Drama Recaps
Level 7 Civil Servant: Episode 11
by | February 27, 2013 | 64 Comments

The blinders come off, the faith is lost, and our love story comes to a screeching halt. Typically, the mid-point romantic breakup is where so many dramas go awry with the melo antics turning up a notch, but I hope that the divide here will take our story into more interesting places. (And to be honest, we could use that.) Now, at least, begins the real bout of Spy vs. Spy.


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Seo-won gets caught raiding Gil-ro’s family safe, which is heart-shattering for them both.

(Though I can’t help wondering why she gave herself 20 minutes just because he said he’d zip out for 20—instead of, you know, supposing he might be early. Also, what spy doesn’t notice she’s been caught for a full minute or so? Okay okay, I’m going with it. Logic, step aside!)

He looks completely disillusioned as he asks if this is why she was so insistent that they couldn’t like each other. And then: “So this is why you approached me.” It’s both a statement and a question.

Seo-won is devastated too, and barely holds on to her composure as she asks him—begs, really—to let her go just this time. Uh. In what world is it fair to ask, You caught me stealing from you but can you just let me skip off with the family secrets? Pretty please?

She tries to go, he grabs her, she shakes his arm off. They grapple briefly but he grabs her and demands an answer: Is that why she pursued him? “If you want to leave, then kill me and leave.”

She says she’d never kill him, but he’s through falling for her lies. This time when she flings off his arm her bag goes flying… and out spill the documents she swiped. She stands there miserably while Gil-ro pockets her camera and reads the contract detailing the firm’s acquisition of other tech companies.

That’s damning, but worse, it sends him on the wrong line of thinking: that she’s in league with the baddies who were trying to kill his father. Which, taken from his perspective, doesn’t seem that outrageous.

Seo-won asks if he believes she’d really do that, and also requests the documents back. Guh. Or you could refute the claims and not seem like a guilty person. I feel bad for her, really I do, but she’s handling this in the most suspicious way.

They fight over the papers, and he stops himself from knocking her out, warning that she can’t beat him. She agrees, but says tearfully, “I know, but I can’t lose today.” And pulls a gun on him.

What in the WHAT. Okay, I’m over her now. Sympathy mode off.

Gil-ro challenges, “Shoot.” Seo-won turns the gun on herself, pointing it at her heart to say that while her head may have told lies, her heart never did. “If you want me to, I’ll kill this heart.” She clicks off the safety.

I spoke too soon. Now it’s time to say, What in the WHAT. Either you play the hardass spy and you steal the documents, or you play the heartbroken martyr and sacrifice the job for love, but don’t fucking try to do both.

Seo-won asks if that’s what he wants, and he can’t answer. Both are choked up with tears. She warns, “Don’t follow me, or I’ll kill myself.” Is there a logic chip I’m missing, that this scenario makes sense and I’m just not seeing it?

Gil-ro doesn’t follow, and Seo-won breaks down just around the corner.

Gil-ro breaks down too, though he pulls out his phone to call in a report to Won-seok. He can’t hold it together long enough to actually say anything, however, and sobs with his head in his arms.

Seo-won reports her mission failure to her team. Heads hang all around as she says that Gil-ro confiscated the documents. Sun-mi shoots her a bitter glare, saying that given how Seo-won drove Do-ha off the team, she should have at least succeeded at her mission. Me-ow. Suddenly when a guy’s involved the unni bond no longer matters. Thanks, Mr. Writer, for this enlightened view of women.

Young-soon asks about her chances of trying to rekindle the connection with Gil-ro, but those are just about nil given that she pulled a gun on him. Seo-won is put in clean-up mode to wrap up loose ends, and asks with a catch in her voice whether she’ll have to move out of her apartment. She’s thinking of Gil-ro telling her to change her number and her address so he could never find her again, fearing just that.

Young-soon understands and doesn’t argue when Seo-won asks to stay put. She tells Won-seok to get those documents from Gil-ro, even if it takes clueing him in on the whole story: He’s not an agent, and if he doesn’t hand them over he’ll be lumped in as Dad’s accessory.

Gil-ro’s not home when his parents arrive, and Dad beelines straight for his safe. But it’s just the watch he wants, and he takes it out with a smile. Aw, would it kill you to do that in front of your son?

Said son drowns his sorrows at a bar while reading over the documents. The liquor has a resolve-weakening effect and he ends up in the courtyard outside Seo-won’s apartment, sitting on the bench where he once lay his head in her lap.

Seo-won arrives to see Gil-ro staring wistfully at their couple photos, and ducks around the corner to avoid being seen. After he leaves, she takes his seat on the bench, where she finds the photos he dropped.

At the IT&TI offices the next day, Gil-ro shows the documents Seo-won was trying to steal to Mi-rae, asking if she has any idea who might want them. The documents list companies that were acquired, then basically stripped for their best parts. Mi-rae says it’s not an illegal practice, but perhaps a rival company would want that info.

Gil-ro notes that the practice goes back five years, with a large investment from a now-defunct company, Taeguk. The name immediately has Mi-rae on alert—that must be their cover organization. And as it happens, that initial investment is their whole operation’s Achilles heel, because Woo-hyuk had used a name (Dad’s) that could link to JJ.

Mi-rae deflects, saying that she could hardly know events dating back years before her arrival at IT&TI. But Gil-ro has done his homework, pointing out that Mi-rae received stock incentives when she came onboard, and there’s a note on her account… which is the same as that old company’s.

Her eyes narrow, wondering what he’s up to. He says he simply wants to know where the danger lies—another company, or industrial spies. Mi-rae dismisses him coolly, telling him she’ll handle any problems and that he should go home, since he’s been suspended from his job.

Gil-ro lockpicks his way into Seo-won’s desk (right in front of his employees—not the most careful spy, is he?) but finds nothing.

At NIS headquarters, the team briefs on the latest findings about Mi-rae and JJ. They’re aware of a deal about to go down with Director Park (the scientist stealing the secrets), and are keeping tabs on him to prevent him from fleeing abroad.

Since her mission has fizzled, Seo-won is told to take Do-ha’s old job as Sun-mi’s partner. But Sun-mi refuses to work with her (me-OW), stating that they are unable to protect each other. It’s a vague sort of catch-all excuse, but the bosses relent and don’t press the issue.

Seo-won takes Sun-mi aside to clear the air, which is like running into a brick wall with spikes. Sun-mi says she doesn’t think she’d be able to protect Seo-won in a moment of danger, because she would hesitate. Because of a boy? Are you an agent or aren’t you?

Sun-mi doesn’t seem to believe Seo-won’s insistence that she and Do-ha are just friends, and says pointedly that it’s not like she and Seo-won were friendly to begin with. Meaning: back to zero for us.

Gil-ro surprises Seo-won with a call, and the first thing she asks is whether he’s eaten—a mundane but affectionate sort of inquiry, the kind you ask of a loved one. He cuts her off to get to his point: He’s going to track her down and uncover her organization, certain that they’re the bad guys.

The NIS agents panic to see Gil-ro approaching again, and scramble to get their cosmetics company front in place. Seo-won isn’t fast enough and gets stuck in the office as Gil-ro bursts in, and ducks behind some boxes that her colleague does his best to keep Gil-ro away from. Heh.

Gil-ro asks about Seo-won’s work record and her client roster, certain that this job was just a cover for her more covert activities. He gets nowhere, though, even when he declares that he’s an NIS agent—to Seo-won’s shock, as well as that of everyone watching inside HQ. The other agents laugh, assuming he’s bluffing, while Won-seok and Young-soon fidget uncomfortably.

Gil-ro promises to confirm his identity and calls Won-seok, who takes the call pretending he’s the wife. Ha. They’re able to shove Gil-ro out of the office, so the next time he meets Won-seok he asks for contact info to the government office—he can’t investigate when nobody believes who he is, and he has no proof of being NIS.

Won-seok does his usual runaround of saying he doesn’t need to investigate anything on his own, but Gil-ro is determined this time. He asks, “Then am I not an agent? Is that why?” Won-seok assures him that he is, to which Gil-ro replies that he’s going to catch the criminals.

He heads to Seo-won’s apartment that night and bangs on the door… only to find it occupied by brand-new tenants. Discouraged, he turns away—and we see that they were agents pretending for Seo-won’s benefit, to get him off her trail.

As Mi-rae exits the office, she picks up a few NIS tails, but she’s wise to it. JJ laughs that the agents are incompetent; no argument there.

But the laughing disappears when Mi-rae informs JJ about the documents being in Gil-ro’s possessions. If their identities are uncovered and the dots connected, they may not get to enact their revenge at all. Faced with such a dire threat, Mi-rae doesn’t argue this time when JJ decides he’ll kidnap Gil-ro to detain him till their deal goes through—or kill him to shut him up.

Seo-won calls Gil-ro for a meeting, and she directs him over the phone to the location in an outdoor parking lot. He’s suspicious of her motives and treats her like she’s a criminal making demands, but follows her instructions to meet her at the convenience store.

She’s not here to actually meet him, though, because she ducks back into her car, watching him all the while. She keeps him busy walking around looking for her while telling him that she’s not a corporate spy, which he doesn’t believe since he’s decided to trust nothing.

She apologizes, then thanks him for the photos, saying that she wanted to tell him this while looking at his face: that she’ll treasure them always, so he should too. At that, Gil-ro realizes she doesn’t intend to meet him and dashes back to his car, where she’s left him one set of photos.

He looks around frantically… and spots one car trying to back out of a parking spot, doing a terribly jerky job of it. HAHA. Way to call back the joke.

He runs right up to the car, and Seo-won panics, screeching off into reverse, driving back up the entrance ramp while he chases her. Ha, maybe she really is an innate spy, ’cause she’s way better when she’s too overwhelmed to think about what she’s doing. Of course, she IS also way out of control so maybe it’s a wash. She’s alternately screaming (at herself), “What am I doing?!” and (to him) “I’m sorry!” Ha, okay that was funny.

Gil-ro gets left in the dust, and angrily hurls away the photos.

Do-ha gets back into the good graces of NIS director Oh, who orders him back to his old team. Do-ha balks, only to be told that his job as an agent is to do what needs to be done, not what he wants to do. Y’know, what does it say when the super shady Director Oh is talking the most sense around here? What good is moral rectitude when it’s blazingly incompetent?

Seo-won admits to Young-soon that she saw Gil-ro again, but she acts like she’s fine with everything. She didn’t cry, and it wasn’t so bad, really. Young-soon invites her out for a drink, and they laugh it up rehashing her hilarious backward escape.

Seo-won spies a form in her bag—one of those dating applications from her friend’s firm, filled out with Young-soon’s info. Haha. So they call over Jin-ju the matchmaker, who reads over the application and is pleased with all the top-notch specs. Their clientele gets classed into A, B, and C levels, and Young-soon’s job, income, and education are all A. Of course there’s her age… which drops her to a C overall.

Jin-ju the tactless chirps that age conquers all, since a woman need nothing but her looks and youth to nab a good man in this dating reality. It’s thoroughly depressing, but it’s Seo-won who gets most upset about it, and she yells that it’s just so unfair.

Of course, she’s no longer talking about Young-soon as she sobs that it’s just not right that she worked so hard for the country, and yet the result came out the worst possible way.

That night, Gil-ro heads to his car in the parking garage, which tells me something bad’s about to go down. (Nothing good happens in parking lots! Not in this drama, at least.) Sure enough, as soon as he turns his car on it fills with fumes that knock him out. JJ’s handiwork.

Luckily for him, Seo-won arrives at the office just in time to see Gil-ro being driven off, unconscious in the passenger seat. She had come on Young-soon’s urging to meet with Gil-ro and have a heart to heart with him, but now she switches gears, hops into a cab, and follows.

Meanwhile, Sun-mi and Do-ha sit down to dinner. She’s called him out to tell him (rather huffily) to change his number because she doesn’t want to call him anymore, but has already memorized it. Riiiight, and that makes it His Problem, right?

She adds that Seo-won failed her mission and tells Do-ha not to come back to their team—because it’ll make her think he came back for Seo-won. Le sigh. Are you national security agents or are you twelve-year-olds? And “both” is not an acceptable answer.

Gil-ro comes to in a shady abandoned warehouse. JJ sits nearby, so he quietly slips out a pocket knife and gets to work on his bindings, all while feigning sleep.

But JJ’s wise to the act and tells him to knock it off. He cuts right to the chase: Hand over the docs to live. Refuse and die.

Gil-ro displays no fear and talks back, which gets him punched in the face over and over. He wants to know if JJ is the one who gave the order to steal the docs, but JJ wants his documents. They’re having two different conversations entirely, too fixated on what they want to get anywhere.

Gil-ro keeps working on his handcuffs as he demands his answer, just as JJ loses his patience and figures there’s no great need to keep him alive: “Just die, then.”

Just as JJ’s finger tightens on the trigger, Gil-ro frees himself and launches himself at JJ. The gun goes off. They grapple.

Seo-won has arrived on the premises, aided by the GPS tracker on Gil-ro’s phone, and the gunshot gets her springing into action. She calls into HQ for backup and pulls out her gun as she approaches carefully.

The two men duke it out, both of them doing a pretty fair job of landing blows, and Gil-ro snatches up the dropped gun. JJ decides to make a break for it, leaving Gil-ro with his gun out trying to get a good shot.

And that’s when Seo-won bursts into the room, and they both whirl out at each other, guns raised. Eek! This is not the way she thought this scene was gonna go… and it also makes him even more sure she’s in league with JJ.

Seo-won is genuinely confused as she asks what happened, but Gil-ro is hostile, ordering her to drop her weapon.

So she tells him earnestly that she trusts him, and lowers her gun. What happened? She wants to help, if only she knew how.

Gil-ro bites out cynically that she’s stalling to give JJ the chance to escape, not willing to hear anything she’s saying. He declares, “I’m a national agent.”

Ha, at that she loses her patience and knees him in the groin, which sends him to the ground. She thinks he’s just impersonating an agent (a federal offense) and orders him to stop kidding around, then leaps to the ground to pursue JJ.

Gil-ro staggers to his feet, raises his gun, and takes aim at Seo-won…


Oy, this drama. The thing is, I think it’s funny in a dumb sort of way when it’s doing its silly action-comedy thing. It makes me laugh, and for that alone I think it works. It’s not trying to be a badass spy show or a high-budget thriller, so as a dumb fluff rom-com it has its merits.

But I also feel like its writer is terrible writing women, which I felt in his previous dramas (Chuno, Runaway Plan B). Also with writing people. And emotions. And maybe logical story progressions. He’s not a terrible writer, period, in that all of his dramas have a certain something, a neat hook or a fun setup to keep you watching. But the actual character work is a big sloppy mess, so when the show sets aside its entertaining stuff to actively wallow in this quagmire of underbaked emotional character moments, it just sucks the fun out of it.

Seo-won, for instance: I want to like her, but she’s just written so poorly.
I have no connection with her as a person, a woman, a spy torn between loyalties. There’s no understanding of her as a real(istic) person. No kernel of truth deep down. Choi Kang-hee is doing what she can to act what’s on the page, but it’s not enough. I still don’t like her in this role, and I think it’s fair to say she’s not working as an actress without making it about her age or her looks. She simply doesn’t hook me into Seo-won’s conflicted angst, when I should be right there with her dilemma. Though yes, that’s also a writing issue, because sometimes I just have no idea what she’s doing or why.

Sun-mi’s the same—she was supposed to be this tough tomboy character who grew up in a family of oppas, which was so great. And we had that diplomat’s daughter to fulfill the frivolous ditz quota. Only, we lost her for some unexplained reason and it’s like the show decided to mash her character in with Sun-mi’s, giving us this inconsistent mess of weak, small-minded immaturity. As a woman, I’m offended by her character. Heck, as a person I’m annoyed.

Admittedly, it’s not like the men are glowing bastions of rich character depth either, but I do think they get more attention and loving detail thrown their way. Gil-ro’s pain, I can fully understand, because at least the show bothered to paint his father-son conflict in a nicely believable way. It’s one of my favorite parts of the show, because here’s the one case where the spy conflict actually works, where you actually understand why Dad’s shoving his son away and hurting him on purpose, and it tugs my heart. Compared to when Seo-won was pushing Gil-ro away, which felt more slapdash and therefore didn’t resonate with me at all.

To end on an up note, though, I have to say that I think that this story turn is a huge improvement, starting with Gil-ro realizing she was playing with him and refusing to believe a word she says. Now he’s so shut off from her that it’ll be a really interesting hurdle to overcome to get him back around to having faith. And believing that she’s one of the bad guys who tried to kill his father is a pretty great angstmaker. Plus, he still thinks he’s an agent, and his skewed understanding of his place is going to twist everything he sees in the wrong ways. That’s pretty great.


64 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ivoire


    • 1.1 Ivoire

      Thank you Javabeans for the recap. GR falling to his knees, by the wall when he tried to talk to WS and couldn’t, got to me and I thought JW did so well in that scene. The pain, the heartbreak at finding out that he had been deceived by SW, his delusion, felt real and I just wanted to reach into the screen (or get in there if I could) to comfort him. JW does sad and angst scenes really well. We knew that, however it was a nice reminder. I love that he doesn’t care how he looks like when he does those scenes. Based on how he has been acting during this drama, I know he doesn’t care at all what he looks like once they shout “action” and start filming. Good for him.

      Was I the only one who wondered why SW wasted time lingering on the watch and the note GR wrote to his dad? Because those were some precious seconds or minutes that might have helped her be done on time. Just a thought. I also agree with JB that she should have given herself less than 20mns to be done in case he was home earlier, although, one who think that it would have taken him more than 20mns, since he ended up stopping at the market stand kind of place to buy the kind of tofu she wanted.

      I am curious to see how the writer writes this drama to the end, so I would like to finish it. Like JB, I also do not understand why he writes women the way he does. I would like to like Sun-mi, however I cannot get on her boat or train (or whatever the expression is). She has been petty, unprofessional (the gun incident at the office and her reaction afterwards. And then what she did in the car later on, with the gun, again, *SMH*), catty and her character makes me shake my head. She started out so well and then it was like, “what happened?” Same goes for the diplomat daughter (whom we seem to have lost) and for YS. I love YS, however some of her lines (and behavior) are just… *another SMH,* like when she and SM decided that they didn’t like MR because she was attractive and then yelled at another woman in the office because of her S line? Really? How low (of YS) and unprofessional was that? YS and that young woman were not even the same age, same rank, etc…. I am sure you get my point.

      I have a question: does anyone know if in SK actors and actresses can discuss their characters with the writer? I am asking because I remember reading an interview with Philicia(sp?) Rashad many years ago, about her character, Claire Huxtable of “The Cosby Show.” She said that she would at times go to the writers and tell them that she didn’t think that her character (Claire) would act or react the way she had been written in a particular scene and that they would listen to her. I think sometimes actors and actresses do that in the US, is it something that is done or could be done (based on how the industry works) in the entertainment industry or in Kdramaland or do they just have to blindly do what the script says? Although I have read of some SK actors/actresses ad libbing (sp?) and that makes me curious. Can they do it in movies (share their understanding of their characters with the writer and what some of the lines might be)?
      I know I have read here on DB, of a few actors complaining about how their characters had been written and that sometimes the character did not make sense, (JIW being one of them for “Take care of the Lady” I think, if not for one of his dramas for sure. This was a few years ago).

      I am glad GR found out SW was spying on him, however, I still wonder when and what will happen when he finds out he is not really an agent, as well as what his father has been involved with. I also do wish the bad guys were given more screen time (as opposed to SW’s parents) and were better fleshed out, same for Chansung :-).

      To end on a up note, at least now JW is sporting a better hair cut? 🙂

      • 1.1.1 javabeans

        In Hollywood, there is a firm structure in place to ensure scripts are delivered on time, approved not only by the show itself but the studio AND the network. Each entity gets the script weeks in advance, gets a chance to write up “notes,” making sure the script is edited before it’s approved to go shoot. The upside of this is that there’s plenty of time to write/edit/revise. (The downside is that you get too many chefs in the kitchen, which leads to a lot of watering down of plot elements. But that’s a different issue.)

        In Korea, scripts can be delivered up to a few days before AIRING, much less shooting. There just isn’t time for anybody to complain or demand fixes. There’s barely enough time to make sure the episode gets filmed and broadcast. Thank you, live-shoot.

        • SS

          For this drama, scripts have been delivered on the day of the shoot itself. In an interview earlier, Joo Won said that he just received the script that morning and he was trying to memorize and digest them. This interview was done around episode 5 so things can only get worse now, meaning more rush less time. Maybe the writer is there writing the script on the spot.

          • Quiet Thought

            That would be barely professional behavior for a news broadcast or a sketch comedy show in most countries, let along an expensive primetime TV series. Why on earth to the execs and stockholders at these networks allow such ridiculous procedures? They have millions invested in these shows.

        • Technokeats

          Interesting. I was about to say that the script was not so much at fault than the direction. But the live shoot system makes me wonder if the Kdrama world suffers from relying too much on the script.

      • 1.1.2 asianromance

        As for actors discussing their characters with the writers, I do think it’s easier in the US where shows last for multiple seasons and the production of each season gets spread over a good portion of the year. The actors really get to bond with their characters and even grow up as them. I feel like kdramas with their liveshoot system makes it difficult to ask for script adjustments.

      • 1.1.3 Sintia

        Ivoire, I just want to thank you for all your posts about this drama, they are interesting and insightful.

  2. snow_white

    thanks for the recap…..

  3. Fan

    Is this Drama worth watching? I am still undecided on whether I’ll drop this whole thing esp that I’ve got all the eps (so far) downloaded in my PC

    • 3.1 dduk

      truthfully?… I am a HUGE joowon fan (loved him in gaksital, ojakgyo and baker king…) but just skip this one.
      it’s poorly written and really not worth the time.
      it’s sad. the acting is all there, All the actors are awesome it’s just that they are dealt with really really bad scripts.

    • 3.2 jyyjc


      I stopped watching about 2 episodes ago, only been reading recaps. I completely agree about seo-won, I just can’t understand her character and that in turn, makes me annoyed at her too. And I have not seen an ounce of badassery from her compared to kim haneul’s version in the movie. I mean like, why the hell is she a secret agent? Sunmi too. Seriously. It’s such a shame ’cause I LOVE Joowon. Sigh, oh well every actor’s gonna have a few bad projects.

      • 3.2.1 asianromance

        I’m really confused at how this drama is supposedly the same writer as the movie version, but there is barely any action in the drama version.

        The movie wasn’t full of 3-d characters, but it was a great spy-comedy. It was funny and Sooji (the female lead) was smart and kickass. From the first 10 minutes, we knew she was competent enough to see her job through even at the expense of losing her boyfriend’s trust. Seo-won waffles and has only one fighting move. Kang Ji Hwan’s Jae-joon character wasn’t really spy-material and was sort of bumbling, but he had good detecting skills and still managed to save the day at the end. Gil-ro has only proved that he’s a good enough interviewer to get into spy school and a confident guy.

        • Toystar

          You’re so right about the movie vs. the drama! How can they do this to JW? I loved him in Gaksital as Kang-to!

    • 3.3 Nokcha

      I also dropped this drama and have been reading the recaps. As much as I like Joo Won, I just couldn’t get into the characters or the story. And, though I liked her in Protect the Boss, I don’t much care for Choi Kang Hee. I don’t feel the chemistry between her and Joo Won. I do like Changsun, and it’s nice to see him in a different light.

  4. afufu

    Thanks for the recap. I stopped watching a few episodes ago for I think the drama is a mess but still would to know what is going on. What waste of talents.

  5. pabo ceo reom

    This drama is a hot mess…

  6. Quiet Thought

    This is from the writer of ‘Runaway Plan B’? That explains a lot. He’s got all the human empathy of a department store mannequin dresser. What a waste of talent that show was!

  7. Elle

    thanks for the recap 🙂

    i watched the unsubbed episode earlier (recaps weren’t up yet)… but did anyone else wish that Seo Won would just shoot herself already? sorry to be so mean, but my frustration with the poor writing is getting the better of me. i couldn’t understand what they were talking about, but when she put the gun on herself and started to walk away, i was thinking to myself, WTF kind of move is that? it made no sense and even with girlfriday’s recap, it still doesn’t make any fking sense. *sigh*

    redeeming factor of this episode….Joo Won’s acting. nuff said.

    • 7.1 Elle

      sorry…i meant javabeans recap.. 🙂

  8. Nauna

    I surrender. I’m giving up. I just can’t watch this anymore. In the past I’ve been able to put up with plot holes the size of moon craters, characters with the depth of rain puddles, infantilized female characters, and even chronic logic fail, but never all in one drama, and only if the OTP is strong enough to keep me hooked. This one isn’t. I can see both JW and CKH are trying their best to sell it, but I’m just not buying it. Better luck next time to both of them.

  9. picklemonster

    I can’t wait for Gil-Ro to find out that he’s not an agent and the NIS is just using him. I want him to go full-blown revenge mode and teach them all a lesson. ='( I have never felt so bad for a character before…seriously it’s like no one’s on his side in this drama…and to top that off, he’s being treated like dirt and is continuously humiliated in front of the NIS.

    And WTF, AGAIN WITH THE KICK TO THE GROIN. IT. IS. NOT. FUNNY. ANYMORE. I don’t care that it’s a drama, but using this same stupid move is so freakin’ insensitive. Especially if Seo-Won loves Gil-Ro, she should NOT have to kick him there EVERY SINGLE TIME she wants to get her way. I expected so much more in a heroine. She’s a spy, not a damsel in distress who doesn’t know any other defense moves than sacking a guy in the balls. Seriously woman! >:'(

  10. 10 Sintia

    Thank you for the recap!
    It was hard to see Gil-ro in such a pain, I think Joo Won did an amazing job here.
    And I am kind of hate all this NIS because they use him…
    It’s only 9 episodes, fighting, Gil-ro!

  11. 11 dduk

    *eternal sad face*

    I wanted to love this. I really did. Joowon is in it. Jang Young Nam is in it (I love her acting!) but dear gawd. The damn writing is so weak. I usually don’t drop dramas let alone a drama that has joowon in it… but I just couldn’t take it anymore. The plot felt stiff and wasn’t moving along. Most of the characters are one dimensional. The whole thing was muddled throughout the 11 episodes. After today’s episode I’m out. I would rather watch all 30 eps of Baker King, and the 58 eps of Ojakgyo combined than have to rewatch the 11eps of this drama.

    I just wish that the actors had better material.

  12. 12 bambledd

    What doesn’t make sense is that if they really wanted those documents about the Dad’s company, Won-seok could have just told Gil-ro to get them. Problem solved. It makes no sense in the storyline to keep him in the dark about their NIS mission.

    And I agree that there was NO need for Seo-won to pull her gun on Gil-Ro when she was caught opening the safe. Seriously?

    I think what’s saving this drama is Joo-Won’s expressions. Wow, he can look so intense. Very good actor!

    • 12.1 dcmbr

      I just got around to watching this episode. I do agree that there was no point at all for Seo-won to pull her gun at Gil-ro. It would make sense if she used the gun to confiscate the documents, but she didn’t achieve anything in pulling the gun out. And seriously SunMi, did you not learn anything in spy academy?! what happened to all the ‘my comrades’ lives are more important than mines’? and life would be so so much easier if they could just tell gilro what the hell is going on. I am pretty sure if he knows he would definitely help them since it would mean he will be saving his father.

  13. 13 Bengbeng

    the drama lost its appeal to me eversince the pairing of Joowon and Kang Hee. =(

  14. 14 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap, javabeans!

    Had to drop this after the first couple of minutes of ep 11. The writing is just so bad. The whole series should have gone the farcical, campy spy comedy route wholeheartedly. Do the whole thing with a wink. Embrace it! But the writer is putting forth a rom-com with dumb characters and situations. Kudos to the actors and actresses for giving it their all and putting on a brave face. Especially the actresses – since the Seo-won and Sun-mi characters are just so one-dimensional.

  15. 15 crazedlu

    It is your ending up note that is why I am still following this drama.

  16. 16 Achan

    I have given up on this drama! I only liked the episodes when they were at the spy school. That was the only refreshing and fun rom com bits.
    Still… Thank you Javabeans for recapping this series… I read it to save my broadband allowance. Also thank you for choosing cute and funny images of Joo Won.

  17. 17 Mystisith

    God knows I need a good rom-com. I WANT one. It’s just not enough here. Show dropped, R.I.P. I’m so, so sorry for the cast but I prefer to give my precious time to well written shows (they exist, promised!) or at least sufficiently entertaining. I will probably check the last ep for the “cute”.
    Thanks for the recaps anyway.

  18. 18 Mini

    Joo Won,please go for medical check-up for your …. after this drama.As your fan,I want to see you and your family in future.I am not joking 😛

    Okay.Back to drama,I don’t know.But I am sinking with this ship…

  19. 19 rama

    I have this one question that has been bugging me. Wonseok makes Gilro believes that he’s an undercover NIS agent, he needs to protect his father from shady business or something. If that’s the case, why can’ t just Wonseok ask Gilro to get the documents in his father’s safe, why do they need another NIS agent Seo-won to do the job.

    • 19.1 Technokeats

      Idk either… may be becoz then GR will find out that the NSS was after the documents and infer that SW actually works for NSS?

      But then “what if” he finds out NSS true motives? Wouldn’t he be in a better position to save his father and the nation? I just don’t understand why GR’s favorable position was not better exploited by NSS.

  20. 20 Daydream

    Thanks Javabeans. I am actually quite surprised for your patience with this show. I thought you would have dropped this one already. I tried to watch it for the first few episodes and decided not to follow. Reading your recap, I have the impression that it is even going downward.

  21. 21 hodo

    choi kang hee. urgh. 🙁

  22. 22 eny

    I still watch this drama, this drama is comedy that doesn’t need much logic it’s true that the actor always act serioes role,but it’s comedy. Other people compare with the movie which around 2 hour.
    I still enjoy this drama, I just wonder many people complain this drama but enjoying drama like rooftop prince, LIE TO ME, You’re beutifull,to the beautifull you, flower boy ramyun shop,and another teenage silly drama

  23. 23 far

    i like gilro’s character, he’s the most believable character out of all the others. i agree that the girls’ characters are not nicely written. i cant even feel the emotion from seowon, but i cant connect with gilro’s pain (though that’s probably coz i love him so much, so it’s my bias side talking).

    anyway, this episode is so much improvement compared to last few weeks’. i hope things remain like this or gets better in order to get higher drama ratings. btw, where do i go if i want to see the drama ratings? does anyone know?

    • 23.1 far


      i really wish the writing is much better. though the acting is good, but if writing sucks, the drama cant be saved. truthfully, if it wasnt for joowon and chansung, i would have dropped the drama since episode 4.

      poor joowon~ he must feel upset that this drama didnt get high ratings, and didnt get to live up to his nickname ‘prince of ratings’. all his previous drama gets more than 20% ratings, and the highest this has achieved is 18% which is ep 3 i think. i can see how hard he works, even not sleeping for a few days (according to his tweet) to make this drama better. i hope he chooses better projects next time. i’ll support him!
      PS: the other actors/actresses work hard too~

      thank you for not dropping the drama, javabeans and girlfriday! i’m thinking it’s coz u girls like joowon, so that’s what made u stay to continue recapping the show. ^^

      • 23.1.1 whateva

        Hi, you can see the ratings here:

        I love King of Dramas, it was such an awesome show but got such dismal ratings. Compared to this drama… I don’t know what to say anymore… kinda felt there’s injustice. so sad

        • joowoniiieee

          i love King of Dramas too, and felt disappointed about the ratings..i mean this drama is gooooodddd (and now much better than this 7th grade) but failed to get appreciate from viewers in Korea.
          as i’ve seen all 11 eps i think i got annoyed by Seo Won character lately…..can’t watch the rest since i still wanna smart rom-com drama which is worth enough to be watched. bye JooWon for this awful project.Sorry 🙁

    • 23.2 bambledd

      If you look up the drama on dramwiki, there’s a link on the bottom for ratings. That’s what I usually look at.

  24. 24 Quiet Thought

    The only thing that could save this show would be the revelation that the Romulans were behind the entire evil plot. I wonder if the writer will get drunk enough to suggest it?

    • 24.1 Anon

      you mean the writer is of the human race?

    • 24.2 Whatsthescenario

      hahhahaha. Good one. I think that’s the only thing that can save this burning ship.

  25. 25 Quiet Thought

    Choi Kang Hee, I adore you. Please find a series with character I can believe in.

  26. 26 canxi

    I just popped in to see how the show was doing and it looks like everyone is giving up on it, slowly but surely. I find this hilarious and also sad. I was hoping it would all work itself out, but it looks like it’s going down. I may or may not watch this, I think. I am really bad at dealing with poorly written characters D:

  27. 27 Elle

    ranting aside, jb and gf..please, pretties please, with sugar on top, continue your much appreciated recaps. 🙂

    despite the overall disappointing details of this show, the one saving grace for me is Joo Won..what an amazing actor.

  28. 28 Conny

    I stopped watching after Episode 4 and have only been reading the recaps. I really truly wanted to love this drama, but yeah.. no.

    Still, loving you for continuing to recap this for those of us who have given up.

    It once again shows that we just all need to get together and write our own. *wink*

  29. 29 Anna

    Aarghh this drama is makin me crazy! I was looking so forward to it ! It was good in the beginning but now its just … crazy. I have no idea why anyone is doing anything. And are these people seriously agents? I know they are tryin to aim for comedy here but still … .
    The only character i like is kil-ro. It seems as though he the only one with potential for development (father-son strain, getting betrayed by girlfriend , and then ofc finding out that he was used by the NIS the whole time).
    It would be kinda awesome if kil-ro finds out that he was used and plans to get his revenge or something. It would be better than the mess this dramas headin towards ..
    Anyway watchin this drama only for joo-woonieee! Reallly what a waste ..

  30. 30 Technokeats

    I think stopping to analyze each frame of this drama WILL make you go crazy… So JW enthusiasts and other fellow drama addicts….. this is worth only a cursory glance.

    The problem is with the whole production … pure bad luck for everybody involved. IDK if anyone in the set would stand up & say… “Get a clue, this is so dumb!” 😛 :-/

    I’m surprised the rankings are still above 20.

  31. 31 Whatsthescenario

    This drama should be titled “How NOT to be a Level 7 Civil Servant” b/c honestly, this is the weakest spy drama series I have ever encountered. Even if the focus is on the romance, that part has also been largely mishandled by poor writing. So many missed opportunities for a truly great drama. Joo Won is trying with all his might to make it work, he is the ONLY character whose story line and character development resonates with me. It’s been said before, but he’s too good for this drama. Unfortunately, I have to see dramas to the end, so I will stick with it, but just know that I am grinding my teeth as I watch….

  32. 32 HeadsNo2

    Right on the money about this writer’s inability to provide compelling female characters. (Chuno was his best effort.) The conversation between Sun-mi and Seo-won reminds me of the Bechdel Test and how it failed it, given the Bechdel Test Requirements: (1) It has to have at least two women in it, (2) who talk to each other, (3) about something besides a man.

  33. 33 ELENA

    It is really going to be 20 episodes?

  34. 34 Wendilynn

    I have to laugh as you complain about the lack of logic in this drama. I stopped watching because the inconsistency was just too painful to watch and then wait a week for another episode. I enjoy reading your recaps though, they are much more fun. I think you are missing some of the layers in the story though. I’m going to wait until the whole drama is out before I rewatch it, but just from your recap, I think there are more layers going on then what you’re talking about.

  35. 35 aznative

    Joo won’s facial expressions…I wonder if he practices in front of the mirror; he’s great at emoting.

  36. 36 Quiet Thought

    This recap and discussion reassures me about my original policy of watching this show without captions. Since I don’t speak Korean, I can enjoy the acting without being driven to rage by the dopey plot elements and inane dialogue.

    • 36.1 JoJo

      That’s one way to handle it. Why didn’t I think of it?

  37. 37 bambledd

    Though the story could be better, I’m enjoying this drama! I’ll take a romantic comedy over a serious, depressing drama any day. This one makes me laugh.
    And I love the main couple!!

    Joo-Won fighting!

  38. 38 Rie

    Thanks javabeans !!
    love your comments 🙂

  39. 39 Nina

    Enjoying this drama. As a fluffy rom-com 🙂

  40. 40 Elle

    watched it again with English subs. i thought it would make things better…..i thought wrong. i feel like i`m being punk`d. i`m just in a state of disbelief at how elementary this show has become. with the EXCEPTION of Joo Won, whose presence is luminous, this drama bites.

    however, for Joo Won, i will persevere `til the end.

  41. 41 Gwinna

    What was wrong with the portrayal of women in Chuno? Although it’s been a while since I watched it, I remember more that was positive than negative. It was at least no worse in that respect than your average kdrama.

    I am rather amazed to be reminded that this is the same writer, because while Chuno had some plotholes in the second half, I would still consider it well-written overall. But this is just a mess.

  42. 42 joowoniiieee

    just remember my super excited comments in this drama recaps at it’s 3 first eps and now…..i’m feeling deceived.so empty and can’t find any interesting thing or good reason to keep watch this pathetic drama….bye for now.i have responsibility to save my life. LOL sorry

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