Jugglers: Episode 6
Why is it that every time you think you’ve put your past behind you, it has a tendency to pop back up again at the very worst moment? Yoon-yi has to deal with not one, not two, but three ghosts from the past before she’s even gotten settled as Chi-won’s assistant. Luckily she has an unexpected champion who’s always there to protect her from unfair accusations, unwelcome visitors, and unwanted exes—even if he is mostly confused by the whole thing.
EPISODE 6: “The mobius of ill fate”
Yoon-yi cries as she cleans up the mess after Chi-won’s emotional explosion during his surprise birthday celebration. She texts her friends, who call him crazy, arrogant, and ungrateful. They even warn her not to upset him again or he may hit her, and suggest that he needs a mental hospital.
Jung-ae finds Yoon-yi to tell her that everyone is in the conference room. Yoon-yi panics when she realizes that Chi-won took her laptop to the meeting to make a presentation, and she runs in to stop him, but she’s too late—the entire chat conversation bashing Chi-won has been displayed for the whole team to see.
Yoon-yi shuts down the computer and turns to Chi-won, ashamed, but he doesn’t even look at her. Instead he introduces the new team member, CHANG-SOO (Min Jin-woong). Chang-soo gives Yoon-yi a tiny smile, and she stares at him incredulously. Do they know each other?
On her walk home, Yoon-yi thinks of Chang-soo, wondering why that jerk showed up at her office, of all places. He sends her a text, addressing her familiarly and saying that he’s happy to have returned to her.
As she nears her house, Yoon-yi doesn’t see Chi-won watching her from his balcony. He meets her at the gate and asks to talk, but he can’t seem to decide what to say. Finally he just admits that he can’t find the right words, so Yoon-yi suggests that he feels bad about the cake and is thankful for the mug.
Relieved, Chi-won agrees, but when Yoon-yi starts to go inside, he clutches at her arm to stop her. She asks why those simple things were so hard to say, and Chi-won looks sheepish when she guesses that it hurts his ego to apologize to a lowly secretary. She asks if it’s because he hates her, or because she didn’t change departments when he told her to, not letting him get a word in edgewise.
Yoon-yi decides she’s right and promises to put in for a transfer as soon as possible. Chi-won jumps up, alarmed, and says emphatically that he doesn’t hate her, he’s just a loser who only amounts to this. He says sadly that she can transfer if she doesn’t want to work with him anymore.
But Yoon-yi reminds Chi-won that in the business world, the assistant suggests options and the boss makes the final decision. She tells him to decide, and without missing a beat, he says, “Then stay with me, like you are now.” Swoooon.
Watch the scene
Stay with me
Yoon-yi is clearly relieved, but she puts on a determined expression and says she has a condition: that he enter the Best Boss competition. Chi-won laughs wryly then makes his own request, that she compensate for her friends having publicly insulted him. HA, he’s enjoying this.
Getting an idea, Yoon-yi invites Chi-won into her apartment and rushes around to clean up the ever-present mess. Chi-won loiters uncomfortably in the entryway, and when he opens the closet door, he’s nearly flattened by an avalanche of shoes.
He finally gets in and sits at the kitchen table while Yoon-yi cooks up a storm for his birthday meal. He notes how filthy her place is, and she explains that she’s too busy organizing his life to manage her own. She rattles on about how her taxes are always late, she forgets to pay her bills, and boyfriends always leave her, until Chi-won asks if she’s finished whining so he can eat.
He tries the soup, then looks like he’s struggling not to gag at how salty it is, though he tries to save Yoon-yi’s feelings by saying it’s just hot. She urges him to try an egg roll, and his hand actually shakes as he forces it into his mouth, then he swallows without even chewing it. LOL.
Back at his place later, Chi-won chugs water, trying to rid his mouth of the salty aftertaste. He even gets up several times during the night to drink more water, poor thing.
The next morning, Yoon-yi runs to catch the elevator with Chi-won, but she stops short to see that new employee Chang-soo is there, too. She ignores his cheerful greeting and smacks his hand when he tries to secretly hold hers, but when Chi-won gets off at their floor, Yoon-yi stays in the elevator with Chang-soo.
They find a private place to talk, and Yoon-yi tells Chang-soo to transfer to another department. Chang-soo argues that he worked really hard to get this job working with her, and asks if they can start over. He promises that he’s changed, and that he isn’t a loser or a moocher anymore.
She snaps that he’s being a loser right now, but he says that he wants to transition from their former campus couple status to a company couple. He reveals that an army sunbae who works for YB Group told him that she’s single, and when she frowns angrily, he says at least her hating him is better than indifference.
Yoon-yi tells him that as far as anyone at the company is to know, they just met today. She leaves, and Chang-soo smiles at her back and says that today is their first day. He’s giving me the creeps.
Back at her desk, a fuming Yoon-yi doodles Chang-soo’s name surrounded by insults. Yul sneaks up and grabs her notebook, and she grabs it back saying there are a lot of secrets in there. He assumes she means Chi-won’s secrets and holds up his phone, saying that he’s got a few secrets, too.
Chi-won comes out to give Yoon-yi the ID and password for his schedule, making both Yoon-yi and Yul gape incredulously. Yul invites Chi-won to lunch, but Chi-won just walks off, leaving Yul to marvel at how much he’s changed.
Alone in the elevator, Chi-won looks up at the scrolling sign and imagines it mocking his words to Yoon-yi from last night: “Stay with me! Stay with me!” He feels embarrassed and bangs his head on the wall, and gets caught by a couple of employees when the door opens, ha.
Yul follows Yoon-yi around the office, begging her to tell him how she got Chi-won to show her his schedule (which he compares to showing her his underwear). He even offers to show her the video of drunk Chi-won on his phone, but she says he owes her for finding his 89th secretary.
She wants to know how Chi-won ended up leaving Channel Y and working for YB Group. Yul just says it was a trick of the elders, quoting the old adage to keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. Yoon-yi is sure it wasn’t that easy, and Yul lets slip that there was a “broker.”
Cut to: VP Do, having lunch with Chi-won. He gives him a birthday gift of a vinyl record and says it’s from his ex-wife. He sighs that she’s terrible at wrapping gifts and doesn’t take after him at all, and Chi-won quips that that’s why she’s so pretty.
Now I get it—VP Do is Chi-won’s ex-father-in-law! They argue over whether Chi-won should call his ex to thank her for the gift, and VP Do sighs that Chi-won doesn’t know women at all if he thought she really didn’t want him to call. He adds sarcastically that their divorce got them both what they wanted—Chi-won’s freedom and his daughter’s life back.
We visit the night when Chi-won told VP Do that he was divorcing his daughter in a flashback. VP Do said he was against it but that they should do what they want, on one condition: that Chi-won join the new broadcasting team at YB Ad for one year. He told Chi-won that if he hated the way the company runs so much, to do something about it from the inside.
Chi-won said that he didn’t get along with conglomerates, and VP Do lost his temper. He yelled that it was lack of effort, just like he didn’t put effort into his marriage, then gulped straight from the soju bottle. Ouch. Back in the present, VP Do offers Chi-won coffee after their meal, but Chi-won takes two yogurt drinks instead.
While at lunch with her friends, Yoon-yi giggles and moons over Chi-won’s schedule, opening herself up to a whole boatload of teasing. She tells them how he asked her to stay with him, and that sharing his schedule is his way of showing his sincerity.
When she says that Chi-won isn’t interested in the Best Boss competition, Bo-na says she was looking forward to their bosses competing, though her expression seems triumphant. Kyung-rye jokes that it would have been more fun seeing Bo-na and Yoon-yi compete, and Jung-ae’s squeaks of “I’m competing too,” go ignored as Bo-na gets angry at Kyung-rye.
Bo-na snaps that the competition is really stressful, but Jung-ae remembers her saying on the elevator that it would be fun (when she heard that Director Bong was entering). As her friends continue to bicker, Yoon-yi frowns at Chang-soo, who’s standing at the window holding up a yogurt drink and shooting finger-hearts at her.
When she gets back to her desk, there’s a yogurt drink waiting for her, and Yoon-yi assumes it’s from Chang-soo and throws it out. Chi-won watches her from inside his office, drinking one of the yogurts he got and wondering why Yoon-yi threw away his little gift. Aww.
Yul gets bored during a yearly planning meeting and decides that they’re going to start doing things differently. He says he wants to start a new sports business, and draws them close to whisper his idea of… e-sports (competitive video games).
It goes over like a lead balloon, and he storms back to his office, vowing to win the BBA and make his idea a reality. He asks Jung-ae what she thinks of his e-sports idea, and she clearly has no clue what he’s talking about.
Yul gets a text and grows very excited to learn that a famous designer will be selling limited-edition sneakers. He sees that there will only be five pairs in the whole country, and he tells Jung-ae she’d better get in line now.
HA, there are now two cacti on Chi-won’s desk when he tells Yoon-yi that he won’t be at the team dinner tonight. She sees his discarded yogurt drink, and he fibs that the restaurant gave him two even though he totally didn’t want them.
But he can’t hide his annoyance that she threw hers away, and she goes back to look for it in her trash can. She’s upset that the trash has already been taken out, and Chang-soo slides over to say he’ll buy her a whole pack of yogurt drinks.
When Yoon-yi finds Jung-ae in the break room, she shows her the online forum she moderates, Jugglers. She tells Jung-ae to post a question asking how to buy limited-edition sneakers, promising that she’ll get plenty of help that way.
Yoon-yi is at the team dinner with the rest of her coworkers when she gets a call from Chi-won. He’s lost his keys and wants her to bring him a spare, but she reminds him that it’s after work hours, which makes her his landlord.
He tries ordering her, but Yoon-yi doesn’t bite. She says that the tenant should come get the key himself, otherwise he’s welcome to go to a sauna until she gets home, then hangs up on him. HAHA.
After getting advice from other secretaries, Jung-ae heads to the shoe store to wait in line for Yul’s shoes. She’s dismayed to see more than five people already camped out, but she was told not to give up because some people will bail. She settles in and steels herself against her three biggest challenges: cold, hunger and sleepiness.
Chi-won’s team bolts to attention when he actually shows up at the bar, and Yoon-yi makes it sound as if he purposely joined them. He declines a seat at the head of the table and sits next to Yoon-yi so that he can demand the gate key.
But Yoon-yi says that’s not how you ask a favor, and promises to give him the key after dinner. Chi-won stays, and even shocks the entire team by pouring each of them a drink. Afterward, Yoon-yi changes her mind and says Chi-won can’t have the key until after round two, and he starts plotting revenge when they get back to the office.
Round two is at a noraebang, where Chi-won is roped into singing. He’s horrible, so Yoon-yi quickly jumps in to finish the song. Soon the whole team is singing and dancing, all except for Chang-soo.
He gets up to croon a series of ballads, all of them about a guy pining for a girl. Yoon-yi just rolls her eyes at him as she chatters to Chi-won, so the next time she steps out to the restroom, Chang-soo corners her in the hallway.
He asks if she likes Chi-won, and she mutters that he’s crazy and tries to pass him. But Chang-soo grabs her wrist and yanks her back, saying that he knows that where her eyes go, her heart follows. Yoon-yi refuses to dignify that with an answer and demands that he let her go, but he only tightens his grip.
Suddenly a hand clamps down on Chang-soo’s own wrist—it’s Chi-won, and he orders Chang-soo to let go of Yoon-yi. Chang-soo doesn’t, instead telling Chi-won to stay out of their private conversation. Chi-won repeats his order to let go, but Chang-soo tells him to let go first.
Locked in a three-way standoff, Chang-soo asks Chi-won if he likes Yoon-yi. Chi-won hesitates, but he answers no, and Chang-soo says that he does. Chi-won doesn’t think they’ve known each other long enough for that, but Chang-soo retorts that he feels a connection to Yoon-yi, as if they’ve known each other for years.
Chi-won says that as her boss, he’s obligated to step in, so he asks Yoon-yi if she likes Chang-soo. She says she doesn’t, and Chang-soo blurts out, “She’ll like me again!” It nearly gives away their history together, but he says he misspoke, and Chi-won tells him that if the feelings aren’t mutual, then his actions are assault.
He says that he has a nasty habit of meeting violence with violence, and squeezes Chang-soo’s wrist until he finally lets go of Yoon-yi. They’re stopped from escalating any further when the team comes out, ready to leave.
Watch the scene
Meeting violence with violence
Chi-won and Yoon-yi walk home together, and she finally gives his keys back. He thinks she swiped them on purpose, but she swears she found them in his office after he left. She says she knew he’d think to call her first, because he tends to think of her when he feels helpless or embarrassed.
She tells Chi-won not to take it personally, because a lot of bosses call their assistants in those situations. She thanks him for standing up for her with Chang-soo and says he looked cool.
He gives her a box containing a beautiful star-shaped crystal necklace, and when she grows flustered, he says that it’s a souvenir from a convention and he didn’t have anyone else to give it to. He tells her not to throw this gift away, and she thanks him with a giant smile.
As they walk on, Chi-won asks why Chang-soo is acting like he is towards her. He still thinks they just met, and he says that Yoon-yi isn’t exactly a femme fatale, so he thinks she must be sending him mixed signals.
Yoon-yi gets angry at the implication that she’s leading Chang-soo on, and she barks that it’s none of his business if she does or doesn’t, since he said he’s not interested in her. She stomps off, and when Chi-won asks where she’s going, she yells back, “To drink alone!”
As the night wears on, Jung-ae starts to get hungry. She reminds herself that she’ll need to use the bathroom if she eats too much, but she weakens at the sight of a nearby food cart. A little while later, a guy on a delivery scooter pulls up and starts to set a table in front of Jung-ae.
He says that her boyfriend ordered the food, and despite her protests that she has no boyfriend, he lays out enough food for an army. Seeing their hungry faces, she invites the other people in line to help her eat it all.
At the house, Chi-won waits for Yoon-yi on his balcony. He notices a young man in a soldier’s uniform loitering around the front gate, so he goes out to ask what he’s doing here. The guy answers that he used to live here with Yoon-yi, which shocks him.
Chi-won calls her for confirmation and says that some guy named Tae-yi is at the house, and she confirms that yes, she lived with him. Chi-won hangs up on her and invites Tae-yi in, and the two guys eyeball each other suspiciously until Chi-won notices what looks like a bruise on Tae-yi’s neck.
He remembers the intruder the other night, and he instantly suspects that it was Tae-yi. He asks if he’s on leave and Tae-yi says yes, then Chi-won suddenly lunges. Tae-yi leaps back, and Chi-won asks if he’s scared he’ll choke him again.
He manages to grab Tae-yi and confirm that he does have a bruised neck. He asks how his hair is so long if he’s out on leave, and even finds the long fingernails Tae-yi scratched him with. The kid tries to escape, but Chi-won throws him to the ground, then trips and falls next to him.
Yoon-yi arrives home to find the two moaning in pain, and Tae-yi cries a plaintive, “Noona!” Chi-won finally sees the surname on Tae-yi’s uniform, Jwa, and belatedly realizes that this is Yoon-yi’s brother.
Yoon-yi takes them inside and plugs up Tae-yi’s bleeding nose with tissue. She learns that he took an early medical discharge and has been living in the basement for three months, and he whines that the base where he was stationed was soooo hard. He makes it sound like hell, until Chi-won pipes up, “That’s where I served.”
Jung-ae is still hanging in there in line the next morning, but all the food she ate is beginning to make her uncomfortable. She holds out while a few people give up and run for a bathroom, putting her at fifth place in line just as the store opens. Success!
Yul is so thrilled to have the coveted shoes that he picks up Jung-ae and spins her around the room. He reminds her that she promised to help him with the Best Boss competition, and Jung-ae just blinks at him dizzily.
In the morning, Chi-won gives Yoon-yi a ride to work, though she peevishly refuses to sit in the front seat because, “I don’t want to give mixed signals.” They’re headed to a meeting at the main YG Group building, and Yoon-yi is overwhelmed with memories as soon as she walks into the lobby.
Chi-won calls her into the elevator, and they’re joined by her old boss, Director Bong. He doesn’t say anything to Yoon-yi, who looks like she wants to cry. She follows Chi-won out of the elevator, and Director Bong calls out to her, asking her to come see him later.
When Chi-won gets out of his meeting, he texts Yoon-yi, and she replies that she’s on the roof. She’s there with Director Bong, who calls her rude for ignoring him. He reminds her that he promised to pull her up with him when the time was right, questioning her honor for taking another position.
Yoon-yi says that it’s funny to hear him talk of honor, when he dumped her after she was loyal to him for three years. He tells her not to blame her for his wife’s actions, but she says that she knows it was him who posted those photos of them together. She knows that she knew too much about him, so he decided to get rid of her.
Sure enough, we see that it was Director Bong who anonymously posted those pictures on the company website. but he lies to Yoon-yi’s face, swearing it wasn’t him. She demands an apology, and Director Bong gets offended. He says that she did like him, because only someone who liked him would have been more devoted than his wife.
He accuses her of giving off mixed signals, claiming that his morals were too high to fall for it. He sarcastically wishes her luck as the secretary who seduced her boss, and leaves her speechless and crying. As he storms back to the elevator, he doesn’t notice that Chi-won is nearby and heard every word.
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Applying lessons learned from comic books
Chi-won follows Director Bong into the elevator and calmly stops it mid-floor. He asks if Director Bong likes comic books, and quotes the character Usopp from One Piece: “There comes a time in a man’s life when he must never avoid a fight. When his friend’s dreams are laughed at.”
As he’s speaking, he stalks Director Bong around the elevator, and his voice rises until he’s shouting the last word, punctuating it with a fist into the wall right by Director Bong’s head. Director Bong shrieks and cringes like a wuss.
Chi-won tells him that this was just the preliminary round, and that he won’t miss during the main round.
While Jung-ae sits in line all night to buy the limited-edition shoes, Yul goes to check on her progress. He sees her huddled there, cold and hungry, and he’s impressed by her persistence. He makes a phone call and orders a whole tableful of food for “my Wangbi” (queen).
Wow, we knew that Director Bong was a horrible cheater, but I’m still shocked to discover that he was the one who leaked the pictures of himself and Yoon-yi. But his accusation that Yoon-yi actually did have a crush on him looked like it hurt the most, because she genuinely never felt anything for him, and she must be feeling the worst kind of betrayal right now. It makes me dread what could happen when she and Chi-won really do begin to fall for each other, because workplace romances where one partner is in a position of power over the other is a pretty big taboo in a lot of places. But first they have to get there, and Chi-won defending Yoon-yi’s honor every single time it’s questioned is a pretty damn great place to start.
I love how Yoon-yi is slowly but surely dragging Chi-won out of his shell, and (mostly) not taking his grumpiness personally. I would think she’s being too pushy, except that not only has he not specifically asked her not to do it, but he’s actually responding. He’s not responding very graciously, but he’s responding nonetheless. It cheered me to see him pouring drinks for his team at the bar, because that’s such a socially important gesture, especially when it wasn’t so long ago that he had to be prompted to pour Yoon-yi’s drink. And I find it very natural how slowly he’s opening up, because often in rom-coms, the taciturn hero seems to switch gears way too fast. But Chi-won’s growth feels realistic, because it’s happening so gradually.
I thought it was a huge step for Chi-won to sit down with Yoon-yi to talk about what happened on his birthday, because it’s not long ago that he would have avoided all discussion of the incident and absolved himself of blame. Not only that, but to admit that he didn’t know what to say showed a lot of vulnerability as well. I was proud of Yoon-yi for pointing out Chi-won’s inability to just say thanks and sorry, even though she was wrong about his reason, because he needs to hear how he comes across to others. He’s actually very quick to stand up for women and secretaries when others look down on them, but I think it matters that he learns that that’s how his behavior comes across.
I swooned so hard when Yoon-yi offered to transfer if Chi-won wanted her to, and he didn’t even think before asking her to stay. And again when they started to bicker about deals and compensation, because it’s the first time they’ve mutually teased each other, and in that moment they felt more like friends than boss and secretary. I’ll eat my hat if Chi-won wasn’t enjoying that immensely. It’s obvious that he’s starting to like Yoon-yi—he worries about her, waits for her to come home, and even gives her gifts. He’s always respectful of her and stands up for her when she’s disrespected by others. I was particularly impressed when he asked her if she likes Chang-soo when the three had their standoff, careful to take her wishes into account instead of just locking horns with the other guy, as you so often see in love triangles. Whether Chi-won himself knows it or not, those are the actions of a man who’s falling for a woman.
Speaking of which, am I the only one who’s getting major creepy vibes from Chang-soo, Yoon-yi’s ex? It’s bad enough that he followed her to her new job and deliberately got himself hired there just to be near her. But he’s completely ignoring her very firm “no, not gonna happen,” and thinks he has a right to confront her about her relationship with Chi-won. And then he actually physically assaulted her (I’m with Chi-won—a wrist-grab is assault if the feelings aren’t mutual) and refused to back down when Chi-won told him to let go. Multiple times. I’m actually worried that he’s going to do something unstable, and I’m just glad that Chi-won is nearby to help if he does end up becoming violent.
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