High Society: Episode 4
Things move fast in this episode, and I mean fast—one second our hero and heroine aren’t dating, the next they are, and months of essential milestones get compressed into a span of days. It’s a lot to wrap your head around, plus there’s not as much Ji-yi and Chang-soo to break things up this round. We needed to spend some more time with our leads anyway, although if this hour’s rollercoaster is what we can expect from this couple in the future, we might find ourselves reaching for the crazy pills more than the smelling salts soon enough.
SONG OF THE DAY
SHINee – “Odd Eye” [ Download ]
EPISODE 4 RECAP
After a morning bike ride, Chang-soo imposes on buddy Joon-ki for breakfast because he’s got something on his mind: Can’t Joon-ki give Ji-yi a promotion? Even a tiny one? Aw, someone’s got it bad.
But Joon-ki won’t do anything of the sort, and besides, Chang-soo should know that part-time and temporary employees are handled by a separate service. Having his ignorance pointed out causes Chang-soo to lose his smile as he reminds Joon-ki solemnly that they should still have respect for each other no matter how close they are.
Joon-ki’s coldness is noted by one of his colleagues too, though he seems more keen on putting Joon-ki in his place. That’s a more difficult task than he counted on since Joon-ki won’t be cowed—even if he were to fall from his current position like his colleague predicts, it’ll still have been worth every second.
After asking her maid to pack her two lunches (while making the food look inexpensive and simple) and agreeing to join her brother on his vacation tomorrow, Yoon-ha drops one of the lunches off at Joon-ki’s desk and gives the other to Ji-yi.
Yoon-ha whines that she always thought it was corny to pack someone a lunch, but now she’s actually done it—no matter that she just had to say the word for her maid to do it. She’s decided that she wants to confess her feelings to Joon-ki today before she leaves for two weeks and misses her chance.
Ji-yi respects Yoon-ha’s cojones in just going for it, but wonders what her friend will do if she gets rejected. Though Yoon-ha claims she’s immune to rejection, she soon breaks down and admits that it’s all an act. She wouldn’t know what to do if Joon-ki rejected her.
Meanwhile, Joon-ki finds her lunchbox and attached note, unable to help a small smile. But when Yoon-ha greets him on the storeroom floor he barely acknowledges it before going straight to Ji-yi for a private chat.
When asked what her plans for the future are, Ji-yi says that she wants to work hard for six months in the hopes that she’ll become a contract employee. Joon-ki asks if she’d like him to speed that process along for her since he’s received a “request”—and he doesn’t need to say who it was for her to know.
It’s very thoughtful of him to ask for her opinion, considering that she wants to become a contract employee using her own effort. He admires that and gives her his approval, effectively overruling Chang-soo’s say in the matter.
Chang-soo gets his comeuppance when Ji-yi calls him out to pelt him with all sorts of moochy questions—how high can he have her promoted? Can he lend her money? She’s asking these sorts of questions so he’ll stop liking her after what he did, though it only confuses her when Chang-soo agrees with her philosophy that nothing in life is free.
If he thinks that, she counters, why would he ask Joon-ki to promote her? She admits she wanted to take the promotion against her better judgment, but when Chang-soo argues that she could have, she asks if he’s also planning on taking responsibility (marrying) her.
He freaks out at that thought, and Ji-yi explains that she doesn’t date anyone she knows she’ll breakup with. Mortified, Chang-soo argues that he didn’t ask her to date him, though Ji-yi returns that he would’ve.
“I won’t do it!” he says almost too emphatically, causing Ji-yi to take a step back and ask why not. Hah. His dating philosophy is the polar opposite of hers because he refuses to connect dating with marriage. Besides, the help he offered her he would’ve offered to anyone.
Ji-yi says he can offer that kind of help when he’s old and ugly, and then looks at her toes as she admits that his doing so now is her butterflies. She leaves Chang-soo befuddled and wondering whether she’s intentionally messing with his feelings.
Yoon-ha ends up texting Joon-ki to ask if he enjoyed the lunch she brought him, and when he says yes, she asks him if he can spare some time after work.
Lady Kim grows incensed when she sees Madam Min and Chairman Jang together on the news, and decides that she wants Mama Lee to start calling her agasshi (young lady) to make her feel better. But Mama Lee has as much trouble calling her that as she does accepting an all expense paid shopping spree from her.
Once they’re alone, Yoon-ha admits to Joon-ki that she doesn’t have a good relationship with her parents or sisters, and is only close with her older brother. She adds that she doesn’t have anything to her name but even so she asks, “Will you date me?”
She doesn’t miss the small smile on Joon-ki’s face, asking if this is funny to him. “Yes,” he responds drolly. “Are you rejecting me?” she ventures. “Yes,” Joon-ki answers in the same monotonous tone.
Yoon-ha tries to act cool about it all as she turns to leave, though she’s anything but. Joon-ki stops her and starts on about how a relationship should begin conventionally, and for a moment it almost seems like he’s going to chastise her.
Instead, his point is that it should be the guy who asks the girl out. Like she did, he tells her about his family situation, his yearly salary, and other assets. And on that note he asks, “Will you date me?”
Yoon-ha can’t help but smile as she says yes, happy at this turn of events. He takes her hand in his as he matter-of-factly tells her that they’re dating from this point forward, but that he can’t escort her home tonight because of an appointment. I think she’s too high on cloud nine to care.
Ji-yi returns home that night to find Chang-soo waiting outside with his devil-may-care smile. She picks up a brick to threaten him away from surprising her like this again, though it’s not because she doesn’t want him to—it’s because she’s afraid that she might start to really like him.
She finds Yoon-ha waiting inside, and tentatively asks if her friend was successful in asking Joon-ki out. They both cheer when Yoon-ha says she was, though she mentions how she had to be rejected first, then asked out by him before it became official.
It’s cute that Ji-yi is true to her word about supporting her friend, even if her disposition turns grumpy when Yoon-ha’s all aflutter about exchanging texts with Joon-ki. She’s not pining over him, but rather thinking about Chang-soo as she blurts, “You shouldn’t even start dating a bad guy. That’s the basic rule of dating.”
She’s saying that more to herself than Yoon-ha of course, though I wonder if Yoon-ha knows that she’s agonizing over Chang-soo without Ji-yi mentioning his name.
Kyung-joon can’t help but notice how his little sister is so very in love while on their private jet, and makes an executive decision to drop her back off so that she can have the two weeks she would’ve been on vacation to spend with her new beau.
She’ll be free from familial obligations since they’ll think she’s with him, so he literally encourages her to go on a vacation with her boyfriend and use the time wisely. But then he adds strangely, “If I were father, I would choose you as successor.”
Joon-ki meets her back on land while she still has her suitcase in-hand, and doesn’t press her too hard for answers about where she was going and why she isn’t going there anymore.
Yoon-ha can’t even meet his eyes as she calls him “Oppa” for the first time, all smiling and shy. When he asks why she won’t look at him she explains that it all feels like a dream to her, though she’s jolted out of it when he takes her hand and pulls her in close.
That’s what he wanted to get across to her—that this isn’t a dream, and they’re really together. It’s a surprise that she doesn’t just melt into a puddle of happiness when he asks her out for a meal.
They’re equally adorable when out, acting like they’ve been dating for much longer than one calendar day. Yoon-ha carries on like a besotted puppy as Joon-ki walks her home (to Ji-yi’s house for the vacation period), and shyly takes his hand during the walk. Aww.
The next day, Madam Min hears some shocking news over the phone and then on the news: Kyung-joon’s boat sank off the coast of Mexico, and though no body has been found, he’s presumed dead.
Madam Min can’t process this information for plenty of reasons—he’s her son, but more importantly, he’s the heir to Taejin Group. He can’t die like an ordinary person.
Only then does she remember that Yoon-ha was supposed to be with him and calls her, but when she realizes that Yoon-ha is still in Korea she lets out a horrible scream. We next see Yoon-ha with tears running down her face, having found out about her brother.
Madam Min is still in shock when Yoon-ha returns home, all but whispering, “Why did you come alone? Where is your brother?” Then, as the truth starts to set in, she becomes more and more hysterical. “You lived? Just you?”
Poor Yoon-ha sets to shaking as she tells her mother that they didn’t even leave together, prompting a level of vitriol from Madam Min that sounds too hateful to be real. She accuses Yoon-ha of killing her brother, and that she just knew Yoon-ha was that type of person all along.
She blames herself for allowing the trip, before she attacks Yoon-ha while screaming, “Die! You should die too! Die! Die!” Yikes. This is taking child favoritism to a whole new level.
The family takes time to mourn, Ye-won included. Yoon-ha really does start to blame herself for her brother’s death, thinking that everyone she loves eventually leaves her. Now that even Kyung-joon couldn’t escape what she sees as her jinx, she’s convinced she can’t ever love anyone.
…Which is right when a text from Joon-ki comes in. She deletes it, sobbing.
Because Taejin Group’s stocks have plummeted since the announced death of Kyung-joon, Chairman Jang puts Ye-won center stage as successor to his company.
Madam Min has to pull herself out of her depressed stupor to be strong for her family, since Kyung-joon once told her that he admired her strength. But since she’s not entirely convinced he’s dead (someone’s been watching dramas), she dedicates resources to find him at any cost.
She does her duty and joins her family for breakfast, only to throw the dishes off the table when she sees everyone eating like their brother and son didn’t just die. Chairman Jang is the chief offender in her eyes, and he shows absolutely no sympathy for her tirade or even a sign that he’s mourning.
He and his wife really get into it in front of the children this time, with Madam Min screaming at the top of her lungs at her husband’s coldheartedness. Kyung-joon was his son too, but Chairman Jang seems to care less about that and more about the negative impact his death is having on the company—plus, he blames him for going on a vacation during such a crucial time.
Madam Min claims her son was so eager to leave because his father never trusted him and only tested him, a move which Chairman Jang doesn’t regret. He saw Kyung-joon as too sentimental and weak, so he was trying to make him stronger. But in the end he proved incompetent.
Yoon-ha’s finally had enough and steps in to defend her late brother’s honor, asking as well as she can that her father not speak so ill of him. The complete disdain the rest of her family feels for her in that moment is almost palpable.
Contrast that with the warmth and happiness of Mama Lee and Papa Choi, as she tries to help him to feel useful even though his disability prevents him from working. She punishes him for saying that she’s only suffered since marrying him by cooking him delicious food, with the warning that she’ll make even more if he keeps on like that. Awww.
They talk about their wish for Joon-ki to get married even though they know they’re not ideal future in-laws, but Papa Choi seems to adore his son so much that he hates himself for being such an inadequate father. I’m sure Joon-ki would disagree.
Speaking of, Joon-ki keeps sending worried text messages to Yoon-ha that she keeps finding herself unable to delete. She still can’t bring herself to reply, nor can she stop her tears as she reads over the cute little messages he’s been leaving her. “I miss you,” she cries.
Yoon-ha gets called in to meet with her father over her future in the company now that they can use her. She doesn’t want to take a position that’s opened because Kyung-joon is gone, to which Chairman Jang tersely replies, “Your opinion doesn’t matter.” Great talk, Dad.
She mentions how she agrees with her mother about the questionable circumstances surrounding Kyung-joon’s “death,” but her father wants none of it. I’ve seen a lot of awful chaebol families before, but these people don’t even qualify as a family. I’m not even sure they qualify as people.
Ji-yi can’t help but think about Chang-soo whenever she looks at the street light he appeared to her under, while Chang-soo can’t help but think about Joon-ki the second he returns from a trip with his mom. Even his mom notes that he likes Joon-ki just a little too much.
She’s the only person so far to register what a loss Kyung-joon’s death should be to his family, because Lord knows no one in that family knows how to mourn.
But she also sees Yoon-ha’s succession in the company as a positive thing if Chang-soo would only keep in touch with her. A marriage with Yoon-ha would be an advantageous business arrangement for their family, she argues, and Joon-ki overhears all of this with interest.
In the car, Joon-ki doesn’t seem thrilled when Chang-soo asks about Yoon-ha, nor can he feign surprise when his friend reveals that Yoon-ha is secretly a chaebol’s daughter. At least for now Chang-soo’s trying to nab Ji-yi by playing hard to get.
Instead he calls Yoon-ha, and Joon-ki’s expression turns to a scowl when Chang-soo gets ahold of her instantly, considering how he’s been trying and failing to do the same. Chang-soo seems to make it a point to act sympathetic without making things worse for Yoon-ha, as he gives practical solutions to help her get over her grief—like returning to work, for instance.
Yoon-ha’s already on her way, and thanks him for his concern. She gets a call from Ji-yi next, but she can’t bring herself stay on the line when her friend starts asking about how Joon-ki’s been supporting her through this crisis. So… she knows Yoon-ha’s brother died but nothing more?
Still, Yoon-ha thinks of Joon-ki with tears in her eyes, and says to herself, “I miss you. I want to lean on you.” So she finally calls him, and he picks up while Chang-soo’s conveniently asleep. She’s got something to say, but Joon-ki tells her to wait until they can talk in person.
Chang-soo wasn’t actually asleep, and asks if his friend has been dating someone behind his back. He doesn’t pursue the matter.
Ji-yi couldn’t be more excited that Yoon-ha’s returning to work with her, though the two girls run into an awkward situation when they have to take the same elevator as Chang-soo and Joon-ki. Chang-soo, bless his heart, at least tries and fails to make some conversation.
When Joon-ki pulls Yoon-ha aside for a private chat, she hearkens back to when they’d discussed who should ask who out (all of one week ago) as she asks, “Who’s supposed to say it first when you break up? The girl or the guy?”
Joon-ki knows what’s coming and answers solemnly that it should be said by whomever wants to do the breaking up. He stops her from stumbling over her words: “Don’t drag it out and look at me while you tell me you want to break up.”
So she sucks in a breath and looks into his eyes, “Let’s break up.” He doesn’t buy that she wants to based on her expression, causing her to just cry more. She lied, she says. “Everyone lies,” he answers. “I did too.”
But her lies were much bigger. “I’m not poor,” she starts, choking back her tears. She doesn’t exactly say she’s a chaebol, but she admits that she got a part-time job to help her tolerate her family and that she could have left at anytime if she weren’t so afraid to be poor while living on her own.
She explains how she had been preparing to live without her family and thought she’d made the right choice… “But Oppa died,” she cries. Like her mother, she echoes the sentiment that Kyung-joon just couldn’t have died—not when he had the world laid out right in front of him.
Joon-ki pulls her into an embrace, which she allows for just a moment before pulling away. “Everyone I love gets hurt. Everyone I love leaves me. My mother has been unhappy since the day I was born. So leave me,” she says.
He interjects to tell her that being unhappy is a choice, and she can’t take responsibility for the unhappiness of others. She caves then, leaning her head against his chest as he pulls her closer. She missed him and wanted to see him, she explains, but worried that he could be hurt because of her.
There’s a flicker of something that passes over Joon-ki’s face as he reassures her that her fears are baseless. A glimmer of guilt, maybe? “Don’t leave me,” she whispers. “Please don’t ever leave me.”
And with that, Joon-ki kisses her.
Phew. I’m glad Yoon-ha finally got that off her chest, because it was getting a little ridiculous that she’d think she was doing a good job hiding her identity by virtue of just not telling people who she is. And now it frees us to think of her in a more sympathetic light, if only because we’ve seen how oblivious she is and now she’s being preyed upon (probably, maybe) by someone who knows that’s how she is and knows how to take advantage of it.
Still, it’s not like Joon-ki had to roll out the red carpet of romantic gestures in order to ensnare Yoon-ha, and half of me wonders if their relationship is more coincidental than not, even though Joon-ki would likely disagree. (He loves his choices, after all.) Their relationship is so bizarre that it probably wouldn’t have happened on a regular day, and Yoon-ha’s sudden devotion makes me feel pity for her despite thinking that she really should know a lot better by this point. Then again, she hasn’t really given any signal that she does know better.
Suffice to say, Yoon-ha both confuses and disturbs me. I just don’t know how to feel about her because I can’t understand how her brain works, though I’m inclined to give her some slack because of the certifiable household she comes from. Even so, there are simple things she says and believes with all her heart that just blow past me—like this jinx business, for instance. Grief changes a person, and she was very close to Kyung-joon, but why is it that after one severe loss in her family she’d jump to the conclusion that everyone who loves her gets hurt? That everyone who loves her leaves? How is that a thing when that’s only happened to one person she’s loved? And no, her mother doesn’t count. Not really, anyway.
She believed in this jinx so much that she stopped talking to Joon-ki altogether, which just doesn’t make sense. Unless she’s left a trail of bodies in her wake, it’s patently unreasonable for her to think that Joon-ki would get hurt by mystical otherworldly forces just by being in her orbit. He knows that, and he even told her so. What’s worrisome is that she doesn’t, and genuinely believed that she was jinxed so much so that she was sure she would doom the love of her life she’s been dating for an entire week. It’d be different if part of her reason for distancing herself was the realization that her living a lie could have direct and harmful ramifications to the people she loves, but it wasn’t. It was part of it, but not as important to her as her terrible curse.
Joon-ki is much more difficult to sort out, though luckily most of that seems to be intentional. What he’s doing is complicated if he’s doing what I think he’s doing by maneuvering his way into Yoon-ha’s life for personal gain. With the way she’s carrying on now, it’ll positively destroy her if/when she finds out she’s been used. The question is, how much will Joon-ki allow himself to be affected?
- High Society: Episode 3
- High Society: Episode 2
- High Society: Episode 1
- To be or not to be evil in High Society
- Four youths’ fates divided by money in High Society
- Blind dates and champagne toasts in High Society’s posters and stills
- High Society starts with a kiss
- Sung Joon and UEE pucker up for High Society’s poster shoot
- Chaebol’s Daughter adds UEE, Im Ji-yeon, and new title
- Sung Joon offered lead in Chaebol’s Daughter