Full Sun: Episode 3
Our hero embarks on a new chapter of his life with his revenge plan that’s either planned out or more like a create-your-own-adventure kind of thing. I’m still not sure which one it is, but I’m certain that carrying out vengeance becomes infinitely more difficult when reminders of the past brings with them a wave of emotions that threaten the thirst for payback.
Even if Se-ro will let his opponents scratch at the surface of the rigid façade he’s putting on, he’ll make sure nobody will strike him and let himself shatter into a million pieces either. And speaking of fragile, Full Sun’s ratings dropped down to 3.8% in Episode 3.
SONG OF THE DAY
Monday Kiz & Ilac – “그깟 사랑 (That measly love)” [ Download ]
EPISODE 3 RECAP
We backtrack to when Se-ro was throwing pebbles at Bella la Fair’s doors earlier that evening—and aha, Young-won had seen him there, mystified by his presence. Therefore she knew that Se-ro had been following her when she turned to face him.
Now she challenges his affirmation that they’ve previously met five years ago, but Se-ro isn’t going to give in that easily; instead, he cryptically smirks at the twisted humorous workings of the world. It makes sense that she won’t remember who he is, Se-ro says, “Because I’ve changed a lot in the last five years.”
He curls his lip at her question of whether he’s a gangster, then assures her that they’ll meet again at work before walking into oncoming traffic like the melodramatic hero he is.
Still in disbelief, Se-ro thinks to himself: “It was you? You were the one who stomped all over my life?” He doesn’t even flinch when a car nearly hits him.
“You wrecked me with that pure face of yours?” he asks.
Se-ro later gets the lowdown on Daddy Han from Hama, who describes the man as a nouveau riche chaebol who accumulated his wealth from real estate holdings. And while Daddy Han is the chairman of the real estate company named Taekang, he also takes great interest in Belle la Fair’s affairs.
Fiddling with his whistle, Se-ro takes that to mean the family lives comfortably then, and Hama warns him against doing anything rash before Kang-jae joins them in Korea.
Se-ro tells him not to worry, but maybe we should because we find him sitting in a parked car outside the Han family residence the following morning, watching them leave for the day. Naturally, he follows Young-won, who shakes off yesterday’s events in her car as talk from a crazy person, but she still finds it unsettling.
She sings along to the radio to keep her mind off of it, a sight Se-ro finds ironically amusing. He notices her car drive off in a different direction than her workplace, but doesn’t follow, declaring to himself that he isn’t interested in her personal life. Never mind the fact that his whole revenge plan is personal, of course.
So Se-ro saunters into the store, telling a very flustered Manager Min that he knows full well that it’s before hours and he’ll wait until Young-won arrives. His presumptuous attitude as a prospective gemstone dealer at Belle la Fair puts her off, but one glance at his impressive résumé has her singing a different tune.
Young-won isn’t at work because she’s currently teaching a local arts class elsewhere. She reminds her students not to be careless with their cubic zirconia stones simply because they’re cheap—even the hardest known mineral—a diamond—isn’t that strong.
“A diamond doesn’t look scratched from the outside, but you could hit it and it would shatter into pieces,” she explains.
I’m kind of amused at how Se-ro makes himself at home as he waits in the studio, half-listening to a news report about a famous blue diamond necklace named “Heaven’s Tears” coming to Korea.
He asks what kind of person Young-won is instead, nodding that she must be too busy as president to concern herself with other people’s lives, and then finishes with the remark that he’d really like to work here.
Young-won finally arrives and quickly turns him down, but he strikes a nerve with the mention of Thailand five years ago. Se-ro asks if they arrested the murderer and tenses at her answer that they have. He’s heard the rumors of how that diamond dealer stole the diamond before he died, which left the position vacant for the last five years—but he’s merely asking, of course.
Recalling his words of where, why, and how they met, Young-won asks after the real reason why he’s here, other than to poke at old wounds. Se-ro asks if she thinks he’s a con man and if his interview has started because then he’ll answer truthfully.
But Young-won has had enough and dismisses him, which Se-ro accepts with a smile. That only irritates her further and she accidentally spills a box of gemstones onto the floor. She barks at Se-ro to leave when he bends down to retrieve them, but he insists because he’s the reason she’s annoyed after all.
To her surprise, Se-ro starts separating the stones by eye, ignoring her words that she’ll have them re-evaluated anyway. He shrugs that there’s nothing he can do if he turns out to be wrong, but we know he’s submitting his practical application for the position right now.
Once he’s finished, he agrees to take the job and she can call if she changes her mind. They’ll likely meet again, Se-ro adds, and I wonder if the address as “Young-won-sshi” (versus the more formal address to her job title as president) makes her uncomfortable.
As Daddy Han surveys his new plot of land, he’s informed that Se-ro has disappeared from Thailand. Good to know that they’ve been keeping tabs on the guy they’ve framed, but Daddy Han tells his secretary to take care of it, since he’s too preoccupied with dreaming up his next new project.
As expected, Se-ro’s assessment is error-free, and Young-won is unimpressed despite Manager Min’s praises of his impeccable skills. She isn’t on board with the idea of employing Se-ro to revive their gemstone line and clearly isn’t ready to fill Woo-jin’s former position with someone as cavalier as Se-ro.
Young-won gets up to leave at that, only to find her father waiting outside and declines a lunch date with him.
Se-ro decides to visit his old home and honks impatiently at an elderly woman and her cart blocking the road. Oh no, that’s Grandma, isn’t it? It is. Oof.
Seeing her like that rattles him, and Se-ro quickly turns his face away. It’s with a heavy heart he follows Grandma pulling her heavy cart up to the top of the hill, watching her as she carries an armful of cardboard inside.
He hides away behind a pole just before Grandma appears again to spray-paint over another layer of death threats outside the house—a common occurrence, I’m sure. Se-ro reels at the sight, choking back sobs in silence.
Daddy Han approves of the idea of bringing in a new gemstone dealer, wondering when his daughter will come to her senses and move on. Young-won doesn’t want to expand the company for the sake of business, but would rather run one that her mother would have been proud of.
When her father says that one must also think about survival, Young-won answers, “But I’m not you.”
Her father might have been able to bring in his longtime mistress as his new wife a mere three months after her mother’s death, but she couldn’t do that. Unlike her father, she can’t bear the idea of someone else taking Woo-jin’s place like that. She’d rather live with her grief, but Daddy Han won’t hear of it and tells her to do as he says.
Then we see just how deep Young-won’s sorrow goes as she returns to Woo-jin’s old office to replace the flowers. It’s a painful walk down memory lane as she imagines him still working at his desk which is just as he left it, untouched.
The conversation weighs on Daddy Han’s mind, however, and sighs whether he should have married Young-won off to Woo-jin after all. His persistent concerns for his daughter only upsets Madam Baek.
A flashback takes us back to the day Daddy Han had decided to have Woo-jin done away with, apologizing to his secretary for getting his hands dirty. In the present, he asks his secretary, Secretary Ahn, to look into the prospective gemstone dealer and to find Se-ro.
So I suppose it’s a good thing Daddy Han doesn’t know what Se-ro looks like, or else he’d recognize him at lunch. You could say they don’t get off on the right foot because Se-ro pretends he doesn’t know who Daddy Han is either. (That, and he also rejects a drink, which isn’t necessarily rude, but then doesn’t pour one for the chairman, which is.)
Daddy Han takes it in stride though, considering Se-ho’s behavior as a lack of knowledge in Korean customs. But Se-ro keeps pushing his buttons, feigning ignorance about his rudeness and keeping a close watch on Daddy Han’s reactions.
So he asks directly if Daddy Han is trying to recruit him. Daddy Han says he was, but he now understands why his daughter was against it and figures that they’re just wasting each other’s time sitting here.
He does ask why Se-ro chose Belle la Fair of all places, only to be told that Se-ro was drawn to the fact that their company doesn’t have any buyers on their payroll, and he’s confident that he can gather a good team together.
Daddy Han is impressed by Se-ro’s confidence despite himself, and asks how they can trust him. Pouring a shot for the chairman, Se-ro mentions the 32-carat blue diamond necklace that every jeweler and department store would love to get their hands on. What if he were to obtain exhibition rights to that piece?
And who should have the necklace but Kang-jae himself as he arrives in Korea and promptly swarmed by dealers. Aha, so it was “Heaven’s Tears” (the blue diamond necklace) Kang-jae was given in Thailand to build his credibility, and the piece they plan to eventually switch out for a fake.
Se-ro is warmly greeted by the rest of the team (Jae-in gives him a big hug) when he joins them at the club. That is, until he mentions that he just saw Daddy Han and everyone looks to Kang-jae for a response.
Kang-jae’s nervous tic kicks in and asks Se-ro to talk alone outside, reminding him that the others aren’t here to help him exact his personal revenge. Se-ro answers casually that he won’t screw up on the job, but they both have their own goals which Kang-jae agrees with.
Kang-jae advises Se-ro to wait until his opponents fully trust him because that’s the best way to win, to which Se-ro dryly laughs back, “But I’ve been really patient.”
He’s trying to be a hyung to Se-ro, who asks if Kang-jae thinks he plans on buttering up to the people who framed him when they barely hesitated before throwing him in jail. Se-ro intends to return the favor in kind, and plans to take Belle la Fair down as he sees fit.
Kang-jae dishes out the tough love, suggesting that Se-ro sit out on this job then because he doesn’t have anything to go up against such people. Se-ro cuts him off to confess that he saw his own grandmother collect cardboard.
Se-ro agrees that he doesn’t have much and explains that he wanted to work at an office with his naive little ambition. But the people who owns those large office buildings it occupies took that dream away from him and he doesn’t even know why.
“I didn’t want to live like Father,” Se-ro says, his eyes brimming with tears. “But I’m going to live like him. No, I’m going to do much more. Why? Because my father died. Because my grandma collects cardboard. Because I can’t live as Jung Se-ro. Because I’m Lee Eun-soo. Because I’m a murderer!”
He roars that last statement repeatedly, wrought with emotion. All that pent-up guilt and anger burst free as he howls that making sure that the Han family get their dues is the only way he can bear living just a tiny bit.
He breaks down wailing, and Kang-jae can only wrap him in a tight hug.
In an interview, Kang-jae expresses his hopes that Korea will become Asia’s Mecca of jewelry, and that they’ve found the jeweler who will display their prized necklace. That company is none other than Belle la Fair, and Young-won belatedly learns of the news when her stepmother shows her the announcement in the papers.
Daddy Han is in a happy mood, chuckling that Se-ro proved himself by obtaining the exhibition rights to the necklace. Young-won is besides herself, asking if that means they must accept Se-ro to work for them, to which her father asks if she has any reason not to.
She doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be upset about it, and stalks off.
I had an inkling that Jae-in nursed a one-sided crush on Se-ro, judging from how she affectionately strokes his hair to wake him up. Perhaps Se-ro knows it, but it’s safe to say that he doesn’t reciprocate those feelings, and there’s a semi-awkward moment when Kang-jae walks in and deflates at the prepared breakfast for two.
None of them can dwell on it before Young-won calls moments later to meet with Se-ro. He meets her down at the garage and sits in her car without permission, saying that they’ll drive and talk.
Amused at her outburst that she’s the one to make the decisions within her own company, Se-ro asks if he can keep calling her Young-won-sshi at the workplace, which leaves her speechless.
Back upstairs, Kang-jae teases Jae-in on her poor cooking skills. Annoyed, Jae-in asks if he’s jealous that she cooked for Se-ro and not him, and Kang-jae answers, “Can’t I be?” Oh, look who’s nursing his own one-sided crush.
Se-ro merely laughs at Young-won’s declarations that she’s the president at Belle la Fair, and counters that all she does is hole herself up in her studio. He asks if she wants to know the real reason why he wants to work there, and then tells her the half-truth that he wants to find the people who took the money for his late father’s surgery.
It seems that Young-won believes him as Se-ro dryly insists that that’s his real reason and asks if Young-won might help him. She pulls over to ask why he’s telling her all of this, and Se-ro answers, “Because you asked.”
He had contemplated whether or not to share this information with her and excuses himself. And when Young-won is surrounded in celebration for acquiring the exhibition rights to the necklace, she gives credit where it’s due and says it was their new gemstone dealer’s doing.
Later that evening, Grandma is approached by Secretary Ahn asking about Se-ro’s whereabouts. Gulp, let’s hope Grandma is still as sharp as she was five years ago.
Se-ro is introduced to the staff the next day, who all revel in his achievement in acquiring such an exquisite piece. Not a bad way to start your first day, methinks.
But before Se-ro can say a word about the necklace, Young-won interrupts to explain its history in its entirety, from royalty to theft and eventually ended up in the hands of a wealthy widow. Se-ro adds that the necklace also lead to said widow’s death, since the rumors say the corpse was found long after it was eaten by dogs. Ew.
However, those who see this piece will be more interested in its weighty 32 carats of diamond, not its bloodied history, Se-ro argues.
Young-won isn’t in the mood to humor Se-ro, let alone give him an office tour, so she hands off the task to Manager Min, stressing that Se-ro be taught the boundaries of this workplace.
So when Se-ro stops outside Woo-jin’s old office, Manager Min stresses that he cannot, repeat, cannot enter that room. Sure, make the already rebellious man more curious about restricted areas.
He’s genuinely surprised to hear that Young-won has left the office the way it is for the past five years, but isn’t told why that is. That doesn’t stop Se-ro in the slightest from walking into that office once he’s alone anyway (and if you really didn’t want people to enter that room, Young-won, you maybe want to think about locking it first. Just sayin’.), recalling the horrific night that Woo-jin died.
But then his eyes widen to see an affectionate picture of Woo-jin and Young-won sitting on the desk. He also learns from Woo-jin’s calendar that the two were engaged and rifles through the desk to find photos that only further confirms their once loving relationship.
So you can imagine Young-won’s shock to see him sitting at Woo-jin’s old desk, infuriated at this invasion of privacy. But Se-ro digs through his memories and realizes that it was her voice he heard that fateful night.
Young-won hollers at him to get out, and Se-ro apologizes for his intrusion. He slowly confirms that she and Woo-jin were once lovers, which is why this office remains untouched. She demands to know where he’s getting at, shooing away his empty words of sympathy.
She must have wanted to protect her late fiancé’s good name in the diamond theft debacle, Se-ro darkly retorts. That must be it, Se-ro presses, because she wanted to protect the one she loved.
Just then, Jae-in barges in to cut the building tension (she had come to the office to finalize paperwork with Young-won) and to take Se-ro with her.
Down at the garage, Jae-in warns Se-ro to keep it together, but Se-ro is trying to swallow the bitter realization that he had to take the fall in order to protect someone else. “That was the reason? Love?”
With that, Se-ro turn on his heel and storms back into the office to prepare it for his own use. Young-won comes running and shrills at him not to touch anything, but Se-ro defends that this is his office now.
He’s fully earned his spot here, but Young-won says that he must do as she dictates as his employee, even if that means he has to use a storage room as an office. She’s his superior and the one who pays him after all.
Se-ro breaks into an amused smile and replies that that’s a given, but when Young-won reaches for the box, he casts it to the floor and sits her down on the desk, telling her to stay there until he’s finished cleaning up.
Young-won raises her hand as if to hit him, but Se-ro catches her by the wrist, then throws her words of authority back at her, saying that an employer shouldn’t hit an employee.
Se-ro levels his eyes with hers and says that he couldn’t possibly understand her love and grief for her late fiancé. “But there’s no reason for me to sacrifice myself for that kind of love, is there?”
Astounded by his belittling question, Young-won breathes, “Did you say… that kind of love?” Se-ro answers, “Yes, I did.”
Even with another depressing showing in the ratings game, there’s something about this show that continues to draw me in with each passing episode. And while I haven’t had the best luck with ratings in the latest string of shows I’ve recapped, I’d be hard-pressed to say that those numbers always reflect the quality of a show, since there are a variety of factors that play into that one number (though I’m pretty sure Empress Ki [♥] will command the Monday-Tuesday ratings for a long while).
So to a certain extent, I’m a bit puzzled (as I was with Mi-rae’s Choice and Prime Minister and I before this show, but we all know how those turned out), but I still believe a show still has the responsibility of delivering a good story to its viewers regardless of external factors. For me, I’m always looking for a hook, because while a revenge story largely remains the same from show to show, the difference lies in the execution. Then in the case of Full Sun, I’d say my hook is in the acting, with a strong cast and their weighty delivery.
What I fear though, is for what might happen if the low numbers continue or even drop (if that’s even possible. Unjinx, unjinx!) because then it invites the possibility of throwing in makjang elements for the sake of ratings, which on the one hand, I’d understand since ratings = moolah, but on the other hand, then the original storyline potentially sacrifices narrative integrity for the crazy. Now I’m curious at what that scenario would look like.
Still, Se-ro makes for an interesting character study as a melodramatic hero, and we got to see more of his reckless nature alongside that restrained side of his in this episode. He’s practically a walking ticking time bomb, which makes him a dangerous wild card whenever his emotions bubble just beneath the surface. What I find endlessly intriguing is watching Se-ro deliver his calculated words to evoke a certain response out of his opponents, and there are times I seriously wonder whether he’s got a revenge board at home that lists an Ultimate Plan, or if he’s just making it up as he goes and doesn’t care about the means as long as he arrives at the end to bring Belle la Fair down.
In that same vein, I’m drawn to how Se-ro doesn’t pretend to turn on the charm for anyone else’s benefit. He knows what he has to do, but won’t give a second thought to his enemies or go the extra mile to make them trust him. At this point, Se-ro is so hell-bent on revenge that he’s completely disillusioned to love, especially when he thinks that love is the very reason that ruined his entire life.
But the thing about love is that it brings up emotions that run the gamut from agony to ecstasy, and there are plenty of people on Se-ro’s side who love him, even if he’s too blind with rage to see it sometimes.