Drama Recaps
Level 7 Civil Servant: Episode 18
by | March 21, 2013 | 47 Comments

Illustration by Ally

Watching this show is starting to require active mental gymnastics. I swear, my mind is doing backflips trying to understand these characters. I’m starting to wonder if the writer might have amnesia, because sure, every show has its share of recycled plot, but here it actually seems like the show forgot that it did that scene/conflict/argument already and just runs it again. Because continuity’s for suckas.


Won-seok opens his eyes just in time for Woo-jin to come at him with a gun… AGAIN. I wish I were him, because then at least I would’ve blacked out the part where this puts us right back at the end of Episode 16, as if 17 never happened.

Seo-won and Gil-ro are so happy to see Won-seok conscious that they don’t even notice as Woo-jin creeps into the hospital room with his gun raised…

He pulls back the curtain… and it’s a fakeout. Of course it is. It’s the wrong room, because our spies were smart enough (for once) to stash Won-seok in a different hospital from the start.

Mi-rae calls Director Oh, furious that he fed her false intel, and he swears up and down that it should’ve been right. Yeesh, sending your friend and colleague to his death once wasn’t enough so you’re helping them finish the job?

When Won-seok comes to, all he can think of is Director Oh’s last words to him, that he’s sorry and to think of this as a sacrifice for his country. He finally looks up at Gil-ro and Seo-won, and asks if this room is secure.

They tell him that Young-soon is the only other person who knows where he’s staying, and all he says before falling asleep is the warning: “Don’t tell anyone that I’ve opened my eyes.”

It confuses them, though the intent seems clear enough to anyone who’s even seen one spy movie with a mole. Speaking of which, Director Oh calls Do-ha into his office to find out where Won-seok is staying because he wants to visit his friend.

Gil-ro finds some handwritten notes in Seo-won’s notebook about her parents’ plans for their green village project. She gets up later that night to tuck him in and finds that he’s typed up a fancier version on his laptop. She swoons. I don’t, because we’ve already used this plot point before. What the eff, Show?

Each member of Team Rogue does extra spy work on the side during their day jobs, and then gathers at Gil-ro’s office. Do-ha arrives and stands outside staring at the company’s sign like he suddenly got a lobotomy and forgot how to read or that he’s been there before. Directing fail.

Do-ha and Gil-ro butt heads over how to proceed, and Do-ha pushes for Gil-ro to put all his cards on the table, including where Won-seok is staying. Eep, don’t tell the mole!

Here’s the thing I don’t understand: Why isn’t Sun-mi telling the rest of the team that Do-ha’s the mole? Why is he part of this team in the first place? What on earth was the point of her finding out that he was a mole if she was just going to continue let him being moley? I. Don’t. Understand.

Gil-ro tells the rest of the team that his father did make a deal with Choi Woo-hyuk, and that Director Oh erased the file altogether. He meets Dad on his own that night and they share a friendly drink, and he asks for the whole story. Dad asks Gil-ro if he made things harder on his son, and Gil-ro lies that he didn’t. Aw.

Gil-ro’s mom calls Seo-won out on a coffee date and thanks her for bringing father and son together. She asks where Gil-ro is staying these days, and Seo-won blurts: “Not at MY house!” Weren’t you… the one who could fool a lie detector on your first day at spy school?

She basically spends the entire conversation spouting one lie after another—that they’re not living together, that she didn’t know Gil-ro was an agent, that she is the correct zodiac sign for Gil-ro, according to Mom’s fortuneteller reading. Mom wants to meet her parents, but Seo-won insists it’s too soon for that.

Gil-ro notices on his drive home with Seo-won that they’ve picked up a tail, and they turn around to try and snap a photo. I don’t know why it should be a mystery that it’s Woo-jin—what other bad guys do you even know, agent who’s only ever had one case?

Team Rogue gets together for another briefing, and Do-ha says he checked the hotels like Gil-ro asked, even though he was all huffy about it yesterday. Gil-ro puts a hand on his shoulder with a smile. Are you guys gonna hug again?

Sun-mi interrupts with news—she’s found a list of Mi-rae and Woo-jin’s known aliases. That it took this long for them to get this, after months of investigation is just… sigh.

She gives the team the intel, all the while giving Do-ha the side-eye while she warns them to keep the information secure. UH… or how about you don’t give the mole the information?? I’m SO CONFUSED.

Young-soon arrives downstairs, and that goofy manager who’s running Gil-ro’s dad’s company falls all over himself when he sees her, all backlit and prettified from his point of view.

After briefing the team, Sun-mi discovers her painting in the corner and Do-ha stops her from taking it, saying that it’s his. She’s still as pissed as ever, and rails back at him, with the rest of the team looking on awkwardly.

Young-soon storms in and yells at them for fighting amongst themselves, and Gil-ro and Seo-won gape, shocked that she discovered their rogue activities. Oh ’cause you’re so stealthy and all, with half your team hiding under the table?

Sun-mi says she told her because they’d need her clearance to get anywhere, and to their surprise, Young-soon says she’ll take responsibility for the team. She tells them to proceed freely and say that she gave the orders, and then literally opens up her purse and starts passing out guns.

The manager stops by to introduce himself, making sure to wink at Young-soon, to the horror of everyone in the room.

Sun-mi tries to brush Do-ha off but he won’t take no for an answer today and they sit down to chat. He says he doesn’t care that she’s treating him so coldly, but he wants to know why. Took you long enough.

She finally tells him that she knows all about him scurrying off to Director Oh to rat out their activities. He doesn’t flinch as he says he was following orders for the good of the country.

She says that she doesn’t trust him, and that she gave him the intel today with the rest of the team on purpose, to see if it went back to Director Oh. If it does, she’ll forget him forever.

For one, it might’ve been nice to know that instead of thinking you were a complete moron, and two, it seems that you might still be a moron for giving the mole yet another chance after knowing that he’s already a mole. He tells her as much, calling her an amateur for confronting him like this instead of using him to lead false information. Right? That’s what I’m sayin’.

She tells him not to have a one-sided love for Seo-won or anyone else, and then confesses that she has a one-sided love for him. They’re acting like this is big news, which makes the scene really confusing. ‘Cause yunno, I draw giant portraits of every guy I don’t have a crush on.

He thanks her for the painting and tells her not to draw him anymore, and walks out. She calls him a bastard… and then swoons. What the? I give up. Does this writer know ANY women, like in real life?

Mi-rae starts to have second thoughts about the point of their mission, clearly still rattled by what Director Oh told her about their parents not being such innocent victims. She says she hardly remembers her parents’ faces, and now even the happy memories she had with them are fading.

Woo-jin argues that even if they were bad guys, they didn’t deserve to be betrayed and left for dead, not at all deterred by the fact that they’re not on some righteous mission. She muses that he’s become a lot like his hyung, though I don’t think she means it in a good way.

Won-seok’s wife tells their daughter about how cool he was when they were dating, and when they leave the room he opens his eyes. He sits up and cries alone in the hospital room. At first I assumed he was crying because he was touched at his wife’s words, but then he flashes back to Woo-jin and being shot, like he’s traumatized more than anything.

Seo-won comes home to find Gil-ro hanging his laundry in the living room, and has a panic attack at the sight of underwear. Seriously, she acts like his boxer briefs have cooties.

He doesn’t see the problem with it, while she’s been doing all her laundry elsewhere just to avoid this very issue. He says it’s weirder that they’ve seen each other’s underwear but not seen each other’s underwear. Rawr?

He tries to get handsy and of course, she beats him up. BAH. What is wrong with you??

Her phone rings while she’s in the bathroom, and Gil-ro has another crisis of conscience because he’s tempted to check it. Are we back here again? I thought we already went through this.

He tries her door lock code on her phone, not expecting it to work, but it does. He checks the last text from her mom, thanking her for her help, along with a picture of their green village, thanks to Civil Servant Kim Kyung-ja.

THIS is how he finds out her name? After all those dramatic conversations about how she knew his name from the start but he never knew hers? I thought that if they were going to insist that two people would be this far along in a relationship without knowing each other’s real names, there’d be a reason why. Guess not.

He giggles to himself over and over, and finally busts a gut as he blurts out her real name. He asks if she didn’t tell him because it’s so old-fashioned. She freaks out and rolls up a newspaper to attack.

He fights her off and finally wraps his arms around her and picks her up, and just when it looks like they might get somewhere… her parents walk in the door. *facepalm* At this point it’d be weirder for this show if they didn’t.

They get upset at the skinship, only to really blow their tops when they find Gil-ro’s underwear hanging out to dry. Mom grabs him by the hair and screams, “How far have you gone?” Um, awkward.

Don’t worry Mom, they haven’t gotten anywhere, and we have the drama blue balls to prove it.

Dad gets in on the son-in-law hair-pulling action… which is when Gil-ro’s mom walks in and finds Seo-won’s whole family beating up her precious son. Is it dumb of me to ask why you even bother to have a lock code for your door if parents in this universe can walk through walls?

Dad does get a chuckle out of me when he oh-so-smoothly goes from pulling Gil-ro’s hair to pulling his arm over his shoulder like they’re besties. With no choice, the kids sit the parents down for introductions, and the air is icy between the moms.

They decide to relocate to a hotel for dinner without Dad. The first bump in the road is names—each mom calls the two kids by two different sets of names, which gets confused looks all around. Gil-ro says that the aliases are nicknames, which seems like a dubious excuse, but Seo-won’s mom figures that singers have stage names, so it’s not that weird.

Gil-ro’s mom isn’t as easily appeased, but figures that it’s less important than her zodiac sign, which Seo-won’s mom promptly outs as the year of the ox. Uh-oh. Dinner goes downhill from there pretty fast, as Gil-ro’s mom gets snobby about the food and wine, and Seo-won’s mom complains about the “French makgulli” they’re drinking, only to gulp it down once she hears how much it costs.

Meanwhile Sun-mi gets a ping on one of Woo-jin’s known passports, and reports to the team. Seo-won happily takes the call from Young-soon and says she’ll head out, leaving Gil-ro to clean up the mom mess on his own. That’s mean. I wouldn’t wish that job on my worst enemy.

It gets even worse when Gil-ro’s mom asks about Seo-won’s father being a diplomat, and once Gil-ro gets outed for the lie, he just gets up and runs away. Ha. He catches Seo-won on her way out and they go to catch Woo-jin. I suppose it would be this drama’s stance that moms are scarier than international terrorists.

Young-soon sends Do-ha for backup and tells him pointedly that she trusts him. I think we’re supposed to think that she and Sun-mi are good people for repeatedly putting their faith in him, but mostly it makes them seem like bad spies.

Do-ha heads out, and when Director Oh calls to ask his whereabouts, he hesitates as he thinks of Sun-mi’s warning. But he answers: “I’m going to meet Han Gil-ro.”

Gil-ro and Seo-won arrive at the hotel and make their way into Woo-jin’s room, guns raised. Whatever it is they find in there, it surprises them… but we won’t know till next week.


What a weird cliffhanger. I suppose we’re meant to be on pins and needles about who’s in the room? Is it wrong that I don’t care? At this point it’d have to be something really out there to surprise me—say, Director Oh in drag? I hope it’s just Woo-jin and Mi-rae, because I don’t know if I want to wait any longer for the big showdown. Not that I expect anything stellar from the team that brought us the medium-speed bunny slope chase or the double-fakeout boss assassination attempt.

Am I the only one who felt like this entire episode was repeats of things we’ve already done? And I mean more literally than before, like same scene, same conflict, same argument. I actually think the writer just plain ran out of ideas. Usually when this happens you get a sudden plot arc that comes out of nowhere and delays things with a tangent. That’s standard operating procedure in any given drama. But here we’re not even bothering with that, and we’re literally re-doing scenes we’ve already done. Besides being lazy, it’s confusing as hell, because you watch a show thinking that things get resolved the first time around, only to find that we’re back to square one with no explanation. The lack of continuity actually hurts my brain.

The Do-ha thing is beyond comprehension for me (What on earth DID they teach you people at spy school anyway? You can trust a mole so hard that he stops being a mole?) but Gil-ro finding out Seo-won’s real name that way just takes the cake. I actually laughed out loud, not because it was funny, but because I couldn’t believe a show would make such a point of their whole trust/identity issue, set up an entire romantic conflict based on the imbalance that she knows his name and he doesn’t know hers, make us believe that he’d date her without pushing to know her real name because trust matters more, and THEN not have the payoff where she trusts him enough to tell him her name! Huh? What? Why? What? Sigh. Pass the French makgulli.


47 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. RockPaperScissors

    It’s sad that the hand-drawn illustrations are better than the drama.

    • 1.1 jomo

      But it is always fun when the recaps are more entertaining than the drama.

      • 1.1.1 momosa

        Entertaining recaps indeed…

        Thanks for continuing till the end. Looking forward to the final epis. Sigh.

      • 1.1.2 Mawiie

        It’s fun for us xD I hope that JB/GF have their liver insured from all the drinking… or maybe we Beanies can pitch in for a set of wigs, since I’m sure that no one can watch this drama without pulling their hair out LOL

      • 1.1.3 Ange

        I don’t even watch the show any more, but reading the recaps always cracks me up.

      • 1.1.4 moldovapotatoes

        A terrible drama, where we can’t even rely on pretty actors is a big fat no. What went wrong with this drama, there is a lesson to be learnt about this drama, just don’t know what exactly.

    • 1.2 pabo ceo reom


  2. Ivoire


  3. mystisith

    I just have no words… Even stupid sitcoms are better written than that. This show supposedly high-class is the Dr Jin of the rom-coms. They should add can laugh.

    • 3.1 snow_white

      LOL @ Dr Jin of the rom-coms 😀

    • 3.2 KimYoonmi

      I have the Doctor Jins of Melodramas. If our recapper girls can survive that, I’ll be amazed.

      “Prince’s First Love” was horrible, though I heard that Thousand Years of Love was worse and I haven’t been able to stomach going near that since Prince’s First Love made me catatonic towards all K-dramas for years. (I heard the ratings were miserable in both cases too.) Dae Jang Geum and Jang Nara saved me from the abyss.

      Could it be Thousand Years of Love could top Doctor Jin? I’m too afraid to find out.

      The disaster in Level 7 was that the movie was actually good and cute and written by the same writer. Can I cry now?

      • 3.2.1 mystisith

        I smell another case of ghost writer façon BIG (I still believe it wasn’t the Hong sisters who wrote that thing). Or artistical disagreement with the producer…

        • KimYoonmi

          I smell sleep deprivation on this end. I can notice it in the actors too. They are tired from the live shoots.

          Chun Sung Il wrote Fugitive Plan B, this is his third drama. He helped on Chuno. Fugitive Plan B was a sucky drama, which is why I didn’t have high hopes for this one…

          It seems his trouble is longer works. He needs to learn some basic principles of plotting. I spotted these issues in Fugitive Plan B too.

          I’d suggest things like layering (So one discovery gets planted before the previous one is discovered–you can see this brilliantly done in Dae Jang Geum), climax tying (So two climaxes coincide the romance climax and the spy climax for example), cutting unnecessary characters (like Kim Won Seok’s family which is just filler), and basic planning ahead for contingencies (You can see that in Kim Eun Sook’s work. She’ll dangle a few extra minor plot threads that aren’t important, just in case of an extension. But if she gets that extension I can see her capitalizing on those threads for the episodes needed.), and because it’s a K-drama, also outlining possible events in advance is important for maximum emotional impact.

          As for BIG, that’s Hong Sisters. It had several of their signatures. They were trying to address a problem in their writing that Dramabeans recappers have been complaining to high heavens about: their lack of subtlety. So they chose a movie to experiment on (because that’s how this industry works… trying something new? go with base material that already exists.) When I noticed the switch and stopped wishing for a crack drama, though I mourned the loss, that’s when I started to enjoy it more. I even picked up on the subtleties of the ending too. (They do subtle, as shown in Hong Gil Dong, but usually it flies under the radar, and though I love these recappers greatly, they tend to miss those cues too. And since most Western societies don’t foster nunchi that much, people often miss it.) That given, their next drama if they choose to go back to the crack fest should have more layers, because what I love about the Hong Sisters is that I can see them constantly pushing themselves as artists (They never stay stuck in one place.), which is rare to see people do once they have success.

      • 3.2.2 cBozz

        Never.watch.1000.years.of.love! 😀 Unless, you don’t value your brain cells.

        It’s so lame that this drama shines in comparison.

        Seriously, I don’t know where I got the nerve to watch L7CS up till this point. I guess I have a masochistic side to me…
        But that will be no more! 🙂

  4. snow_white

    thank goodness, I did not continue this show after 2 episodes…. 🙂

    • 4.1 JoJo

      I watched 8 episodes, and wish I could enjoy the recaps and watch and laugh like I did with Dr. Jin, but I cannot. I like the recaps and comments, but it’s too painful to watch.

  5. Meiyih

    the recap is so fun to read, thanks a lot

  6. R

    Thanks for the recap! Love the first and last images :p
    Next week this drama will be over, so no more frustration at this nonsensical plot… And hopefully joo won next movie will be good! Btw kim ah joong was offered the role of his leading lady 🙂

    • 6.1 unknownX2

      Next week, just when the OTP are cosying up in the room, Seo-won’s brother will walk through the door! 🙂

      The recap is such a good read, thanks!

  7. Galia

    O_o Well, thank goodness I didn’t actually watch this one…seeing Joo-won in this bad of a drama would really suck. WHY, SHOW, WHYYYYYYY??? :”(

    • 7.1 momosa

      Should try it, watch JW & the cute, and skip the rest. Some scenes are really hilarious… if you like a laugh.

      • 7.1.1 Mini

        That’s what I did! And I finished in 15 minutes!:D sweet!

  8. Sintia

    Thank you for the recap!

  9. Mediet

    Just reading this recap makes me roll my eyes and pulling my hair and screaming WTH!?!?!?
    But it’s the drama that rub me the wrong way… I love love your writing jb n gf….

  10. 10 noernov

    Awesome recap as always but not so much as the show,just happy if I saw joo won pout scene ;),Hi GF,u should write for KDrama also,I’ll watch it for sure 😀

  11. 11 bjharm

    one point on the want to be killer kids. It not just an issue of the fact their parents may or may not have been active bad guys, the issue for me is the old spy team also left the children out to be killed along with their parents, indeed that what they believed happened to them, untill they popped up on their revenge mission. Though I guess by now no one really cares about anything but bring on episode 20 so we can get this over with.
    That brings me to the question as why it even made it to 20 episodes, are the rating ok in korea?

    • 11.1 mystisith

      If I may answer: It was planned as a 20 eps serie from the start (mbc loves long dramas) and ratings are in free fall: From 9th rank for the 1st ep to 19th rank for the 18th ep (National).

  12. 12 crazedlu

    THE NAME THING!!!! Oh My DUDE. Ergh.

  13. 13 Mini

    “Does this writer know ANY women, like in real life?”
    ” I suppose it would be this drama’s stance that moms are scarier than international terrorists.”

    BUHAHAHAHAH!!I LOVE YOU girlfriday!

  14. 14 bambledd

    “Gil-ro notices on his drive home with Seo-won that they’ve picked up a tail…I don’t know why it should be a mystery that it’s Woo-jin—what other bad guys do you even know, agent who’s only ever had one case?”

    Haha! That was so funny, GF. Enjoyed the recap.

    I found this episode to be pretty hilarious. I was laughing more than usual. That encounter w/ the parents – haha. And the way Gil-Ro ran out of the restaurant leaving the 2 moms there by themselves was so hilarious. Joo-Won’s so good at comedy.

    He looks so ‘mu-shi-su’ (cool) w/ all his 007 expressions and even more so after you realize he’s like a dorky puppy in real life when you see him in 1n2d.

  15. 15 yumi

    I wish there were more illustrations.

  16. 16 Belinda

    I really think this drama is just a platform to show Joo Won in a rom com .the writing ugh . The directing double ugh . The acting so far so good. Mission accomplished. The end

  17. 17 Sajen

    I think my cat could write a better show, actually considering the fact he regularly freaks out for no reason and literally jumps up the walls I know he could.

    • 17.1 yumi

      Yeah, but can he direct? Because you know, that’s what he really wants to do.

  18. 18 OMG!

    Who or what will GL and SW see?
    1. the evil director?
    2. WS?
    3. GL’s dad?
    4. WJ shot by ML?
    5. DH?
    6. ?????

  19. 19 Babs

    i think this has gone from a pretty good idea of a Rom Com to total disaster, these last 8 episodes I’ve just barely made the effort to read the recaps because i’ve been dreading the STUPID lack of movement in the plot line. I cant believe about the name thing or the many repeats of dynamics in one episode, it’s absurd. this drama needed to be 16 ep and thats pushing the threshold. At least there is only a week left.

  20. 20 Quiet Thought

    Title of the other re-cap series: “This Winter Blows”

    Title of this this re-cap series: “This Series Blows Vile Chunks”

  21. 21 Carmensitta

    What horrifies me more than this writer’s “writing skills” is that I actually saw people on some forum saying that this show is so good and that the plot is amazing. Imagine my WTF face then! Are people really satisfied with watching ANYTHING that has some pretty-face in it? When I watch something of questionable quality as a guilty pleasure I don’t go and attribute it more credit than it deserves…. *rant over*

  22. 22 007

    I’ve been reading the comments and i don’t think there have been those who have said the plot was “amazing” or that the show is “so good”, at least not in large enough numbers for anyone to take notice.
    Some have said they’re still enjoying Joo-Won’s acting and others have said although the plot isn’t great, it isn’t so bad either. I’m one of those. To each his own. I’m enjoying it better than I did Chuno, which many praised. To each his own.

    • 22.1 Carmensitta

      The comments I was referring to are not on this site thankfully. Joo-won’s acting is enjoyable indeed! I didn’t give up entirely watching this drama, I usually read the recap and go and watch the funny scenes afterwards. To each his own indeed.

  23. 23 Elle

    OH JOO WON…you’re the ONLY reason i tolerate this drama. thank gawd for your awesome comedic timing, for being such a gifted actor (in my opinion) and for being satisfying eye candy. 🙂

    “She gives the team the intel, all the while giving Do-ha the side-eye while she warns them to keep the information secure. UH… or how about you don’t give the mole the information?? I’m SO CONFUSED.”

    hahahahahaha! thanks for the recap girlfriday. 🙂

  24. 24 Selena

    Thanks for the recap GF, eventhough mostly i read your comment and see the pics 🙂 I’ve given up watching this show long ago.

  25. 25 Croissant

    Need some French makgeolli here too. Can’t believe I’m still watching this show… But I only pay attention when Joowon is on screen 😉 Joowon better repay me with an awesome drama next time.
    I hope Seo Won keeps beating up Gil Ro for every one of his skinship attempts. Hands off my (ok, OUR) Joowon! As if it isn’t hard enough watching this terrible drama we need to see him kiss Choi Kang Hee. *sigh*

  26. 26 Skwonto

    I wouldn’t know if this episode is a repeat of previous episodes. I stopped watching twelve episodes ago and only read your summaries, which are hilarious btw, unlike the show.

    • 26.1 Caitlyn

      I’m the same. I’m so grateful for these recaps. I stopped watching the show a few weeks ago but the recaps are so funny and well written, I love them.

  27. 27 ML

    its such a pity that Joowon cannot continue with his “ratings king” streak with this drama. From this drama i get to see the cute side of him hehe. In addition, as a Hottest im proud of Chansung who acted well in his drama debut. otherwise, I feel that this drama is getting stupid

  28. 28 Gadlaw

    Great recap. Love the show and am watching it thru DramaFever. Nothing is perfect but I find it charming and well done. Thanks for the excellent recap, it helps for this subtitle reading fan.

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