Oh Hae-young Again: Episode 4
As Hae-young and Do-kyung settle into their new, tentative friendship, they’re slowly but surely opening up to each other a little more every day. What started as coincidence starts to become deliberate, and they begin to actually seek each other out purposely. But the reappearance of an old acquaintance could throw up a wall between them, or it could push them even closer towards each other.
EPISODE 4 RECAP: “Let’s buy a humming tune and go home”
Hae-young’s face falls when she calls out a “fighting!” to a jogger with the name “Oh Hae-young,” and sees that it’s her high school classmate, the “Pretty Hae-young” who she was always compared to.
Do-kyung thinks about his latest premonition, the one where Hae-young tells him that “Pretty Hae-young” is back. He remembers his ex-fiancee, snuggling with him in bed and telling him that the sound of his heartbeat is the best sound in the world. The happy memories are tainted with the pain of her disappearance on their wedding day, when Do-kyung had found photos of her with another man.
It’s no surprise to Hae-young when word gets out among her high school classmates that “Pretty Hae-young” is back in town. Their texting chat room is full of speculation on where she’s been and why she’s back. Hae-young takes herself to her “happy place,” determined not to let this affect her.
She focuses on thinking only happy thoughts, and the first thing that comes to mind is how Do-kyung put his shoes in her entryway, to make it look like a man lives there. She remembers how he relented and agreed that they could both live there, and she’s all smiles again.
Do-kyung admits to his therapist, Dr. Baek, that he still hasn’t told Hae-young that he’s the one who ruined her marriage, or the misunderstanding that led to his actions. Dr. Baek asks how he feels when he sees her in his visions, and he says thoughtfully, “Just… lonely. As if I’m remembering the old days right before I die of old age. I get a feeling that my life is going to end in tragedy.”
He runs into Hae-young again at a restaurant, and sits at a different table with his back to her. It’s almost like he can feel her annoyed stare boring holes into the back of his head. He heaves a big sigh and joins her, and she just says, “I was about to punch you.” HAHA, I love these two.
Hae-young chatters away while they eat, then suddenly reaches out and puts her hand on Do-kyung’s head. She says that she heard it takes a lot of energy to live in this area, and he’s lived here his whole life, so she’s taking some of his energy. She admits that she’s feeling down today, and repeats her words from his premonition: “She’s back. The Pretty Oh Hae-young.”
Do-kyung freezes, but Hae-young doesn’t notice, and goes on about how she heard that the other Hae-young just suddenly left town one day. She’d felt relieved knowing she was gone, but she saw her yesterday running a marathon.
As Do-kyung walks home later, he has another vision of Hae-young, a simple one where she just looks surprised. And right then she rounds the corner and looks at him with that exact same expression. He immediately has another one, where she’s discussing the nice weather, and she strolls past him and says how warm the night breeze is. Wow, these visions are really coming fast.
They finally stop, and after a moment to collect himself, Do-kyung continues walking and Hae-young falls in beside him. She says that she feels better knowing that there’s someone who understands her pain of being jilted at the altar.
She thought it happened to her because she was a lame person, but now she knows that it can happen to someone cool like him, too. Do-kyung stays silent, and Hae-young apologizes for finding comfort in his pain.
When they get back to their house, Hae-young asks how they should handle the construction on the door, but now Do-kyung just wants to keep their furniture in front of it. He says that her apartment was his father’s workroom, and rationalizes that if she moves out, he’ll want that space for a workroom and will need the door. Riiight.
As Hae-young bounces up the stairs, another vision hits Do-kyung — he sees her running down the stairs and leaping into his arms, and the image is so realistic that he actually staggers as if supporting her weight.
Jin-sang’s staying at the Park siblings’ place for a while, hiding from a vindictive family member of the victim of one of his clients. Soo-kyung asks when he’s going to stop defending criminals, but Jin-sang argues that criminals deserve to be defended fairly, too. Says the guy with the bruised-up face.
HAHA, the moment Soo-kyung leaves the room, we learn the real story — Jin-sang got the crap beat out of himself over a woman. He swears he asked if she had a boyfriend, he just forgot to ask about a husband. The guy came to his house with an ax, and now he’s in hiding.
Mama Oh finally comes to see Hae-young and of course, the first thing she sees are Do-kyung’s shoes by the front door. She and Hae-young take up their old bickering right away — some things never change.
Jin-sang follows Do-kyung up to his apartment to get a look at Hae-young himself, still suspecting she’s following Do-kyung because she knows what they did. Do-kyung tries to physically throw him out, and the two men hilariously grapple all the way across the room. Hae-young hears the commotion through the door, but Mama Oh is busy fussing at her about the number of liquor bottles in her trash.
The guys hear the yelling and lean in to eavesdrop, and when Mama Oh finds the door between the apartments, they hold the cabinet on Do-kyung’s side in place so she won’t realize what’s on the other side.
Dad is there too, installing a safer doorknob and lock on the front door. Hae-young argues that she can’t change things like this since she might move out, and hey, I saw that look of worry there, Do-kyung.
Cranky now, Do-kyung heads off to work — today he goes to a horse racing track to record the sounds there. The movie director reminds him that they’re going to Jeju Island next month, and says they’ll have fun when Do-kyung doesn’t crack a smile. At dinner after work, Do-kyung asks his assistant if he’s hard to work with, and the assistant just says he’s learning a lot. Ouch.
The big news at Hae-young’s work is that their brand is being renewed, and that a new team will be formed to do all the work. Soo-kyung calls Hae-young into the office to discuss the fact that she’s the only one not being promoted to be on the new team — her impression of Hae-young is that she’s been slacking off, that she planned to get married then quit.
Now she’ll be doing a lot of the work, and will have to follow the orders of her former colleagues. Soo-kyung asks if Hae-young’s family is rich and, pride stung, Hae-young spits that they’re super rich. Soo-kyung mutters that she looks poor.
Over drinks after work, her coworker Sung-jin swears that he didn’t know everyone was being promoted to the new team over Hae-young, and he listens sympathetically to Hae-young gripe about how Soo-kyung treats her. She wails that she doesn’t look poor like Soo-kyung said, but Sung-jin says she kinda does. “Well you look poor too!” Heh.
Hae-young claims that she was trying not to be too good an employee and make everyone else feel inferior, but now she’ll show them all. Sung-jin isn’t happy about this either — they’ve recruited a new director for the team, and the unknown entity makes him nervous.
On her way home Hae-young buys the last two bottles of her preferred liquor in the store, unaware that the crazy-haired lady next to her is her boss. Soo-kyung tries to take one of the bottles but Hae-young won’t hand it over, so Soo-kyung ties her hair back. When Hae-young realizes who she is, she gulps hard.
It gets even more awkward when the two realize they’re heading home in the same direction, and Soo-kyung orders Hae-young inside: “Let’s drink it together.” Unable to refuse, Hae-young slumps into the house after Soo-kyung and obediently cracks open her two bottles.
Soo-kyung wants to know if the village protectors have ever brought Hae-young home (the recurring gag is that they refuse to escort her, because she terrifies them), but Hae-young doesn’t even know who that is. When Soo-kyung asks where she lives, Hae-young just waves in a non-direction, but Soo-kyung isn’t too drunk to figure out that she’s being deliberately vague.
She helps herself to Hae-young’s snacks and tries to condescend that she should have better taste in food, but this not being work, Hae-young lets herself say whatever she wants. She says that it’s childish to try to make yourself seem fancier using food,
Soo-kyung laughs that Hae-young is “taste-blind,” saying that many people are looking for new and unique foods to get excited about. It’s one of the few pleasures in life that’s relatively cheap, and brings satisfaction and consolation. But Hae-young can think of something better: love.
Soo-kyung is rendered speechless when Hae-young says that love is more fun than eating, and brings more happiness. She muses that people in love don’t need to seek happiness through food, because they’re already happy. Soo-kyung asks if that’s why Hae-young is always putting out plain rice when the other employees are fussing over signature dishes, calling her “rice girl” and entirely missing the point.
Jin-sang gets to the house and notices that Hae-young’s lights aren’t on, still curious to see what she looks like. He’s surprised to see Soo-kyung drinking with someone, especially when she describes Hae-young as an inferior who calls her names at work, ha. Hae-young admits it, and that her nickname is “Isadora,” and Jin-sang immediately gets the play on words and confirms that Soo-kyung has a chronically upset stomach.
Jin-sang and Hae-young adorably bond over teasing Soo-kyung’s messy hair, but his legs give out on him when she introduces herself. When he comments on her name, Hae-young tells him it’s so common there were two of them in her class at school, and that verifies for Jin-sang that this is the Oh Hae-young whose life he and Do-kyung ruined.
Do-kyung arrives home and sees Jin-sang freaking out, but he’s more surprised to see Hae-young here drinking with his sister. She’s just as shocked to see him here, but it all makes sense when she learns that Soo-kyung is his noona. She pretends she’s just meeting Do-kyung for the first time, and makes a face at him, indicating for him to play along.
When Soo-kyung suddenly notices her designer bag, Hae-young stammers that it was a wedding gift, but quickly corrects that she’s not married, she called off the wedding. Soo-kyung wants to know why, since Hae-young’s never talked about it, and Hae-young says that she just wasn’t sure she loved her fiance enough.
Both guys know the truth, and just stand there looking awkward. Hae-young can’t seem to stop talking and just goes on and on, until finally Do-kyung gets fed up and walks away.
Soo-kyung tasks Do-kyung with walking Hae-young home, and they’re forced to head down the street while she watches. Once alone, Hae-young breathes a sigh of relief and laughs at the insanity that his sister is her boss, telling him that she lied because Soo-kyung abuses her at work. Now knowing that they live in the same house, she thinks she really will have to move.
They round the corner and run into An-na and Hoon, wildly making out in the bushes, HA. An-na is practically attacking Hoon’s face while he begs for air, and they’re not even shy when they see Do-kyung and Hae-young watching them.
Do-kyung and Hae-young keep walking, and Hae-young finally screams her embarrassment for lying about being the dumper when Do-kyung knows she was the dumpee. She asks how long it’s been since his failed wedding day, and he says it’s been a year. She teases him for still being so broken up about it, but Do-kyung denies that he’s miserable.
Hae-young says it’s all over him, in his expression and his posture and even his clothes. She kicks him and says he’s so pathetic she wants to hug him (amen to that), but he’s the only one who’s unaware of it. Do-kyung tells her to worry about herself, but Hae-young is perfectly aware of how miserable and pathetic she is. As Hae-young stomps away in a grand huff, Do-kyung watches her with the tiniest smile on his face.
When Do-kyung gets home, Soo-kyung says without preamble that she’s been abusing Hae-young at work just because of her name. Jin-sang marvels that that’s the girl they confused with Do-kyung’s ex, but Do-kyung wanders off, uninterested in talking about it.
Do-kyung’s mom is disappointed when CEO Jang gives her a designer bag and there’s no money inside, but when he notices, she says she was hoping for a letter. She shows up for a meeting with the nerdy scriptwriter, whining about getting nothing but a lousy purse and scaring the poor scriptwriter to death. She goes looking for Do-kyung, but he’s not in the office.
Hae-young walks through the rain under her broken umbrella, tentative and shivering. A woman under a bright red umbrella strides confidently past her, and she admires the woman’s pretty clothes and fancy stockings. She follows her into her office buildin to ask about the stockings, but when the woman turns around, Hae-young freezes — it’s “Pretty” Oh Hae-young.
In the office, everyone is buzzing abut the new special team leader, who is apparently quite talented and was scouted heavily for this job. They all agree to band together against her, and not let her bully them around.
A flower arrangement arrives for Hae-young, or seems to, until she realizes it’s wishing her good luck on her first day. This happened once before in school, when Hae-young had gotten a love letter meant for “Pretty” Hae-young, and the author had ripped it away so hard he gave Hae-young a paper-cut on her face.
She knows now that these flowers aren’t for her, and takes them back to the delivery person. They make their way to the right Hae-young’s desk, which is positively buried in flower arrangements.
“Pretty” Hae-young recognizes Soo-kyung when she’s forced to welcome her to the company, and expresses happiness to be working together, as if she completely forgot that she dumped her brother on their wedding day without a word. Soo-kyung just gives her a Go to Hell glare, and keeps walking.
Our Hae-young ducks under her desk when they walk through her office area, and it almost works, but “Pretty” Hae-young suddenly seems to realize who that was, and she rushes back to ask which school Hae-young went to. Our Hae-young tries to hide in her chair, but “Pretty” Hae-young is oblivious and acts like seeing her again is the OMG best thing ever!!
Hae-young and Hee-ran dissect the reunion over drinks later, and Hae-young wonders if she should quit her job. She shamefully admits that she was actually glad when the other Hae-young recognized her, and Hee-ran yells at her for letting herself become so small whenever the other Hae-young is around.
Do-kyung can hear everything Hae-young does in her apartment with his super-sensitive hearing, even the crunching as she eats snacks. She can hear him too and moves closer to the door, so it startles her when he bounces a tennis ball against the wall and calls out not to eavesdrop or make too much noise. Annoyed, she sits back down and turns the TV up.
Do-kyung’s been avoiding his mother’s calls, so it’s no surprise that she turns up at his door, demanding to be let in. Hae-young can hear his doorbell and the fact that he’s not answering it, and calls out that there’s someone at his door. This is hilarious.
He lets his mom in but insists on talking outside so Hae-young can’t hear, which just makes Mom more upset that he doesn’t want her in his house. She demands he lend her some money to hire a particular director for her movie, begging and pleading and trying to guilt him until he finally blows up at her transparent manipulations.
Mom plants herself on Do-kyung’s couch, screeching that she’ll sell her organs if he doesn’t give her money. Hae-young can hear every word, and it works, because Do-kyung transfers his mother some money right away.
Awww, Hae-young tries to make it sound like she’s been out at the store and just now came home, which is terribly sweet. Do-kyung calls through the door that he knows she’s lying and, embarrassed, stomps out of his own place with his sound equipment.
Hae-young follows him to apologize, but Do-kyung snaps that what she did made him more embarrassed than knowing she heard everything. She follows him to his favorite spot overlooking the river and watches him set up his equipment, even shushing a couple who come near making a lot of noise.
Do-kyung goes quiet when Hae-young asks if he works with his father, simply saying that he passed away. He nixes any further questions, but Hae-young smiles that she’s glad she followed him out here, because he’d look pitiful out here alone. She says that she’s been afraid of silence, scared that she’s just start cursing to fill the emptiness, but right now she feels peaceful.
Do-kyung says there’s no reason to curse at a man who isn’t there, but Hae-young corrects him: A woman doesn’t curse at a man who’s left her, she curses at a man who’s acted shamefully towards her. She teases Do-kyung not to be shameful, and he looks at her thoughtfully.
They stop at a pojangmacha to eat dinner, where Do-kyung watches Hae-young slurp her noodles. He says that she looks pretty when she’s eating, which makes her pause, and Do-kyung reminds her that she told him that Tae-jin complained about how she eats. He’s saying she looks fine.
Shy now, Hae-young denies that his words touched her, and Do-kyung smiles a little. What’s funny is that she really is a messy, loud eater, and she eats even louder now that he mentioned it, embarrassed. She practically runs from the table, but once Do-kyung can’t see her face, Hae-young smiles to herself.
The next morning Hae-young runs for the elevator as the door is closing, but when the men inside look entirely too excited to hold the door, she realizes that they’re not doing it for her… “Pretty” Hae-young is behind her. They both enter the elevator, but when the alarm sounds that it’s too full, the men actually shove our Hae-young out. Wow, not cool.
All day our Hae-young attracts a lot of male attention, but they only want to ask her questions about “Pretty” Hae-young. Sung-jin saves her and chases the guys away, and our Hae-young goes to her happy place in her mind, which now includes Do-kyung telling her that she looks pretty when she eats.
Soo-kyung witnesses Hoon and An-na joining up for a date, and she’s jealous at how An-na runs and leaps into Hoon’s arms. She imagines herself doing the same with a man, and embarrassingly, she’s caught making kissy faces by Jin-sang and Hae-young on their way home.
Jin-sang says Soo-kyung looks jealous, and teases that she’s probably too heavy to run and have a man catch her that way. Trying to stay dignified, Soo-kyung says it’s more about athleticism than weight, and that Hae-young probably couldn’t do it either.
Hae-young says she can, so Soo-kyung dares her to try it and directs Jin-sang to go catch her. Hae-young is about to decline, but right on cue, Do-kyung pulls up in front of the house and steps out of his car.
Hae-young gets a mischievous glint in her eye, and winds up just as Do-kyung notices her. Despite the fact that he’s carrying all of his sound equipment, she starts to run towards him, grinning.
As he watches her accelerating towards him, Do-kyung remembers his vision of this exact moment, and how he’d told his therapist about it. He’d said that she runs and embraces him, “But what if I don’t hold onto her at this moment? Would I be able to cut her out of my life?”
As Hae-young runs, growing closer every second, Do-kyung’s grip on his equipment tightens as if to brace himself. She jumps and he sees her in slow motion, wondering if he could avoid her. “It feels like that woman keeps on unraveling me. It’s like she’s telling me, ‘Stop being miserable, and let’s be happy together.’”
Do-kyung makes his decision in an instant, and drops his equipment. He catches Hae-young as she comes down out of the air, and holds her tightly. As they freeze there, Hae-young in Do-kyung’s arms, both of their eyes widen in realization of what this means.
What a lovely ending scene, and so descriptive of Do-kyung and Hae-young’s relationship. She’s been running towards him, and though he’s not sure if he’s ready, his instinct is to catch her. It’s as if they already somehow know this is right, and they’re instinctively going through the motions of beginning a courtship while their heads catch up with their hearts.
Somehow, this show just keeps getting better and better. Everything about it is so spot-on, from the acting and directing, to the way it blends humor and drama, the silly and the sad, in a perfect mixture that just gets under your skin and won’t let go. It’s probably one of the most beautiful dramas I’ve ever seen, but I don’t mean just visually (thought visually it’s lovely, too). Everything about it is so gorgeous, from the actors themselves to the cinematography, the way the scenes are framed and shot, the music, just everything. But the tone of the show is so melancholy and wistful, which should clash with the physical beauty, but doesn’t at all. The two tones compliment each other perfectly, the prettiness and the sadness, and somehow enhance each other in a really unique way. There are many dramas that are enjoyable to watch for many different reasons, but this one just makes you feel something special, no matter what’s actually happening on screen, and that’s just purely and simply brilliant directing.
In fact, this show really thrives on highlighting the contrasts in life, particularly in the characters themselves. Do-kyung is quiet and sad, but he’s also caring and observant, and an excellent listener who speaks rarely, but when he does it’s amazingly insightful. Hae-young is insecure and vulnerable, but she’s so strong and outspoken and unafraid to say what she’s thinking, even if she thinks she may be ostracized for it. Even the secondary characters are a fun mix of contrasting features, like Soo-kyung, who can be mean but has a loyal heart and a protective streak a mile wide. Jin-sang may look like an idiot at first glance, but he’s an excellent friend and supportive to a fault. Even Mama Oh, for all her gruff tough love, cries for her daughter and would wrestle a raging bear to protect her. I love how all these variations never become confusing, but serve to magnify everything that’s admirable about these people.
I’m starting to get really curious about Do-kyung’s visions. It’s interesting that they nearly always involve someone he’s close to, and often even just physically close to. They seem very random and unfocused, because there’s no real theme to them, they can be about anything. They aren’t necessarily important, though they can be — sometimes they’re about nothing, sometimes bring information, and sometimes they warn of a dangerous event about to happen. I do think that they were somehow triggered by Do-kyung’s acquaintance with Hae-young, because they started just before he met her, one of the first ones was about her, and they almost all involve her now. What is it about Hae-young that’s causing Do-kyung to have these premonitions? Did she somehow trigger them? And why are they nearly always about her?
It’s so cute how Do-kyung, who so recently argued to get Hae-young kicked out of his house, is now going to such lengths so that she can stay. Letting her mother know abut the hidden door would have been a great way to get rid of Hae-young, yet he made sure she didn’t find out that the door went anywhere. I also love how aware he is of Hae-young and how he makes a point to do and say little things to bolster her, like telling her that she actually looks pretty when she eats, or how he played rain sounds when she said that sunny weather makes her sad lately. He’s definitely starting to have feelings for her, and I’m happy that he’s finally realizing it.
I appreciate that the show didn’t make any attempt to paint “Pretty” Hae-young in a negative light before we met her, other than to state the facts, allowing us to form out own opinion of her now that we’ve finally met her. Our Hae-young never blamed her for the way she was treated in school — it was just an unfortunate coincidence about their names, and it wasn’t the other Hae-young’s fault she was treated like she was invisible. And Do-kyung hasn’t spoken badly about her either, we just know that she disappeared without notice on their wedding day, and that a picture of her standing next to a man showed up on social media (though I notice she doesn’t look very happy in that shot). So we know facts about her life, but nothing at all about the person she is, and we’re being allowed to get to know her on her own merits.
So my first impression of “Pretty” Hae-young is this — I still don’t care for her. She seems shallow and unaware of others’ feelings, such as when she saw Soo-kyung and acted as if she didn’t break her brother’s heart. I don’t get any sense of malice from her, but she just feels… empty, is the word. She’s never had to be anything but pretty, and smart enough to get by, so that’s what she is, but that’s all she is. Our Hae-young may feel inferior to “Pretty” Hae-young, but nothing could be further from the truth.
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- Oh Hae-young Again: Episode 2
- Oh Hae-young Again: Episode 1
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- Jeon Hye-bin as the other Oh Hae-young in tvN’s mystery romance
- Eric, Seo Hyun-jin confirm mystery romance Oh Hae-young Again
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