Fight My Way: Episode 5
True friends have each other’s backs when it counts, even when they don’t think they need the backup. Dong-man and Ae-ra are always ready and willing to go to battle for each other, whether or not the other even wants the help. Sometimes it can actually make things worse, but they wouldn’t be best friends if they didn’t drive each other around the bend on a regular basis.
Round 5: “It’s okay, even if you’re jobless”
Ae-ra sends Hye-ran away with a warning: Stay away from Dong-man, or else. Hye-ran doesn’t seem intimidated, and she coos at Dong-man one last time before going on her way. Dong-man never says a word, but when he goes inside and finds a text saying that she’s missed him, he angrily throws his things across the room.
Coach Hwang comes to see Dong-man, who’s all smiles again at the idea of fighting again. Ae-ra runs across the video of Dong-man kicking Tak-soo and slams out of her apartment to give him a piece of her mind. She spots them talking and, HA, Coach Hwang hides from her in his truck.
When she demands an explanation, Dong-man tells Ae-ra that he’s definitely decided to get into mixed martial arts. She blames Coach Hwang for his newfound enthusiasm, and Coach Hwang looks terrified and goes into a blocking position when she lunges at him.
It doesn’t help that Dong-man is whispering to Ae-ra that Coach Hwang totally lured him in, hoping to deflect her fury. She forbids Dong-man from hanging out with Coach Hwang, ordering him to be at her store at lunchtime today.
Coach Hwang reminds Dong-man that they have a special session, but Ae-ra snarls that Dong-man had better not make her come after him. She’s so scary that Coach Hwang tells Dong-man to do as she says, heh.
Meanwhile, Tak-soo’s coach is doing damage control with his sponsors, but he still loses two advertisement deals. His manager, Tae-hee, suggests a revenge match to swing the public’s favor back to Tak-soo, but Tak-soo just whines like the spoiled brat he is.
During a television interview, the reporter also mentions a revenge match. Tak-soo says that Dong-man is nothing but a neighborhood thug, but Tae-hee grumbles from the wings that Tak-soo is just scared.
Watching the interview on TV, Dong-man grows angry at Tak-soo’s insults. Tak-soo says on camera that he’ll accept Dong-man’s challenge if Dong-man wins an amateur fight, but Coach Hwang refuses to allow it and tells Dong-man to just keep training.
He doesn’t think Dong-man is ready for a fight, but Dong-man argues that all of his jobs since he quit training have kept him in good physical shape. Coach says that Taekwondo and mixed martial arts are different, and that if Dong-man tries to fight now, he’ll only get hurt.
Ae-ra finally gets up the nerve to send her resume to KBC’s open enrollment for announcers. Manager Kim, who went to bat for Ae-ra when she lost the announcer job, brings her an energy drink and promises that if the position opens again, he’ll do what he can to get it for her.
She tells him that if he feels guilty about it, then he should make it up for it now, asking for an introduction to the head of security. Manager Kim jumps to the worst possible conclusion, hissing, “He’s married!”
But she only wants to get Dong-man a job, touting him as a man of character with a black belt in Taekwondo. She even admits that he’s handsome, saying that their security guards should look good in their suits. With Manager Kim’s help, they convince the head of security to give Dong-man a chance.
While running laps, Dong-man finds Tak-soo’s manager Tae-hee lurking around the gym. He talks to Dong-man and Coach Hwang about entering Dong-man into an amateur tournament, intending for Dong-man to win so that he can fight Tak-soo in a revenge match.
The problem is that the tournament starts tomorrow. But Tae-hee explains that Tak-soo plans to have Dong-man blackballed, so if he wants the chance to fight at all, he has to do it now before Tak-soo makes sure that he can’t compete anywhere.
Coach Hwang is suspicious of Tae-hee’s motives, since he works for Tak-soo. Tae-hee says that before he was Tak-soo’s manager, he used to be a waiter at a restaurant where Tak-soo often ate. For years he’s observed Tak-soo’s horrible way of treating people, and he wants to see him taken down a peg.
Coach Hwang is still against this since he feels that Dong-man is nowhere near ready for a real fight. He puts his foot down and storms out, but Tae-hee convinces Dong-man to sign the entry form against Coach’s wishes.
While Ae-ra is still in the security office, a call comes in about a customer attempting to steal a luxury watch. Ae-ra’s back at her information desk when Dong-man finally shows up, late for lunch, and she tells him about the security job. He refuses it, reminding her of the feeling she had when she got to make the announcements, and how she’d said that people should do what they love.
Ae-ra is distracted from their argument when she spots the woman who supposedly stole the watch about to leave the store. She confronts her, asking if she forgot to pay for something, and the woman gets offended and dumps her purse onto the floor.
No watch falls out, and Ae-ra backpedals furiously. The woman orders her to pick everything up again, and Dong-man watches as Ae-ra gets on her knees at the woman’s feet.
But her eyes narrow when the woman snaps, “Do you see a watch?” Ae-ra says that she never mentioned a watch. The woman nervously clutches her hat, so Ae-ra snatches the hat off the woman’s head and the expensive watch goes clattering to the floor.
The look on Dong-man’s face shows how proud he is of his friend. But as he follows Manager Kim, Ae-ra, and the customer to the VIP room, he overhears Manager Kim telling Ae-ra to apologize. Dong-man asks why, when she caught a thief, but Ae-ra tells him sternly to wait in the hall.
Oh nooo, the customer is the chairman’s trophy wife, who claims that she’s allowed to take whatever she wants, then pay later if she decides to keep it. Manager Kim does everything but kiss her feet, but Ae-ra asks why she hid the watch under her hat if she was allowed to borrow it. The woman refuses to answer and continues to throw her weight around. Ae-ra is forced to apologize, though it looks like it kills her.
When they exit the room and Dong-man sees Ae-ra’s face, he can tell she’s barely holding back her tears. The woman sneers that all the money she spends here entitles her to employee “service,” which includes kneeling in apology. Dong-man notices Ae-ra’s scuffed knees and sees red.
He grabs Ae-ra’s wrist to pull her away, but she shakes him off. Dong-man takes off Ae-ra’s uniform hat, throws it furiously at the woman, saying, “She quits as of this moment.” He yells at the woman that her spending habits don’t give her the right to treat Ae-ra like this, when all she did was catch a thief.
He drags Ae-ra down to the parking garage, where she wrenches free of his grip and yells at him for costing her her job. Dong-man asks if she was going to stay after being treated that way, and Ae-ra says that she could have, if she just grit her teeth and tried to forget about it.
But her tone of voice shows that she’s trying to convince herself that what she’s saying is true, and soon she breaks. Struggling to hold back tears, she says that she needs to go to her locker for her things. Dong-man watches sadly as Ae-ra rambles, and when she begins to cry in earnest, he pulls her close and holds her as she sobs.
Joo-man works late that night, and too-friendly intern Ye-jin surprises him with a late-night snack. He takes a break to eat, and he asks Ye-jin why she works when she doesn’t need to. She says that she likes working here because of him, which makes him choke.
Then she accidentally burps in his face, breaking the tension. They’re laughing together when Seol-hee shows up, having thought to surprise Joo-man with a snack herself, and she has to pretend that she came back for something she forgot. Ye-jin notices that they’re wearing the same hoodie, and doesn’t even seem to notice that she’s being insulting by wishing she’d thought to buy a cheap knockoff, like Seol-hee did, instead of bothering with the expensive designer version.
On the bus home, both Ae-ra and Dong-man get texts from the landlady reminding them that rent is due, and they sigh. Dong-man says that Ae-ra can be his manager, and she leans close to whisper softly in his ear that he’s out of his mind, laced with some pretty hefty swear words, ha. I doubt he hears a thing though, because he’s stopped breathing again.
Dong-man invites Ae-ra in for a drink to celebrate their joblessness, and he’s shocked when she turns down free alcohol. She says that she can’t have a puffy face tomorrow because she’s got plans, and he guesses that she’s going on a date with Moo-bin, her admirer.
He demands to know what they’re doing, but Ae-ra teases that kids don’t need to know and gives him a little condescending pat on the behind. Dong-man responds with a mighty smack to Ae-ra’s butt, then escapes into his apartment, hee.
Up in Joo-man’s place, Seol-hee can’t resist looking at his phone when it chimes while he’s in the restroom. It’s a text from Ye-jin pouting about him ignoring her, and Seol-hee sees that she texted him earlier, asking him for help on a project and offering to take him out for steak as thanks. To Joo-man’s credit, he’s never responded to any of her messages.
When Joo-man comes back, Seol-hee brings up their date to see fireworks this weekend, but when his response is just bland agreement, she says they don’t have to go. Joo-man says that he has to work that day anyway, and Seol-hee asks what he’s working on, begging him silently not to lie to her.
She breaks out in a huge grin when he tells her how the new intern keeps asking for his help and offering to take him out as thanks, but that he doesn’t want to go. He continues that people like that are fun, but clueless, and Seol-hee is over the moon.
But then he calls the new intern Chan-ho, and Seol-hee’s happy smile fades as she realizes that Joo-man wasn’t being as honest as she thought. She lies in bed flipping through Ye-jin’s Instagram account, feeling jealous of the pretty young woman.
The next morning, Ae-ra primps for her date as Dong-man makes snide comments about her looks. Seol-hee teaches her the hair-flip that supposedly landed her Joo-man, though Joo-man whispers to Dong-man that he only pretended to fall for it to make her stop doing it, HA.
Dong-man watches jealously as Ae-ra puts on perfume, then he snaps at her to be back before sunset or he’ll tell her dad. Awww, he’s so upset at the idea of her on a date with another guy that he looks like he’s going to cry.
On her way out, Ae-ra finally meets the new landlady, and asks for some extra time to pay her rent. The landlady tells her to give her what she has now, making Ae-ra feel like she’s being robbed.
As he waits for Ae-ra, Moo-bin practices looking cool while driving in reverse, having heard that women find that hot. He breaks into a huge grin when she finally shows up and leads her to the passenger side, while upstairs, Dong-man glares down at them from his window, HAHA. Moo-bin executes his perfectly rehearsed reverse move, only to realize that instead of grabbing the back on Ae-ra’s seat, he’s grabbed her head. Whoops.
Joo-man and Seol-hee head to work together, where Seol-hee notices Joo-man ignoring his text messages. He says it’s just a group chat room for work, and Seol-hee asks if that annoying intern Chan-ho is in the group. She says that she’s going to tell him to do his own work when she meets him, which makes Joo-man look nervous.
He makes Ye-jin’s day later when he agrees to help her with her project, at least until he flatly turns down her offer of dinner and to watch the fireworks together. He even says he’ll invite the other interns to join them for a simple dinner of jjajangmyun, at the office, so Ye-jin pouts that she’ll just do the project herself, reading this as rejection.
But then she adds that her ex cheated on her, so being shut down by Joo-man makes her trust him even more, because she knows he would do the same to other girls if they were together. She says that she wants to date him and asks if he has a girlfriend, but Joo-man’s boss interrupts before he can answer.
While sharing an ice cream, Ae-ra tries the hair-flip trick on Moo-bin. It just ends up looking painful and weird, and has doctor Moo-bin wondering if Ae-ra’s neck is bothering her. HA.
When Joo-man responds curtly to Seol-hee’s lunch invitation, she takes a break and goes looking for him. She finds him in the test kitchen with Ye-jin and the other intern, Chan-ho, who splashes hot soup on Joo-man and gives Ye-jin an opening to fawn all over him.
Seol-hee forgets herself and runs into the room, but then she has to think of an excuse for being here, so she says that she wanted to taste the soup so she could better know their product. Chan-ho brings her some, and Seol-hee seems like she’s about to ask him something but ends up hemming and hawing about baseball instead.
Joo-man bursts in on them, worried that Seol-hee is mentioning that weekend project. Then Chan-ho asks if they should work on it Saturday, which puts Joo-man in an awkward position, since he lied to Seol-hee that they already had this conversation.
Dong-man gets in trouble for being distracted during training, unable to stop worrying about Ae-ra on her date. He gets angry with Coach Hwang for not letting him compete in the amateur match, since the other contestants aren’t much of a threat.
Then Tak-soo drops by with Coach Choi, saying that he knows his manager tried to help Dong-man compete so he could fight Tak-soo. But Coach Choi argues that nothing good will come of Tak-soo and Dong-man fighting, because the past will just get dredged up.
They’re here on Tak-soo’s father’s behalf, to offer Dong-man a job managing the company warehouse. But Tak-soo adds the gibe that Dong-man owes him big time, for this and for Dong-hee’s surgery. Dong-man’s hackles go up, and even Coach Hwang has to be stopped from jumping him.
Moo-bin takes Ae-ra to a fancy restaurant for dinner, where she offers to pay since he paid for the movie. Moo-bin says that it’s too expensive, and that she can pay when they have chicken and beer. Wow, that sounds nice, but it comes across as condescending.
Ae-ra says that she can afford steak, and Moo-bin realizes how his words sounded. He says it doesn’t matter who pays, then wonders if she’d be like this with Dong-man. He makes it clear that he doesn’t like that they’re so close, and he suggests that she move to an apartment nearer to where he lives. Ae-ra says that she could, but she’s grown attached to her current place.
Moo-bin knows that she quit her department store job, having dropped by looking for her, but he asks how her job is going and nods knowingly when she lies that it’s fine. He asks if she takes after her mother, and Ae-ra thinks that she doesn’t want to, because she wants to live a long life. She fibs to Moo-bin that she and her mother are like any mom and daughter, fighting a lot and making up. She excuses herself to go to the restroom, where she wonders why she lied to him.
After work, Joo-man asks Seol-hee why she checked his messages, explaining that he only lied so she wouldn’t worry, and that he’s refused Ye-jin at every opportunity. Seol-hee says that it’s the lying that’s the problem, and she tells him to just be honest with Ye-jin and say clearly that he’s not interested.
She starts to cry as she says that what hurt her most was Joo-man lying that Ye-jin’s texts were from Chan-ho. Joo-man apologizes, feeling terrible, but Seol-hee says that he’s acting strange lately. She wails that his lies are all dirty and fake, telling him never to lie to her again.
Dong-man heads home, and on the way he gets a text from Tae-hee telling him where the tournament is being held. He thinks about Tak-soo’s taunts, then he calls manager Tae-hee to ask if they can really make this work.
A few minutes later, he texts Ae-ra that he’s about to make his fighting debut and asks her to come to the fight location. A second text begs her to come because he’s scared, and she ends her date with Moo-bin early.
When Ae-ra arrives, Dong-man gets her a hot dog, and he asks if she’s worried about him in his first MMA fight. But Ae-ra says she’s seen him fight tons of times, and she’s confident that he’ll do his spin kick and it will be all over.
Dong-man is so happy that he’s glowing, pointing out that she chose him over her date. But Ae-ra cuts him down to size, saying that she only came because it’s his debut and his retirement fight. Dong-man quips that she’s lucky she’s a girl, hee.
Neither of them sees his opponent as much of a threat, since he’s a smaller guy, even though he’s a surprise entry that nobody knows much about. When the fight begins, it’s only seconds before Dong-man is kicked into the fence, and Ae-ra starts to look worried as the other man pummels Dong-man over and over.
He somehow gets behind Dong-man and locks his arm around his throat, cutting off Dong-man’s airway. Dong-man passes out, and the referee calls for a doctor. Meanwhile Tae-hee leaves the building and jumps into a van, where he tells Tak-soo that he got a video and that it’s being uploaded to the internet. Tak-soo crows that his manager is a credible actor, and that they maneuvered Dong-man just where they wanted him. Coach Choi, at least, asks if they called for an ambulance.
Inside, Ae-ra stares down at Dong-man’s still form, terrified that he’s still not moving.
A security guard catches Dong-man and Ae-ra in the department store parking lot, crouched behind a car looking guilty. They link hands and try to look innocent, then make a run for it, giggling madly.
Later the thief’s husband yells at her for stealing again, and when they go to get in their car, they find “thief” written all over it in red pen. HAHA.
I knew that guy couldn’t be trusted. The whole fight was a setup, the way they lured Dong-man in thinking that the other contestants were easy wins, then bringing in a “new” fighter to humiliate him. All they wanted was to get Dong-man on camera in an even more embarrassing situation than the one he put Tak-soo in, and I hate that they succeeded. I can’t wait to see Dong-man make Tak-soo grovel at his feet one day soon.
Backing up a bit—I’m starting to get genuinely worried about Seol-hee and Joo-mans’ future as a couple. I actually think he’s being pretty good about not encouraging Ye-jin’s attentions, but Seol-hee is right when she says that he’s not telling her that he’s not interested/taken, either. I don’t think he’s doing anything wrong really, and I do believe that he lied to Seol-hee only so she wouldn’t obsess about the girl who’s putting the moves on her man. But a lie is still a lie, and Seol-hee had every right to be upset and angry. I believe that Joo-man loves Seol-hee and has no intention of stepping out, but I also think that he sees her as a sure thing. He’s not making much effort in their relationship anymore, and Seol-hee is starting to feel it.
I do think that it’s long past time for Seol-hee and Joo-man to have a serious discussion about their goals, and their future as a couple. And I wish their reason for keeping their relationship a secret at work were better explained, because then we as the audience could understand where the tension comes from. Obviously dating at work isn’t frowned upon or Joo-man’s boss wouldn’t be encouraging him to go out with Ye-jin. So what’s the reason that after six years together, and practically living together, they don’t want anyone to know they’re a couple?
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: My favorite thing about Dong-man and Ae-ra’s friendship is how they fight each other’s battles, especially the ones they can’t fight for themselves. When Dong-man can’t even speak in front of Hye-ran, it’s Ae-ra who tells her that she’ll only get to Dong-man over her dead body. And when Ae-ra is treated unfairly at work, Dong-man is the one who quits the job she hates with a burning passion. Even if, in the moment, they are upset that the other is taking action without their prior consent, the truth is that they still let it happen because they both know that their friend is doing this for them. I just love how they both go charging into battle on behalf of the other without a second thought, when they wouldn’t be able to do the same if it were themselves who were being wronged. It says something pretty powerful that they’re able to fight for each other with so much strength and passion.
But I’m also worried that this passionate reaction is the exact thing that’s going to create a rift between them. Ae-ra’s fear of Dong-man being hurt in a match, and now seeing her worst fear coming true, could cause a rift they may not be able to get over. If it were any other girl, I’d be guessing that the next thing we’d see is her nursing her guy back to health, dealing with her new, confusing feelings for him. But this is Ae-ra, so all I can think is that Dong-man is in so much trouble when he wakes up! Once she sees that he’s not going to die from this fight, she’s going to kill him herself.
- Fight My Way: Episode 1
- Premiere Watch: Circle, Fight My Way, Lookout
- Life is rosy for the youths of Fight My Way
- Oh Snap! A friend to lean on when things go sideways
- Suffocating best friends in Fight My Way’s new teaser
- The cute and the petty in Fight My Way’s second teaser
- KBS schedules drama shorts, delays Fight My Way’s premiere
- Finger hearts in new stills for Fight My Way
- Bickering besties Park Seo-joon and Kim Ji-won for Fight My Way
- Kimbap and charged looks on the set of Third-Rate My Way