Drama Recaps
Level 7 Civil Servant: Episode 4
by | January 31, 2013 | 103 Comments

The stakes go up a notch, as the real world starts to collide with the safe little bubble that is Spy School. But what emerges is one of my favorite relationships so far on this show: jaded spy mentor and hothead rookie agent. It helps that Ahn Nae-sang and Joo-won can swing the pendulum wide from ridiculous comedy to sympathetic angst, making their bond and their contention something fun but also worth following.


It’s Casino Royale with everyone’s paychecks on the line, and Gil-ro goes all in against their teacher Won-seok. Gil-ro has seen his tell (for a good hand): an ear twitch. Though unless it’s opposite day, shouldn’t he not bet against a good hand?

Won-seok can’t believe the size of his balls, and offers to let him take the chips back. Isn’t he scared he’s making a mistake? But Gil-ro doesn’t back down, saying that a mistake is better than regret.

Won-seok lectures that agents shouldn’t make mistakes they’ll regret, and goes all in. Gil-ro opens his hand: a pair of aces. A PAIR OF ACES? Are you insane? Won-seok peeks at his own hand: four kings. Crap.

The whole room grumbles a collective ohmygod you did not just bet my paycheck on a pair of aces, and Won-seok gapes even more. “Are you brave or just reckless?” Gil-ro says it shouldn’t matter which, if it’s for his comrades.

Teach asks if he’d do anything for his comrades, even something bad. Gil-ro says yes, but his comrades wouldn’t do bad things. Won-seok wonders how he can be sure. Gil-ro: “Because they are comrades. Whether live or die, we go together.”

The whole room tenses up, and Won-seok peels back one king, to show a pair. And then as he looks at the other two in his hand, he flashes back to his own friend, saying the same thing—that they should go together, live or die.

It’s only then that he sees Gil-ro gulp, far more nervous than he’s letting on. He slams his hand over his cards, face-down, and declares that Gil-ro won. Aw. Way to choose the right lesson, Teach.

He and Seo-won breathe this massive breath of relief at the same time, and as the room erupts into cheers, they look at each other for a passing moment. Both the teachers smile.

Won-seok says to return everyone’s paychecks, and as for the two agents who didn’t give Gil-ro their chips—Sun-mi and Do-ha—he gives them demerits for not knowing their comrades’ pain. HA.

Gil-ro catches up to Seo-won, who says that she’ll repay him for the car, but not to think that this makes them friends or something, and not to expect a thank you. He says he didn’t do it to hear that, but so she’d stop crying over money.

She says he might not know it, but most people in the world cry over money, and it’s not pathetic. But he tells her not to cry over money, “or anything else.” D’aw.

He figures that at some point, they’ll have to clear up their misconceptions about each other, and she stops him short, saying that she didn’t have any. He means himself, about her, and starts to say that all the other women he met on those blind dates left, but she…

And then Won-seok interrupts him with a slap upside the head, chuckling that a twitchy ear isn’t always a bluff. Er, then why did they show the twitch on a non-bluffing good hand? Whatever. Anyway, it sparks a suspicion in Gil-ro’s head, and he goes running back into the room. He turns over the hidden pair of kings and his jaw drops.

The director comes by to brief Won-seok about Gil-ro and his father, and orders him to fire Gil-ro on the spot. Won-seok starts to argue, but it’s not in defense of Gil-ro. He worries that there could be complications if they just fire him without just cause, so he’ll find a way to make training so difficult that firing him isn’t a question.

Gil-ro chooses that moment to burst into Won-seok’s office to demand an explanation for the four kings—is he messing with him? Won-seok tells him that it was a lesson, and he twitched his ear on purpose. “Any information obtained that easily will always be a trap.”

This man could make lessons out of anything. Gil-ro bows in admiration, thanking him for the lessons, and vows to become the best agent someday, just like Won-seok. The director laughs, “Are you the best agent?”

Over in the women’s dorm, Sun-mi picks a fight with Seo-won over losing even more points because of her, and calls her out to fight. Damn. Seo-won gulps and grabs the nearest newspaper to wield as a weapon, and follows her into the showers.

She backs away as Sun-mi looks her in the eye and starts to approach… Seo-won screws up her nerve and raises the rolled-up newspaper above her head…

And suddenly Sun-mi stops right in front of her and bows at the waist, “I’m sorry!” Errrrrr! Seo-won literally comes to a screeching halt.

Sun-mi suddenly goes from scary gangster to toothless kitty, as she says that all throughout school the other kids teased her, and she didn’t think it’d be the same here but she’s already an outcast and was just following her brother’s advice to appear tough so people wouldn’t bug her, but now it’s happening all over again. Hahahaha.

Seo-won sits her down for a nice chat to encourage her, and they become friends. Sun-mi starts calling her unni and apologizes for her snide comments about her seducing the boys, and then asks cutely which of them she’s dating. Seo-won insists it’s neither.

Up in his room, Gil-ro takes apart his phone line with a huge grin. Are you putting in extra credit wiretapping practice? The reason becomes clear when Seo-won gets spooked by the sudden appearance of a dangling paper cup on her balcony.

Omg, did you make a paper cup telephone that actually works? That’s so cute. He tests it out and tells her she doesn’t have to pay him back for the car anymore. She huffs that she doesn’t want his pity, but he finishes the thing he was trying to tell her earlier.

He says that all of the other women left the blind dates, which was expected since he acted like an ass. But he told himself that if anyone stayed, she’d be his fated match. And then when he discovered that it was all fake, it’s why he hated her—because she killed that illusion and proved that there was no such thing as fate.

She says he shouldn’t care what kind of woman she is, whether she’s a con artist golddigger or not. He agrees, saying that he likes a totally different kind of woman—one who works three jobs to take care of herself and doesn’t give a rich heir the time of day. “I like that kind of woman.”

He says that he doesn’t like his father, but he still uses daddy’s credit card—”someone who isn’t pathetic like me.” He waits for a response, “Answer me, Seo-won-ah…” But she’s already gone.

Won-seok gives his buddy agent Sung-joon a call, but he hangs up since he’s busy tailing Gil-ro’s father. But it turns out that our baddies are tailing him, in a three-way game of cat and mouse.

As Woo-hyuk follows, he flashes back to when he was a child, running up in tears to a group of ajusshis. He pleaded with them to save his father, and one by one they ignored him. Among them: the NIS director, and the man he’s following right now.

Woo-hyuk catches up to him and it turns into a fistfight. Woo-hyuk pulls out a gun, and they wrestle back and forth, until a shot rings out. Surprisingly it’s Woo-hyuk who staggers back, shot in the gut.

Sung-joon asks who he is, and Woo-hyuk says he wouldn’t remember, since they’ve killed so many people. With his last remaining strength, he grabs a wrench, ready to bash Sung-joon’s head in.

And then another shot rings out. But this time it’s Mi-rae, who shoots Sung-joon down. Woo-hyuk takes her gun and shoots him over and over again.

She drags Woo-hyuk away, but he starts to falter as well. His other minion runs up, and then we see in the flashback that he was with a little girl and a younger boy when he ran up to plead for his father’s life.

They cry out to him now, “Oppa!” “Hyung!” With his last breath he whispers, “Kill them,” and falls dead. Bye bye, Uhmforce. Thanks for the cameo.

Back at NIS, Young-soon runs in with tears streaming down her face and tells Won-seok the news. He doesn’t believe her, demanding to know why Sung-joon would die. Once the truth finally sinks in, he goes running for the exit, but the guards stop him.

Young-soon reminds him that he can’t leave, and Won-seok says he doesn’t want this job, desperate to go to his friend. But no one is allowed in or out of the training facility, and even the president abides by that rule.

She finally gets through to him when she cries that she doesn’t want to be here either, and he calms down. Maybe it’s his mood or serendipity, but today’s spy class is How to Hold Your Liquor 101, and Won-seok leads the class in a toast, “For the comrades we love!”

They all get plastered, and Won-seok nags them in his contradictory way that he told them not to get drunk. He starts asking why each of them came here, why they chose this job of all jobs, and Seo-won blurts that she’s still going to take the broadcasting exam.

Gil-ro gets asked the same and he just coos to Won-seok: “I really like and respect you! I love you~!” Hee. He makes a big heart over his head, and the whole class follows suit.

Won-seok leaves them to drink and sits alone in a bathroom stall, crying for his friend and pounding his fist into the wall.

Seo-won pleads with Young-soon (calling her unni, ha) to let her out to take the PD exam, and just gets told to quit the spy biz if she wants to go that badly.

Gil-ro sidles up to her and she slurs, “Hey Han Gil-ro,” which comes out the same as ya-han (sexy/risqué) Gil-ro, and they both laugh this really dorky drunk, “Pffffft” that cracks me up.

She starts beating him over the head with a squid to get him to go away, and then tries her luck with Won-seok, calling him hyung and asking to get a day off. He orders her to sing a song instead, and the whole room joins in on the party.

It turns out there are things Gil-ro is bad at, like stuffing a parachute back into a sack, and gets told to skip dinner as punishment. Seo-won gives him a tip, pretending that it’s just because she’s annoyed having to wait for him, and he beams. He gets a glint in his eye and asks one of the guards for some paint.

Next up: skydiving class. Whee! Gil-ro and Seo-won are the last to jump out, and he fiddles with her radio before she jumps. Once they’re both flying in the air, Seo-won realizes there’s no one on the other end of her radio, until Gil-ro answers and says they’re on their own private channel.

He wishes her a happy birthday and says he couldn’t get her a present because they’re in training, and she argues that this isn’t her real birthday. He knows it isn’t real, but it’s the only birthday of hers he knows.

So he starts singing happy birthday to her as they sail around in the sky, and then she looks down at his parachute, where he’s painted “Happy Birthday!” on the top. How cute. She can’t help but smile.

They both land in the snow, and start to walk towards each other like some romantic drama… only to have another agent land right between them. Heh. They stand there and smile, and it finally feels like they’ve become friends.

He picks up both their parachutes and they join the group, and Do-ha notices the chummy pair with a glum face.

Gil-ro finds Seo-won a little later, and she tells him that she might quit to go take the broadcasting exam. He tells her to do it, encouraging her to pursue her dream no matter what it is.

She makes sure to tell him that she wasn’t asking his opinion, and she hasn’t decided yet what to do with her life. “And I don’t have time for a boyfriend, so stop being good to me.” He smiles, “Even if I want to be good to you, I don’t know anything. All I know is your fake name, your fake parents, your fake birthday…”

He turns to her and asks when her real birthday is, and then says, “I’m Han Pil-hoon. Who are you?” Aw, he told her his real name. She doesn’t answer, and he wonders if he’ll ever learn her real name. She says, almost with a hopeful smile, that perhaps if she quits, he might.

The director comes by to tell Won-seok that they buried his friend properly, and Won-seok demands to know what they’re doing to catch the bad guy. The director tells him that Gil-ro’s father drew him into a trap knowing he’d die.

He twists the knife, saying that basically, Gil-ro’s father killed his best friend. He says that he’s been a trainer before, and knows that each recruit feels like his own child. He growls threateningly for Won-seok to keep Gil-ro by his side and take the whole country down with them. Eek.

Seo-won finds Gil-ro practicing for their ballroom dancing test all by himself, and agrees to practice with him, just this once. They dance together without even fighting this time.

Suddenly the music stops and Won-seok walks up and hands Gil-ro a pen and orders him to sign a non-disclosure agreement. He does, not knowing why, and then Won-seok tells him he’s cut from the program, listing all his failures, according to regulation.

He takes it as a joke at first, but Won-seok tells him to pack his bag and leave immediately, and adds a punch to the gut for good measure. Augh, the guy is getting his only dream in life crushed.

Poor Gil-ro gets thrown out into the street in the pouring rain.

Seo-won asks for an explanation, and Won-seok just bites back that they do as they’re told, and leaves the door open for anyone who disagrees to follow him out. She takes a step forward, but Do-ha holds her back.

Gil-ro takes one last look back at his comrades, and then steps out into the rain. As he walks away, we get his interview speech again, this time showing how much he really meant what he said, no matter how canned it sounded the first time—that he really wanted to live grandly, and believed in dying for his comrades.

Seo-won breaks from the crowd to run out to him in the rain, and says goodbye. He says through his rainy tears, “I don’t even know who you are. I don’t know your name.”

Seo-won: “I know your name.”

Young-soon confronts Won-seok, not understanding why he’d kick Gil-ro out. She says that if Sung-joon had been the trainer, he would’ve held onto Gil-ro till the end, because that’s what a teacher does. He tells her bitterly to quit now, before she dies in the field.

Gil-ro goes on a bender, but we see that someone is watching him and reporting his whereabouts.

He wakes up in a strange hotel room, not knowing how he got there. Uh-oh. He hears someone in the shower, and sneaks up carefully…

The person comes out and he throws him to the ground… It’s Won-seok? Ha. He starts lecturing Gil-ro right away about his behavior, and he whines that he shouldn’t care—he’s not his student anymore.

Won-seok: “Who says?” Awww yeah. He hands Gil-ro a black file, a secure phone, and the rest of his lessons at spy academy for him to study on his own.

Gil-ro gapes in this way-too-excited little boy squeal, “Am I not fired? Is this like a secret mission?” Hee. He’s even got a file with his travel itinerary and receipts for the past few months, for him to memorize. Ah, to cover the time he was in training?

He opens the file as Won-seok explains that this is the person he has to watch and protect—it’s his father. Won-seok doesn’t give him the whole truth, only saying that his father is in danger because spies are clamoring for his research secrets, and his life is at risk.

He figured that the best agent to stick by his side would be his son. Won-seok: “Even if the country doesn’t trust you, I trust in you.” Gil-ro asks for confirmation—is he an agent?

Curiously, Won-seok evades a direct response: “You are my student. And an agent I trust.”

Gil-ro adorably asks for an ID card then, and gets a thwack on the head. “You have to HIDE your identity and you want an ID card?” HA. Well when you put it like that…

He orders Gil-ro to go home, so he does, to the loving arms of his parents.

He goes straight to work at Dad’s company, getting an upper-level management position from the start, to the ire of all the other employees. (And he’s back to being called Pil-hoon, of course.)

He’s greeted right away by his immediate boss… Mi-rae. Oh this’ll be interesting. She thinks he’s nothing but a lazy heir and slams down a pile of research and dares him to prove her wrong.

Once alone, he quickly puts them aside to study his spy manual. And then a year passes that way.

One day he joins Mi-rae to interview new employees for the company, and they argue over the selection process as the first candidate is dismissed.

The next interviewee is called… and in walks Seo-won. They both freeze as they look up at each other.


Nice. I like this twist in the story, because I thought they were just going to throw the movie premise by the wayside (the he-doesn’t-know/she-doesn’t-know spy undercover hijinks). Now there’s a basis for the double undercover missions, where presumably they’re both going to be secret agents pretending not to be secret agents.

Though admittedly, I’m sad that spy academy is over, since the classes on How to Be Bond were silly but cute, and provided a nice backdrop for our main characters. I would’ve liked to stay in that world a little longer with slower character development, especially given how quickly Gil-ro and Seo-won seemed to warm to each other. Still not on that romance train, but more time at spy school might’ve helped.

I also feel like we only scratched the surface with characters like Do-ha and Sun-mi, and I thought the school environment was a great place to let them each have their moments to shine. I loved her shower confession in this episode, because we had been building towards some kind of outburst; I just didn’t expect it to be that. I’m looking forward to seeing more of them.

Mostly though, I’m wary of Won-seok acting on his own, because I can’t imagine the director signed off on him assigning Gil-ro to a black ops mission and just handing him the spy manual like that would cover it. But that’s also the interesting risk in Gil-ro’s path. Is he a spy or isn’t he? Is Won-seok protecting him or using him? Once he fulfills his mission, will he find that he was never an agent to begin with? And if things go south, will his country burn him?


103 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. snow_white

    thanks for the recap 🙂
    still need to catch up with ep 3 and 4….will read the whole thing later 🙂

    • 1.1 Ivoire

      Thank you for the recap, GF!

    • 1.2 Heidi

      Does anyone know the song’s title that was playing during Joo Won had to walk away in the rain? 😀 Thanks if you could help me!

  2. JIW_sobangnim

    Will I be first? HEE!

    • 2.1 JIW_sobangnim

      Guess Im not! LOL! Anyways, watched it this morning! 🙂 Ratings dropped didnt it? 🙁

      Expected, I found it a lil slow! But the revelation at the end! And now does the story begin.

      🙂 Joo Won. U R HOT (btw)

  3. Jlee

    Yay, thanks for the recap. n__n

  4. Annie

    Aww, Sun Mi is so cute. I’m glad I didn’t stop watching after that first episode because if nothing else, this show’s got the comedy down pat.

  5. yumi

    Thank you.

    Ahn Nae-sang. I liiiiike him.

    • 5.1 sally_b

      @yumi – yes….Nae Sang is like caramel on coffee foam. There’s something very soooooooth about him.

      I also liiiiiiike him. 😉

      • 5.1.1 yumi

        Young and cute offers a charming distraction.
        But true talent and intelligence knocks sexy out of the ballpark!

    • 5.2 f

      whywhywhy is ANS so popular?
      he’s gross. he always acts as lousy weak cheating husband

      • 5.2.1 angel

        You mean in First Wives’ Club? Haha.

  6. whitethorns

    I think your analysis on this episode is correct. I am not sure whether Gil-ro really is an agent or only being used because he is the closest person to the Father.
    Also, I worried that they are going to throw the original story from the movie, but now I think the story is starting to get interesting.

    • 6.1 yumi

      I find I can’t trust the director. There is something not right about it, or so it seems watching the raws.

      • 6.1.1 Betsy Hp

        Agreed. I’m hoping Won-seuk has that same suspicion and that’s part of the reason he’s planted Gil Ro.

    • 6.2 nayomaise

      I had a feeling when those two met in training that the story was gonna turn out like this. It’s just like “The Recruit” starring Al Pacino and Colin Farrell, a pretty good movie about spy vs super-double-undercover-spy.

  7. MariD

    Thank you soo much!!! I seriously love all you recap ladies. I become a Kdrama junkie watching the raw eps as soon as they are loaded. Reading the recaps fills in the blanks of things I did not get. Thank you! Thank you! Thank You!!

  8. Sintia

    Thank you for the recap!
    I like the interaction of Joo Won and Ahn Sae Nang characters, I think they have a good chemistry together as actors. I am looking forward to their bromance.

  9. MariD

    Phones… What happen to their phones? While the whole paper cup thing was adorable, but I could not stop thinking. Why don’t they just text??? I know at the start of training they took their phones away, but last episode they both used their phones to call their parents. So whole in plot, or me misunderstanding?

    • 9.1 yumi

      I think they had to surrender their telephone when they got on the bus. They were given their cells back to call their parents. I assume they had to return the phones once the calls were finished.

      Seo-Won wouldn’t have answered Gil-ro’s call anyway.

    • 9.2 reeen

      I suppose they only got their phones back temporarily to phone their parents and clean up the mess they created. But of course Gil-Ro could’ve just used the phone in his room as it was instead of reassembling it first…

      • 9.2.1 yumi

        And destroy the Bond-iness of going Macgyver?

        Also, they are in a spy school Chance are the telephones are bugged.

        • Mari

          I suddenly have the urge to build a paper cup phone to see if it actually works…

          • yumi

            Does Joowon live in the apartment below you? Go ahead and try.

  10. 10 Skyblaze77

    Nowhere near as addictive and epic as Gaksital in my opinion, but Joowon is totally adorable and this show is hilarious. And angst with Joowon never goes wrong ^^
    I was pretty disappointed with the first episode, but it’s steadily getting better and I hope it keeps up that trend.

  11. 11 Betsy

    I’m actually liking the drama. The comedy is great, as for the romance I’m not completely buying it but Joo Won is just so cute who wouldn’t fall for him (I’m secretly and vicariously living through Choi Kang Hee and her Seo Won character right now).

    I wish they had spent at least 1 or 2 more episodes in spy school too. I would have loved to see some spy simulation scenarios play out, training, fight scenes, etc. (or something similar to what they had in the early episodes of The King 2 Hearts).

    I’m also glad they didn’t drop the undercover spy storyline from the movie. It will be exciting to see Seo Won try to hide her spy skills from Gil Ro and having her think that he is just a normal civilian and not an undercover (maybe) spy.

    • 11.1 Betsy

      OMG forgot to mention how cute the paper cup phone scene and birthday parachute/skydiving scenes were *swoons*! I heart Gil Ro he is just so romantic!! 🙂

      • 11.1.1 Betsy Hp

        Oh, hi fellow Betsy! 😀

        I’m finding myself enjoying the drama more and more, myself. I haven’t seen the movie so I can’t compare. But I’m glad they’re going with on-the-job undercover since they’ve taken away the spy school. (I liked the spy school.)

      • 11.1.2 owl

        Yes, the paper cup scene -floor to floor service- was really cute. It must be the thing in current kdramas, as Jin rak (FBND) does the paper cup to the wall to “hear” if anything is amiss in the apt next door. So not 21st century- haha!

  12. 12 MBMD

    Actually, at first I was hesitant to watch this drama because Ive been reading a lot of bad reviews about it. That the main leads have a poor chemistry. Others were saying, that Ha Ji won is a better fit for the character yadda yadda yadda. I tried watching the first episode, and truthfully, it wasn’t that exciting. Tried giving it another shot. But as the story progresses, I find it interesting and yeah im starting to love this soap, that even if Ive been watching some series, Ive been itching for a week checking out if somebody has already uploaded the new episodes. At first, I thought Joowon was more attractive in villain roles, and his wackiness is a little bit much. But im starting to like him as that. Weve been watching Kdramas about cops, detectives, and agents, weve been watching Kdramas about academies, and this is something in between. Maybe were not yet into hardcore action like Iris or Cityhunter, but I love that this drama series takes us to a lighter side of it.

    • 12.1 reeen

      I really can’t understand people who want to see Ha Ji Won in another type cast role. It gets old. I think she’s very talented, but because I’ve seen her so much in these badass roles I have a hard time seeing the character instead of the actress. I don’t think I would’ve watched this if Ha Ji Won had been the lead.

  13. 13 ilikemangos

    -The James bond Academy was cute, but you really couldn’t really take it seriously. although i did enjoy won-seok’s life lessons. ha
    -Gil-ro seems to be falling for seo-won rather fast.
    – totally agree with you GF about one of your favorite thing about this show. won-seok’s relationship with gil-ro is the one i’m most invested in so far.

    • 13.1 ilikemangos

      And i’m assuming gil-ro assumed the ear twitch was a nervous tic — he went all in thinking won-seok had a bad hand.
      That’s the only way i can explain the confusing ear-twitch scene.

    • 13.2 skelly

      Does no more Spy School mean no more Romulan uniforms? What will happen to the Romulans? Someone fill me in, this is the most interesting story line!

      I was wondering, does CKH’s bowl haircut mean that she is a Romulan? Or is it foreshadowing, hinting at the fact that she will be recruited/assimilated by same? Or is it meant to fool us into thinking she is a Romulan when she really isn’t? The suspense is killing me.

      • 13.2.1 Airyn

        Romulans…as in Star Trek villains? ^_^

  14. 14 crazedlu

    Oooohh. Now kinda interesting. Joowon. ~

  15. 15 insa

    Awww, Bye bye Uhmforce!!!:(

  16. 16 altair

    The drama picked up towards the end. It really dragged in the first half, but then it got better. That is, until the last frame when Seo Won showed up. WTF?! What was that? That hair style and even worse, the new contact lenses. I really didn’t think there was any way her image could get worse. I was proven wrong. There was. It got much, much worse. It got so bad that words can’t even begin to describe how bad she looks now. Don’t characters in dramas usually get a makeover after a year? She had a makeunder. The stylists (read: worst enemies) decided to go from bad to worse to the worst to….Fire the stylists!

    • 16.1 snow1081

      I totally agree with Seowon’s hair at the end!! OMG seriously shouldn’t she gets prettier and not uglier? I love her but this is a bit too much…

    • 16.2 asianromance

      The hair wasn’t too bad. I’m glad it looked less bowl-y and has got more texture!

      But the circle lenses! I feel like circle lenses should be banned from the set unless the character you’re playing in an idol or you’re playing a character from the early 2000s.

      CKH, your eyes are pretty just the way they are!

  17. 17 Rani Heriyani (@aiya_anie)

    gaaahhh… i can’t watch the drama for now but thanks for the recap…

    and i love the screencaps…
    joo won… <3

  18. 18 Boba

    I looooooooove this drama I love Gil ro and I can see the romance of the future infront of my eyes huuuuuuuur

  19. 19 DarknessEyes

    meh, this show is okay, I do think they could have made it better. It’s downright boring at some points for me. Tbh, the only reason I’m still watching is Joowon. Well let’s see how it happens…
    I really don’t buy how Joowon bought that story about him having to watch his dad or whatever, now he’ll never be a real agent…

    I really hope this gets better, I had high hopes for this show.

  20. 20 exquisitemelody

    whoa, interesssttinngggg. It’s nice to get a time jump EARLY in the drama instead of in the last 10 minutes 😛 I was wondering how they were going to do the whole he doesnt’ know/she doesn’t know thing.

    Thanks for the recap!! It was a nice break from studying 😀

    • 20.1 meanrice

      thats what we said about BIG and looked what happened there…

  21. 21 me_gusta

    Noooooo!!!! Uhmforce Oppa!!!!!!!

  22. 22 @liss@

    Is that all we get from uhmforce cameo? Awhh…what a pity… I was hoping for the bromance between him & Joo won and was hoping for the conflict between their characters. Was uhmforce role pivotal in the plot? Totally a waste of uhmforce…cant really see the importance of his role 🙁

    • 22.1 skelly

      Yes, well, all the perfumes of Arabia cannot sweeten this little hand.

  23. 23 anvesha

    I’m specially curious about Gil-ro’s future ‘spy’life. He thinks he’s the spy but he might not be, which.. is definitely gonna be a huge problem later on. What if something happens to Won Seok? Can he ever be a certified agent?

    I don’t see any chemistry between the two leads in a romantic sense, especially with CKH’s hair getting worse as the drama progresses.

  24. 24 kw02

    Given that the NIS director has ordered to fire Gil Ro, Gil Ro will not be able to graduate from the spy academy in any case. Yes, he may be used and not properly recogized as an agent in the end. At least, now that he is informed, he has a chance to protect his father. Hope he will be successful in this mission =)

  25. 25 lunchboxthermos

    this is starting to sound like a kdrama version of that colin farrell/al pacino movie The Recruit, no?? (not that i mind, of course).

  26. 26 Hubba_Hubba

    I don’t understand why some people really don’t like the lead girl. Joowon was actually the one to recommend CKH. Is she not pretty enough? Even then, girls can’t get guys who are more attractive than themselves?

    When a girl gets a really attractive boyfriend, all the other girls sneer and talk bad about her. When a guy gets a beautiful girlfriend, other guys congratulate him.

    ANYway, what attracted Gilro wasn’t her looks (though I guess seeing her in that dress cemented his feelings) but her hardworking ‘Candy’ self. Is he too perfect? haha

    Maybe its because of the age gap? I’ve seen larger.

    • 26.1 snow1081

      I am so with you in this! I just don’t get why people kept on complaining about CKH? She is an awesome actress and I like her in this drama! True Joowon recommended CKH to the director! So people suck it up and live with it!

    • 26.2 asianromance

      What attracted Gilro was the feeling that they were fated to meet each other – right after he told his mom that the girl for him would be one who would have waited for him to finishing studying – boom! he meets her! He meets the lone girl out there who didn’t get pissed off at him ignoring her and waited the date out (and even brought her own book!) He’s his mother’s child Then he got pissed because he thought she was out for his money. Then the misunderstanding was cleared, and he’s letting himself feel for her again. I think this explanation provides a good enough explanation that he didn’t fall for her looks, but for the connection he felt with her and the feeling that he has recognized a potential soul mate.

      With Joo-won recommending her, I bet he has a slight crush on CKH. She was in the business before him and he must have seen her in rom-coms and movies. What a dream it is to act opposite someone you’ve seen on tv before you made it big.

    • 26.3 ilikemangos


      it’s episode 4. by now, everyone should have moved on.
      fixation on CKH will just ruin this show for you.
      tellin’ y’all now to get used to it!
      Cause she’s here. shes stayin’ for good.

      • 26.3.1 addylovesbwood

        Yup! so jump on board or kkeojyeo(get lost)

      • 26.3.2 Sam

        Agree. And I seriously don’t get it when people complain about the age or beauty of an actress. And how can people give reviews of the chemistry between the leads by episode 2? The chemistry hasn’t even really begun yet. I think she portrays her dislike of him perfectly in the first 2 episodes. If by chemistry people mean attraction and mutual feelings, then by episode 4 these are certainly apparent. I don’t need a pretty, sexy or “beautiful” female lead to sell it to me. CKH is doing a more than adequate job. Plain Jane dramas are nearly always better IMO.

    • 26.4 Mar

      I’m right there with you on the lead actress hating stuff, it just gets tiresome.

    • 26.5 Bookdork1

      It seems inevitable that female leads always get put down. If they had chosen a younger “prettier” actress, people would have complained that she was unexperienced and never portrayed any emotion (see Jin SeYeon in Bridal Mask). Whether it be books, movies, or dramas, female leads always have some percentage of the audience against them, which is sad and more than a bit ridiculous. I agree that sometimes, the writers spend more time developing the male lead than the female, but that should hardly put the actress at fault. I think CKH is doing a pretty great job and the age gap doesn’t bother me (Think about the 8 year gap in King2Hearts) and considering it’s episode 4, I think the romance is right on pace. They’ve been at spy camp for what, 5 or 6 months. It feels rushed b/c we saw their friendship develop in only a few scenes, when really, it’s been a pretty long process to get that initial misunderstanding resolved.

  27. 27 befuddled

    I think this drama is quite different from the movie… but it’s been amusing and I’m interested to see just where/how things are going to go at this point.

  28. 28 cacazeel

    omg! watz with her hairstyle >.<
    the story is good and jo won and chansung both are superb in their acting, no to mention ahn nae sung-awesome teacher……but the actresss, i dont know but i cant seem to like her at all

    • 28.1 coby

      I am also bothered with her hair.. Her hair style pinned on her application form is pretty… why chop her hair like that?

      • 28.1.1 Ellie

        Totally agree !! But look at the bright side , she dont have the hairstyle like the one in Full House 2 ^^

        • Ann

          Ha! That’s what I was thinking–no perm! Her mom got the ugly perm. But longer hair wouldn’t hurt.

        • dcmbr

          by looking at her bangs at the end, looks like she might have a slight perm. I see some curls in there.

  29. 29 coby

    Thanks for the recap! All yay! For this episode!

  30. 30 Carmensitta

    The spy things and general story are okay-ish but the writer has to go check his/her sanity… So PJ wanted a girl that would stay through the matseon even if he treated her like crap!? How nice…

  31. 31 Faranak

    Wow! Love gil ro(obviusly cause of joo won’s great acting :-D) paper cup was So Cute 😉
    Hope the gil ro became smarter and stronger during this passing 1year 😀 thanks for recap :-*

  32. 32 Faranak

    Oooh! And plus I Hope HE will be recognized and called and hired as an agent at the end 😀

  33. 33 Naghmeh

    why this series reminds me of a movie from Alpacino?? this episode was so familiar to me…I hope it will change in coming episodes, otherwise I will get disappointed.

  34. 34 Quiet Thought

    I think this now qualifies as the dopiest spy series ever put in front of a camera, but there are some funny bits and some good acting and it looks like our leads will be doing some real spy stuff now. And we got our all-important shot of GKH’s marvelous calves!

    • 34.1 skelly

      I am sure it is unfair to compare this show to the unholy mess that was Jin, but just like Jin I am enjoying the recaps to the point where the show is immaterial. Thanks to everyone for your comments!

  35. 35 Annie

    I honestly do not get the horrible hair styles that I see in Korean dramas. They seem intentional because the baddies or second leads will all have great, perfectly nice hairstyles.

    For what it’s worth, I think I’m the only who doesn’t like JW in this. I do like the show overall. The editing is bad and the writing is choppy, but it knows how to keep me coming back next week.

    • 35.1 dcmbr

      Is the bowl cut (bangs) still a trend in Korea? I have seen this kind of cut for so many years now, why is it not going away?

      • 35.1.1 skelly

        My guess is Romulan infiltration.

        • Quiet Thought

          Romulan strategy . . . “Misdirection is the key to survival, never attack what your enemy defends, never behave as your enemy expects . . . ”

          . . . And distract your enemy by instigating arguments about trivia, particularly about bad haircuts.

  36. 36 dcmbr

    I definitely agree with making the academy school scenes longer. I felt that we were just starting to see the bond between the comrades, especially with the cute dancing drunk scene and the parachuting. If there were more bonding scenes, the sadness of Han Gil Ro’s dismissal would have been more effective. I didn’t feel any emotions at all when he was getting dismissed. As hard as I tried, I cannot feel the romance between the two leads. And I second the hair comments, why oh why, I mean I love bangs but why is her hair at the end just looks so wrong?

  37. 37 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap! I was actually a little tired of the academy (except for the Ahn Nae Sang bits, everything just seemed messy and disorganized), so I was super happy with the twist. Let the actual spying begin!

  38. 38 Birdie

    This show is quite boring .Not much rom or com. We are 4 episodes in and I can’t say I am cheering for the leads or any characters. I put it to the writing and directing. Guess it ends here for me. Can’t take any more of the bad hair styles. Making the female lead look worse does not make the show any funnier. Adios, show.

  39. 39 elle

    I had high expectations for this drama.
    But to me it is just too outlandish for me to grasp and hold onto. Other dramas w/ fancy tales hold some kind of ground of feelings that the audience can hold onto…but this is just all over the place. The loveline was rushed and the spy academy was just a tactic to create a “past” for the two characters.
    Plus Seo-won annoys the heck out of me. I feel that her acting is a bit too exaggerated with her eyes are always like this O.O
    And the backstories of these two characters are both things we’ve seen a billion times before.
    We aren’t working with anything new, and many said there would be no chemistry b/w them, well b/c it was so rushed THERE WAS NO TIME FOR THE SPARKS.
    So as of now my hopes for this drama aren’t too high.

    • 39.1 verte

      LOL at the O.O eyes!

      I don’t think this drama’s the BEST EVER or anything, but it’s pretty watchable 🙂

  40. 40 alyna

    No bromance for Joo Won and Uhm Taewoong? R.I.P. Uhmforce, thanks for the cameo!!!

  41. 41 JV

    It has so improved and I like the two leads they click for me, and yes the movie at first undermined my enjoyment of the series, but I think they can develop more character and story in this format and there is a nice blend of drama, comedy and some angst, so far I still want to see what happens next.

    Thanks for the recaps.

  42. 42 Betsy Hp

    Thanks for the recaps, girlfriday!

    The show’s growing on me. 🙂 I too wish we could have stayed at the school a little longer, but a super-secret undercover band could work, too.

    And I’m adoring Sun-mi and Soo-young as an unlikely odd-couple. I hope we see more of them!

  43. 43 addylovesbwood

    It didn’t start out strong but you gotta admit it’s getting better.

    I like that it heading in a totally different direction from the movie.

    Never thought I’d say this but CKH is growing on me!!! thanks to the scene he got dismissed from spy school… it would have been nice to hv an extra episode of them training.

    Looking forward to next week’s episode.

    I think this is my fav drama of the yr so far. (school 2013 comes in 2nd place.)

  44. 44 addylovesbwood

    And I love how noone’s talking about Yunho and Soo Ae pairing up in Yawang… now that is just wrong…

  45. 45 umiumi

    thanks for the recap and screencaps, got addicted to gil ro now, wed please come faster!!!

  46. 46 haha

    Um…why so dramatic all of sudden?
    I was beginning to enjoy this show with EP3, but all the fun I felt is cut off in EP4. I feel like I’m left behind by writer….It’s still OK though.

  47. 47 Nokcha

    Loving Joo Won, but can’t warm up to CKH. I did like her in PTB, but she just doesn’t seem to fit Joo Won. Like someone mentioned above, maybe she’ll grow on me.

  48. 48 Justme

    Thanks for the recaps…

    I wish the training school and the bickering part last a little longer, that would make the change of feelings more believeable to me. But I guess they need to hurry if they want to reach level 7 fast ^^
    On the next episode I bet Seo Won would lie that she quits the NIS for the broadcasting interview but failed, so she’s looking for a job at his company while actually on a mission for something that include seducing Gilro without knowing that he’s still an agent too. Oh, and she’s actually in a relationship with Do Ha. That would be fun ^^

    By the way, I like the papercup scene. It’s iconic, I think we can see a lot of reenactment of it in the future ^^

  49. 49 meanrice

    What is the point of the scenes with Seo Won’s parents? I mean her mother’s line about she would have ended up in a better place if she got swept away by a flood was the best mothereffin line in this drama so far.

    You know what I wished for more than more spy school? More baddie backstory. What was going on with Uhmforce’s daddy that the outright refusal of the agents caused him to dedicate his and his siblings’ lives on revenge? It would inform the spy / counterspy mission more if a little glimpse of that is given.

    Also Lady Romulan’s boots looked killer, even though they are so impractical for her job.

  50. 50 Phemmy

    This is the first drama of Joo Won that I looked into. I really don’t find him attractive before, but now. Omfg. Joo Won, where have you been? Haha. I love the parachute scene. That is just so sweet. Now, I’m hooked.

    As for Choi Kang Hee, she’s good. It’s just that her hair in this drama is bad. Sue your hairtylist girl! Her hair in Protect the boss suits her more. Stylist, please bring it back for goodness sake.

    This keeps getting better and better! Next week, pali pali!

Add a Comment

Stay civil, don't spoil, and don't feed the trolls! Read the commenting policy here.

 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.