Drama Recaps
Incarnation of Money: Episode 7
by | February 25, 2013 | 56 Comments

How would you react to an ex-girlfriend you can’t recognize? Shock? Relief? Displeasure? Cha-don finally comes face to face with the new Jae-in, who looks for any way she can to get revenge. Perhaps someone needs to teach her that there are greater things at hand, like a murderer on the loose, than worrying about whether your cheeks bloated a little this morning.

Ratings remained steady for this episode at 13.3%.

EPISODE 7 RECAP

Mom’s injured hand now bandaged up, Cha-don begins her parole interview. He pauses when she assumes responsibility for her late husband’s murder – the first time she’s done so since her incarceration.

Her head remains bowed as she speaks until she finally lifts her head… and sees young Kang-seok sitting across from her. Oof. She recognizes him though I’m sure no one, let alone Cha-don, will believe her given her current state.

Another question brings her out of her reverie and she answers that she plans to find her son upon her release. But her face hardens when Cha-don implies that her son may be missing or dead. She eyes him with suspicion: “Do you think Kang-seok is dead too?”

Enraged, she grabs Cha-don by the shirtfront, yelling that Kang-seok is waiting for her to return to him. The guards drag her away, and Cha-don sits there for a long moment, affected by her emotional outburst. He writes on her report: pending decision.

Cha-don remains silent in the car as Chief Yang sighs that it would have been easier to deny parole instead. He notices Cha-don’s tears and asks if he’s crying out of compassion for the woman.

Given their current caseload, they don’t have the time to look into the missing son, but Cha-don urges him to follow up. He thinks to himself: “Is Mom looking for me too? Or did she already…”

His train of thought is interrupted by the news of Secretary Lee’s escape, which means Jae-in is in danger. Tracking her whereabouts leads them to a club where understandably no one recognizes Jae-in by her Before photo.

Present Jae-in dances amid a small crowd of men and like all the others, Cha-don is immediately drawn in by her beauty. Jae-in panics when she sees him until she remembers that he can’t recognize her slimmer self.

So she plays up her allure with a hair flip and dance, set to sexy music. And to be honest, it’s a bit cringeworthy.

Regardless, he falls for it hook, line, and sinker and sidles up to her at the bar. Jae-in is clearly amused that her flirtatious act worked like a charm but nearly gives herself away when she immediately crumples the poster with her old photo in his hand.

As Cha-don paints her old self as “a vicious and brutal woman,” you can almost hear Jae-in think, I’ll give you vicious and brutal… and then she punches him square in the face. He laughs off the bloody nose like it’s no big deal and she gives a sarcastic smirk when he worries if she sustained any injuries.

He’s regaling an unamused Jae-in with tales by the time Ji-hoo arrives and is promptly dragged out of the club by the ear. Back at the office, he and Ji-hoo point the blame at each other while poor Chief Yang is caught in the fray.

As for Jae-in, she waves off the last of her suitors before climbing into a taxi, completely unaware that Secretary Lee is behind the wheel. Uh-oh.

She scoffs at Cha-don’s message and considers it ridiculous that she’s in possession of a crucial piece of evidence and that a murderer has it in for her. That is, until she sees a picture of the suspect and identified him as the same man as her driver.

Jae-in does her best to remain calm and tries to engage with her driver to no avail. He ignores her requests to stop, so she takes matters into her own hands and grabs the wheel.

The car swerves and crashes into a police car. Sporting two bloody noses, she barely has enough energy to tell the officers to arrest the driver.

Boss Bok and Assistant Kim rush to the hospital at the news of the accident and they hilariously mistaken a completely bandaged victim for Jae-in. Boss Bok sobs over (who she presumes to be) her daughter’s wretched state, crying that she forgives all of Jae-in’s previous wrongdoings.

Jae-in listens to their cries from around the corner and once the gurney is taken away, she walks up to her mother and taps her on the shoulder. As expected, Boss Bok doesn’t recognize her and after a few prompts, Jae-in asks: “Have you forgotten your daughter’s voice?”

The realization of her daughter’s complete physical transformation settles in as Jae-in pointedly notes her mother’s promise that she’d forgive her. That earns her a beating and Jae-in shrills that she’s still recovering. And did you think you’d get out of this without a beating?

On their way out the hospital, the three notice Cha-don who makes the same mistake and they watch him try to interrogate the unknown injured victim about the pen. Jae-in quickly ushers her mother away and huffs her annoyance at running into him again.

But Boss Bok asks how her daughter knows “our Cha-don-ie” and confirms that he’s the “good-looking dummy” who almost became a part of the family. Jae-in is shocked at this connection and she blubbers in disbelief.

Ji-hoo and her team run into Se-kwang at the prosecutor office with Secretary Lee in tow. Declining Se-kwang’s offer to transfer the case to Team 2, she vows in a slightly strained voice to show him that she can handle a case on her own.

Se-kwang follows Secretary Lee to the bathroom and a punch to the suspect is enough to send the Team 1 members scurrying away. He pushes Secretary Lee up against the wall and tells him to listen up.

Which might explain why the interrogation gets the prosecution team nowhere and Secretary Lee remains tight-lipped, much to their annoyance. Chief Yang oh-so-casually hints that it would be easier if they brought in Jae-in, but she’s busy trying to work off extra calories and doesn’t notice her phone ring.

Mayor Jung raises a curious eyebrow when he hears that Ji-hoo is the prosecutor in charge of the case. He’s more concerned about the shark, Se-kwang: once he bites down on his prey, he won’t ever let go.

The mayor has one more present for Lawyer Hwang to deliver to Secretary Lee: a pill. Huh, that looks awfully familiar.

So when Lawyer Hwang meets with Secretary Lee, he also relays the message from the mayor. Secretary Lee owes his life to the mayor, and now it’s time for him to repay that debt. Eek.

The pill will take effect in 10 hours, long enough for the prosecutors not to suspect him or the mayor. Secretary Lee twists the lid free with a shaky hand and consumes the pill.

Lawyer Hwang breaks into a smile and tells Secretary Lee that the pill was just a vitamin; the mayor will be pleased to hear of the man’s unwavering loyalty. That was a pretty twisted game you played there. Sheesh.

Lawyer Hwang assures him that they have nothing to worry about as long as the alibi remains in place. If it breaks, then they’ll say that the bank president’s downfall was about money.

Secretary Lee doesn’t look so confident about that statement and once the lawyer leaves, he removes the pill from under his tongue.

Chief Yang briefs his team that Secretary Lee’s alibi checks out because it’s virtually impossible that he left the hotel, committed the crime and returned within an hour’s time. The team acknowledges that he must have fabricated the details, but how?

Meanwhile Cha-don tries to decipher what Se-kwang said in the interrogation room and he runs through a mental list of syllables. The others try to join in to help but that only confuses him more and when he yells at them, the music abruptly stops. Heh.

Ji-hoo sighs that at this rate, even one call from Jae-in will help their cause. Ring ring.

Jae-in sets up a meeting time and hangs up. We see that she’s back at the plastic surgeon’s office and she gets an emergency facial to reduce the yo-yo weight gain. She dreams of returning home to see Cha-don holding a bouquet, his teeth chattering from the cold.

She would be annoyed, call him a stalker, and get lost. He’d confess his undying love for her in return: “I’ll die without you! I can’t live without you!”

And even in that fictional scenario, she’d tell him to die.

She’s still laughing about the fantasy when Cha-don walks into the coffee shop. He recognizes her from the club and babbles on about how serendipitous their meeting is. He asks if she’s here to meet a boyfriend and lights up when the answer is no.

She turns the question back on him and is rendered utterly speechless as he answers that he’s here to meet the “vicious and brutal” woman again. She fumbles for her phone as Cha-don gets up to look for a chubbier Jae-in.

Cha-don picks up his ringing phone and looks back to find the voice… that belongs to Jae-in. The women in this show have some pretty awesome reappearances to the men who screwed them over.

Now it’s Jae-in’s turn to rise and she chucks off her jacket in a defiant stance. At Cha-don’s baffled stare, she waits for him to say that she’s pretty. Only he blurts out how remarkable plastic surgery is these days.

Jae-in gets on the defensive – she lost this weight naturally. But Cha-don doesn’t buy it and notices that her entire body is different. Then his eyes rest on her chest and she covers them up with her hands.

His reaction freaks her out and she yells that she won’t help with the investigation just as Ji-hoo enters calmly as you please. She introduces herself and apologizes on Cha-don’s behalf – she’s read up on their previous relationship. Ji-hoo bows her head and barks for Cha-don to follow suit.

Jae-in hands over the fountain pen and is turned off by the idea to testify against her previous employer. Ji-hoo asks if she won’t regret her decision but Jae-in answers that she’s sure since she was considered an outcast at work.

With that, she walks out the door and Ji-hoo orders Cha-don to go after her. It’s their job to protect her before the hearing since the mayor might try to win her over to his side.

He follows her to the luxury hotel she’s staying out and he wonders how she can stay at such an expensive place. She slams the door on him and he stays outside, rapping the door. And all the while, he’s unaware that he’s picked up a tail.

The Chungrok Literary Society formally deliver their donation to the forensic psych ward. Angelina reads her own literary work and it cracks me up that her last name is Silver (which is “eun” in Korean.).

As she continues, Mayor Jung reels with emotion and Boss Bok whispers to her assistant: “Are those song lyrics?” HA – I wouldn’t put it past Angelina to do something like that.

The best part is that the very melody plays in the background and Boss Bok whispers the line before Angelina dramatically recites it. By now, even the inmates have caught on and they exchange curious looks.

Mom arrives late, now calm after her previous outburst. But one look at Angelina and she explodes in anger, charging onto the stage and grabbing Angelina’s hair. The guards pull Mom back and Angelina shakes in terror.

Angelina calms her nerves with a stiff drink and Mayor Jung consoles her that anyone can get bitten by a crazy dog. Boss Bok sees the situation differently and wonders why that crazy dog targeted Angelina.

Her eyes grow wide – is Boss Bok insinuating that the crazy woman has some sort of vendetta against her? Answer: Yes.

Boss Bok gets a call from Jae-in informing her that she won’t be returning home tonight so that Cha-don remains in the dark about their familial relations. As soon as she hangs up, the mayor gets news that the prosecution are looking to bring in Jae-in.

Prosecutor Kwon puts in a call to Se-kwang, informing him that Ji-hoo has handed over the fountain pen for DNA testing. A minute later, Se-kwang receives a panicked call from Angelina and as usual, he coldly dismisses her.

She calls up Prosecutor Kwon and is drunk by the time he arrives. She recounts her encounter with Mom that day and Prosecutor Kwon assures her that they have nothing to worry about – Mom is half-mad by now.

Angelina scoffs – she’s heard that a prosecutor has deferred Mom parole and may be out soon.

Chief Yang arrives at the hotel and Cha-don scowls when he mentions that he’s heard that Jae-in is pretty now. Cha-don tells Chief Yang about a bakery he often frequented when he was at the orphanage.

But one day, he saw the baker spit into her hands in the batter and he was scarred for life: “Because it was so disgusting.”

Jae-in overhears their conversation from the other side of the door and she flares when Cha-don declares that he won’t ever consider her beautiful. “How dare he compare me with a steamed bun!”

She thinks back to when he called her “fatty” as kids and racks her brain over how to exact her revenge.

Cha-don’s half-baked plan for Chief Yang to disguise himself as a thief to draw Jae-in out seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Their conversation is cut short by a waiter who brings them some drinks and Chief Yang assumes it’s a nice gesture on Jae-in’s part. He downs it in one shot.

Thankfully Cha-don is a bit more suspicious and he pulls Chief Yang away without drinking a drop of his juice. The camera pans over and we see his tail just around the corner.

They escape to an empty maid’s closet and run through the simulation. But not before Chief Yang consumes the other glass as well. Uh, that might not have been a great idea.

Se-kwang is surprised to hear about the deferred decision as well. Prosecutor Kwon warns him that the statute of limitations for Mom’s case hasn’t run out yet. If she gets out now, things will get messy for them.

Back to the hotel where Chief Yang is about to knock on the door when the juice effects finally kick in. He makes a run for the nearest bathroom and passes by the real attacker, who slips in and stifles Jae-in’s screams.

The man emerges with her slung over his shoulder – the cue for Cha-don’s grand appearance. Cha-don thinks the masked man is Chief Yang and is impressed by how thorough his co-worker is to keep up the ruse.

Cha-don demands the masked intruder to put her down but he gets ignored. The rehearsed play-fighting quickly turns into a real struggle and by the time Cha-don sees the real Chief Yang, there’s a taser gun in the intruder’s hand.

Chief Yang counts to three before being tased (aw) and Cha-don manages to kick the taser out of the attacker’s hands. Cha-don turns it on the masked man and gives chase down the hallway, but he loses him.

Cha-don reports to Ji-hoo who instructs them to move into a safe house in the morning. Chief Yang reminds him about Mom’s parole review the next day. As for the missing son, all the leads about his disappearance are dead ends.

Mom steps inside for her parole hearing the next day and finds herself face to face with Se-kwang. It’s clear he expects her to be angry with him but she readily trusts him like before.

She thinks that Bi-ryung might know where her son is, but Se-kwang answers that the former actress doesn’t know either. He advises her to retain her sanity for as long as she can – it’s her only ticket out of here. Says the man who suggested it in the first place.

Tears well up in Mom’s eyes and she poses the possibility that Kang-seok might not be alive any longer. And if that’s the case, she sees no purpose in her own life either.

Just then, the door opens and we see that in Mom’s perspective, Kang-seok walks through the door. She cries out his name in relief and hugs Cha-don.

Se-kwang initially looks confused and then narrows his eyes at Cha-don. It can’t be, can it?

 

COMMENTS

A great way to bookend this episode. Both Mom and Cha-don felt some hint of recognition in the beginning of this episode, though it became evident that it was much more intense for Mom whose maternal instinct trumps any mental state. It was heartbreaking to watch her scenes with Cha-don because she immediately identified her son and no one in this world will believe her. Then pair that with Se-kwang’s confusion: out of all the people in the world, could this newbie prosecutor trainee be the same person he’s been looking for all this time? I doubt that he’ll act on his suspicions anytime soon, but it’s safe to say that Cha-don will be on his radar.

Even though Incarnation carries some obvious flaws, I still feel like the hour flies by pretty quickly. The scenes feel relatively short and we circle through so many different characters that it’s only when I look back at the end of the hour do I realize the characters who didn’t get that much screentime. For instance Se-kwang and Lawyer Hwang felt much more peripheral in this episode but instead of that feeling of characters swinging in when needed, the world feels like it’s still moving and these characters are out doing something even if we don’t see much of them.

I still find myself hard-pressed to invest myself in our lead couple and their interactions together. There’s an odd sense of naiveté in their bickering. I found it cute when they were teenagers but as adults, they feel stuck as characters among others who have moved on with their lives. It bothers me that Cha-don is still that same teenager who still only appreciates the physical beauty of a woman, though granted, Jae-in feels like she endorses those same values for herself as well. So then does that make these two meant to be anyway?

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56 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Carole McDonnell

    You are so so so right about the obvious flaws. And yet, for some wonderfully weird reason I totally love this show and I look forward to it. Only goes to show that gaping plot holes do not get in the way of entertainment. The show is just plain fun. Oh sure, neither the Park family or the orphanage or the Korean legal system or even Cha Don himself have ANY photos of the young Kang Seok, and folks totally don’t remember what each other looked like back in the day…. but YES, I really do like the fun in this show and it does go by quickly. Thanks for the recap.

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  2. RockPaperScissors

    Just the right amount of crazy to sweeten up my weekend.

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  3. Dramaddict

    Despite Cha-don’s changed appearance, his mother seemed to ‘recognize’ him, whereas he remained totally oblivious to Jae-In in her new guise. This seems to be an important point about a connection to another person–or the lack thereof–that transcends appearance. A great way to both use & critique the theme of plastic surgery.

    Plus, Cha-don’s mom’s precarious mental state makes her ‘recognition’ of Cha-don/Kang-Seok that much more ambiguous. I like it.

    Thanks for the recap!

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    • 3.1 Carole McDonnell

      very true on both points.

      One can always say that Mom has gone mad, or that the mad have a certain insight that no one has, or that she really does recognize him. And yes, wholescale plastic surgery remake can totally change the appearance.

      It’s just so many people not recognizing so many people…kinda strange.

      I do wonder though how the scriptwriters are going to prevent Cha Don from recognizing his own face. I guess they’ll keep him from seeing a pic of himself for as long as possible. The suspension of disbelief required in this show requires a lot..but I am so willing to go there.

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      • 3.1.1 DayDreamer

        I think Cha Don looks very similar to his younger self looks-wise. He should just have to see a picture of his younger self with his mom and he’ll know he’s related to the Park Gi Soon. He doesn’t need to recognize himself; just recognize himself in relation to his mother.

        The Triatagon, however, believe Kang Seok to be dead so I don’t think they’ll make immediate connections for a while.

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        • 3.1.1.1 Carole McDonnell

          If he saw a pic of the missing Kang Seok that might do the trick. But from this drama it appears that South Korea doesn’t have a database of missing kids.

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      • 3.1.2 MsB

        As all the familial pictures are gone, it would be for someone else to recognize the young Kang Seok. Besides the flaws which I’ve never watched a drama that did not have him, this is beyond entertaining.

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  4. snow_white

    thanks :)

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  5. DayDreamer

    The show does have its flaws but I think now that the background story that needed to be laid out have been done so and once you ignore the flaws from there, it’s better to follow through now because the show finally seems to have found its footing and is moving along very well, in my opinion. In short, I’m enjoying it a lot.

    I also now find the dynamics between Jae In and Cha Don interesting because their bickering feels refreshing from other kdrama bickerings in that there is the comfortable vibe between the characters. They bicker but not so with things that will ultimately make them have hurt feelings over it.

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    • 5.1 Carole McDonnell

      What’s really interesting right now is the implication that Jae In will probably be gaining the weight back. Her eating habits are not perfect yet. And there was the “yo-yo effect” whi9ch I don’t understand but which Jae-In seems to fear. So…yeah, stuff might return to the beginning and our hero will have to drop his shallow ways.

      I am also really interested in Prosecutor Gwon’s incredibly hot son. That kid has a baby face but as another character said earlier “a baby crocodile is still a crocodile.” I think this sweet naive prosecutor-in-training is gonna cause some trouble for someone in the end.

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      • 5.1.1 DayDreamer

        I don’t think Jae In will return to her chubby beginnings. Instead, I think that they’re just using the yo-yo effect to show that magical transformations don’t come without their side effects nor without hard work. The way I see it, the yo-yo effect is merely akin to real life weight loss problems: if you exercise and work hard to lose weight and get all toned up…but then not exercise for a year or so, then you actually get chubby (doubly so!). Because Jae In’s weight loss was extreme (it happened so unrealistically fast), then her yo-yo effect will also be extreme. She has to maintain exercising and regular check-ups with the guy who did her surgery. At least that’s how I perceive it.

        I’m not interested at all in Prosecutor Gwon’s son. Sure, he’s hot but he’s just a lackey, lol.

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        • 5.1.1.1 TS

          She still had it a lot easier than anyone else. They dont even show post-surgery pain.

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          • 5.1.1.1.1 DayDreamer

            I know. I’m just trying as best as I can to make things seem more logical and coherent. ;)

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      • 5.1.2 Arawn

        Jojo effect is well known among people who have ever lost or tried loosing weight and all the medical personnel, dietary specialists & whoever are part of weigh loosing business or have interest in it. Just saying because it’s very, very commong among people who loose weight…

        Simply put it mean that everything one has lost will come back. Then you have to loose it again and it comes back and it goes on and on. This happens because usually people loose weight by dieting and after they finish it, they go back to their old habits. And as those old habits are exactly what was responsible for their fat in the first place, all what was lost comes promply back. Often with some extra…

        So, loosing weight is actually rather easy compared to KEEPING it away once you’ve lost it. And as Jae-In is a binge eater who eats when she gets emotional AND who lost all of her weight by strict dieting & plastic surgery, it’s given she will revert back to her old habits as soon as emotions hit her. And will start gaining again. Although, in real life, if she did lipo, weight gain would be rather interesting… In lipo fat cells are completely removed so you won’t really gain fat to areas where the lipo was done but as the fat gained has to go SOMEWHERE, it will go to the areas that weren’t previously so very fat. For example, if the lipo was done to her lower parts (thighs, buttom, stomach), her arms would look quiiite interesting after gainin weight again…

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  6. MariD

    I really dislike the adult female lead. It seems that making her pretty took all the awesomess that was her teenage part. I guess I just don’t get the message the media tries to convey with this massive make overs to their over weight characters. I recently just watched 200 lbs beauty, and did not like it. I know that we live in a very superficial world were being pretty and skinny is a requirement. Yet I feel bad for all these kids growing now with this distorted version of what bring pretty is. Anyhow..
    I’m on team prosecutor JiHoo/ChaDon

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    • 6.1 MsB

      Me too! Ji Hoo/Cha Don are better suited. It will be a big turn-around to change my mind.

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    • 6.2 DayDreamer

      I don’t know….I found Jae In to be just as she was pre- and post-makeover. She has the same spunk, kind of selfish attitude, and desire to be with a cutie/hottie.

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    • 6.3 Marilyn

      yes, me too. I really don’t like some of the characters, like se kwang and his partner. and i like ji hoo better that jae in. But i love this drama because it is Kang Ji Hwan. For me if it is Korean drama, it must be Kang Ji Hwan.

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  7. maakopla

    I agree that episodes seem to just get buy so fast. I was watching this episode on dramacrazy and when first 15 min part was over I was like “it seems like only 5 minutes have passed”

    The writers of the show should get their facts straight. everything in this drama what is linked to law is so unbelievably dumb… Or maybe it’s just the implementation? I don’t usually mind if there are flaws in dramas but this many and so obvious? Come on.

    I definitely love mother-son interaction! It’s so intense! But Cha Don and Jae In don’t really go that well together. I don’t know… I have no respect for this Jae In character at all, she is dumb and ugly.

    Maybe the point in this drama is that even if you go through surgeries to look skinny and pretty you will still be the same fat and ugly kid inside. (when she was fat she was actually cute and I could even sympathize with her but not anymore…) I like the fact that Cha Don is looking down on her after finding out about the surgery… But then again, he was looking down on her even before it just for different reasons xD

    Se Kwang and his hair from the 90′s LoL

    Did anyone else notice that people in this drama are not using smartphones? That’s kind of weird, it’s a bit nostalgic to see those small simple phones.

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    • 7.1 Robs

      The setting right now for the drama is 2007, so the hair (well maybe not the hair), the dress, the cars and the phones are correct for the time period.

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      • 7.1.1 MsB

        Thanks. I thought it was not present time.

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        • 7.1.1.1 maakopla

          Me too. I forgot about the beginning of the first episode.

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    • 7.2 houstontwin

      Wow! I never would have noticed. You are so observant!

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  8. DHM

    I don’t like the message society sends about physical beauty and weight, either, but there’s another issue here, too. I said this in a comment to the previous episode, but I will repeat it here.

    As the mother of a brain injured child, there was very little adorable or sweet about the teenaged Jae In. She was a creepy bully with all the makings of an adult who exploits others for her own uses, and she is still that person as an adult.

    It isn’t endearing to call a brain injured child a dummy nor is it admirable to attempt to train him to be your slave, to call himself you slave, and to trick him into giving you physical affection when you demand it. This is abuse. It was selfish.

    It was only tolerable because she was also a child with obvious issues, but characters like Jae In as a child who are not taught better (and she clearly wasn’t) will grow up to be the sort of people who abuse their authority and take advantage of those weaker then them. Her teenage self in relation to Cha Don wasn’t cute, charming, or adorable. To anybody who thinks it was, I challenge you to do a bit of role reversal here. pretend it was an unattractive teenaged boy with issues calling a gorgeous but brain injured girl a dummy while training her to call herself his slave and give him physical affection whenever he’s manipulated her to do so. That’s an awfully nasty scenario, and they exploitative dynamics do not change just because the genders do.

    I hope that when Cha Don compares her to the steamed bun made by hands that are soiled with spit, that’s what he means- it’s her personality that is the biggest issue, no matter how pretty she is. She’s obviously totally selfish and self-centered. As shallow as Cha Don is, he still obviously does have a warm heart and he does care about others. He seems genuinely worried about jae In’s safety even when he dislikes her, he is kind to his mom when he doesn’t know it’s his mom (he’s concerned just reading her case file), his gratitude to his unknown benefactor, and other small areas show his warm heart beneath that shallow, teenaged boy exterior. Jae In, Miss “I was an outcast at work, so I don’t care that one ofmy co-workers was murdered, I can’t be bothered to help bring a killer to justice?” Girl *needs* a personality change.

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    • 8.1 TS

      Wow, this show is insulting on so many levels. I’d been focused on the female stereotypes and the fat girl nastiness, but I hadn’t even thought about Jae-in’s behavior to the teenage Cha-don.

      Unfortunately, I think he’s referring to Jae-In’s previous looks since he noted she’d had her nose, eyes and more done. So, losing weight wasn’t enough for him in this case.

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    • 8.2 Carmensitta

      And Jae-In’s reaction when she found out that he was the same person as her “crush” was so despicable. If she really liked him at least a bit, wouldn’t she be at least a tinny bit relieved/proud/or I don’t know, something in those lines that he made it even if he had all odds against him!?(she didn’t know about her mother helping him). I had a crush or two in my teenage days that knew about me linking them and where quite mean to me, but that didn’t hold me for being happy for them getting married and having a good life. But no, she only huffs and puffs, proving that she only liked the idea of having a beautiful slave a his whole adoration, nothing else.

      Jae-In’s weight issues weren’t treated right as well, but there are so many things that are just wrong in this drama.

      I really think that the writer doesn’t see all these issues as problems, which annoys me even more. It seems like LCH and some of the baddies and secondary characters are done right, and all the other law, surgery and disease related plot-lines are just thrown in to make things going forward.

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    • 8.3 Carole McDonnell

      I’d forgotten they said Jae In had a brain issue. Did they say it was a brain injury? I remember something said about that’s why she ate so much. Did the writers forget all that by now? I’m thinking they did.

      My 23 year old son is diagnosed as pervasive development delay and is mute so I’m also very touchy about the way disabled people are portrayed. Thanks for pointing out this particular objection to the plot. I’ll have to keep an eye out on it. I can excuse certain things but if the writers really are using Jae In as somehow mentally disabled, then I’ll be mighty angry if they step over the line and offend me. Right now, I’m thinking that they simply forgot what they said earlier about Jae In.

      Again, thanks.

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      • 8.3.1 DHM

        It’s Cha Don who had the brain injury, not Jae In. When Cha Don awoke after the accident, initially the doctor told Jae In and her mother that the boy had permanent brain damage and might never learn to speak. At that point, he was called ‘the dummy,’ and Jae In called him “Handsome dummy,” and started training him to do her (selfish, creepy) bidding, as though he were her personal property, even threatening the brain injured boy with physical violence if he didn’t answer her demands as she wanted him to. MOst of the commenters here thought this was so cute and empowering of Jae In, to use a fellow human being in this totally objectifying, selfish, abusive fashion. I find it horrifying, and I am sure they would too, if Cha Don were the one treating Jae In that way.

        As it turned out, his brain damage seems to be limited to his memory of his past, his brain function actually inexplicably increased and is the cause of his now nearly photographic memory. But that doesn’t alter the reality that Jae In’s behavior and treatment of him was not remotely charming or adorable, it was only selfish and exploitative.

        I don’t like the fat issues, either- I am also terribly overweight. But even there, Jae In’s issues are clearly deeper than her weight. The *way* she ate was disgusting and sloppy, and her personality is still totally self-centered, whether she is skinny or fat.

        I don’t like it that society treats people differently because of their looks and weight, but it is realistic to show that this is the way it is. And Cha Don, once he finds out WHO Jae In is, actually stops treating her differently, because it really was mainly Jae In’s personality he hated (at least, that’s what I think from show 7).

        I don’t think he would have liked her romantically if she were fat, but I don’t think he would have called her names, and hated her either, if she had been a nice person. They might have been friends as children if she hadn’t been trying to train him as her her slave for life when he couldn’t defend himself.

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        • 8.3.1.1 DayDreamer

          Well, I’m one of the commenters who didn’t feel disturbed by Jae In wanting to make Cha Don her slave and whatnot and I kind of think you’re making those scenes a bigger deal than what they really were or were intended to be. It’s sadly a bit of a failing on the writer’s part that Jae In’s character wasn’t properly fleshed out and so viewers are left to speculate on it rather than receive assurance. Anyways, I wanted to say that I didn’t warm up to teenage Jae In either…but that was mostly because she was really mannerless in the way she sloppily ate. Initially, I thought there were some psychological issues involved but post-surgery Jae In didn’t reflect on that so I’m stumped. I just consider it as one of those flaws that the writer had in fleshing Jae In out.

          However, the thing about her wanting to make Cha Don her slave….well, I didn’t really take it seriously. I actually thought it was the show’s attempt at humor, particularly since it didn’t last long at all (Cha Don was in her home for 2-3 days at most, I think). If the show planned to have her prancing around with a figurative leash on Cha Don (especially without knowledge of him actually being super smart), then I would’ve been disturbed. Also, whatever Jae In’s age may have been at that time, her mental age seemed much smaller at that time. She just struck me as very childish and it was like she was trying to play House with Cha Don. In short, I don’t think the writers were being serious about it and so I wasn’t either. You do provide relevant points and I would have felt the same too if not for the feeling at that time (while watching those scenes) that I wasn’t supposed to be taking it seriously.

          As for adult Jae In, I definitely agree with you that she needs to have a bit of personality change, particularly when she was unconcerned about her murdered co-worker. I do also think that she may have said that just as petty revenge towards Cha Don but that doesn’t still excuse her. When Cha Don refuses to like her after knowing who she was and relating it to the steamed bun, I was also happy with that analogy because yes, she needs some perspective on her personality as an adult and that beauty isn’t what she thinks it is. Personally, I think the writer is making all these flaws in Jae In just to point that out: yes, society shuns overweight people (especially women) and Jae In has this flawed perspective that beauty is only skin deep, that beauty can account for everything, and that beauty can get her anything. It’s like how money is being operated in the drama; without money, you’re a nobody. Thus, Jae In’s journey will be a journey realizing how wrong she was and how she can change her perspective.

          (Sorry for the essay, lol)

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        • 8.3.1.2 Arawn

          Oh yeah, the eating part… This is a very common belief that fat people’s eating habits are somehow very disgusting and predatory. Fat people over eat HUGE amounts at one time, they pile foods close to them and stuff their mouths full food dripping everywhere munching it with their fat cheeks glistening with grease. They eat with fingers, of course and are messy, unclean and dirty while doing it.

          You could mock this stereotype by exaggerating it or something but this show clearly hasn’t gone there. It only reinforces all the stupid beliefs people have of fat people and obesity. Yeah, I’ve been fat myself and I’ve NEVER eaten like Jae-In. Admittedly I’ve had and still have some not-so-pretty habits like eating in the bed (but Romans did that too!!), but being and overall pig while eating is not so very common even among fat people, I’d argue. Not to mention skinny people can be very disgusting with their eating habits, too. They just don’t eats so much.

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      • 8.3.2 TS

        Cha Don, not Jae In, but she’s not too bright…

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    • 8.4 asianromance

      I was thinking about this the other week. For some reason, I thought the kids were much younger, but they were really on the cusp of adulthood. I think a lonely, socially-inept, clueless, selfish princess on tv can be forgiven as a younger age (maybe under 10), but I’m guessing Jae-In’s like 14 in the flashback. A 14 year old girl taking advantage of someone like that is disturbing. And then that line about not wanting to testify for her boss’s murder trial. I know Candys are tiring in dramaland, but do we need to do a 180? Since the drama is only at 2006/2007 in the timeline, I’m hoping she becomes a more compassionate person by 2013, like those dick heroes we get in kdramas who later become nice.

      Jae-in’s upbringing is all sorts of odd. Her mother manages an elegant restaurant where the ladies dress in hanboks and move with the grace of maidens from ye olden days. Madame Bok should have been grooming Jae-in since childhood to succeed the family business and restaurant. Instead, she was raised in almost isolation, no lessons on deportment, and acts like a girl raised at a fishmarket.

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    • 8.5 Denise

      I agree completely on Jae In’s character. I couldn’t stand her as a teenager, I can’t stand her as an adult. She needs a complete personality transplant.

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  9. owl

    I am way more invested in the mother-son relationship and am also irritated by Cha don Jae ‘s adult connection so far. The scene in the cell was quite moving. I want to see how their relationship unveils itself.

    The energy that adult Jae in puts forth for revenge is childish (although it was easier to understand when she was younger). What’s with the yoyo effect references? It makes me think that the story is going towards Jae in putting on weight and being heavy again – I’m annoyed at the significance of her weight in this story, from her mother reaction to it to Cha don’s.

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  10. 10 Fun-Lugha

    Somebody burn that silver (or whatever it is) skirt on JI-horrible!

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    • 10.1 John

      Fun-Lugha ~

      Hah! My wife referred to Jae in’s dress as “funky”, not in the good sense of the word.

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  11. 11 Ivy

    Hmm. This show is getting more slow-paced and less entertaining. Jae-in is quite annoying and there’s not much funny anymore :(

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  12. 12 z

    Didn’t Se Kwang and Cha Don grow up tithe a brothers? How is it that Cha Don didn’t recognize him? I fully expected him to know who he was the first moment he walked into the office. I still recognize people who I sort of knew in high school fourteen years ago. On a similar note, how did Cha Don’s perfect memory not register pre-surgery Jae In? Forgive me id this has been thoroughly hashed out already. I didn’t red many of the previous recap comments.

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    • 12.1 MsB

      Hit by a car, head into window shield. Memory is optional.

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  13. 13 V

    Love this drama. I don’t even care about the flaws.

    As far as looks are concerned. From my experience some people look very different after a few years and some people look exactly like they did since they were 4 years old.

    At this point I am really interested in the next time jump.

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  14. 14 Lilian

    I loved it in History of a Salaryman whenever the female lead started swearing…haha…so funny. someone the laughter in this drama is more forced. And I do hope the writers do handle the issue of beauty and imperfections better going forward. There is still time for them to explore more….

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  15. 15 Belinda

    I did not realize until yesterday this is 24 ep , so we still have a long (and fun) ride ahead of us . I think both lead character’s will grow out of some of the immaturity , remember ep 1 that’s the future . So stop whining about the flaw’s of society if you are not actively doing something about it and enjoy .

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  16. 16 fangirlofone

    I am not worrying about the flaws of this drama just yet. Remember. the creative team in this was also responsible for Giant and HOtS. Do you really think they’d ignore or be completely oblivious of these flaws that, as some of you have said, undeniably obvious? I’m sure they have lot of trick up their sleeve when it came time to straighten out the story, and the characters.

    Jae In’s immaturity and selfishness and utterly wrong perspective of true beauty is, in my opinion, one of the conflicts of the story. It is justice that Cha Don’s the only one unimpressed of the sudden change. I believe his reaction, or lack thereof, to Jae In’s “pretty face” will give Jae In a much-needed push towards self assessment.

    I agree that once Cha Don sees a picture of himself, the search for Kang Seok is over. I really look forward to that; but not as much as I look forward to the traitagon realizing the naive Cha Don is the wise little Kang Seok who’s life they totally ruined all those years ago.

    I am still invested in this drama. I see all the flaws as conflicts that the writers have laid out to be straightened out later. :)

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    • 16.1 DHM

      “Jae In’s immaturity and selfishness and utterly wrong perspective of true beauty is, in my opinion, one of the conflicts of the story. It is justice that Cha Don’s the only one unimpressed of the sudden change. I believe his reaction, or lack thereof, to Jae In’s “pretty face” will give Jae In a much-needed push towards self assessment.”

      Fangirl, I kind of think you’re right about this- I like this show with one or two caveats.

      I’m more bothered by the *viewers* commenting here who think that Jae-In’s selfish behavior was so adorable, and that it was so cute when she was tricking the brain damaged child into being her slave. Gack.
      I LOVE that Cha Don is not impressed by Jae In at all once he realizes who she is.

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  17. 17 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap! Ugh it kills me how the mom sees Kang-seok in Cha-Don! And knowing that there will be another time jump before we get to the beginning of episode 1 and before Cha Don will get that call about him being Kang-seok…guessing the reunion will be delayed for another few years. The mom and Kang-seok moments were the times I felt that adult Kang-seok was the most real and the lead character. Otherwise, he feels sort of secondary most of the time. I’m crossing my fingers that there is some connection between the two storylines we have here: the murder/mayor case and his family’s destruction and reunion.

    I was disappointed with the lack of realistic follow-through with Jae-In’s plastic surgery, but I like how this drama has shown that plastic surgery hasn’t magically solved everything. By getting plastic surgery, Jae-In may be in a worse position to win Cha-Don’s affections than chubby Jae-In and that there are people like Cha-Don who will judge a person for their looks and then judge them every more for getting plastic surgery to “fix” them. And it looks like she’s trying to exercise and resist fattening foods in order to maintain her look. And the show also shows that even with plastic surgery, Jae-In is still as cringeworthy as ever – even moreso, as she tries to keep all the plastic surgery bits all intact.

    As a romance drama, Incarnation of Money sort of fails, but I try to remind myself that the series will span several more years (probably a 5 year time-jump along the way) and Cha-Don and Jae-In will eventually mature, and the focus on law/crime/politics rather than romance can be riveting. Will someone ever nail this mayor for his bad deeds?!

    It was hilarious how the mom and Cha-Don both mistook the bandaged victim as Jae-In and how that victim tried to strangle Cha-Don. The Boss Bok reciting Angelina’s plagiarized lines before Angelina says them was awesome! I think Boss Bok may be my favorite character in this drama.

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  18. 18 Carole McDonnell

    I’ve kinda forgotten why Se Kwang is so out to get the mayor. Is it personal or just a crime thing? I gotta say I love the way the bad guys are portrayed. Se Kwang who seems to be capable of being a true righteous prosecutor on one hand (if he’s after the mayor for some righteous reason I’ve forgotten) and on the other hand, he is totally cold and vicious about Kang Seok’s mother. That ability to be two different type of moral beings in one body… I’m not sure he can keep going like that. Everything that rises must converge in some way or other.

    But the mayor is totally evil, and so good at it. I have to smile at his evil.

    And there is the Boss Gentleman of Jjingae. So many folks fear “him” and yet so far…it’s just rumor. Nothing evil seen as yet. At least, evil on a par with murder or such like.

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    • 18.1 asianromance

      It’s partly because the mayor is a criminal and the other part is that Se-kwang seems to get off on going after big shots and being a hero. It’s probably a matter of pride to him to get the mayor thrown in jail.

      I also love how the bad guys are betrayed. Sometimes, I forget that they tried to kill Kang-seok and feel bad for them.

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      • 18.1.1 chasen8888

        After watching episode 8 there is another motive for Ji Se Gwang e-tal and that is “greed”. Since the recap for 8 has not come through as yet, I’ll just give that as a little spoiler.

        I like the show but like most of you I have a lot of issues with how they appear to be very insensitive to common personality and societal issues that affect our key characters which of course does not give us a positive view about them or their country’s society as a matter of fact.

        Since its 24 episodes, it is with hope that the PD’s and key characters mature and give us a bit of compassion pertaining to these matters (it can be done subtlely and not necesarily forced). Some scenes may seem funny to some can be highly insensitive to others which is understandable. A good percentage of the viewers of this show may fall into any of those categories by association or as themselves.

        Since I do not read Korean, I wonder how the netizens are responding to this show, do they have similar issues like we do or they are just looking at it superficially? Yes its a show, but yes it is a show (if you know what I mean).

        From what I understand episode 9 is a new section of the show. This appears to be the trend so far Section A – 1-4 (intro of Kang Seok, Jae In, nemesises and friends in the childhood stage), Section B 5-8 (trainee prosecutor Cha Don, “adult Jae In”, new characters, old nemesises yet to be recognised, “friends” and establishment of their basic role), Section C 9 – 13 (Cha Don’s new life as a prosecutor etal, may be Jae In’s transformation maturity wise and a new fight. That’s what I see so far.

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        • 18.1.1.1 maakopla

          “I like the show but like most of you I have a lot of issues with how they appear to be very insensitive to common personality and societal issues that affect our key characters which of course does not give us a positive view about them or their country’s society as a matter of fact.”

          DING DONG! I totally agree with you on this. Totally.

          “After watching episode 8 there is another motive for Ji Se Gwang e-tal and that is “greed”. Since the recap for 8 has not come through as yet, I’ll just give that as a little spoiler.”

          I was thinking about this too but then why did they make him into a “righteous” prosecutor then? It seems like he is going against everyone else because he wants to be a good guy and then his crime buddies from the past are turning against him one by one. For me Se Gwang is a controversial character all in all, not in a good way but in a “writers YOO HOO!” way.

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          • 18.1.1.1.1 TS

            If I just tae it as pure slapstick, then I like parts of it and find it funny. But the underlying angst gives the show an edge where I’m offended or irritated where I wouldn’t be with pure comedy such as BlackAdder.

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  19. 19 Emily

    I dont like the way weight has been handled, but they’ve made it so that Cha Don doesnt love her automatically after the weightloss, so when he falls in love (maybe/probably) we will be able to believe it more. Actually the romance is kind of a pity for me, because the actual plot is so good, the romantic interaction lets it down a bit, could have made it a bit more simple.

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  20. 20 Carmensitta

    This Jae-In character is so annoying at this point that the story will only benefit without her. Till now this character was used for “comic relief” and I very rarely find her scenes funny. I can’t find anything funny in caricatures, why would people laugh when those images are just trying to mock a person by exaggerating a trait and making it look ugly, all of that for their amusement. Jae-In’s rage moments do nothing but disgust me, remember that scene when she “shakes/hits” the car, that’s the perfect portrait for: 1.unrealistic image , 2. ridicule 3. trying to hard to be funny but I guess I get to remember the scene because I was so annoyed with it.

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    • 20.1 maakopla

      Maybe Koreans think it’s funny. After all they think fat people are ugly, disgusting and pathetic. Worth laughing at. Or something…

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  21. 21 Quiet Thought

    The actors here are trying hard–way too hard, in some cases. But, they are stuck with an implausible story scripted and directed by trolls. I’m actually enjoying it when ji Hoo walks into the scene. Not because of the character or the acting, but she’s like reality casting a cold pall on the silliness of it all.

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  22. 22 Goldie

    Does anyone know the song which Angelina recites it ?? It should be really funny if it was the famous song. Please help :D

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  23. 23 Aegyo

    Does anyone know the song that plays when Jae-in is dancing at the club that sexy song???Its so catchy and she is trying to impress Cha don?? Please I need to know the song!!!i think I’m starting to like it

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