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My Secret Hotel: Episode 9

Sung-gyum discovers that Hae-young isn’t just a part of Sang-hyo’s past, but her present, too. He’s not about to give up pursuing her, though — and neither is Hae-young, who’s ready to redeem himself from his past mistakes. We finally learn what happened in Las Vegas seven years ago that caused them to break up — despite all of Hae-young’s best efforts, is history doomed to repeat itself?

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

After Sung-gyum discovers Sang-hyo, he wants to know why she’s with Hae-young and Soo-ah on their honeymoon. Sang-hyo prevents the other two from explaining what happened, as she and Sung-gyum step aside so she can tell him in private.

Hae-young is reluctant to let them walk away, but watches them go as Soo-ah wonders if Sung-gyum will be angry to discover that Sang-hyo was the substitute for her wedding. But to Hae-young, she was no substitute, and Soo-ah is surprised to discover that he genuinely wanted to marry Sang-hyo.

Sang-hyo, meanwhile, tries to work up her courage to explain to Sung-gyum what happened, asking him to not be too shocked when he hears the truth — but he just smiles and says she’s always full of surprises. After some hemming and hawing, she finally tells him she got married.

He thinks she’s referring to her wedding to Hae-young seven years ago, and then wonders if perhaps she has another marriage in her past — to someone other than Hae-young? Hastily she reassures him that’s not it (which is no lie), but before she can explain any further, the resort manager appears to check in with Sung-gyum.

Immediately, Sang-hyo begins to panic, because she remembers him as the hotel employee who knows her as Hae-young’s bride. The oblivious Sung-gyum introduces her to the employee as his girlfriend, and she tries to greet him all the while keeping her face turned away so he can’t recognize her.

Soo-ah is shocked to discover that Sang-hyo is Hae-young’s ex-wife. She rages that he must have been two-timing her, having promised to marry her while really in love with another woman. But Hae-young points out that she’s one to talk (what with her running off with Ki-ho). But since she now knows the truth, he asks her to be a little nicer to Sang-hyo. Soo-ah: “But I’m prettier, right?”

Watching them from afar is a sad and lovesick Ki-ho, who sighs that Soo-ah is too beautiful for him. He pulls out his phone to call Soo-ah’s mother, and while we don’t get to hear the full conversation, before he hangs up he says that amount of money is enough.

Back at The Secret Hotel, Detective Kim is meeting with Eun-joo, who’s a suspect in Young-mi’s murder since her fingerprints were found on the murder weapon. She’s offended that he thinks she could have actually killed someone, and explains that she dropped it in shock after she found Young-mi dead.

Eun-joo is also surprised that he knows she threatened Young-mi, and refuses to tell him more because it will harm the reputation of the deceased. But Detective Kim reminds her that it’s more important that she clear herself of suspicion so they can catch the murderer. Immediately convinced, she leans in and whispers that she caught Young-mi blackmailing Soo-ah.

In a flashback, Eun-joo pulls Young-mi aside, asking how she could blackmail one of their clients, demanding that she hand over the photos. But Young-mi refuses: “Not over my dead body.” Frustrated, Eun-joo yells that if she kills Young-mi, maybe she will come to her senses. The staffer who reported Eun-joo overhears the two women just as Young-mi adds, “Kill me or not, I’m not afraid.”

After Eun-joo explains what happened, she asks if Detective Kim thinks she’s still the killer. He says he knew she wasn’t from the get-go, because Eun-joo was at the wedding hall during the time of Young-mi’s death (and he hilariously mimics her over-dramatic wedding speech). But because someone reported that she had threatened Young-mi, he had to investigate.

Back at the resort, Sung-gyum is having coffee with the head of the Hotel Association, along with his wife, who are both delighted to be introduced to Sung-gyum’s “girlfriend” Sang-hyo (who’s still trying to avoid being seen by the resort manager, ha). Hae-young finds them in the dining room and ducks around the corner, suddenly flustered that she’s just sitting there, smiling and having fun.

She ignores Hae-young’s attempt to call her on the phone, so he sends her a text, telling her to come out at the count of three. She ignores his texts, and when he counts down to one, he strides to their table, demanding Sang-hyo to follow him. Sung-gyum calls him out on his rudeness, but Hae-young doesn’t care.

When Sung-gyum reminds him that since he’s on his honeymoon, Hae-young should be spending some alone-time with his bride, Hae-young smirks and finally drops the bomb: “Nam Sang-hyo is the bride I married two days ago.”

Sung-gyum is utterly gobsmacked and looks to Sang-hyo for confirmation, but she just helplessly apologizes. With her perfect timing, Soo-ah runs in and flings herself at Hae-young, weeping over the discovery of Ki-ho’s note that says he’s sorry but he doesn’t think they’ll be able succeed as a couple. She then collapses in Hae-young’s arms.

At the police station, Detective Kim sighs that they’re still without a lead on the killer. But his partner is pretty sure he knows who did it. He’s convinced it’s Sung-gyum, and describes a motive based on an elaborate love-triangle plot with Hwang, Sung-gyum’s mother, and Young-mi that resulted in Sung-gyum killing both Hwang and Young-mi.

But Detective Kim finds his story ridiculous, and is sure that what Hwang was referring to when he spoke to Sung-gyum’s mother on the phone was something that related to his father’s death thirty years prior.

In GM Lee’s office, Team Leader Cha references the event that happened thirty years ago, but GM Lee says that after all the running around in circles they’ve done, they’re back to square one. We don’t get to know what happened, but Team Leader Cha receives a text message: “I know who the killer is.”

Sung-gyum is dazed by the discovery that Sang-hyo married Hae-young. He wonders how, even if she were in a difficult situation, she could have married him like that. She apologizes, but she couldn’t think of any other way. Sung-gyum: “Couldn’t you think of me?”

Unable to stand the thought that she would share a room with Hae-young even if Soo-ah is there, Sung-gyum orders Sang-hyo to pack up her suitcase and use his room. He’ll sleep in the car.

Meanwhile, Hae-young makes sure Soo-ah is taken care of, and she cries in her sleep as he tells her family that she’s okay. He finds the letter that Ki-ho left behind, and wonders what the outcome will be for him and Sang-hyo. When she arrives to collect her suitcase, Hae-young wants to know what kind of guy Sung-gyum is to order her around. She tells him that he’s the man she’s dating, and if it weren’t for Hae-young, she’d be starting over with Sung-gyum right now. He blocks her from her suitcase, and tells her she can’t go.

In his room, Sung-gyum packs up his own suitcase, waiting for Sang-hyo to arrive. But surprise, surprise, in saunters Hae-young, nonchalantly rolling his suitcase into the corner. When Sung-gyum asks what’s going on, Hae-young says he’s staying here instead of Sang-hyo — not because he wants to, of course.

Sung-gyum asks him why he married Sang-hyo, and Hae-young cheekily asks, “The first or second time?”

The first time was because they were in love; the second time is to get back the woman he loves. But Sung-gyum laughs at that, and tells Hae-young he’ll fail once again in his marriage, because he’s next to Sang-hyo now. The boys’ pissing match even extends to them fighting over what bed to use, and Hae-young’s childish attempt to steal Sung-gyum’s chosen bed leads to a surprised Sung-gyum sitting in his lap, who snarks that it’s no surprise why Hae-young and Sang-hyo broke up.

Team Leader Cha meets with the person who sent him the text — it’s Gi-chul, and he asks if Team Leader Cha killed Young-mi, too. He’s convinced Team Leader Cha is Hwang’s killer because Cha saw Gi-chul pickpocket Hae-young’s wallet and then took it from him, after Gi-chul had pleaded for him not to report it and asked him for another chance. At least we now know who the pickpocket was.

Because the wallet was then found next to Hwang’s body, Gi-chul assumes that must mean Team Leader Cha is the murderer. Or else why would Hwang have Hae-young’s wallet? But Team Leader Cha isn’t about to explain, and if Gi-chul reports him to the police, he’ll also have to confess to being a pickpocket. Besides, it’s just circumstantial evidence, and Team Leader Cha warns Gi-chul that if he tries to do anything about it, he’ll be the one getting hurt.

Sung-gyum takes a shower…

…and broods over Sang-hyo.

Hae-young channel-surfs in the hotel room, sighing over the fact that the first night of his honeymoon he shared a tent with Ki-ho, and now he’s sharing a room with Sung-gyum (not to mention on his wedding night, there was a dead body in the bathroom). When he hears Sung-gyum leave the bathroom, he gets ready to wash up, too — but is stopped at the sight of Sung-gyum’s six-pack, and buttons his shirt up again. Ha!

Sitting up in bed, Soo-ah wonders if Ki-ho will ever come back. If she waits long enough, he’ll return, right? They have too much history together for him to leave forever, so she decides she’ll wait until he comes back.

Sang-hyo stops pretending to be asleep and tells Soo-ah not to wait for him — he won’t come back. Once a man leaves, he doesn’t return. She counsels Soo-ah not to waste her time waiting, or wondering what she did wrong, or if he loved her. Instead, just work hard to forget him.

She quietly admits that the reason she and Hae-young broke up was because he left her.

Seven years ago, Sang-hyo had returned to their apartment, shocked to discover that all his stuff was gone. All that was left behind for her was a plane ticket and an address in New York. She slowly collapsed to the floor, crying her eyes out. Days passed and she didn’t move, until finally she fainted, only to be discovered by a coworker concerned that she hadn’t seen her for days.

Sang-hyo: “No matter how long I waited, he didn’t come.”

The wedding department at The Secret Hotel is back in business, thanks to the publicity surrounding Sang-hyo’s “miracle” wedding — even celebrities are booking their weddings there, including Lee Young-eun (the actress playing Eun-joo, who is about to get married in real life). Eun-joo is pleased her plan went so well, but Jung-eun has a different response, as she wails at the news article about the wedding.

Hae-young wakes up with a start (and the cutest bedhead), wondering where Sung-gyum has gone. He finds him having breakfast with Soo-ah and Sang-hyo, and unceremoniously joins them. When he mentions that Soo-ah should still be grieving over Ki-ho instead of wolfing down breakfast, Soo-ah tells him that after talking things over with Sang-hyo, she’s decided to forget about Ki-ho.

He’s surprised at this response, saying she should give him a second chance — they have so much history together, how could she forget him so easily? Doesn’t she have any sense of loyalty?

Sung-gyum butts in to point out that the person who left is the more cowardly one, and Soo-ah agrees: Why did he leave, anyway? Hae-young looks directly at Sang-hyo: “Maybe something important came up.”

Sang-hyo tries to ignore him and just eat her breakfast, but Soo-ah and Sung-gyum aren’t convinced that something could be more important than leaving behind the woman you love. But there’s no more time to argue, since Sang-hyo and Hae-young have another press interview.

She’s all smiles for the reporters as she tells them how special their honeymoon has been, but he continues to sulk. Finally she grabs his cheeks in a “playful” manner and pinches a smile out of him for the press. Soo-ah and Sung-gyum watch the interview, and Soo-ah wonders if it’s true they don’t really have feelings for each other.

As soon as the interview is over, Sang-hyo is ready to go back home, and she waits for Sung-gyum to bring his car around. Hae-young tries to protest her leaving, but she reminds him that she married him only to save the hotel. He confesses that he married her out of genuine feelings, but Sang-hyo says they were finished seven years ago when he left her.

Hae-young says she should have waited for him, but she points out that he was the one who left. Why should she have waited? She remembers everything about how they broke up, and she doesn’t trust him or his casual feelings. She gets into Sung-gyum’s car and they drive off.

A very-much not-okay Hae-young drives Soo-ah home, and she tries to be quiet to not disrupt his brooding over Sang-hyo until she realizes that she’s being silly. Letting loose her own frustration, she tells him he’s the one who made the mistake of leaving without at least saying goodbye face-to-face. Hae-young thinks to himself: “I wouldn’t have been able to leave if I saw her face.”

Another flashback to Las Vegas: this time from Hae-young’s point-of-view, as Shi-chan begs him over the phone to come back to New York. If he doesn’t return ASAP, they’ll lose everything they’ve worked for, to build their company.

Not for the first time, Hae-young asks Sang-hyo to move to New York with him — she could find another job there. But she refuses, saying that the best hotels are in Las Vegas and she’s worked too hard to get where she is to leave it all behind. She’s not going to sacrifice her career for him, just like he refuses to sacrifice his career for her. Hae-young wonders if they should just break up, then.

As Sung-gyum drives back to the city, Sang-hyo pensively takes off her wedding ring. He tries to lift up her spirits by turning on the radio (and in another meta moment, plays Hong Jin-young’s “Love Battery”). Aw, it’s so cute how he gets Sang-hyo to smile again, even if it means confessing that he can’t sing — a weakness that Sang-hyo finds particularly charming.

Hae-young drops Soo-ah off at her home, but she’s not ready to leave the car, convinced her mother will beat her to death. But as scary as Mom looks, she’s surprisingly pleasant as she asks after Soo-ah, letting her know how worried she was about her. As soon as Hae-young leaves, though, she grabs her daughter by the ear and drags her inside.

She yells at Soo-ah about how much she had to give Ki-ho: $300,000. But Soo-ah is hurt that she wasn’t worth more — after all, her mother knows Ki-ho’s situation. Why didn’t she give him more money? As Mom continues to drag her inside the house, Ki-ho watches from a distance, and then falls to his knees in emotional anguish.

The employees at Hae-young’s architecture firm have decided to take the evening off and go out for drinks. Shi-chan buys another round, happy that they’ve married off their boss — who calls him on the phone. Shi-chan shushes everyone as he swears they’re working late and he doesn’t need to worry about anything and he should just enjoy his honeymoon.

But Hae-young suddenly appears behind him, and the rest of the staff scatter, leaving Shi-chan to take the blame. Which Hae-young wants to put on him, but not for going out drinking when he should be working — for the phone call seven years ago that broke up his marriage.

Sung-gyum drops Sang-hyo off at her apartment, asking if she’s okay now. She smilingly answers that she is, and he asks why she didn’t ask if he’s okay. Because, he admits, he’s not okay — it feels like something precious was taken from him when he wasn’t looking.

Referencing the song he played in the car, he asks if Sang-hyo will “recharge” him — his “battery” is dead. She agrees, and he apologizes as he tells her that she can recharge him like this…

…and swoops in for a kiss.

Meanwhile, Hae-young downs shots of soju as he tearfully tells Shi-chan that his heart hurts so much that it feels like he’s dying: “Just like this, it must be over. This must be the end.”

 
COMMENTS

Well, it’s obviously not the end, because we still have half the drama left to go. But it does drive home the point that Hae-young and Sang-hyo never had closure about their relationship. This is the first episode where I’ve finally come around to the idea that Sung-gyum might actually be good for Sang-hyo (although I still desperately want to know what his secret is!). She spent a lot of the episode in various states of distress and anguish, so to see how happy Sung-gyum made her — and how she clearly wants a new start — has begrudgingly pushed me to accept that Sung-gyum is a contender for her heart after all, and I wouldn’t mind if they end up together.

But I’m not giving up on Hae-young, especially since we’ve finally learned what happened in Las Vegas, and that while neither one was completely wrong, neither was completely right. It’s difficult in relationships where someone’s job requires them to be in a different place — there’s a give-and-take to decide whose career gets the priority at any given moment. Normally this is something couples discuss before they get married, but the passionate young love between Hae-young and Sang-hyo meant that they obviously didn’t stop to talk through the big issues before they got hitched.

In that respect, I have a lot of admiration for a show that would dare to show how difficult marriage is if you don’t think it through and just marry “for love.” There are important compatibility issues that need to be discussed so that you don’t suddenly encounter a deal-breaker — like having to move for your spouse’s career. Or not being able to afford the lifestyle your spouse is accustomed to.

As much as I groaned when Soo-ah returned (because I sincerely thought after she eloped with Ki-ho, we wouldn’t see her again), I kinda love that Soo-ah and Sang-hyo have gone through the same experiences, impulsive-first-marriage-wise. I know that Soo-ah is created to be an unlikable character, but there’s something about her that draws me to her. It seems like the more we see of her, the more we peel back a little bit of her superficial layer to discover a scared young woman who wants to do the right thing, but was brought up to not be responsible enough to manage life on her own. Yes, she’s shallow and vain, but I do believe she deeply loves Ki-ho and wants to make it work. She just has no clue how to live in the real world if Mom isn’t bankrolling it.

So instead of wishing she’d finally and officially go away, I’m intrigued that we might get this echoing narrative of a disastrous first marriage — and while I have no idea what the hell Ki-ho is thinking by returning her to her family for money (because I think he genuinely loves her and it was a hard decision for him), I’m curious to see if they can work out their problems and overcome them. Because that gives me a little hope that somehow Hae-young and Sang-hyo can work out their problems, too, now that Hae-young realizes how clearly Sang-hyo prioritizes her career.

Although I’m not looking forward to the guys fighting over Sang-hyo. I’ll admit the first half of the episode had me sighing because I didn’t need to see another show with two guys puffing up their chests and trying to prove they’re better than the other, while playing tug-of-war with the helpless female. One of the things I love about this show is how independent and capable Sang-hyo is, and how fiercely she defends that independence in not just herself, but other women, too. She doesn’t want to be Cinderella — she just wants to fulfill her dream of being a manager at a hotel, and will do whatever it takes to get there.

Which is why I loved the second half when the guys’ attention was more on each other than Sang-hyo (although, admittedly, it was because of her). Can I have Sung-gyum and Hae-young share a room for the rest of the series? I want them to become begrudging buddies, if possible, and to needle each other in silly little ways that make each other realize how they need to step up if they want to truly be men worthy of Sang-hyo.

Although stepping up might be literal in Sung-gyum’s case — I admit I cackled when Hae-young was like, “Yeah, I might not have any abs, but at least I’m taller than you!” because I’ve been fascinated how the show has managed to handle Namgoong Min’s short height. I’m pretty sure it’s not just coincidence that a lot of his scenes have him sitting down, or in a tight close-up.

As for the mystery side of things, we’re still moving along at the slow-and-steady pace. I’m hoping we’ll get closer to not just solving Young-mi and Hwang’s murders, but whatever the heck happened thirty years ago. I’m not sure who killed Young-mi or Hwang (I’m assuming it’s the same person), but I get the feeling it’s probably someone we have already seen. Team Leader Cha has been on my radar for a few episodes now, although I haven’t been able to figure out a motive. But he’s a loyal security man — perhaps someone hired him to protect someone else, like, say Sung-gyum’s mother hired him to protect a secret from destroying her son if it got out.

But honestly I’m not in a crashing hurry to have everything solved right away, so long as we continue to get closer and closer to figuring things out. In the meantime, I’ll just hope that somehow everyone will find a way to be happy and stay alive until the end of the show.

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I fell in love with Sung Gyum in this episode. Up until now I didn't much care for him (there's something about Namgoong Min's acting and appearance that I don't find very appealing; he comes off sly and sneaky somehow), but his gentleness and patience in this episode, and especially his honesty with Sang Hyo about his feelings won me over. He came out and told her how he felt, no petulance, no sulking, no wrist grabbing. Just using his words, like an adult who knows something about good communication.

I was even more on his side after episode 10, but I'll save that comment for the recap to come. Poor guy. He's head over heels in love, even though he knows that he likes Sang Hyo way more than she likes him and he suspects that she has unresolved feelings for her ex. I'm already hurting for him in anticipation of the heartbreak to come.

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I get what you mean about his appearance! I feel like a horrible human being for saying this but the actor gives me the impression of having his skin too tight around his face, if that makes sense? It gives him a bad guy vibe even though the character has been nothing but sweet so far.

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It's because his face is flat, but I still find him to be very good looking :D

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Even when Namgoong Min plays a less lovable character, he always brings out the deeper feelings and forces the viewer to sympathize. I find him to be a very compelling and attractive actor.

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I crumbled when Sung-gyum cried.
Reminded me of how so many nice guys are hurt by females always chasing after the movie star looks type.

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I am so behind on this show. I actually like how Namgoong Min plays Sung Gyum. I think subconsciously I have been preparing for the eventual 2nd lead heartbreak which has made me fall behind on this show.

All of last week I watched Monstar instead and that line that Kim Nana says in there reminds me of your comment.. "What is the point in making her smile when she will always go to the one that makes her cry"

Booo!

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Haven't been watching the show, but have been reading recaps and watching WGM which Namgoong Min is in.

On WGM at least, he comes across as a real gentleman, very well mannered, smiles a lot, seems like a nice guy with tons of chemistry with his 'wife' on the show, so I was surprised he comes off as sly and sneaky.

Think it must definitely be in the character's description to play him as such.

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idk, i must be very naive or something because i dont get the same sly/sneaky/shady vibe from him that so many others are. i mean, he isnt transparent, but no one in this show is... idk i just dont get a sinister vibe from him, whereas everyone else seems to think he's up to something. maybe i dont read characters well :/

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I'm with you, bean. I actually think he's pretty straightforward, though he has a dry sense of humor that Sang Hyo doesn't always get.

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I agree with you 100% and I'm glad to find out it's not just me. Every time I see him in a drama as a love interest I think not him you will be sorry.

He just gives off this conniving sly vibe that is hard for me to shake off. I always feel he is up to no good.

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Yeah, I have to say that after episode 10 I am not in Hae-young's side anymore. Too much for me. But I don't specially like Sung-gyum either (I have to admit that he is much more respectful, but he's also shady). Probably in real life Sang-hyo would report her ex-husband stalking ways to the police and fall in love with the attractive, thoughtful Sung-gyum.

I don't like the direction the show is taking regarding Hae-young's way to get his love back. She is a person not an item, so he should talk to her and explain whatever he has to say, the reasons he has to think that this time it will be better. A small bit of childish jealousy can be cute, if the guy knows how to be serious the rest of the time. But here the writers are sticking to that childishness all the time, and I cannot imagine any woman falling for this.

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whee it's here!

aww my heart </3 when hae young cried at the end :'( but i've always been someone who roots for the underdog and i can totally get behind sung gyum! although he's still a little fishy, like he's hiding something. and based on the trailer he totally knew youngmi had the necklace, especially since he had her in his call log last time right?!

i'm beginning to warm up to soo ah ever since she went through the getting dumped bit and eventually calling sang hyo unni. it was kind of sweet, you can tell she really loves ki ho but she doesn't know how life is like without money. and it's true that you can't live on love alone, take a look at hae young and sang hyo's impetuous first marriage for the final results. there's much more to marriage than love alone.

and i dunno how team leader cha fits, he's always been suspicious from the get-go especially with all the reporting to gm lee, but then again the show's making it obvious that he did it, so i'm not sure if it's just another red herring or what :/ sung gyum's assistant simon though... he's always quiet in the background, i wonder if he's involved somehow?

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UGH. He loves her so cute.

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I haven't been up to date with MSH because life gets in the way. Still, it is one of my favourites airing at the moment - though I guess that isn't saying a lot in times when literally no drama is engrossing enough.

I guess I have a lot more to say about the next episode but I really loved the ending to this one. I love that Hae-young finally broke down and admitted he may just lose Sang-hyo all over again. He's been very clear about wanting to work things out, but maybe his approach isn't quite right. You gotta talk about these things. Sit down and really discuss what went wrong and how avoid that from ever happening again if you were to get back with the other person. But at the same time, Sang-hyo isn't ready for a confrontation. I think she fears she'll be reeled in when even 7 years aren't enough to get over him the first time around. It's fear, and I love that this drama actually depicts that so well. That love isn't all a marriage needs. It's trust, and compromise, and communication, and maybe a little leap of faith.

This is actually the first time in this entire drama that I wasn't irked by Sung-gyum's presence. And that was when he was playing childish games with Hae-young. It's adorable, and I hope the drama has much more of that since JYH and NGM are very close in real life. But really, Sung-gyum is difficult to like for me. Maybe it's because I'm always trying to figure him out. But much more because NGM plays him with such stiffness, I'm always thinking if it's really the character that's sketchy or if the actor isn't up to mark.

I also love that Soo-ah is still around even if at times I want to throttle her. she can get annoying but she's also a great character because there's so much underlying depth in her. I think she's more developed than Sang-hyo in that beneath all the bitchiness, there's a girl who has dreams and aspirations. Who wants to live life with the one she loves but doesn't quite know how to do it without demanding for materialistic possessions. It's realistic, and I love that this drama doesn't paint love in a way that conquers all. Because it doesn't - when the shininess fades away, there's a whole lot more to marriage than just love.

I'm really happy with the trajectory of this drama. I want/expect Hae-young and Sang-hyo to work it out, but I also want it in a way that addresses the reasons they failed 7 years ago. If Sung-gyum is truly decent and Sang-hyo can love him without constantly returning to Hae-young's memories, then I'd accept that too as long as Hae-young can move on as well.

Lastly, Jin Yi-han was seriously amazing in that last scene. I thought I heard my heart crack. There's something so raw about the way he acts - even if EK. I hope he goes places after this.

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iaaaaaa with all of this

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I watched this episode through my fingers, because I knew Sung Gyum was going to have his heart stomped on. ::winces::

But there was enough comic leavening that I got through it ok.

Sang-hyo begins to panic, because she remembers him as the hotel employee who knows her as Hae-young’s bride.

Can we just talk for a minute about that the hotel employee's expressions? I howled with laughter at the look he shot Hae Young in the restaurant. All I could think of was him going back to the desk and saying "OMG, y'all, you are not going to believe what's going on." Great acting for a little part. ::grin::

Sung-gyum: “Couldn’t you think of me?”

Oof. ::clutches heart:: His trembly little delivery killed me. Owwww. I have to tell you, I usually have very clear ship preferences. But this drama, I flip-flop back and forth. Hae Young clearly loves Sang Hyo, and the looks he sneaks at her are heart-tugging, but then Sung Gyum gives her his little sneaky smile and I'm back on the SLS train. Oy.

When he hears Sung-gyum leave the bathroom, he gets ready to wash up, too — but is stopped at the sight of Sung-gyum’s six-pack

That whole scene cracked me up. And I need to remember to send that drama team a holiday card, because daaaaaang. (Me to my friends: And this episode had lots of naked men rubbing moisturizer on their chests!/ Them: Really?/Me: Ok, one half-naked man with the oiling down, but it was a doozy.)

Hae Young's remark about how "I thought you were a hotel manager, but you're a horse made me giggle like a 12 year old (as I could not resist thinking "Did he mean hung like a.....?")

Ahem. On the more serious side, I really like that we're seeing the essential differences between Hae Young (struck with his awesomeness) and Sung Gyum's style of courtship. Hae Young says very little, and assumes a lot. He doesn't ask Sang Hyo how she feels, what she wants, or how he can make up for their previous disaster of a relationship. Sung Gyum is more wordy, and checks in fairly often (though he assumes the competence of his girlfriend, which, I must say, is a very sexy quality in a man.)

The best part is that Hae Young is suddenly starting to notice that maybe he's an ass...and that maybe he has to change to be with the woman he loves.

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Loved that hotel employee too! That little sideways head shake as if to say, "Should I tell him? Nah, better make myself scarce!" - it was priceless! So was the over-dramatic classical music they were playing in the background.

Sung-gyum really won me over this episode (apart, of course, from that entirely gratuitous (and totally gratifying) shower scene). Plus his pissing contests with Hae-young were so cute - like when he's confronted with HY's undeniable height and standing chin-to-chest, he stutters, "Sh-shoes! You're wearing shoes! I'm in slippers here!"

I still feel like Hae-young has the most growing up to do amongst the 3 of them. Sure, he's realised he made a terrible mistake the first time around, and he's determined to win her back, but he's just moping around drinking with Si-chan - he'd better get his act together soon!

This is why I'm ready to be persuaded that Sung-gyum is a better partner for Sang-hyo, in that he can meet her where she is now, career and all. I'm really glad that tvN and the writers are making this a real relationship, rather than having a Second Lead male who never really had a chance with the girl to begin with. But I'm still being wary, since he is the second lead, and I'm not sure that tvN, great as they are, are going to reverse the hallowed k-drama rule and have the second lead get the girl (of course, then he would by definition be the main lead...).

On another note - is Team Leader Cha really GM Lee's son or something? Why are they always in cahoots together? Does Cha's loyalty extend to committing murder? Or Was it GM Lee who did it?

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I still feel like Hae-young has the most growing up to do amongst the 3 of them.

Oh, god, yes. He loves Sang Hyo like he's stuck in their 20's - and maybe he is. Maybe that whole ill-considered marriage stunted his emotional development. That would explain a lot.

I really like that this series pokes at the fairy tale scenario of love at first sight - because (as another poster says below) love isn't always enough.

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It's weird but I keep going back and forth on SG. On one hand he keeps having define the relationship talks with her, looking all shy and bashful. But then once he gently lures her in, he gets really pushy and orders her around. Like making a unilateral choice about making their relationship public, and ordering her to pack her bags and move to his room. *Demands which the supposedly strong career woman immediately obeys...huh?* To me, that dichotomy has made him seem like a really manipulative person.

Overall I'm having a hard time feeling what it seems the writers want me to feel. On one hand they're suggesting that HY asking SH to make a career compromise re: WHICH hotel she works for is totally wrong. (Context: His request is made while she's a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas. He's asking her to work in New York, where his location-dependent startup business is. But somehow that translates into asking her to give up her dreams. Again, huh? It's not like he's asking her to move her career to an remote oilfield in the middle of North Dakota.

But then the writers want me to give a free pass to SG's unilateral decision making and frequent micromanagement of SH. And give him that free pass despite te fact that he's doing it because he knows SH is suppressing real feelings for HY; and he wants to close the deal before she backs out. I think they're trying to hide this flaw under the varnish of 'fight for the one you love.' But if you have to struggle like that to establish a relationship, it's not love. It's a desire to possess.

I guess I'm having a hard time seeing HY as the unfair controlling person that they're trying to make him out to be. To me that's SG, all the way.

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His insistence on making the relationship public, especially at work, bothers me too. Sang Hyo doesn't want to, workplace romances tend to be frowned upon, and it would expose her to accusations relating to favouritism (the future of the hotel!). It's not a good idea at all, and I don't like that he's so insistent on it, against her will.

I'm curious as to why you think the writers want us to give a free pass on that, though. I don't get that impression: my perception is that it's shown as something that bothers Sang Hyo and so I think it's something the viewer is supposed to notice as a flaw, especially in the context of Sung Gyum's sometimes intimidating managerial style, which they highlighted in the very first episode.

About the way he keeps pressing on even though he knows (even without Hae Young in the picture) that Sang Hyo isn't really all that into him, I get the impression that this is supposed to come across as... misguided? Because he keeps trying to make it happen, instead of either letting it happen or acknowledging that it's just not going to happen. Like, this episode made me feel really sympathetic towards his character, but it also made me think that it's so obvious that he's not the man for Sang Hyo and he needs to just accept that and let it go.

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Yeah, I've got a few comments on that "pushiness", but they stray into Ep 10 territory. I agree that at this point, it seems more "misguided" than anything.

My take is that it's done to highlight the contrast between Sang Hyo's first relationship (young, instinctive, impetuous, etc) and what Sung Gyum's offering her now, as well as how different the 2 guys are (they couldn't be more different, from their personalities to their physique).

It will make Sang Hyo's choice even more meaningful if/when she decides to choose Hae Young again (arguably, she already has, since she agreed, however reluctantly, to marry him again...)

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It will make Sang Hyo’s choice even more meaningful if/when she decides to choose Hae Young again

I'd love to see her thoughtfully choose Sung-Gyum (and not just because of my second lead issues) - it would be awesome for her to say "Yes, Hae Young, I love you, but you and I are not suited for marriage."

And then she'd marry Sung Gyum with whom she'd have a stable and loving marriage (if not quite burning with red-hot passion), and she'd think of Hae Young occasionally, possibly with a bit of wistfulness, but on the whole, she'd be very happy.

(And Hae Young would become a bitter alcoholic and have a string of failed marriages because he never got around to growing up. Hmm. That plot path took a darkish turn, didn't it?)

But this isn't my first K-drama, so I already know that will not happen. ;)

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Yes, I'm shipping SG more (personally, just more my cup of tea - it's not because of his abs. Absolutely not.)

HY does love Sang Hyo, but he just has such a terrible way of expressing it (and terrible timing). At the moment, so far as HY's concerned, I think Sang Hyo could do better. But I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.

It really is my year for shipping the second leads - there's Jin Woo, and Jae Rim, now Sung Gyum...

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so agree harmonyfb - I know too many men like Hae Young: charming, smart, and fun but also immature, irresponsible, and with a tendency to run away from problems and drink far too much. All of them leave a string of bitter, unhappy women behind them.

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oh wow these are some super great points here I wonder if that's why I too have been getting such a creepy vibe from him, I hope that it's intentional.

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I guess I’m having a hard time seeing HY as the unfair controlling person that they’re trying to make him out to be.

I don't think the show is trying to sell him as controlling so much as a little self-involved and terribly uncommunicative. And...used to having his own way (my head canon says that he had an authoritarian father, so it informs his behavior with others...including Sang Hyo.) He's not a bad guy, he just has some growing up to do.

And give him that free pass despite te fact that he’s doing it because he knows SH is suppressing real feelings for HY

I don't think he knows that. And Sang Hyo has given him no cause to think that she wants Hae Young over him. Having feelings for someone doesn't always mean that you want (or need) to be with them - just because a couple divorces, they don't necessarily stop caring about each other, after all (And Sang Hyo's already told Sung Gyum that she wants to date him.)

So Sung Gyum isn't being unreasonable, considering that she's his girlfriend and she's being apparently pestered by her ex-husband.

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Just putting in my 2 cents - I can't get behind the SG train. This has nothing to do with the actor or the character, and only to do with Sang-hyo. She's so quiet and meek around him! And I hate that. She isn't as independent around him, she isn't honest, and she lies to avoid him. She holds back around him and, I don't know why. Sang-hyo isn't quiet around him because SG is her boss, which I say because she acts normally with all the other managers and employees. She's even warm/friendly with the general manager.

So that's why I can't get on the SG train. This isn't to say that I'm on the Hae-young train. Despite what Show wants me to think, there are more than just 2 men in the world for Sang-hyo.

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The scene in the hotel room with Hae-Young and Sung Gyum sizing each other up cracked me up too. Come to think of it, when was the last time the 2nd lead did the obligatory brooding shower scene with killer abs instead of the 1st lead? Kudos for MSH subverting our expectations and going there.

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Hae Young and Sang-Hyo would get the worst couple award in my Kdrama land :-/ There is no chemistry or enough justification. It doesn't mean that I ship Sung Gyum oppa either.

Both pairings (Sang Hyo - Hae Young or Sang Hyo - Sung Gyum) are dissatisfactory... There is something fundamentally wrong in their relationship dynamics.

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Agreed. I have seen the respectful and thoughtful lead (SECOND LEAD) been cast aside in lots of dramas, while the overbearing and sometimes cruel lead gets the girl. What messages are dramas sending?. Love conquers all, including abandonment, cruelty and neglecting?. I don't think so. Of course lots of emotions brings a lot of passion, but in the long term "second lead" virtues win.

On the other hand, Wedding Planner wasn't abandoned. He gave her his address in New York and even a plane ticket. Why didn't he give her an explanatory letter?. On the other hand, if someone you are in love with has to travel that sudden, why don't you call?. It could be a death in the family or any kind of emergency. People that oversensitive are high maintenance.

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im not really sure who youre referring to when youre saying over sensitive. maybe sanghyo wasn't exactly abandoned, but that's still a shitty way to leave someone behind, especially someone you're married to. they fight about her moving to NY vs him staying in Vegas but never resolve it, and then one day she comes home and he's gone with no warning... if he was worried he wouldn't be able to leave if he had to say goodbye in person, fine. it's cowardly, but I'll take it... but no call? not even a proper note? just a plane ticket and an address, when he knew she wasnt sold on making that move? and then (in the present) he was shocked that she didn't wait for him? SERIOUSLY?

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THIS. That's not how you resolve things with your spouse.

Grown-ups try to work things out and actually communicate with each other (instead of issuing commands - which is what that plane ticket was.)

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I was not sure what this would turn into when I first started watching, but am enjoying the ride sooooo much. It is a nice mix of an ever so slight mystery, and romance rehash and new awaking that it is at times a knee slapper.

One moment you are wishing and hoping that Hae-young will become what Sang-hyo really needs. You see her lean that way, then the tilt a whirl takes over and she goes the other. You think you know which way Sung-gyum is going, then he takes you another. Can I get a whoopee here?? I really do not dislike Soo-ah, not that I ever did. Initially she sort of grated if you know what I mean, now she is a nice back filler and you are sort of rooting for her.

Seriously now, kind’a always was leaning towards Sang-hyo and Sung-gyum. Love policeman winkie face! Here for the remainder of the romp, and look towards a continued good ride and revealed secrets.

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Yeah, you can't really hate Soo-ah, she's essentially a good kid, even though she's an annoying whiny brat sometimes!

Now that it's becoming clear that they're drawing parallels between Sang-hyo and Soo-ah, I hope that Soo-ah can really find a friend in Sang-hyo Unni!

(I won't even go into the "what's the girly equivalent of 'bromance'? - better minds have tried and failed to come up with an answer!)

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I think another thing SH and SA share is that they're trying to break free from having their identity defined by their upbringing.

SH was desperate to make it on his own so he could escape the grip of the predictable life, career and family expectations he was 'destined' to have to live with.

SA is also trying to break free, but it doesn't seem she's been exposed to any other way of life and doesn't (yet) have the skills that'll allow her to live independently. At this point her whole self concept is defined by her upbringing. She needs to resolve what she's going to do since the life and family expectations she was 'destined' to live with aren't making her happy.

In that regard I actually really like SA's character. On my wish list would be that she finds a way to leverage her fashion/beauty skill set into a chauffeur-husband-supporting career. Like a bit of meta, saying she pioneers a wildly successful online show called 'Soo-Ah's Get It Beauty.' :-)

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Gah, substitute HY for SH in all of that... Long day. *needs rolley eyed emoticon*

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Soo-Ah's Get It Beauty - yes please! With guest celebrity YIN and a dose of snail cream.

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I remain unconvinced by Sung-gyum for one I don't understand how he could fall so quickly for Sang-Hyo and I find even less understanding how he could continue to date her with this whole marriage issue going on. There's something for me that I find unsavoury about his character and it might just be that I'm not into his personality. I'm also a little annoyed with Sang-Hyo, her marrying Hae-young for the sake of the hotel is ridiculous, I know she's career driven but she should have at least called Sung-gyum and asked for his advice, it is his hotel after all, to not even ring him after she married Hae-young to explain was even more mind boggling to me. In the next episode I find her less relatable and a little unlikable but I shall explain my thoughts in that recap.

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I do not think it was quick for him since they had been working together for a long time already. He had to have already had a crush on her, and then when she came out and asked him to marry her, that tipped it on over to love.

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Yeah, he clearly had a crush on her from the first episode, but it seems he didn't know how to express it to her. But that night when she got drunk and "proposed" to him loosened everything up between them so he felt more comfortable showing her his feelings.

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I guess but wasn't he playing with her and the other woman colleague the one who's constantly trying to go on a date with him and stuff? idk I need a little more context because it seems too quick for me.

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Maybe like in Queen of Reversals, second lead will win the heart and the girl in the end.

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It's so rare for the 2nd male lead to trump the 1st male and win the heart of the girl in the end.

Normally, the writers just have the 2nd lead going through the motions always ending up a day late and a dollar short. But after episodes 9 & 10, the odds for Sung Gyum to do so have certainly increased.

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Yay for tvN and YIN and real kisses!! So often, the Second Lead isn't even real competition. In MSH, Sang-hyo actually looks at Sung-gyum as a guy, and gives real thought to starting a relationship with him.

I like how the show is giving both guys an equal chance with Sang Hyo - it's not the Second Lead always just missing the crucial moments (well, apart from Hae-young getting to marry Sang-hyo twice). Overall, I'd say it's pretty evenly matched (especially after Ep 10).

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In kdramaland, it's a hard life siding with and taking up the cause of the second lead. You're inundated with never ending invitations and temptations to become a 2nd lead shipper.

The prefix Ex exists for a reason. The definition of Ex is a former husband, wife, or partner in a relationship. Hence: Ex-husband. Ex-Boyfriend. Ex-Lover.

Seven years have passed since they originally met and married each other. It seems so unfair that just when Sang-Hyo and Sung Gyum are starting to date...their time together/relationship is doomed before it starts. Why? Because now all of a sudden after 7 freaking years of no contact whatsoever...Hae Young decides he wants to and must remarry Sang-Hyo again. Forget the fact that up until recently he was willing (however reluctantly) to walk down the aisle twice as a groom to marry Soo-A. And if not for the murder of Hwang Dong-Bae and Soo-A being a runaway bride their nuptials would have gone off without a hitch (regardless of whether it was just for the sake of appearances).

7 Years (Time Continues to Tick Away & A Lot Can Happen):

Their 1st marriage didn't last long enough to encounter the seven (7) year itch. The psychological term that suggests happiness in a relationship declines after around year seven of a marriage.

Scabies (parasites that feed and breed under human skin) — are the real seven-year itch. By all accounts, nowhere near romantic.

Seven Years in Tibet: My Life Before, During and After = an autobiographical travel book written by Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer based on his real life experiences in Tibet between 1944 and 1951.

Seven Years in Tibet = 1997 French film.

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Basically it's all right for Hae-Young to have a faux courtship and marriage with Soo-A. But let Sang-Hyo try to move on and start a new relationship with Sung Gyum - on no we can't have that! So frustrating and hypocritical. Sang-Hyo didn't resort to blatantly interfering with and deliberately sabotaging Hae-Young nuptials to Soo-A.

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You know, that's a good point. maybe this is why i sometimes get irritated with Haeyoung's behavior. Sanghyo sincerely planned his wedding to Sooah and wanted it to go well, which couldn't have been easy, especially as their past relationship didn't have closure. But she can't even have a freaking meal with Sunggyum without Haeyoung barging in and calling dibs on her, which is kind of unfair. He had other relationships and was about to get married for goodness sake, but she doesn't get that she opportunity to try and move on... :/

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oops, my comment at #10 was supposed to be a reply to your #9.1!

Agree with your analysis, btw - I find Hae-young even more pushy than Sung-gyum (which is why I think he's the least mature).

Honestly, I'm feeling a bit flat at the reason for the big break-up - well, what they've revealed so far, that is. Even if they had irreconcilable career differences, would it have killed them to get in touch after HY moved to NY? He left his address after all. And if Si-chan can call him, why couldn't he have called Sang Hyo? If it turns out to be purely and solely a pride thing, I'm gonna be peeved (namely, if they thought that the other person not accepting their career meant that they didn't love them enough, etc).

I'm hoping there's more to be revealed - like why did Hae Young not tell Si-chan her name, at least? If Sang Hyo meant so much to him, why didn't he tell his parents (or did he)?

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the bigger mystery than who killed who is why they broke up in the first place. On the killer front there seems only two main suspects the GM or Team Leader Cha {who everytime I see him reminds me so much of Jang Nara's brother in looks it distracting} The young guy on Sang-hyo team I guessed was behind the pick pocket trouble pretty early on but didnt understand why Cha was letting him get away with it and of course he had free rein over the video tapes that kept getting blanked out..but really it just seems too much fingers pointing at him to be a killer in a 'mystery'. Then the GM who also been set up as a strong candidate as the killer..on his good side he is Sang-hyo father figure so we/I would not want him to be the one...but if it is not one of the two then who could it be, there not many main players left in the game to point any fingers at....
Finally on the why did they break up..well as I watched episode ten I can not go into that, just say they add a bit more on events to give a good idea of things and leave it at that.

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Thank you for the recap Odilettante.

This was a real eye opener episode for me, because I was siding with HY more, I didn't really take notice of how SH was feeling. How frustrating must it be to have an ex pushing in just as you are trying to start a new relationship. What happened in the last 7 years, why didn't he contact each other then. If they loved each other so much. I'm hoping there is more to this story, especially if the parents knew about SH?
I was relieved about how they broke up, I was expecting it to be some sort of family tragedy that caused him to leave.

Anyway I am rooting for SA and KH, hopefully they can resolve the misunderstanding and live happily!
My thoughts about SG relate more to episode 10, so I'll save it for the next recap. Thanks Again! :)

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Why isn't anyone rooting for Haeyoung? :( I wish I could tell Sang-hyo "When your heart doesn’t tell the truth, pain gives the answer." (in case you don't know - a quote from Master's Sun) when she was sad that Haeyoung was going ahead with the wedding.

I mean, just look at his sad puppy eyes. How does one say no to that face??

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I have the feeling that Hae Young knows he has sad puppy eyes and feels free to use them whenever they may come in handy. He's so much like a little boy, he's starting to give me the creeps. His inability to do anything about his wedding to Soo Ah but mope, his inability to communicate with his first wife, his tantrum in the car, his grabbiness with beds and wrists and personal items, his delight in his little fake mustache, his playing video games during a business meeting - really, there is hardly an adult action or emotion to him.

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I feel bad for Hae-young. I really sympathized with him this episode. I just need him to step up now that he knows that Sang-hyo doesn't trust him because of what happened in the past. There's no point in sitting at the bar wishing something didn't happen, but he can have that night with his friend to feel sorry for himself. What he does in episode 10 will show me whether or not he's taking the right steps to become a person Sang-hyo can trust and depend on. I really hope that he is able to do that.

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