Fantastic: Episode 7
Cute. Cute, cute, cute, cuuuuuuuuuute. Is there anything more delightful than a couple who are clearly in love and enjoying being together? Well, maybe if one-half of the couple didn’t have cancer, but then we wouldn’t have much of a story. Alas, this much happiness halfway through a drama is usually a warning sign that things are not going to be adorable forever. Darn it.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Hae-sung and So-hye kiss! But Hae-sung demands to know what she’s going to do about Joon-ki — he doesn’t want her to spend too much time with him. In response, So-hye kisses Hae-sung again, which makes him giddy and he lifts her up in his arms, yelling out that he loves her.
The next morning, the production team is having issues finding where to shoot a scene, so So-hye agrees to take it out. Hae-sung complains that he spent so much time memorizing the lines, and he demands that So-hye listen to his argument to keep the scene. They march off to his van to discuss it in private, and the PDs sigh, wondering if she’ll break his nose again.
Except it was just a ruse to get her alone, and he immediately kisses her, pleased that she fell for his acting. He leans in for another kiss, but she stops him — but only to make sure the van’s doors are locked first. Ha!
When the van starts rockin’, the director is worried that So-hye is beating up their actor. Manager Oh, attempting to nonchalantly lean against the van, reassures him that they’re having a very calm discussion. Yeah. “Discussion.” Sure.
Finally, So-hye pushes Hae-sung away, telling him she has to go. He pouts that he won’t be able to see her due to the shooting schedule, then pleads with her to spend his birthday with him. As she leaves the van, she acts irate that she won’t be keeping the scene in, but Manager Oh gives her a knowing wink — especially seeing how disheveled she is.
Hae-sung complains to the crew about how stubborn the writer is, but he also has to wipe the lipstick from his lips — and then he secretly throws her cute little hearts with his hands. They are so dumb and adorable.
So-hye takes a walk with Joon-ki and she tells him how wonderful and dream-like it is being with Hae-sung. But when they’re apart, she’s overwhelmed with guilt, knowing she’s a ticking time bomb. Joon-ki encourages her to tell Hae-sung about her cancer. But So-hye can imagine his reaction, and wants to avoid the moment when he’ll look on her with pity and see her as more as a cancer patient instead of a woman.
She wants to keep the feeling she was with him right now, where they’re on equal footing and he isn’t overly considerate to her every wish. She wants to keep this blissful sensation at least through until Hae-sung’s birthday. The ever-supportive Joon-ki agrees that she should enjoy as much happiness as she can get each day.
When he offers to treat her to a meal in exchange for help finding items for a charity bazaar, she remembers Hae-sung’s request, and switches it to a simple cup of coffee. He’s sweet and considerate demeanor hasn’t gone unnoticed by So-hye, and he reminds her that he’s still available to be her “number two” servant who will die with “Queen Uija.”
He also admits that Hae-sung has taught him how important it is take chances, since he’s been fond of someone for a few years but, because he was too cautious, he missed his opportunity. That “someone” is totally So-hye, isn’t it?
Yep — after they part ways, Joon-ki dreamily remembers when he first met So-hye. She was there to consult on her drama, but he was taken by her by warm-yet-professional demeanor. Just as he was about to invite her to a movie, she got a call from work, and he hesitated, missing his chance. Poor second-lead puppy.
He returns to his secret garden, and when he jokingly tells his sister to not ask about his day because his heart hurts, she wonders if he got dumped by that “drunk unni.” Pfft. He defends his honor, saying he wasn’t dumped! He just, y’know, became one of her friends instead. It’s better than not seeing her at all.
If he didn’t have cancer, he would have been more persistent. He’s so sweet and smiley as he admits this is the first time he’s felt that heart-fluttering attraction to someone since he first got cancer, but he’s accepted that he’ll just be the “friend.” It’s enough that he’s still alive and well. His sister offers to find him a girlfriend (and this is the point where I jump and down shouting, “pick me!”), but he just laughs her off.
A Dispatch-like reporter sends Jin-sook pictures of Hae-sung and So-hye together, wanting to know if they’re dating. She immediately calls the reporter, telling her they’re just old friends and offering to explain later. As she goes through the images, her scowl getting deeper and deeper, Manager Oh sidles into her office.
Furious, she kicks him in the shins, wondering where he’s been. He nervously tells her he’s no longer her employee — he’s now being paid directly by Hae-sung, so she no longer has the authority to abuse him. She sweetly asks him about Hae-sung’s birthday plans, and despite his attempt to remain tight-lipped, he instinctively reveals that Hae-sung is going to bail on his traditional fan-meeting and instead spend it with So-hye.
Jin-sook reminds him that she can destroy Hae-sung — and by association, Manager Oh, too. She orders him to break up the happy couple, but Manager Oh shouts that he won’t as he runs away. Bwahahaha. She might not need him, though, since her investigation has returned evidence of So-hye’s cancer. Uh-oh.
So-hye finally wakes up to the incessant sound of messages on her phone. They’re from Hae-sung, asking her to wake up and open the door, starting from sweet to insistent. She does, and finds a bouquet of flowers. Aw. She texts him a picture with the flowers, and as soon as he gets a break from shooting, he hurries over to be with her. So dang cute.
But Sang-hwa arrives while they’re in the middle of an embrace and he scrambles to hide. Crouching behind the counter, he waits until Sang-hwa and So-hye’s meeting about the script is over. Those long late-night shooting schedules are rough, though, and he falls asleep.
Sang-hwa investigates the odd sound, and then gives a gleeful “thumbs up” to So-hye before quietly retreating to give the couple some alone time. Aw, I love how supportive everyone is of their relationship.
Hae-sung makes her dinner at his place, proudly showing off his skills — at least he looks like he knows what he’s doing. So-hye warns him not to burn it too much, about to accidentally reveal that she can’t eat it due to her health, but quickly changes it to because she doesn’t like the taste.
She then requests that he quit smoking, telling him it’s for his own health. He looks like a deer caught in headlights at this request, having been smoking since he was a teenager, but with his usual bravado, he promises her that he can do anything she asks and immediately throws the pack of cigarettes into the trash.
Later, Sang-hwa and So-hye are working on their script when they receive a visitor who’s not so welcome. It’s Jin-sook, and she arrives with a gift basket. Sang-hwa shoots her a death glare before excusing herself. Once it’s just the two of them, Jin-sook makes a big show about how broken up she is to hear that So-hye has cancer.
So-hye is stunned that she’s found out, and Jin-sook begs her to keep from telling Hae-sung since she knows he wouldn’t be able to handle it. In fact, it would be better for the two of them to just break up — it would be such a shame if the reporters discovered that So-hye also has cancer. Or that Hae-sung isn’t the son of wealthy Korean-American, but in fact an adoptee whose adoption was dissolved and he was forced to return to Korea.
Jin-sook tells her she’s doing this out of concern for So-hye, but even though her crocodile tears aren’t fooling anyone, So-hye understands the underlying threat of “if you don’t break up, both your and Hae-sung’s reputations and careers will be destroyed.”
Sul gets a message from Sang-wook, worried that she isn’t contacting him because she’s upset he found out her name. He apologizes and Sul just sighs, wondering what to do.
As she gets ready for bed, she puts her husband’s dirty clothes away and discovers one of the assemblywoman’s earrings caught in his shirt. Ugh. She settles into her makeshift bed on the floor and pulls out her phone, thinking of all the cute interactions she’s had with Sang-wook. She texts Mi-sun, wondering if she should have an affair with a handsome young man.
That’s too much for Mi-sun to handle in mere text, so she calls Sul who has to hurry to the privacy of one the storage rooms. Mi-sun demands to know all the details of this cute younger man, and she says that Sul should definitely date this perfect-sounding man. But Sul says she’s just making it up — no one like that really exists. She just needed a bit of fantasy to distract her from her husband’s snoring.
Mi-sun sighs, knowing the chaos that would happen if Sul ever left her husband, and reassures her that at their age, they stick with their husbands because it’s just the easiest. Sul’s husband pokes his head into the storeroom, wondering why she’s laughing, and suspiciously demanding to know who she’s talking to at this hour of the night.
She defensively says it’s just a friend, and when she marches past him to return to the bedroom, the door hits him the head. I’m just going to replay that moment a dozen times.
When he returns, she’s asleep on the floor, and he carefully takes her phone to quietly look through her recent contacts. They’re all familiar names — his family, Mi-sun, So-hye. He dials the last number, and Mi-sun answers it, joking about what they had been talking about, and he immediately hangs up.
Ohhhhh, Sul apparently knew exactly what her husband would do. As soon as she returned to the bedroom she immediately erased her contact history with Sang-wook so he wouldn’t show up in either her call list or messages.
She also carefully placed the assemblywoman’s earring on top of his clothes for tomorrow. Her husband’s gasp of horror at seeing is almost as hilarious as his attempt to quickly throw it away (in the trashcan that Sul has to dump out, mind you. What a jerk, and now henceforth he shall be deemed Jerk-face).
In order to “break up” with his cigarettes, Hae-sung tries to distract himself by running lines and eating as much candy as possible. When Manager Oh complains he should just smoke so he doesn’t gain weight from the sweets, Hae-sung directs his finger guns at him and shoots him. Manager Oh’s been through Hae-sung’s multiple attempts to quit smoking before, and knows that it won’t work.
Determined, Hae-sung says that his manager can shoot water at him if he catches him with a cigarette (because Manager Oh looked a little too eager at his first suggestion to punch him in the face). Crouching in the corner, Hae-sung desperately chomps down on peppero sticks while holding them like his beloved cigarettes. He’s worried that So-hye isn’t responding to his texts or calls, especially when he needs her most.
But she remembers Jin-sook’s warning, and is purposefully avoiding him. That makes him go diving under the couch to find the pack of cigarettes he’d tossed aside, and he literally has a fight with himself over them. Until Manager Oh shoots him with his nifty water gun, that is. Hahahahaha! Of course Hae-sung would steal the gun and get his revenge by soaking his manager, even though he specifically requested that punishment.
Working on her script, So-hye continues to ignore Hae-sung’s many messages (aw, he’s so proud that he’s quit smoking for all of fourteen hours). It’s also cute that instead of “Foot Actor,” she’s now saved him as “Melo Melo Loco Loco.”
The next morning, she meets with a real estate broker who shows her a variety of apartments. She seems to find one that suits her needs, and the owner is looking to sublet ASAP since they moved overseas.
Joon-ki helps her pack up her belongings because what she doesn’t want to take with her, she’s donating to his charity bazaar. He surprised that she’s moving so suddenly, and she admits that Jin-sook is kicking her out. Hahaha, he asks if she’s some kind of god to order So-hye around like that, and So-hye’s says she’s more like an “oh my god.” Pffft.
So-hye says that she never thought about Hae-sung being such a top star before, but reporters have already found out that they’re dating. She’s decided to break up before it’s revealed to the public that she has cancer, which will both hurt Hae-sung and the Hitman production. Instead, she’ll just remove herself from the situation.
Joon-ki is still convinced she should tell Hae-sung the truth, but she doesn’t want to be pitied by the man she loves.
Hae-sung arrives at So-hye’s studio with a gift box in hand, but he’s shocked to see her and Joon-ki carrying out boxes of her belongings. She cooly tells him that she’ll explain to him in private, but she’s practically frozen in the hallway as she screws up her courage to go inside.
Hae-sung is confused and hurt that she’s not only spending time with Joon-ki instead of asking for his help, but that she’s suddenly moving without letting him know. So-hye then drops the bomb that she’s breaking up with him, showing the photos as evidence that reporters are already aware of their relationship.
He’s all for telling the truth — he’ll defend her, he doesn’t care what anyone says. But So-hye doesn’t want to have a scandal with an actor. She has her career to think about. Hae-sung says she’ll just have to endure a little gossip, but So-hye refuses — she’s discovered she doesn’t care for him enough to do that. Ouch.
She distracts herself with closing the curtains so the tabloid reporters can’t get further pictures, but it’s really just an excuse for her to turn away from so he can’t see the anguish on her face.
Sul’s hard at work cleaning the house when Sang-wook texts her, and even though she doesn’t respond, she smiles at his messages. He assumes she’s still angry at him, but that doesn’t stop him from sweetly telling her to have a good day. Quietly, she repeats his name to herself, and is about to ask if he wants to go for a motorcycle ride, but instead deletes her unsent message with a sigh.
Director Yoon calls So-hye, worried about the fact that Hae-sung hasn’t shown up to the set for the past couple of days. This is news to So-hye, and she promises to track him down. Manager Oh is just as surprised, because he thought Hae-sung had gone away with her for his birthday. He assumes Hae-sung must have just drunk himself into a stupor, being disappointed that his plans for his special birthday celebration with So-hye were ruined.
So-hye leaves Hae-sung frustrated messages about him shirking his duty, but she also sighs when she sees the cake she’d made him. There’s no time to think about it, though, because it’s moving day and she’s ready to get settled into her new place. Except her new place is currently occupied — she was scammed out of the rental money.
With no place to go, So-hye sits on the sidewalk with all of her belongings. She calls Mi-sun, who is the best friend ever as she and her husband hurry to rescue her with their truck and offer to house her for a few days. I love this couple so much, especially the way they can hold entire conversations with just a few glances.
Mi-sun quickly tidies up her son’s room so So-hye can use it. She reassures So-hye that her son is hardly ever home in the first place, so it’s no burden. So-hye quietly admits that she’s a little sick, and Mi-sun worriedly says that she’s noticed So-hye doesn’t seem like herself. But she’s stunned when So-hye says that it’s cancer.
She does her best to remain positive, and despite the quaver in her voice, she reassures So-hye that it’s nothing to worry about. Her entire family has had cancer of some sort and they’re all living well.
So-hye asks if there’s anyone else in the house, and when Mi-sun says there isn’t, So-hye asks if it’s okay for her to finally cry. The women hold each other in their arms as they both weep, and for what feels like the first time, So-hye is able to release all of her pent up fear and grief over her cancer diagnosis, and how much it hurts to have to give up Hae-sung.
Later, Mi-sun’s husband is shocked to find his wife planting broccoli and brussels sprouts in the middle of the night. Her mascara-streaked tear-stained face is warning enough to let him know this is something serious, and she confesses that she hurts for her friend, who finally seemed to have everything going well for her. She weeps that she had no idea that So-hye was so sick, and her husband comforts her, reassuring her that they’ll work together to help So-hye feel better.
In the morning, So-hye wakes up to find a buch of messages from Manager Oh, gleefully letting her Hae-sung is back at home and giving her the door code so she can see him. Aw, what a cute lil’ matchmaker.
She enters Hae-sung’s apartment and looks around the spacious place — but he’s not there. She’s getting ready to leave, but she hears someone coming so she hides behind a wall. It’s Hae-sung with an irate Jin-sook, who’s furious that he disappeared and won’t tell her where he was or what he was doing.
He orders her stop meddling in his personal life, and if she promises to leave So-hye alone, then he’ll consider resigning his contract with her. But he’s going to tell the truth about their relationship to their reporters. Jin-sook insists that he can’t, and in response, he calls the reporter, ready to give a statement.
Jin-sook grabs the phone out of his hand, asking if he’s crazy. Yeah, maybe he is. Desperate, she reveals her final card: So-hye has cancer, and they don’t know how long she’ll live.
From her hiding place, So-hye sighs as she readies herself to deal with Hae-sung’s reaction. But instead he’s like, “yeah, so what?” which is definitely not the reaction anyone was expecting.
His voice low with barely controlled anger, he chides Jin-sook for being so despicable as to kick out someone with cancer from her home. Jin-sook insists it was all for him, and he just orders her to get out. After she leaves, he slowly makes his way back to the living room, only to find So-hye standing there, tears in her eyes.
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. How many times can I watch Hae-sung tell that awful witch Jin-sook that she’s a terrible person for kicking out a cancer patient? The answer is “a lot.” I’ve generally enjoyed Hae-sung as a character and the affection he clearly feels for So-hye, but this is the first time I’ve really felt that he’s worthy of her. I’m so proud of him standing up for her like that. I’m also glad that So-hye got to see his reaction, so she could experience in person the fact that he wouldn’t crumble like a wilting flower the moment he found out about her condition. I know she dreads being pitied, but I don’t think Hae-sung is the type to pity her. He knows her too well, even if they’ve been apart for over a decade.
Of course there’s going to be some angst — they can’t give us all this cuteness halfway through the drama about someone of dying of cancer without giving us the heartbreak, but now I’m hoping that somehow it will be avoided since it looks like the dreaded “noble idiot” miscommunication can be cut short. He knows the truth, so now it’s time go on from there and let So-hye enjoy being with someone who still loves her and defends her even knowing that their time together may be short. Generally drama leads leave me wanting (and is why I’m a chronic sufferer of second lead syndrome), but this episode has made me 100% in support of Hae-sung and I just want everyone to somehow miraculously live happily ever after.
Which makes it bittersweet to realize that Joon-ki’s had his unrequited crush on her for a couple of years. (Of course he has — he’s the second lead, that’s what they do.) But I can’t stop loving how he’ll still cheerfully support her desire to be with Hae-sung, even constantly telling her that it would be better for her to inform him of her cancer. It’s really odd to not hate any of the leading men at all, and to want them all to succeed and be happy and to continue supporting each other. Honestly, I feel like nearly everyone on this show is somehow a lost lonely soul who could use a good friend and a supportive family — except for maybe Mi-sun and her husband who are adorable and perfect and who will probably scoop everyone up to be a part of their family (can I be a part of it, too?).
I know I’ve mentioned before how much I love the cast and think they’re doing a phenomenal job making these characters come alive, but I feel like this episode deserves a special shout-out to Joo Sang-wook for both making me split my sides in laughter over his attempt to quit smoking and then to sucker punch me with his quiet passion at the end. I know Joo Sang-wook isn’t a “foot actor” but he’s been so hilariously convincing as as the doofy and ridiculous Hae-sung that I forget his “bad” acting is on purpose. Watching him portray the various dimensions of his character has been such a treat, especially since I know that there’s more to that charming goof than meets the eye.
Also, thanks to everyone who suggested lots of creative (and truly evil) names for Sul’s husband. You guys gave me plenty of laughs, and while “Jerk-face” may not be the most original, I definitely think it suits him.