Let me tell you that dealing with a hero who can fly off the handle at any given moment is both ridiculously scary and absolutely fascinating, and Se-ro manages to achieve that balance with such finesse that there are times when I get actual shivers down my spine.
I also don’t think any of us would actually enjoy poking at other people’s painful past wounds either, but that’s the name of the game for our hero—he’ll do whatever the hell he wants and will continue to do whatever it takes to get some answers, even if it means coming dangerously close to exposing his own weaknesses.
I’m practically giddy to share with you all the good news: Full Sun clocked its highest ratings yet in Episode 4 with 5.2%. I know, I know, that’s still low but things are looking up, so yay!
SONG OF THE DAY
CNBlue – “독한 사랑 (Cold Love)” [ Download ]
EPISODE 4 RECAP
After Se-ro’s belittling remark of the loss of Young-won’s so-called love, they hold each other’s stares for another moment until Se-ro finally lets go. But when Se-ro’s sneers don’t let up, Young-won gives him a taste of his own medicine, poking at his old wounds. Didn’t he lose someone dear to him, too?
She knows bringing up his deceased father hurts him and makes him angry, and points out that that’s how he made her feel just now. Se-ro almost seems impressed that two can play at this game and admits defeat, then moves to help clean up the mess.
He struggles to replace the drawer, unaware of the hidden envelope taped underneath the desk until it falls to the floor. He kicks it away in the split second before Young-won turns around, and leaves her alone to organize the rest.
Se-ro opts for a broody drive to organize his thoughts, but thankfully it isn’t a lone wild ride because Jae-in is hot on his tail, honking and blinking her lights behind him. She’s relentless as they speed around the other cars and eventually persuades him to pull over.
It’s nice to know that there are people in this dramaverse who readily call Se-ro out on his crazy reckless behavior, and when Se-ro roars that he wants to be alone, Jae-in argues that he’s always alone and right now, he needs to be with people who can understand how he feels.
Angry tears streaming down his cheeks, Se-ro counters that she doesn’t understand—what enrages him most right now is how Young-won is acting like she’s the most pitiful person in the world with her own grief.
Young-won grows upset when she sees that her mother’s jewelry pieces have been moved from their display to make room for the blue diamond necklace. Swapping out the old for the new isn’t exactly Young-won’s forte, but she does stop to look at the Heaven’s Tears and asks where their gemstone dealer is.
It seems that Se-ro didn’t return to work after their stand-off earlier, and now he’s busy burning the remnants of his past life. So when Young-won calls to tell him that he can quit and take the necklace with him if he’s going to be this careless, he answers that he at least has to keep his job long enough for the exhibition the day after tomorrow.
Se-ro saves his old whistle from the flames, however, and gives it a hard, ringing blow inside. He’s also kept an old postcard from the Bangkok Jewelry Fair five years ago and writes something on the back we don’t get to see.
Kang-jae takes up rifle shooting in preparation to mingle with the bigwigs. He’s an impressive shot, but Jae-in is irritated that Kang-jae hasn’t gone to check on Se-ro yet. Her mounting concerns and guilt towards Se-ro are nothing new, but they still hit a sore spot with Kang-jae.
She winces at the sound of gunshots, reminded by the memory of how she’d seen the sniper. Haunted by Se-ro’s panicked face that night, Jae-in points out that it was also their silence that allowed Se-ro be framed for murder. And those words affect Kang-jae because he misses his next shot.
Kang-jae turns to tell her that he’s helping Se-ro as much as he can now, so there’s no use bringing up the past anymore. She needn’t be sorry towards Se-ro either, but Jae-in says it pains her to see Se-ro still tormented by his past. (But all I’m thinking is just how awkward this entire conversation is for the silent third-wheel lackey.)
Just in case we needed more verifiable proof that Daddy Han is evil, we see that he has his own secret vault, because of course he does—every villain prides himself in his own majestic collection, dontcha know. He chuckles devilishly at how each drawer has the power to destroy lives.
He sighs regrettably over one empty drawer that should house the incriminating accounting ledgers that Woo-jin had once threatened him with. Oh, is that what’s in that taped envelope we saw earlier?
Secretary Ahn wonders if they should assume they’re missing for good now, but Daddy Han isn’t satisfied with that conclusion. Neither is he happy to hear that Se-ro’s grandmother seems to know nothing about her grandson’s whereabouts, let alone that he’s been released from prison.
He steps out to his office to see Madam Baek and Young-joon waiting for him. He declines another outing with them with a work-related excuse, and then chides his son for meekly following his mother’s prodding.
But Madam Baek has caught a fragment of their previous conversation and oh-so-casually asks the secretary what the deal is with Jung Se-ro.
Manager Min relays an order for another background check on Se-ro, and the staff collectively groan at receiving more credit card bills for the company in the mail. Manager Min steals a postcard addressed to Young-won though, but then her jaw drops.
She runs to find Young-won and does a poor job of drawing her attention away from the postcard. Young-won easily snatches it from her hand, and as it turns out it isn’t the card itself that’s shocking (though, it still is), but what’s written on the back: Jung Se-ro.
It’s the one name Young-won had promised herself that she wouldn’t forget, and she crumples to the ground, reeling. “What is this?!” Young-won hollers.
Madam Baek and her son sit down with Secretary Ahn at a cafe, where she presents him with another gift for his wife. I’m not sure how many times she used bribery in order to weasel information out of Secretary Ahn over the years, but she does pick up the curious tidbit that Jung Se-ro has returned to Korea.
Unfortunately, Young-joon is a bit more dense and spells out his mother’s manipulative ways before leaving in a huff. But Madam Baek looks out for her son’s interests like the mother wolf she is, asking what it is that her son is lacking in compared to Young-won.
Madam Baek still plays the concerned stepmother routine to Young-won at home and frets over Young-won’s frazzled state. Young-joon doesn’t miss the act and casually drops the bomb that Se-ro was released from prison and that he’s in Korea.
Young-won asks if everyone knew of that fact before she did—it doesn’t matter when they found out, but how much they know of the matter, and her raised voice surprises both her stepmother and brother.
At the sound of Daddy Han’s arrival, Madam Baek drags Young-won aside to chat alone. Exasperated, Madam Baek tells her that it’s been five years—what does it matter if Se-ro was released? To that, Young-won cries that it’s only been five years. Is that long enough to atone for his crimes?
Now Madam Baek shows shades of her true colors—how much longer does this family have to tiptoe around her grief? Young-won says they can leave her be. But Madam Baek lashes out that they must be sympathetic to her misery and keep an eye on Young-won: “Because we’re family,” she finishes with a hint of disdain.
Se-ro sneaks back into Woo-jin’s old office after hours to retrieve the envelope (okay seriously Young-won, you really want to think about locking that door). He doesn’t get to read its contents right away because Young-won walks in moments later and he hides to remain unseen.
It’s as if Young-won has preserved this office to be used as a personal confessional stall, and Se-ro hears her talking out loud to a non-existent Woo-jin. She wonders why Jung Se-ro has reappeared—what could he possibly want from her? It’s not like Woo-jin can come back to life, so what right does he have?
Se-ro later reviews the ledgers at home as that epic music score accompanies the wealth of knowledge he’s just gained.
Back at Scammers HQ, Se-ro tunes out the bickering as best he can the next day. I figure now’s a good time to introduce another cog among the con artists, as maknae HONG (Lee Jae-won) grows increasingly frustrated at teaching the ropes to Hama, only to be schooled by the experienced dealer.
These two provide the comic relief moments in this show with their constant bickering. Hong gripes over being left out of the jewelry exhibition today and Hama complains at how he keeps talking as if they’re a set. Ha, they crack me up.
Se-ro shows Kang-jae the incriminating documents up on the roof. He finds it suspicious that according to these, Belle la Fair should have filed for bankruptcy long ago whereas Taekang had such a high gross profit.
He believes it has something to do with those listed Hong Kong companies, and when Kang-jae instructs Jae-in to do the research as his “secretary,” she laughs and tells him that “the president” (meaning, him) can do it himself. Ha.
Kang-jae makes a speech at the blue diamond necklace exhibition at Belle la Fair. Se-ro keeps watch over the proceedings (and Young-joon lets out a bored yawn), when Hong shows up to whisper that he looked into those Hong Kong companies.
Hong reports his findings to Se-ro and Jae-in out in the hallway, stating Belle la Fair’s money laundering activities through paper companies based in Hong Kong. They don’t know it’s really Daddy Han pulling the strings while tarnishing the jewelry company’s name, but Se-ro takes that information and waltzes back inside anyway.
Young-won is in the middle of her speech, describing jewelry as gifts given by loved ones and to oneself. Explaining the saying that heaven’s fortune enters the right pinky and leaves through the other, she says a ring is worn on the left pinky to capture that luck.
Se-ro scoffs at that rosy story, then marches forward with the envelope in hand as if ready to blow this party wide open. But he stops in his tracks just as she finishes, and rather than directly confront her, Se-ro heads to the studio to indirectly torment her by dropping off the envelope, addressed from Jung Se-ro.
Young-won’s eyes widen when she returns to the studio and sees the envelope herself. She’s gripped with fear, but collects herself to read through its contents, and then returns to the party in desperate search of Jung Se-ro.
She calls out Se-ro’s name repeatedly in a shrill voice, which is enough for Kang-jae to become suspicious. Hong nearly lets slip that he followed Se-ro up to the studio, but Jae-in swiftly cuts in to cover up those tracks.
But once they’re back at HQ, Jae-in warns Hong not to mention anything to Kang-jae, lest he wants to create an unnecessary rift between Se-ro and Kang-jae.
Meanwhile, Young-won beelines for her father and stands in front of his car in the parking garage. She comes right out with it and demands an explanation for the business dealings in Hong Kong using Belle la Fair’s name.
Daddy Han tells her to get in, but Young-won opens the door to confront him about whether this was the kind of business he wanted to run. Was this what he meant by he’ll take care of everything while she sat and made jewelry like a fool?
Daddy Han continues to play dumb, so Young-won asks her father if those five-year-old dealings are still going on at present. Her father replies that his secretary oversees Belle la Fair’s affairs, not him.
Young-won knows that she’s being made a fool in front of her eyes with his denial. She knows she can’t beat her father, and tears fall from her eyes as she urges him to stop: “You’re not a bad man, and I’m not a fool.”
Taking out the envelope, she asks, “Do you know who sent me these?” Ooh, somebody gonna get a hurt real bad.
That somebody is Secretary Ahn, who gets a beating for his carelessness. Daddy Han orders him to bring Jung Se-ro to him immediately.
Today’s events leave Young-won in a daze by the crosswalk. Se-ro sees her there and offers her a ride, taking her into the car and out of the cold. She asks to be taken to the nearest police station.
Unfortunately, she’s told that the police cannot disclose information on a former convict without sufficient evidence. Young-won knows that handing over the ledgers would implicate her father, and when the officer makes mention of violating human rights, Young-won screams, “What rights does a murderer have?!” Whoa.
Se-ro rises from his chair and stands next to Young-won as she hollers that she’s a victim here too, so she needs to find him. Se-ro pulls her up and tells her that the police can’t help.
But Young-won is borderline hysterical by now and Se-ro roars her name, and then adds tensely, “Let’s go.”
They walk out of the police station and Se-ro sends Young-won off on her own. Before he leaves, she calls out, “Will you find Jung Se-ro for me?”
She’s asking because he knows the whole story now and she doesn’t have anyone else to ask this favor. “Please find Jung Se-ro,” she repeats.
Se-ro rolls his eyes and asks if this is about the documents, but Young-won interrupts to say that’s not why. Rather she wants to meet the accused murderer in person because there’s something she wants to ask him: “Why did you do it?”
Se-ro walks back towards her and asks why she didn’t ask that question back when she had the chance. She replies that she was too frazzled with everything going on with Woo-jin’s death, but she intends to do it now.
She’ll meet him face to face and ask why he came looking for her; she’ll look him directly in the eyes and tell him that he’ll go to hell when he dies. Se-ro’s eyes start to waver at her tears and earnest request to meet the man who she thinks killed her late fiancé.
Se-ro comes down with a cold (I… wouldn’t be able to tell you from what, but we’ll roll with it) and Jae-in is there at home with him as his nurse. She says he’s the reason why she’s doing this job and not for the money.
She wants to help Se-ro no matter what, but she doesn’t like the idea of Se-ro getting sick or hurt because, “I’m someone who helps Jung Se-ro.” That’s as close to a confession of her feelings as we’ll get at this point, and Se-ro pulls himself up to take his meds.
He genuinely thanks her, but adds, “Help Kang-jae hyung instead.” It’s a gentle rejection, but it still hurts, and Jae-in slaps on a smile and lets herself out.
Kang-jae hasn’t forgotten about today’s slip-up—he’s positive that Se-ro pulled something earlier and that Hong knows about it. Hong’s deep sigh confirms it, and Kang-jae also learns that Se-ro handed off a copy of the ledgers.
So Kang-jae heads straight to Se-ro’s place and greets him with his fist. Grabbing him by the shirtfront, Kang-jae asks if Se-ro wanted to announce to his enemies that he’s returned and that he’s coming after them that badly.
Se-ro whips back that he did, and that this is just the beginning. That earns him another punch, and Kang-jae yells back if Se-ro had thought about how his selfish actions would affect the rest of them.
Then Kang-jae asks if Se-ro returned because he wanted to reconcile with his foes. Se-ro keeps pushing their buttons, Kang-jae argues, hoping that his enemies were as cruel as he’d imagined. Did he want there to be some justification on their end that would help him understand why he was framed? Did he want to pity them and then maybe, forgive them?
Se-ro breaks into laughter, finding that concept utterly ridiculous. “Me? Forgive them?!”
“How much more will those people have to take?” Kang-jae asks. “How much more will it take for you to abandon those hopes?” Se-ro hoarsely answers no, and Kang-jae urges one more time: “Be reconciled to them, forgive them.”
He adds that Se-ro can do whatever he wants, but Kang-jae won’t be dragged into it. “How could I forgive them?!” Se-ro bellows. And in a soft voice, Kang-jae says tearfully that those words mean that Se-ro truly wants to forgive his enemies if he could.
Se-ro chases after Kang-jae, barking that isn’t true: “What do you know, hyung! It isn’t true!!”
Young-won seeks out Secretary Ahn for help to find Jung Se-ro. She knows that he’s been passing information to her stepmother behind her father’s back, and that he’s working to transfer their wealth to that side of the family.
We see Se-ro climbing up the hill to his old home, and at the sound of knocking outside, Grandma runs out crying that she doesn’t know whether her grandson is dead or alive.
But it’s Young-won standing outside the gate and Se-ro sees her there. Grandma appears before he can step forward however, and she disappears back into her home when Young-won says she’s looking for Se-ro.
Young-won remains persistent though, and her efforts are met with a splash of water. Grandma opens the gate to ask why Young-won keeps harassing her. She may not know who Young-won is, but she knows the swirling rumors about her grandson aren’t true.
After a long minute, Grandma comes back with a towel to dry off Young-won’s face, which is when Young-won finally breaks down sobbing. Aw, Grandma. With a deep sigh, she says she won’t ask who Young-won is or why she came, so Young-won shouldn’t tell her either.
Taking her by the hand, Grandma insists that she wasn’t lying and her grandson isn’t who Young-won thinks he is. And even though Young-won can’t accept that answer at the moment, she stuffs a wad of cash into Grandma’s hands before leaving in tears.
Having witnessed the entire exchange, Se-ro follows behind Young-won down the hill in silence. It appears that Secretary Ahn was the one who escorted her to Grandma’s neighborhood in the first place, and Young-won dismisses him.
She turns the corner, only to find herself face to face with Se-ro. Needless to say she’s surprised to see him here (since she knows him as Eun-soo), and he covers her with his jacket.
Noticing the scars on his face, Young-won asks if he got into a fight. She starts to mention her earlier request at the police station, and Se-ro says he’s already forgotten about it. She asks if he could forgive the people who took the money for his late father’s surgery, to which he curtly answers, “No.”
She asks if he’s met those people yet. Se-ro: “Yes.”
But then her following words surprise him: “You must have been really hurt, Eun-soo,” Young-won notes. “It must have been really hard for you.”
Her empathy shakes his resolve and Young-won says that he’s bleeding. She raises her hand to his face, but Se-ro flicks it away.
His eyes well up in tears, and she tries again but he flicks it away again. His voice breaking, Se-ro breathes, “Don’t provoke me.”
Those. Eyes. Yoon Kye-sang is absolutely killing it in this role as Se-ro, and I can easily say that he has one of the most expressive eyes I’ve ever come across in dramaland. They command my attention to the screen with such skilled nuance that pulls me in, and his ability to convey a wide range of emotions impresses me time and time again.
So I do think we can attribute Yoon’s acting prowess to what makes Se-ro such a compelling character, and I can see how we could have ended up with a much duller, everyday melodramatic hero in the hands of an inexperienced and/or limited actor. It’s a case where I feel the acting trumps the writing and the actor goes beyond what’s written on the page, though, I must say that the writing is still doing a decent job of building the momentum for an intense and sometimes thrilling ride thus far.
It’s Se-ro’s risk-taking tendencies and in the present mindset that makes this show a fascinating watch. His plan is rough and has near-future consequences and payoffs—he’s the player who if he gets a card in his hand, he’s going to play it in his next turn. There’s also a narcissistic quality about his actions, like how he haphazardly dropped the envelope at her studio that I don’t even know if he even cared whether they were original copies or not, as long as it meant tormenting his enemies of his return. He brushes that line of nearly letting himself get caught to such a sometimes dangerous degree that I wonder if he’s thought of an escape plan if (and likely when) he gets caught. Then again, I suppose the opening few minutes of this show gave us the answer to that question already.
I do enjoy watching his interactions with Young-won even with their double misunderstandings. Already it seems like these two are entrapped in their own world whenever they speak to each other, and I’m sure that’s largely due to the mutual hurt and paaaaiiiiiinnnnnn they feel all the time. You know what they say about how misery loves company. That final scene was a particularly nice bookend from the start of the episode when they used each other’s past wounds as weapons, and then progressed to a point where Young-won genuinely empathized with his hurt feelings. And because it’s never easy hearing that from the one you’re determined to hate, that defensive wall instinctively flies up.
For that last line from Se-ro, the phrase can take on a number of different translations from “Don’t touch me” to “Don’t mess with me” to “Leave me alone” depending on context. The choice to go with “provoke” seemed more in line with Se-ro’s volatile tendencies we’ve seen thus far, where the slightest touch could easily set him off. We can guess there’s a mix of emotions brewing just beneath the surface without getting too much into subtext and the tipping point to what he can and cannot take at the moment.
When you’ve got a leading couple who are completely engrossed in their own self-pity and sorrow like Se-ro and Young-won though, it’s nice to know that there are people around them who are there to remind them just how melodramatic they’re being… in their own melodramatic ways. I suppose that’s a weird way to ground your characters when you think about it, but better that somebody’s there to bounce the crazy off of than nobody at all.