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213

Master’s Sun: Episode 7

I just love this pairing. Historically the Hong sisters have been pretty solid in writing their main romances (to the detriment of second leads and alternate lovelines, which then have little dramatic heft), so I tend to be a fan of their lead couples in general. Even so, I’m not often this giddy, or smiling like a dunce every time their couples engage in their mating dance—at least not the way I am with these two. It’s partly about actor chemistry, it’s partly about the way they’re written, and it’s definitely all about the strange, un-manufacturable alchemy that a combination sometimes rouses, which has a queer way of drawing you in with your heart in its grip. Grip away, romance.

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EPISODE 7 RECAP

Sitting next to sleeping Gong-shil, Joong-won places his hand on top of hers (thinking of her suggestion that perhaps her touch could help with his reading, as his helps with her ghost-fear), then leans in closer and closer, as if stuck in a trance that compels him to kiss her. If only we were so lucky. He comes back to his senses, sadly, and shakes his head before slapping her hand to wake her up, back to brusque mode.

Gong-shil stretches and basks in the glow of a sound sleep, curling up next to him and wishing she could sleep longer. But Joong-won reminds her of her plans, and she bolts up to remember her date with Kang Woo.

Gong-shil follows him out to the curb to await the car and offers him half of the complimentary gift the store owner gave them. Joong-won refuses the fan, saying he doesn’t want to get any more connected to her than strictly necessary, noting that getting involved in her world almost got him shot today. Aw, did he get spooked off by that rude awakening?

Now he indicates an imaginary line between them and orders her to respect the line, so that they may only associate with each other in mutually useful ways. Furthermore, he limits his “emergency shelter” space as his forearm—when she needs it, she is to grab only his arm, nothing else.

Gong-shil pouts that she liked conversing with him, but he shuts that down too. No need to communicate beyond the bare minimum. So when Secretary Kim drives up, he gets in the car alone and leaves her to make her way to her date.

She hurries to the theater and runs into Yi-ryung, who’s rather smug after having overhead Kang Woo reporting on his spying activity. She just tells Gong-shil that she witnessed something “interesting,” and the ladies part ways calling each other Little Tae-yang and Big Tae-yang, like old times.

But Yi-ryung definitely enjoys the thought that Kang Woo is only talking to Gong-shil as part of his job, and that Gong-shil doesn’t know this. I suppose there’s no point in finding Yi-ryung’s smirking annoying, since she’ll be proven wrong soon enough; we’ve seen enough to anticipate Kang Woo being well on his way to falling for Gong-shil legitimately.

She rushes up to Kang Woo full of apologies since the show has already begun, but he suggests they go elsewhere—he’s not in the mood to watch people acting out fake emotions. He leaves the choice to her and promises to follow wherever she decides.

Secretary Kim is surprised to hear that Joong-won told Gong-shil of his reading problems. He promises to follow up with her about the contract, though it’ll have to wait since she’s on a date right now. Joong-won smiles at the thought of her date being ruined by scary things chasing her away, but Secretary Kim points out that she would have called in that case, and thus her lack of contact indicates a good date. Joong-won’s smile fades and he glowers at his unringing phone. Lol, is Secretary Kim purposely provoking him? He sure looks like he’s enjoying pushing his buttons, all, How inconsiderate of her to leave you while you’re upset, but I guess she can’t just ditch her date because of YOUUUUU…

Joong-won huffs that he had to eat a bitter medicine pill to calm his anxiety (an Oriental medicine ball wrapped in gold foil called a cheongshimhwan), while she’s out on a sweet date. He lies in bed, wide awake, glaring at his phone.

Since Gong-shil has no preference on where to continue the date, Kang Woo takes them to the Han River, not noticing that she’s looking around furtively, on edge the whole time. She alludes to almost getting dragged in the last time she was here, and we see that the cause isn’t too far away—a zombie-like runner ghost comes jogging toward them.

Gong-shil hurriedly suggests they head in the opposite direction, which takes them on a tandem bike ride around the park. Kang Woo does the pedaling in front, enjoying the night air, while Gong-shil swats at the ghost running alongside her and pleads with it to leave her alone. That leads to an awkward moment when Kang Woo suggests doing it again in the future and she bursts out, “I said no! Why do you keep asking?”

She sends him off to buy drinks, then asks her ghost if doing this will get him to leave her alone. So she finds some discarded safety tape in the trash and stops a couple to ask them apologetically to help, giving them each an end to hold up a makeshift finish line. She gives the start signal and the ghost sprints to the finish, after which he’s happy to make his way onward with a smile.

She rejoins Kang Woo, who suggests they make their way to the bridge for the water show. Gong-shil cringes at the thought of being accosted by the water ghosts and hopes to god they aren’t there today.

She returns home after the date hoping no water ghosts have followed her home, and briefly thinks of calling Joong-won. She stops, though, recalling his comment that he’s scared of her, not ghosts—although I’m thinking the true sentiment is more that he’s scared he likes her. But yunno, let the hot grumpy man have his denial for a bit longer.

Or maybe not much longer after all, because he calls her, which she answers in a wave of relief. He says he’s only calling to get her review on the show since Kingdom may be using it for an event, and then cheers right up to hear her say she missed the show. She’s just happy to be able to unburden her fears and tells him all about trying to act normal on her date, how she wanted to call him, and how she’s grateful he called.

He totally beams while he plays the part of the crankypants, saying he doesn’t want her thanks and all he wanted to hear about was the musical. He thinks to himself that maybe she’ll need him to bring her some cheongshimhwan pills, and now he yawns, feeling sleepy after all.

Over at the home of the two latchkey kids, the younger brother sits next to his creep-as-hell doll and plays a game with himself. His hyung worries that his brother is feeling unwell and heads out to buy some bread, which makes me want to yell at him, Don’t gooooo! That doll freaks me out so bad.

Sure enough, the moment he leaves we see that the younger boy isn’t playing alone, but with the three kiddie ghosts who were with the doll the other day. Aghhhhh.

Next thing we know, hyung is pounding on Gong-shil’s door frantically, asking her for help. She runs to their room and finds the boy in a cold sweat, hugging the doll. She heads out to get some medicine… and the ghost kids are back, this time with freakishly black eyes, telling the boy he’ll be their friend soon, saying tauntingly that his mom won’t come for him.

But Mom comes at last, hurrying home at this news and gathering her boy to her, who starts sobbing. The doll drops forgotten and the mother carries him out to go to the hospital, while the Children of the Corn shrug that this kid can’t be their friend since his mom hugged him.

Gong-shil stomps up to confront them for bothering the kid, and they scatter. She follows them back up to the boy’s room, where she sees the doll—and its flashing eyes.

The next morning she takes the doll with her to work to stow it away in Joong-won’s office. He balks, especially when she says that it seems dangerous and is harboring three ghosts, but she tells him it’s because he’s not scared of ghosts. He growls that she ought to have worried about his shock yesterday, maybe offered to bring him some vitamins or cheongshimhwan pills, and at the very least not brought him ghosts.

She asks, “Then is it okay if I do that?” She thought he didn’t want her fussing over him, but if he doesn’t mind, can she? So then he hides his smile as she asks how he’s feeling and offers him some pills that she always takes after being scared by ghosts, which they can share from now on.

It’s adorable how he loves all this, especially pointing out that she’s entrusting the dangerous doll to him instead of Kang Woo (or as he calls him now, Kang Candy—we sure are building up the whole bitter-sweet dichotomy, aren’t we?). But his face darkens when she says it’s because Kang Woo hates ghosts and she can’t scare him, at which point he returns her pills and orders her out. Gong-shil takes the doll, but leaves the pills.

Gong-shil tells Secretary Kim about her newly designated Tae Gong-shil Zone on Joong-won’s arm, holding her fingers apart to complain that it’s too small. I’m not even gonna say what it sounds like you’re saying, especially when Secretary Kim replies, “Don’t worry, it’ll get bigger.” Snerk. (Dramabeans: We make everything dirty!) He also gives her a photo of the diamond necklace ransom that was lost, which she’d requested, along with a photo of Hee-joo.

Joong-won examines the pills left behind and takes one, grimacing at the bitterness.

In her office, Gong-shil orders the ghosts to come out and face her, getting impatient and shaking the doll… just in time for Kang Woo to see as he drops by with coffee. Was she just talking to the doll?

He encourages her to confide in him, having seen her talking to inanimate objects before. He knew a guy who used to do the same thing, talking to his pencils and such, and asks her to guess where he is now. “The psych ward?” she guesses. “NASA,” he replies. He supposes she has an active imagination and she goes with the assumption, talking to her coffee to solidify the point.

She chats with her unni during a break, where Gossipy Guard sneaks up on Gong-shil with a “Boo!” and gets shoved aside as she freaks out and dashes away. Unni chides him for scaring her on purpose, and hurriedly wipes away his bloody nose before he can see it, worried that Little Sis might get called in to the police for yet another complaint.

Gong-shil races up to the president’s office, calming her racing heart. Joong-won sees, but declares that he isn’t going to go to her to calm her down, nope. Instead he heads back in to work, where Secretary Kim fights a mounting cold. It gets bad enough that Secretary Kim asks for just one day, since there’s somebody who can fill in for him…

Enter Gong-shil, who reads the news aloud to Joong-won. The news makes its way to Uncle VP’s ears, who predicts that Gong-shil will be Joong-won’s Achilles heel. His secretary wonders if this will get Joong-won’s father to oppose the match, and Uncle VP says that Daddy Joo is the person Joong-won most hates in the world—there were even rumors that he blames Dad for Hee-joo’s death.

Auntie Joo takes tea with Yi-ryung and relates the same gossip about how Hee-joo died when Daddy Joo wouldn’t cough up enough ransom. Aunt thinks her brother may have begun his European travels after the incident to find the missing jewels and set that misunderstanding straight.

Then we cut to Daddy Joo entertaining one of his trophy girlfriends, who asks why he keeps such a close eye on Joong-won. Dad answers that Joong-won must have seen his captor, but insists he didn’t.

Gong-shil accompanies Joong-won around all day as he goes about his business and conducts meetings. She notes how he squints at the screen during a presentation… and then recoils to see a ghost sitting at the table. And this time, it’s Joong-won who notices her flinching away. Aw, I love this reciprocal concern.

Joong-won gets up mid-presentation and caaaaasually makes his way over to Gong-shil to pat her shoulder. The ghost poofs, he tells the presenter to continue, and Uncle VP looks mighty happy to see the exchange.

She thanks him for his help afterward and sneaks a look at his telescope, wondering what he’s always looking at. He gets behind her to direct the scope, showing her his rival’s building, the cars entering Kingdom, and getting way closer than is expressly necessary. Not that we’re complaining.

At some point she realizes how close they are and pulls away, though she makes up the excuse that she just got scared thinking of the ghost. Joong-won informs her that she is oblivious to a few things, like his importance as a president (which she admits not having realized till now, seeing him in action)—and also the fact that her emergency shelter is a man. Omo. Did you just say that? They don’t really linger on the point, but allow me to linger on it for my own gratification. Mmm. Okay, lingering done.

Joong-won figures that she probably thinks of him as concrete, since she wouldn’t be able to feel him up so freely if she thought of him as a man (OR WOULD SHE). Then she mutters to herself, “Think of him as concrete, think of him as concrete…”

She does offer up her apologies for the concrete thing, and offers up that he’s actually top-of-the-line marble. He SLAMS his hand against the marble wall and leans in clooooose to say that his marble is way out of her league, but he’s letting her close because of her special radar. Exactly one forearm’s length of closeness. Oh, metaphors. I love you, especially when you’re all about skinship.

She mutters to herself that he keeps emphasizing that whole forearm limitation thing. I hear ya, sister.

Kang Woo observes Gong-shil accompanying Joong-won around the mall, which is where Yi-ryung finds him. I love how frank he is with her, clarifying that he is currently mid-jealousy to see the woman he’s interested in with another man. He wonders why she’s always buzzing around, and she snipes that it’s not like she’s interested in him or anything, since she’s a top star. He returns, “If you’re a top star, shouldn’t it be hard to see you around?” Touché.

He leans in to tell her she looks prettier on TV than up close, so she ought to stay away. Ha.

Joong-won beams as he observes a bevy of activity in a children’s event. Gong-shil asks if he likes kids, and he clarifies that he likes how many people are involved in buying stuff where kids are concerned, like parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles. She says that there are two children in her building who only have one mother, and when he tells her to buy something for them, she replies, “No, I’ll buy it elsewhere.” Joong-won: “Did she just insult me?”

Time to return to the creepy doll, whose eyes flare, ready for action. In the mall, a little boy tells his mother he lost his bag. She sternly orders him to find it, so he starts wandering the building looking for it… and finds a ghost boy motioning him closer.

The boy ghost leads him up to Gong-shil’s office where the doll invites him to be its friend: “Take us along. You’re just like us.” Gaaaack.

Gong-shil spies the boy walking out with the doll and chases after him. She loses the tail, though, and has to settle for getting the mother’s information from security. She calls the mother asking about the doll, but only gets a snappish reply and a lie about not finding any doll.

At their home, Scary Mom picks up an umbrella to give her boy the punishment she thinks he deserves for losing a bag. The boy cowers and cries as she beats him, and the doll watches.

Gong-shil worries about the boy and the doll, and is thus relieved when Kang Woo finds the lost schoolbag, which gives her an excuse to drop by. She flips through a sketchbook inside, and the contents make her furrow her brow worriedly.

Auntie Joo proposes buying up some artwork by a recently honored artist, and that makes Joong-won think of a comment Gong-shil said in passing, about an artist whom the world believes to be talented but is really a thief (told to her by the ghost of the one he stole from). He muses that if he hadn’t known the truth he’d have jumped on the chance to invest, but now… he needs time to think.

He tells himself he’ll still buy even if this artist is the one Gong-shil meant, that he just wants to know the truth, and barges into her office. It’s empty, though, and all he finds is the boy’s bag and the sketchbook inside. It contains drawings of a crying boy being hit with an umbrella, all darkness and fear.

Gong-shil is already at the boy’s house, waiting until the mother steps outside to sneak inside. She finds the doll and orders the ghosts to come out, and this time they materialize to point at the closet door that has been roped shut.

She rouses the boy to usher him to the hospital, only to be stopped by the indignant mother who says she was just punishing him for his wrongdoings. Gong-shil gets knocked into a wall hanging and hits her forehead, but manages to shove the mother aside long enough to grab the boy and leave.

Joong-won charges up just as she’s leaving, silently takes the boy from her, and takes over carrying him to the hospital. There they see the extent of the damage, with his back riddled with old scars and fresh wounds.

Afterward, Gong-shil tells Joong-won about the children before they were ghosts, and how the doll was with him at the last. Nobody helped them as they died—one boy shivered to death in the snow, a girl lay beaten as her father gambled online, and the last boy starved in an empty apartment. So the doll gathered similarly sad children to become friends.

Now the children appear before her, looking whole and healthy as she apologizes for nobody holding them in their time of need, and they smile at her. They wave smilingly before disappearing upward into the sky.

At the mall, Kang Woo picks out a pink Dooly doll, and is startled to hear that it’s Dooly’s girlfriend Gong-shil. He buys the pair and drops off the pink Gong-shil in her desk, intending to keep Dooly with him in his office. Cuuute.

Gong-shil and Joong-won return to the hospital (having burned the doll, thank god), where they’re confronted by a policeman—they’ve been reported for trespassing and child kidnapping. Oh, that mother would.

Thus they end up in side-by-side jail cells, where she worries and he fumes. She tells him not to worry, since she’s been in jail before and it’s not so bad and the food’s pretty good.

Secretary Kim is recovered from his cold and heads to the hospital to confront the angry mother, informing her that she has been reported by Kingdom’s child psychologist for abuse. He flashes a psychologist’s badge—it’s his. Furthermore, the Kingdom lawyer has determined that the physical contact arising from saving a child from abuse does not constitute intentional assault, and flashes a lawyer’s badge—it’s his too. HA, he is a man of many talents.

Abusive Mom barks that her child is hers to discipline as she sees fit, and Secretary Kim just thwacks her on the forehead. “A mosquito,” he says. Hahaha.

Secretary Kim wraps up business at the police station, springing Joong-won from the joint and overseeing the boy’s medical bills and tests. Gong-shil protests at being left behind, pleading with Joong-won to help because there’s a scary ajumma in her cell. He’s peeved with her but not immune to her plight, so he offers her his forearm for a few seconds, then stiffly yanks it away.

Gong-shil gets released as well, and apologizes to Joong-won. But he tells her, “You should be sorry for nothing. You did a good job, Tae Gong-shil.” Aw. And now he sees the scrape on her face and gets incensed on her behalf. He instructs her to go to the hospital, and they head out just as Kang Woo arrives. He’d been tipped off by Yi-ryung to Joong-won’s stint in jail, and his jaw clenches as he realizes the reason for the unexpected arrest.

He heads back to the office and grabs the Gong-shil doll… and this time he pulls out the envelope in that desk drawer to find the photo of that diamond necklace and Hee-joo. Whom he recognizes on first glance.

Leaving the hospital, Joong-won complains about the heat so Gong-shil offers up the free fans they received. He complains, of course, but takes it all the same. They walk for a moment before she clutches her head in pain, and he immediately grabs her hand. Aw, you big softy. She points out that it’s not part of the designated Gong-shil Zone, and adds that there are no ghosts involved—it’s just her head bump so she doesn’t need the hand-holding.

Joong-won tells her that seeing ghosts with an achy head will just make it hurt more, so she can use it as a preventative measure. It’s her gift for doing a good job today, and makes her flustered and pleased.

He tells her that when at first the “crazy sun” appeared in his world, he was determined to chase it away. He found himself being dragged into her world and tried to stop that, but it was today in his cell that he realized: “I was already as far gone as I was gonna get. You said you wanted to be next me. Congratulations, you’ve succeeded.”

I suppose he means this in a general way, not specifically a romantic one—he’s admitting to believing her and being on her team, so to speak. But it’s Gong-shil who stops him to admit that her radar keeps fixating on something strange. He offers his hand, but she reaches up to touch his face instead. “For you, me touching you like this does nothing, right?” she asks.

“Do you really think I’m an emergency shelter made of marble?” he replies, dropping his fan to reach up to take her hand from his face… and place it on his heart. “There’s no way that could be.”

 
COMMENTS

Once again the ghost story is merely incidental to the central story arc, but this episode was one of the better examples of making use of the case-of-the-week format, allowing it to be more than just a filler plotline to act as vehicle for romance. I suspect that you’re never going to get much pushback in depicting a child abuse storyline as an evil that our heroes must right, so in one sense it’s rather an easy trajectory: good guys step in and save the day.

The plotline stepped it up in two main ways, though, which is why I actually cared in the end (which wasn’t the case for, say, High Heeled Wife or Dog Loving Soldier). First of all, the doll-ghost plot really works for me—and I hope the show continues to do this with its future stories—in its subversion of our expectations. Hitherto the ghosts have mostly been straightforward in their wishes, and once Gong-shil figures out their plight, she just has to find a way to set things right. The kids, on the other hand, seemed demonic and evil-bearing right until the last, purposely seeking out neglected and abused children, making us think they wanted to suck the children into death to be with them. Granted that sort of IS what they’re doing (since they made the human children ill), but their motivation came from a good place, of wanting to console people bearing pain they understood. And in the end, they pointed the way for Gong-shil to find the boy, acting as inadvertent beacons.

The other way the plot worked for me was in providing an opportunity for Joong-won to finally jump fully aboard Gong-shil’s plight, and as I said up in the recap I didn’t interpret his ending comments as romantic. (It just has the added benefit of being able to be read that way.) There are some moments in life that transcend your personal desires—like his insistence on staying firmly out of anything not immediately relevant to his life—and are made better for your interference, which has always been both strength and weakness for Gong-shil. It’s why she’s able to resolve the ghost’s wishes, but also why she’s dogged by them constantly. Yet even when given the chance to ignore, at the end of the day she chooses not to, and now he finally gets that.

It’s a wonderful moment for him as a person, and also for them as a couple. Or perhaps you could say that it’s one reason they can progress as a romantic couple, in a way that Kang Woo can’t. First off, Gong-shil can’t be honest with Kang Woo, and secondly he’s just always one step too late. Sometimes I’m actually relieved with Perfect Dreamy Second Lead is always one step behind, because I can’t hurt too badly for him if he’s always so damn late. Not when Grumpypants Hero is always at her side, however complainingly, ready to offer up emotional support and some skinship to boot.

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a very fun episode!

but still... couldn't tae-yang wear better-looking clothes? how could she come to the office in a baggy dress and a t-shirt with the sleeves being rolled up?

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Loved it! Joong-won's look of pure satisfaction when he's on the phone with Gong Shil, finding out that her date wasn't much fun because of the ghosts? Hilarious!

Glad our hero is fully on board with refusing to turn a blind eye.

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This has to be one of the best eps I've ever seen in K-land and I've seen plenty! Not only cementing the partnership between GS and JW, but for the depth of dealing with the child abuse storyline. That's something rarely touched upon in any culture and it needs to be shoved in the forefront. I really enjoyed this episode and this show is turning out to be wonderful!

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By far the best episode till now. I wholeheartedly loved it. And that was a first for me in this show. I even liked the ghost story this time.

Did anyone else feel, they shot his feet carrying the boy to the hospital in close up to show us, that this is the moment he made the conscious decision to follow her and her path no matter what?

Loved their interaction (more!) and love the chemistry of our OTP (more!more!more!). Can't wait for the next ep.

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Sigh, I'm possibly in the minority when I say this... I desperately want to feel it but I ain't feeling MS's OTP.

No doubt about it, they strike me as a good-looking pair who visually look good together BUT I'm just not feeling anything beyond the superficial, aka chemistry.

:(

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Heee, I love this show! <3 Gong Hyo-jin is such a wonderful actress~ :D

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I had super-schadenfreude re Kang Woo and his sad face when he saw Gong shil and joo won.

Meh. That's my feeling on this episode. I liked Greatest Love more.

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HAHAHAHA, looooove that word and how it literally sounds like what means.

Poor Kang Woo. Never gonna get the gal >.< Ironically, I totally didn't get the second lead love in TGL but now I've semi-boarded the second lead ship in MS.

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I'm just hanging on to see the second lead ship!

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I'm just crossing my fingers that they don't pair him up with second female lead. Not that I don't like her but I prefer him not to be with anyone if not GS :(

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Oh, see, I would like to kick him in the nuts by having him totally fall for Yi Ryung!

Besides, I like her: she's funny and makes me laugh the most out of all of them (except So Ji Sub at times) and I want her to get the guy she likes.

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I super love this episode! First the doll didn't do a Chuky stunt. And can't ghost have an eyeballs? please.. not that hollow thing...

Second how heart warming Sec. Kim is. I laugh on how he waves his IDs and how he slap the mother's forehead!

Third is the romance.. Exactly how javabeans describes it. I don't know but I am really sold at the idea of Joong-won being a place of refuge for Tae-yang. Its just so sweet for me.

Its the weekend here for us in the Middle East! Happy weekend!

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Can I just give you all the props for not starting off your recap with a SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAL because that final scene FAR OUT i was completely totally utterly gone. And to think just last week I was merely enjoying this drama.

As pointed out, I loved the subversion of the doll and the child ghosts. It's heartbreaking but in a different way from what we expected, as well as hinting to capabilities of ghosts being inside inanimate objects (and animate, in the case of Gong Shil in the future). And it was great to see Joo Gun step up - he wasn't doing this for her, even though that's how it might have started off. He did that for the kid, because those pictures resonated with him and he knew exactly how that child felt. This drama is really a case of how people are able to deal with their fears and become better people, and I respect that a lot.

But SERIOUSLY, SQUEAL. I love it. They're both so forward it kills me.

And super excited because we saw the beginning of what's probably going to be a love line between the male spy and her sister hee hee hee.

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OK...is it me, but did not Kang Woo called Joogun's father - "DAD" after one of his earlier status phone call - if that is the case - he is Joogun's younger brother? I would assume different Moms.

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I love the whole folie a deux thing, and the flaky private world the hero and heroine share. Oh my gosh, i looooooove the Hong Sisters. Comedy and flakiness are so hard to create but they are just doing wonders with the whole screwball-made-for-each-other concept. And both actors are killing it! PERFECTION!

And i looooooove Secretary. Even second lead actress is perfect. Kang Woo is he only character not allowed to be odd and funny. Hard to play straight man but I guess someone has to do it.

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That bit with the NASA, though was totally straight man and wonderful for a joke.

Screwball, but made for each other is pretty much a sum of all the Hong Sister's dramas...

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He seems to have some kinda funny moments with second led girl...but who wouldn't? She's such an airhead.

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He's basically a straight man with her too. Sort of a foil for her 4D airheadedness.

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The first line of this recap had me feeling more than consternated and when I realized that it actually was not meant to be sarcastic, Javabeans, I lost a bit of respect for you. This pairing is anything but solid. It's a paltry imitation of the Kong Hyo Jin/ Cha Seung-Won couple in The Greatest Love. Every episode So Ji Sub-ssi mimics Cha Seung Won's acting nuances, ie the glances, the hand gesture when he demands her to leave. And although he attempts to exude the "I'm falling for her despite myself" facet of the character, the same sentiment that was done so well by Cha Seung Won and made The Greatest Love an amazing show, So Ji Sub cannot. It's what I'd call a FAIL. He ends up giving off playing a tsundere-type character (albeit I probably should blame the Hong sisters for that one...). It's awkward, fellow Kdrama fans. Unsettling even. And since I've opened up this can of worms, let me put this out there, Kong Hyo Jin does a bad job portraying a naive loner. No, I don't like the show.

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Hi
I agree 100% that So Ji Sub-ssi mimics Cha Seung Won’s acting and it's very awkward...i don't understand why because So JI he's is a good actor...i think that the producer ask him to do that because the hight rating of "The Greatest Love" drama and maybe they thought viewers want to see the same much so it's kind of replacement for Cha Seung Won that didn't want or couldn't make this part...but overall this is a very typical kdrama and not unique nor special:)

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I really loved this episode, it really developed Gong-Shil and Joong-won's relationship a step further and I love how he is becoming increasingly honest towards her, starting with the dyslexia confession the previous episode and now the episode that he believes in her and will be by her side. I love a hero that is frank. Joong-won made me swoon today.:) Can't wait to see their relationship develop even more.

It's my first time following either actors, but SJS and GHJ have amazing chemistry.

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I don't think it's dyslexia, it looks more like PTSD. You don't *develop* dyslexia because of PTSD. It's more like he's subconsciously associating written words with his trauma.

dyslexia would be more not being able to distinguish quickly between things like ㅁㅂ ㄷㄴㄱ or that certain words look similar, for example was and saw.

What he gets is blurry vision and a headache/anxiety when he sees the words which makes it PTSD. The syllables don't scramble in his vision and the hangeul doesn't either...

I do think, though, it's a nice touch to show he has PTSD still, since most shows have it that as soon as the problem is solved, so are all the emotional burdens. But this show, generally, has gone further.

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Yeah, it is not dyslexia for sure, though the earlier eps made it seem like so (until they revealed more details via secondary characters and JW). It got me a lil confused -esp if you dont recognize hangul and hence dont bother to take a better look at whats going on in the vision scramble/moving scene like me, lol - before as well because I was pretty sure that dyslexia doesn't just develop like that but then again, I am no medical expert so...

Well, at least that puts both leads on a more even playing field, since they each have their own PTSDs (I'm just plonking GS's condition under this term for now) that only both of them can soothe - GS for his and JW for hers.

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I loved the ending, MR DIRECTOR you take all the credits , the way the last scene specially capturing the eye moment and then focusing was amazing it felt good. Totally loving this drama all the way to the top, the leads are adorable but the show stealing gal is Gong Hyo Jin

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Ugh there are no words. This drama hits all the right notes for me. I loved this episode a lot!

Thanks for the recap!

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one of the things that always distubed me with k-dramas is the seeming lack of any laws or government department that protect children. Parents seem to be able to beat thier children or kick them out on the street at whim, kids are constantly left on their own not just for a day but for weeks at a time. Police often saying it is a family matter we will not get involved as so on. It nice to see at lest for once that there are laws if seemingly little used that do protect children. It has to be one of the biggest culture shocks when watching k-drama for me.

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It is like this here too, since so many parents work abroad and leave the kids at home either with grandparents but in some cases alone, two weeks, even months. The parents work all day. The salary here is lousy so no wonder (300 euros in averige). money abroad is received at the end of the contract so there is not much to send home.
so kids steal and beg often. they say about 60 000 children here are currently starving or only getting one meal a day.

I feel like everyone should know - children suffer most in many places despite having laws and organization. this is the reality. no use denying it. and I am not exaggerating.
are they so small we just don´t see? or are we so big as egos they are left in the shadow? grown up matters are always seen as real and serious, children are people too though, their woes are equally important if not more. we choose to prioritize matters of economy, money, roads, buildings. it is like human beings and small human beings especially are just ants. they don´t seem to matter. the Big Plans matter only

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Hello,

I'm new to this whole commenting about KDramas thing and I'm relatively a newbie at watching KDramas. This is my first post too. Hehe. But I love the way you guys comment here---- always with depth and precision. I can sense most of you must be very creative writers.

Anyway about the drama,

This is the first time I've ever really watched a KDrama that doesn't feel like it's working too hard but is still beautifully rendered.

I appreciate the horror angle because it can be such a relief from the usual drama-misery-longing formula. The balance between the horror-comedy-romance-drama-mystery is so well played. I like how watching each episode feels like I'm eating sumptuous food with all my favorite flavors in it. The timing is often perfect and the other flavor hits the mouth right when you've had enough of one other flavor.

However, the past two or three episodes have gotten a bit too sweet, for me. I have nothing against the OTP because their chemistry is really good and they leave me with warm fuzzy feelings, but I have to admit that I kind of miss the spice of the horror flavor which was why I got hooked to the drama. The comedy and the heartbreaking factor is still there and I especially love the wits of the writers (and subtitle writers), but I really do miss those heart-stopping ghost scenes that made me fear watching the drama at night. Altogether, the scare factor was what made this drama special and different. It made me feel so many things and I loved it. For now, it feels a bit too romantic for me and it would be such a waste to watch the drama fall into typical rom-com formula categories.

For this episode, I really expected much from the ghosts--of-the-day. After all, children as ghosts are especially creepy and I was so curious as to how they'd let that part of that plot unfold since they introduced it so curiously in the previous episodes. I was hoping for the ghost-of-the-day cases to get more and more difficult until it reaches a climax (which I surmise might be something about Cha-Jee-Hoo possessing Tae Ging Shil).

However, the romantic exchange of the leads was special. I love how the love confession is being presented in layers because it feels more real rather than watching leads who hold back their feelings and let them out with a single confession. I am actually watching leads that fall into love step by step. This feels so realistic that it makes me feel more for the OTP, and even for the second lead.

I think Kang Woo may be being built up to become an antagonist since his jealous antics seem a bit alarming. I'm curious as to how they'll develop his love angle with the Top Star, and whether or not the writers will focus more on the chemistry or if they'll keep letting him be dragged into the OTP--- I hope not to a fault.

(Eitherway, i'm beginning to nurse an SIG bias--- he is consistently promising as an actor and I find this impressive)

Anyway, I'll still put tabs on this drama and my interest has not waned one bit. Next episode please! :)

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GS's white, flow-y dresses make her look like a ghost herself. Is the Jesus Save Me nightgown worn ward off ghosts at night?

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I wondered that too!

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I enjoyed the episode, but have to agree with Offtheshore that there are stretches of it where the direction is weirdly off . . . I'm reminded of the daylight outdoor scenes in Gu Family Chronicles, where the directing and editing were so amateurish that the people chasing each other looked like they were about have a head-on collision in the woods. Other shots, like those at the festival, required more planning to work at all and the director did some fine work on them.

The scenes in the mall court, in this episode, and the scene in the meeting, just looked awkward. It was like the director got the script that morning, set up a medium shot after reading the page, told the actors to read their lines, then did a medium close-up, had them read their lines, and turned in the video to the editor. No composition, no flow, just someone working the camera and getting it over with.

These were first rate actors, of course, and they know how to occupy a frame and keep it in motion. But the director just wasn't trying.

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Yeah, I agree that there were definitely some rough edits in this episode. Like the second last scene where the music was suddenly cut off without a smooth transition and another scene where the transition between scenes was just oddly placed.

I loved the final scene, but I also noticed at some moments the camera was strangely focused, not quite on the leads. I can't quite place the reason. I don't think the drama is at the live-shoot phase yet since they are still providing previews of next episodes, but some of the editing and camera work could be better done indeed.

Another thing I noticed that has deteriorated is the placing of the creepy music (not that I really mind because I am a complete wimp, the lack of skillfully placed creepy music made it easier for me to stomach the previous episode), but the drama used its creepy soundtrack to much better effect in the first few episodes.

That said, I am loving the way they used "Touch Love" at the very last scene in this episode. That is an awesome song and I felt it really worked well with Joong-won's "confession" scene.

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I recall in an earlier ep where GS and KW was crossing the street - the editing was so abrupt, lol.

The very very short close ups towards the end of the ep were really awkwardly placed in, felt very much like a last min sort of addition.

And the excessive use of slow-mo for scenes... The romantic ones don't irk me but the rest... Not so necessary. But I give it props for feeling much more stylized than the average (non-cable) kdrama.

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This was my first episode that I watched. I know. But see, I'm just not a big fan of So Ji Sub so I stayed away. And the ghosts freak me out so I stayed away. But I liked this so much that I watched Episode 1 as soon as Episode 7 finished.

My comment: the show is great and all, but I keep getting flashbacks of Greatest Love. And it's So Ji Sub's character and his acting that is doing it. The character's phrases, ego, and manner of speaking are so reminiscent of Doko Jin. And the acting is so similar to Cha Seung-Won, just not as good as Cha Seung-Won, who I think really made Doko Jin who he was. I can see how the Hong Sisters may create a similar character because they are writers and authors often create similar characters in novels. I just wish that So Ji Sub could have tried something a little more creative in his acting and realization of his character to make him more his own, rather than to just copy Cha Seung-Won's creation of Doko Jin.

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On an entirely frivolous note, since I forgot to mention it in the first place, I find SJS EXPONENTIALLY hotter without his ridiculous Willy Wonka-lesque coats. They are seriously obstructing his rays of potential hotness, especially for someone who hasn't seen him in anything other than a Giordano ad.

Someone needs to tell the stylist/one in charge of costumes to dial it down a notch. I get the whole keeping-up-a-facade-chaebol angle that they are going for... but it's highly distracting (and ott)in a negative way. Especially when it comes to the serious scenes.

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totally AGREE!!

whenever hes just wearing a shirt (not the jacket on top) im like WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! he looks sooo much better.
i think its due to the style of the blazer - its like 10x bulkier than than those nice fitted blazers that guys can wear

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YEAH, they look so artificially poof-ed up in almost all the scenes :/ In that I-am-obv-wearing-a-fake-muscle-costume way, which is not good.

And the colors, god they burn.

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I love GHJ and SJS individually but together they just sizzle!!! I thought their chemistry would be good but it is kind of off the charts, they are very hot together. I haven't liked a pairing this much in a long time.

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I was a bit more prepared for the creepy doll story, because I'd just watched an anime called Ghost Hunt with a similar story arc in three of the episodes. There's a doll that's possessed by the spirit of a dead child, and there are other dead children attached to the doll. The doll is in possession of a little girl who's family is messed with by the doll. But eventually we learn that it's really the spirit of a dead woman who lost her child who's keeping all the ghost kids in the house. And they all cross over and the doll gets exorcised and burned. Not all in that order, but it's similar. I also liked the way the kids weren't evil but lonely. I also liked how the story worked to keep our leads together and for Joong-won to realize some things. Hopefully.

What's the deal with Uncle VP? What does he want? I don't get him.

Thanks for the recap, JB!

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If the uncle is not the baddie then I guess he just wants repect, he said it often enough that SJS has never called him uncle.

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First, Secretary Kim is the bees knees. He has totally been shipping them since day one.

The ending made me squee with happiness but I have this feeling that ep. 8 is totally gonna ruin that scene with snarky-assy-ness. Fingers crossed I am totally wrong.

Thanks for the recaps!

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Thank you for the recap. As always, your comments were hysterical and I love ho wmuch you both seem to be enjoying watching and recapping this drama.

I liked this episode a lot and thought it was a great improvement over the last one. While I always liked the interactions between Joong Won and Gong Shil, I'm finally starting to see the stirrings of romantic feelings happening. Before it felt like the Hong Sisters were just painting by numbers and trying to rush that romantic connection (like in the hug at the end of Ep. 4) but now I can really see that these characters do care about each other and are starting to awaken to the idea that those feelings aren't just platonic. I think the best part of the show is definitely the interactions between the main couple and I'm excited to see how things progress.

LOVE Secretary Kim. I feel like he's the only person who really cares about Joong Won and I love that he's doing his best to further nudge him towards Gong Shil. Good on you, Secretary Kim! Didn't care for him thwacking the mother but everything before that was gold.

I like Yiryung a lot and I think it's funny that it seems like she's had much more interaction with Kang Woo to date than Gong Shil has. She's not your typical scheming harpy second female lead and I appreciate that. It's a breath of fresh air honestly. I really like her and Kang Woo together - they're funny and he's working to deflate that ego of hers which could only be a good thing. In Best Love, I always felt like the second leads were paired together because that was expected and not because they actually got along well but here I can really see why Yiryung and Kang Woo would make a good couple.

I think this show does a good job of balancing more weighty, emotional moments (usually through the ghost stories) with light, breezy fun (through the banter of the two couples). And I've actually liked all of the ghost stories to date, although I know some people haven't. I would have liked a little more closure with the Vanity Ghost (like what was its purpose, what did it want?) but I see that not all of the ghost stories are meant to be resolved neatly. Anyway I am enjoying it a lot.

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Also what was the deal with Auntie Joo saying that Joong Won's father didn't pay the ransom but he's in Europe searching for the missing jewels? I'm a little confused now. If all the kidnappers asked for was the jewels and he gave it to them, then why did they say it wasn't enough? Or was it that he didn't give them the jewels at all in which case then why are they missing? Very confused about that and idk if it's a subtitling mistake or what.

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I think the jewel is missing alright. The kidnapper which I suspect is a woman (probably his still very alive mother) wants the jewel because it's hers by right. Of course that's only my imagination/things that I want.

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well the flash back the person that was in the car and left the girl to run off looked very slim, so it could of been a woman.

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Hi,

I am wondering if it was just a bad translation but in an earlier episode Kang Woo called Joogun’s father – “DAD” - did anyone catch that or was it just a bad word choice????

Thanks In Advance - Loving this Drama

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My favorite episode thus far. I agree that I didn't interpret JW's "confession" as romantic at first, not until after when he asked GS if she really thought he was made of marble and had her touch his heart. Unf. I just love that entire scene.

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Omgaaaaaaaaah !

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OMG! I think I will watch this drama after all! The ghosts here aren't too scary and they all seem to have a purpose for the story!! Thanks for the recap!

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Thanks for the recap and analysis. Enjoyed reading them. But what I can't understand is the constant comparison between this show with another drama?

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I'm ignoring my lukewarm feelings for the Dokko Jin character in Best Love so that I can enjoy this drama wholeheartedly. I guess I didn't find that character believable as a "top star" because I didn't find him to be that attractive. Except maybe when they showed him for five seconds in the shower. Ahhh, yes, the shower scene. But I digress.

In MS, I love how JW keeps expanding the "TGS zone", just as Secretary Kim predicts he will. First it's only as long as the space between his thumb and index finger; then it's the thumb and middle finger, then the palm, and finally his entire forearm.

And thank you DB for pointing out all the "pun and games" in this show. I miss a lot of it, as I know no Korean, and have only been watching Kdrama for 7 months. Much appreciated!

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I haven't felt the chemistry between the main leads this strong since Secret Garden. I've never seen the the two main actors' work before so it took a while for me to warm up to them, but now....wow...hook, line & sinker!

I always see the actor who plays Secretary Kim as a corrupt villain, so I'm glad he's playing a nice guy. My favorite scene was the thwacking of the evil mom's head...."Mosquito!" Bwahahaha!

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The table has turned, and it's JW who's looking for skinship with GS every chance he gets. I esprecially liked the telescope, pinned against the wall, and ending scenes in this episode.

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The couple scenes are really good! And the Hong sisters have always been good with metaphor =) But I gotta say I totally loved the Secretary Kim scene at the hospital...he totally KO-ed the abusive mother XD

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Oh, the way I interpreted it was that rather than the ghost children making the kids sick, it was that because Seung joon was actually getting sick, but their mother was not around to take care of them, and the ghost children find kids that are getting sick, not making them sick to begin with, which is how they found the abused child.
I think.

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I hate hate hate this show.
It had me crying at the little abused kid and the three poor, pretty pretty kids and then it cut to Kang Candy buying a Dooly+Gong Shil doll. NO!
I need to cry for a good six minutes (at least) for me to lead a healthy, emotionally well-balanced life. You can't make a person sniff a second then snort the next, that's not right!
Huff. I hope there was originally a commercial break when the show's on air. I'd hate to think that other people had to go through this unhealthy emotion swing.

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Reading these comments and posts discussing the symbolisms and deeper meanings that have been extrapolated really makes this drama a whole lot more awesome and meaningful, and it also lets everything fit into place.

Moving on to the more lighter side of things I'm absolutely loving Kim Secretary and his ....I don't know what to call it... matchmaking/ skills? Stating the fact that Gong Shil must have had a great time at the date she isn't calling then making her JooGun's temporary secretary. I'm also not forgetting how he confronted the abusive mother... take that you abusive mother!

I couldn't stop the tears at this episode. It really pains me to see children hurt as I am a teacher and have many kids surrounding me... it really affected me.

oNE MORE..... Can I mention how epic the orchestral/instrumental and OST music is... it gives me goosebumps and really suits the scenes.

The master and the sun are falling for each other :) .. my favourite bits of rom-coms...

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