confirms the exact same thing, and nowSe-kyung wonders whether Seung-jo was telling her the truth. At that moment, Seung-jo exits the cafe with Se-kyung’s things – if Se-kyung wants proof, he’ll give her proof.
Tommy has been quite busy, trying to collect more information on Cha Il-nam and Cha Seung-jo. His assistant managed to gather some information on all the Cha Seung-jos living in the States around 1999, which is when Cha Il-nam’s son purportedly went to college there. There’s one search result of a Seung-jo looking for a roommate in New Haven, and another who placed third in a rowing competition.
With his seemingly photographic memory, Tommy remembers that Cha Il-nam once sponsored a rowing team where three members were Korean. One was Han Dae-chul, one of Tommy’s contacts, a 2003 graduate of Yale and now dermatologist. Which means Seung-jo could have graduated in the same class.
What he doesn’t realize is that In-hwa is already a step ahead of him. She vists Han Dae-chul, her dermatologist, and confirms both his Yale background and Seung-jo’s, with a graduation photo. So it’s 100% confirmed then? Cha Seung-jo = Jean Thierry Cha. Now the next step is for In-hwa to introduce herself to Cha Il-nam.
At the Shin household, Yoon-joo is still shaking after learning that In-hwa is being matched with her ex-boyfriend. She gathers her wits just enough for dinner with the family, until In-hwa suggests that they donate some of their clothing to charity. They could donate the clothes to Royal Group, who is hosting their own party. Mrs. Shin and Min-hyuk like the idea, while Yoon-joo keeps quiet, trying to figure out just how much In-hwa knows about her ties to the Cha family.
Seung-jo takes Se-kyung to his home, and they happen to see Chauffeur Cha outside the building. He manages to correctly address him as Secretary Kim in front of Se-kyung, but once out of earshot, the chauffeur mutters, “That man is out of his mind…”
Seung-jo takes Se-kyung inside and leads her all the way to his dressing room. There, Se-kyung notices all the rabbits lined up in a row. Seung-jo even picks up the mail on the table, which is addressed to Jean Thierry Cha. Yep – he brought her to the CEO’s home, and as his private secretary, he knew the door code. Even Chauffeur Kim recognized him and called him “Secretary Kim.”
All the doubt is washed away, and Se-kyung eagerly takes a look around the dressing room to take pictures and get the CEO’s measurements.
Then, a doorbell. Could that be… “Jean Thierry?!” But why would he ring the doorbell to his own house? Seung-jo tells her to stay in the dressing room as he goes to check it out, finding to his surprise that his visitor is Yoon-joo. She noticed he was home by the lights flicking on.
Yoon-joo barges into the apartment and plops down on the sofa. Seung-jo grabs her wrist and quietly but forcibly drags her outside. If she wants to talk, they’ll have to do it outside. Yoon-joo is confused over his lack of hospitality, then spots a pair of shoes by the door. Does he have a girl over? Thankfully, Seung-jo drags her out before Se-kyung can spot her.
Yoon-joo is curious as to why Seung-jo didn’t introduce the girl to her – perhaps to boast? Seung-jo cuts to the chase: what does she want? Yoon-joo asks if he’s aware of the match made between him and In-hwa. Seung-jo doesn’t seem to know, but he assures her that no such relationship will exist. He and Yoon-joo are finished.
Yoon-joo: Fine. I’ll go. But this time, protect her. Don’t put your emotions first. Make sure you know what she really wants and try to understand her. Then you’ll be able to protect her. Don’t fail. I’m being sincere. This is the only way that you and I can move on.
Kaedejun: Oooh – I wonder how you’ll feel when you realize you just advised Seung-jo to take care of your frenemy!
In the dressing room, Se-kyung takes a look at his watches all laid out, and notices the handmade bracelet that she had given him. More proof that Seung-jo isn’t lying! She notices the metal bracelet is inscribed with ‘S.J. Cha’ but does not give much thought to the initials.
When Seung-jo rejoins her, Se-kyung notices that the CEO seems to be a little obsessive-compulsive about neatness, as all of his clothes are organized by color and fabric. Seung-jo: “It’s a type of mental illness.” Heheh – I love how frank he is about his own weirdness. He starts purposely messing up his stuff to show that he thinks this “Jean Thierry” is a bit crazy.
Se-kyung becomes curious over how he and the CEO met, and he says it was while he studied in Paris. He’d done some cleaning and grunt work for him, and at least the pay was good. Seung-jo adds that he was homeless during that time, which Se-kyung can’t believe because he dresses so well. Seung-jo assures her that he worked hard, even doing construction work like building bridges. Se-kyung laughs – there’s no way he could have done that. He can’t trick her, because she knows Paris better than he thinks.
She draws him a map of Paris, marking the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and the bridge Pont Neuf. She draws all the districts in Paris as well, from memory, and he’s impressed. It’s because she always dreamed of going… Seung-jo smiles and shares his own secrets of Paris – the local restaurants and his favorite place, Montmartre.
The cartoon map comes to life with color as Seung-jo and Se-kyung bond over their memories – or dreams – of Paris. I’m sorry to say that this beautiful moment gets interrupted when Se-kyung receives a call from Secretary Moon. Apparently Ah-jung is very drunk.
Ah-jung is still in disbelief over the CEO’s doppelgänger, and keeps asking Secretary Moon for confirmation. He’s already exhausted, especially since he’s not quite as drunk as she is. Se-kyung and Seung-jo finally arrive, and Seung-jo and Secretary Moon communicate in heated mouthed words. Ah-jung is incredibly happy to see her best friend, and Seung-jo in the flesh, but in her drunkenness very nearly reveals Se-kyung’s goal of becoming a Cheongdam-dong wife. Se-kyung clamps her hand over Ah-jung’s mouth and leads her outside.
Secretary Moon can’t believe they’re keeping up with the lame excuse that “Secretary Kim” is a sort of impersonator. Ha – he leaves for the bathroom but actually ditches them, leaving Seung-jo to pick up the tab and take the girls home. By now Ah-jung has passed out and Se-kyung can’t get her to stand. Seung-jo tries to wake her, but ends up piggybacking Ah-jung home.
He complains about the steep walk and wonders to himself when Se-kyung moved to this hilly neighborhood. They arrive at the house, and just before Seung-jo lays Ah-jung on her bed, she retches.
Seung-jo freezes. Did she… really… just vomit over his suit? HAHAHA!
He practically throws Ah-jung on to the bed and then quickly removes his jacket, bemoaning over the state of his stained jacket. Ew – is her vomit… a grayish white?! Se-kyung frantically tells him to lower his voice, or else he’ll wake her dad, and grabs his jacket to clean it.
Left alone in the girls’ room, he notices Se-kyung’s family portrait, and also the red diary. He picks it up… and opens it… Dude – has anyone ever told you never to read a person’s diary!?
“Who are you!?”
Seung-jo jumps, and sees Se-kyung’s dad standing outside the room. He puts the book down without having read a single word, and Se-kyung arrives.
Of course, now Seung-jo must kneel before the family and greet Se-kyung’s parents properly. Dad gives the pair the third degree – asking how they met and why the CEO is being so nice to Se-kyung. Seung-jo explains that instead of the CEO helping Se-kyung, he’s actually receiving help from Se-kyung because of her hard work. Se-kyung is embarrassed by both sides’ questions and answers, but Deuk-gi is not done. He asks what Seung-jo’s parents do, as though questioning his future son-in-law.
Seung-jo says his mother died when he was in middle school, and that he no longer keeps in contact with his father. Deuk-gi calls for soju and asks, is Seung-jo married? Kekeke.
Deuk-gi also wants to know where Seung-jo went to school, and Seung-jo honestly says that he studied art in Paris. Because his father was against it, he had to work hard on his own to pay for tuition and rent. It seems that his stories of doing hard labor in Paris were true, and his sad story endears him even more to Se-kyung and her family.
Se-kyung walks Seung-jo out, apologizing for her family’s nosiness. He’s actually fine by it all, and I’m sure touched that she has such a loving family. Se-kyung wonders how he knew she moved to this area, and he grudgingly admits that he followed her home after he told her In-chan fled for Brazil because he was worried. Se-kyung smiles: “So why’d you pour the soy sauce?”
Seung-jo’s eyes widen – how’d she know about that? She admits to having seen a text from Tommy Hong while he was in the hospital, but she didn’t mean to snoop. She thinks he did it for her, but Seung-jo says that Tommy’s actions also insulted the CEO’s intentions. Se-kyung: “You did well.” She raises her hand for a high-five, and they end up clasping their hands waving it back and forth happily… until it gets juuuust a tad awkward. He sends her back to her apartment before leaving, and smiles happily at the hand that just touched Se-kyung’s.
Ah-jung wakes up from her drunken state, and Se-kyung gives her an update: Seung-jo proved his identity by taking her to the CEO’s home. Guess he’s not a scammer then… Se-kyung gets a text from Seung-jo to meet at La Vien Hotel at 5pm to discuss the party details, and her face lights up. She starts extolling Seung-jo’s hardworking virtues, and how he always helps her out and gives prompt answers to all her questions.
Ah-jung smiles wryly: “Don’t lose sight of your goal, Han Se! Secretary Moon says that Secretary Kim has a lot of debt too.” On that note, Se-kyung realizes that she needs to focus on winning the heart of the CEO, not the secretary. She revises her reply by taking out the little emoticons and encouraging statements, stripping her message down to a simple “yes.” 🙁 Oh the art of texting…
The following day, In-hwa receives a call from Il-nam to meet at La Vien Hotel at 6pm, to discuss the donation GN Fashion will be making. At the same time, Yoon-joo is with her brother, worried about what In-hwa may know and why she contacted Cha Il-nam. If he finds out that his son is being matched with the daughter of GN Fashion, he would not oppose it. However, her lies would be found out sooner than later.
Min-hyuk calls to see whether she can join him and his sister for dinner with Cha il-nam. That’s Yoon-joo’s worst nightmare. She gets into her car to head home, and calls Seung-jo numerous times. He doesn’t pick up, which exacerbates her fears. Feeling like her world is about to fall apart, she steps on the gas pedal – hard – just as the traffic light turns green.
Later that evening, Seung-jo invites Se-kyung into a private room, where all the dishes for the party are laid out for her tasting. Aw – why didn’t you just say it was a dinner date?! Se-kyung takes note, recognizing the French dishes with her near-perfect accent. (Or, at least a better accent than Seung-jo’s.) The only way she was able to improve her accent was by watching the film “Before Sunrise.” Two of the characters had faked a telephone conversation to reveal how they truly felt about each other, and taking a cue from that, Se-kyung continuously pretended she was phoning a friend in France to practice her French.
Seung-jo: Let’s do it now! Ring ring! Ring ring rrrring! Aren’t you going to answer?
Se-kyung: (picking up, in French) Hello?
Seung-jo: (in French) It’s me! Where are you?
Se-kyung: At a restaurant.
Seung-jo: With whom?
Se-kyung: Someone I know.
Seung-jo: A friend? A guy?!
Seung-jo: Is it a date?!
Se-kyung: What? No it’s for work.
Seung-jo: You should be careful of men!
Se-kyung: Don’t worry, he’s not that kind of guy.
Seung-jo: How do you know?
Se-kyung: Because… in the beginning he was a bit strange.
Seung-jo: …Wh- what… strange?
Se-kyung wants to stop already, but Seung-jo keeps at it – what does she mean by “strange”? They continue in Korean.
Seung-jo: You’re working with a strange guy?
Se-kyung: It’s not that he’s strange… But that I think I’m strange. You know how I often act like a fool.
Oooh – though vague, her words suggest that she may be falling for him. She hangs up so they can eat.
At 6pm, Cha Il-nam and the Shin siblings arrive at the same hotel. Turns out Yoon-joo has gotten herself in a fender bender, so Min-hyuk will have to hurry to the hospital after the meeting. Just as they enter their dining room, Se-kyung and Seung-jo walk out from another room. Close call!
But they bump into Cha Il-nam instead. Seung-jo sends Se-kyung ahead to the lobby, and confronts his father privately. He asks if his father has a dinner reservation at the hotel, but Il-nam is more curious if Seung-jo just ate with his “girlfriend.” Seung-jo tries to dismiss him by saying he shouldn’t take interest in other people’s private lives, but Il-nam insists that as a father, he’s interested in his son’s dating life.
Seung-jo can see right through him, and knows that Il-nam is forming some plan with GN Fashion. Well, this matchmaking business won’t work! Il-nam: “Seung-jo, I need you! Come back home.” Hmm – daddy’s desperate for a heir… is he dying!?
Seung-jo doesn’t take his statement to heart. Of course Il-nam needs him; to him, everything is a business transaction and therefore there must always be a practical reason for why he needs to acquire something. Il-nam says that’s the way of life – everything is about give and take, and nothing’s free. If Seung-jo would accept that, things would be easier. Being sentimental will get him nowhere, as that’s why he got hurt so many years ago.
Il-nam leaves Seung-jo wounded, and it takes some strength for him to compose himself before joining Se-kyung. Of course, she notices right away that his mood isn’t great. In need of cheering up, he asks if she’d like to go for a drink.
They end up at a nearby pojangmacha. Seung-jo doesn’t drink much but he does have a confession to make: He lied about saying that he hadn’t heard from his father in a long time. The truth is he knows exactly where his father is, but just chooses not to see him at all. Se-kyung sits silently, letting him talk, which surprises Seung-jo. Se-kyung, the girl with the never-ending questions, is actually not asking him why he won’t see his father?
Se-kyung feels it’s more tactful not to ask, and Seung-jo thinks that she’s just curious about the CEO and not him. But that’s not it; Se-kyung doesn’t ask about Seung-jo because she feels like she already understands him. It’s as if they’re similar on some level.
Seung-jo points out one difference – at least Se-kyung has a better relationship with her father than he does. Her father seems to praise and love her; his never praised him once. But even though he dislikes his father so much, he can’t help but always be conscious of what his father thinks of him.
Seeing that he’s in need of cheering up, she offers another high five. They clasp hands and encourage each other about things being better in the future.
At that moment, a drunk man clumsily knocks into Se-kyung and pushes her into Seung-jo’s arms. They freeze in a sort of embrace, and slowly pull away from each other. This time, both can feel the chemistry sparking.
Se-kyung pulls away first, but he grabs her around the waist and pulls her in closer. Their lips are just inches away from each other. To kiss or not to kiss? Oh kiss her dammit!
And she turns away first. GAH! They leave the pojangmacha, and he walks her a little ways. She bids him goodbye, heading for her bus stop.
As Se-kyung walks away, she makes a call to Yoon-joo, who’s lying on a hospital bed. Se-kyung: “Of the three obstacles you mentioned, what is the first one?”
Se-kyung turns around, and she sees Seung-jo smiling at her brightly, waving goodbye.
Someone’s in looooooooooooove! It’s funny how Se-kyung just naturally seems to be attracted to men who have had money troubles, and work hard to improve their status in life. Clearly, she’s not changing anytime soon. I first doubted Seung-jo’s claims of having done hard labor in Paris, but having him talk about it several times made me realize that it’s not too far-fetched an idea. After his father cut him off from his inheritance, I wouldn’t be surprised if he made his son’s life a financial hell. Seung-jo’s situation in life proves that it is possible to work hard and change one’s station in life though, and so it’s no wonder Se-kyung is attracted to him. He’s succeeded at doing what Se-kyung could only have dreamt of doing.
Of course, that is if Seung-jo’s story about working hard is true. Just by being abroad and coming from a wealthy family, he certainly had more opportunities than Se-kyung and had certain advantages that could have put him on a different starting level than she.
I loved this episode for the cuteness between the leads. For a long time leading up to the premiere of this series, I just could not buy into the idea of pairing Park Shi-hoo and Moon Geun-young. Moon retains an ever-cherubic look that makes her look much younger than she really is. It just emphasizes their 9-year age difference. But after these six episodes, I’m finally sold on the idea that they could make a very good pairing. I guess Seung-jo acting like he’s a little teenager also helps.
Aside from the cute in this episode, I also loved watching Seung-jo be his real self around Se-kyung, as well as watching Se-kyung act more interested in this “Jean Thierry” figure when all she really cares about is “Seung-jo.” I do feel his pain when he wonders if she’s more interested in the guy that he’s actually not, but I hope he realizes that Se-kyung is actually more concerned about his well-being – whether she’s aware of that fact or not. I can feel an emotional roller coaster coming on with these two, so here’s hoping that however high I go, the drop to hell is not as far as I think it’ll be.