What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim: Episode 4
Young-joon is still determined to convince Mi-so to marry him so that she doesn’t have to quit her job as his secretary. It’s hilariously convoluted logic, and I love how Mi-so finds it absurd, but somehow endearing at the same time. Unfortunately, a big event at work and a personal threat from the past show up at the same time, making Young-joon preoccupied and short-tempered.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Angry about the three-legged race, Young-joon criticizes Mi-so for being okay with skinship with a strange man. She snaps that it’s better than being a loser, so he scoots closer and closer, challenging her not to be affected. Finally he pulls her arm as he topples backwards onto the couch, and Mi-so lands on top of him.
They freeze, staring at each other for a long, long time. The ice pack falls off the table, and the sound breaks the spell. Mi-so jumps up to get another ice pack, leaving Young-joon lying there, blinking in confusion. When Mi-so goes back to the living room, she finds Young-joon fast asleep, and she sits to watch him for a minute.
He starts having a nightmare, the same one involving the woman in red high heels. This time there’s a young boy in the house with her, and Young-joon hears her voice croon, “Kid, can you help me?” She reaches out with claw-like hands, and the little boy screams.
Young-joon jerks awake and Mi-so helps him sit up. She brings him some calming tea and asks if he’s okay, and he says, “Yes, thanks to you.” In a tiny, vulnerable voice, he says he doesn’t want to be alone, and he asks Mi-so to sleep at his house tonight.
She takes his request entirely the wrong way, making both of them feel awkward. Young-joon says that he meant she could sleep in the guest room, only because it’s late, of course. Mi-so is both relieved and embarrassed, and Young-joon seems to enjoy her flustered reaction when he asks what she thought he meant.
A call comes in that wipes the smile off his face, and he tells Mi-so that she can’t sleep over after all. She assures him that she had no intention whatsoever of sleeping over, and literally runs out of the house. On her way home, she wonders who that call was from and why Young-joon looked upset.
A man crashes into Mi-so, dropping his phone — it’s Sung-yeon, Young-joon’s brother, though she doesn’t know him. He tells her to be more careful, but not because of his phone, and he stoops to tie her undone shoelace. He goes on his way, and Mi-so mutters that he was awfully sweet, unlike someone she knows. She doesn’t notice Sung-yeon watching her knowingly.
He goes to Young-joon’s home, not that Young-joon is one bit happy to see him. Sung-yeon says he didn’t want to stay at their parents’ home alone, so he thought he’d pay his brother a visit. He adds he’s still having difficulty because he keeps remembering “that incident,” but that hating Young-joon only makes him feel worse, so he thinks it’s time to forgive him. Unmoved, Young-joon tells Sung-yeon to leave.
When she gets home, Mi-so finds the cable ties still in her pocket. She recalls a day nine years ago when she’d made the mistake of putting them in his office, and Young-joon had told her shakily that he reacts to cable ties like she reacts to spiders. She remembers that it was the first time her boss, who’d seemed so perfect, had acted like an average person in front of her.
She has a sore area on her ankle from the three-legged race, which reminds her of Young-joon’s scar, and she wonders what happened to him. She texts him to check on his twisted ankle and to tell him that she cleared his schedule so he can relax. Young-joon complains that she’s nagging him again, though he’s smiling when he says it.
The next morning, the office is in a tizzy, because another company’s new art center has purposely moved up its opening date, in order to open before Yumyoung Group’s art center opens later in the month. Young-joon overhears and tells them to just move their opening date up as well. Everyone looks panicked, but Mi-so says calmly that she’ll take care of everything.
The office team works like crazy while Young-joon visits the new art center, where the director tells him that it will be difficult to have the different departments completed in time. Mi-so makes logical suggestions and eliminates the problems, impressing Young-joon with her ingenuity.
She and Young-joon are touring the library alone when the lights unexpectedly go out. Mi-so calls and learns that the power is out in the building, and she tells the director to fix the problem and not worry about them.
Young-joon sighs over all the delays, then turns to face Mi-so and screams his head off. HAHA, the light from her phone screen on her face frightened him — she says she was just turning on the flashlight, but she grins that he looked cute when he screamed.
Then her smile drops as she realizes she just called her boss cute. Young-joon informs her that he’s not cute, he’s fatally attractive, okay?
They find a table and sit in the dark, trying valiantly not to look at each other (there seems to be something very interesting on the ceiling, ha). Eventually Mi-so gets up to browse the books, and she finds one of her favorite romances. She leafs through the book awkwardly, trying to hold her phone’s light on it, so Young-joon reaches over to hold it for her.
He takes advantage of her distraction to look at her face, lit only by the soft phone light. She reads her favorite passage out loud: “I want to be in the kind of relationship where I feel like the tiredness of my day gets washed off just by hugging you once, even if you don’t make my heart flutter every second.”
She smiles up at Young-joon, who nervously snaps that it’s childish. He says that his fancy shower washes off the tiredness of his day, but Mi-so grumbles that he’s missing the point. She sighs that even if he thinks it’s childish, it’s the kind of love she dreams of.
She goes back to her book, and Young-joon blurts out, “Have I ever told you that you’re pretty?” She looks up again, but Young-joon backpedals that he’s never said it because he’s never thought it. Oh, you are such a liar.
Unable to stand the tension anymore, they make their way out of the library. Young-joon overrides Mi-so when she shows him the way out, then he leads them to a dead end. Mi-so insists he listen to someone who’s been here before, and Young-joon of course takes the credit for hiring an innovative architect, ha.
Following in Mi-so’s wake, Young-joon asks if she’s wearing perfume. She says he must be smelling her shampoo, flipping her ponytail in his face. He comments on how fast she’s walking, wondering why he’s suddenly noticing things he hasn’t before, so Mi-so says that your senses sharpen in the dark.
She grabs his wrist to pull him along, but he stops, staring at their hands. He says that she’s right about his senses being sharper in the dark, so Mi-so drops his wrist awkwardly, but he grabs her hand in his and they leave together.
He smiles to himself in the car, and asks Mi-so if there are other events at the library besides movie screenings (the event that isn’t ready). He tells her to have them prepare something for the grand opening, and she says she’ll come up with other ideas as well, since he seems worried about it.
Mi-so is distracted later while having dinner with her sisters. She says she’s trying to think of an event for the library opening, and they tell her not to be a workaholic, since she’s quitting soon anyway. Her middle sister blames Young-joon’s anxiety over losing Mi-so, having heard about his possessiveness from Pil-nam.
Mi-so says that she thinks Young-joon is trying to change her mind because he actually needs her. Pil-nam worries that Mi-so likes Young-joon, but Mi-so denies it (a little too loudly). Pil-nam says that Mi-so needs to end it cleanly before she’s stuck being his secretary forever.
On her way to the restroom, Mi-so screams when she sees a spider. She asks Pil-nam (who’s a psychiatrist) if it’s possible to overcome phobias, and Pil-nam reassures her that she can get over it if she keeps facing her fear. She tells Mi-so to visit her office, but Mi-so says she’s not talking about herself.
Young-joon sits at home, wondering what Mi-so is doing. He picks up a copy he purchased of the book she was reading at the library, scoffing that she reads such childish stuff, then begins reading the book himself. One passage says: “In this heavy and confusing life, while you deal with your business, you wonder what they are doing all of a sudden, and think of the person first instead of yourself. That’s enough of a reason to call it love.”
He puts the book aside, telling himself that he has to wonder what Mi-so is doing so he can give her work. He scoffs that calling it love is ridiculous, but he looks a teeny bit worried.
In the morning, Ji-ah gets excited over an article announcing the release date for Morpheus’ book, and she wonders why he’s never revealed his identity. This gives Mi-so the idea to do a book concert with a famous author for the library opening.
She takes the idea to Young-joon, and she starts to mention Morpheus, then stops when she worries that she might not be able to convince Morpheus to do it. Young-joon comments that her plan is incomplete, so Mi-so asks for time to work out the details.
Young-joon gets a text from Sung-yeon that he’s in the building. Young-joon suddenly sends Mi-so to the burger shop with an oddly specific order. He orders her not to hurry and to take the stairs, obviously trying to get rid of her.
Sung-yeon makes his way to Young-joon’s office, saying that he stopped by on his way to meet with his publisher. He offers Young-joon an advance copy, which Young-joon doesn’t accept, and Sung-yeon says he wouldn’t read it anyway since it’s a love story. He tells Young-joon that he should date so he knows what love is, but Young-joon just says there are many things he needs to learn, and asks Sung-yeon to go.
Mi-so is just getting back to the office as Sung-yeon is leaving, and they recognize each other from last night. Sung-yeon asks for Mi-so’s number, insisting when she says she’s in a hurry, so she takes his phone. He sees her name on her employee badge, and he laughs when he realizes she gave him a fake number.
Mi-so takes the food up to Young-joon, who says he’s lost his appetite. She smiles and takes the food away, but she’s worried at how upset he seems.
Down in the lobby, Ji-ah and Se-ra pass by bachelor Gwi-nam taking a break. Se-ra notes that he looks tired, and when Ji-ah mentions that he’s a workaholic, Se-ra tells her that he always turns down social invitations in favor of getting more work done, and that he has ten of the same suit so he doesn’t have to waste time picking out clothes. She steps away to take a call, and Ji-ah notices that there’s a piece of lint on Gwi-nam’s butt when he passes her.
Young-joon’s parents return from Jeju island to see Sung-yeon, who’s been out of the country for three years. They ask if he’s seen Young-joon, but he sighs that Young-joon still hates him and acts un friendly.
Mi-so gets a return call from Morpheus’ agent, saying that he’s not interested in public activities. She helps Young-joon put on his jacket when he steps out of his office, and he asks if she wants Italian for lunch. She says she’s busy planning the library opening, so he says he wasn’t asking her to eat with him, just saying she should go for Italian. Riiiight.
In her quest to book Morpheus for the library opening, Mi-so meets with a reporter who once interviewed him by email, but she refuses to share his email address. Mi-so politely reminds the reporter about the time she talked the company out of suing her for digging into Young-joon’s personal life, which gets her that email.
While Mi-so is emailing Morpheus that evening, Young-joon is having a drink with Yoo-shik and admiring his reflection in his glass. Yoo-shik says he heard about the blackout while Young-joon was at the library, and asks if it was stressful. Young-joon remembers watching Mi-so’s face as she read, and holding her hand as they left the building, and says it was fun.
The next morning, Se-ra rants at Ji-ah for being bad at photocopying, but she changes her tune mid-sentence when Gwi-nam walks in with the opening event proposal. Ji-ah sees the lint that’s still on his hiney, so when the office team repeats the rumor that he has ten of the same suit, she says she thinks he’s wearing the same suit as yesterday.
Se-ra snaps at her not to bad-mouth Gwi-nam, then heads back to her office, nearly running into Yang-cheol, Young-joon’s assistant. They step back and forth, trying to get past each other, with Yang-cheol growing more and more sheepish — aww, someone has a crush on Se-ra.
Mi-so takes Young-joon the planning department’s event proposal, saying that she’s still working on the book concert. She steps close to fix his tie, startling him, and he stammers that he’ll do it. She leaves and his heart pounds — just three times, but enough to make him wonder if he should see a doctor.
Young-joon’s mom asks Mi-so to meet with her, and she gives her a gift and asks if Young-joon is busy today. Mi-so tells her that he’s working on the art center opening, and Mom worries that if she invites him to dinner tonight, he’ll get annoyed. Mi-so reveals that he’s free, so Mom jumps up excitedly to go see him.
She doesn’t even finish inviting him to a family dinner before he turns her down flat. She tries pouting, asking nicely, a guilt trip, and even aegyo, but nothing works. She goes out to whine to Mi-so that he’s just not interested, then gets an idea.
She complains that there’s dust on her shoes, so Mi-so leans down to get handkerchief. When she pops back up, Mom is gone, and her purse is sitting on Mi-so’s desk. Mom calls Mi-so, telling her to have Young-joon bring her purse to her at home this evening.
Mi-so tells Young-joon about his mother’s scheme. He asks who’s more important, Mom or him, and when Mi-so says it’s him, he hides a grin. But she continues that he’s being stubborn, and she warns him not to do something he’ll regret.
At dinner that evening, Mom is thrilled to have both of her sons at the same table, even though Young-joon eats silently while Sung-yeon plays the dutiful son. Mom asks Young-joon if she should have invited Mi-so, telling Sung-yeon that she’s the only person Young-joon trusts.
She starts to suggest they invite her for dinner while Sung-yeon is in town, but Young-joon changes the subject to the art center opening. Dad praises Young-joon for his business sense in moving up the center’s opening, but Mom worries that he’s got too much on his plate. Young-joon tells his parents not to worry, but they fuss over him and pile his plate with food while Sung-yeon watches, forgotten.
Sung-yeon takes Young-joon some coffee after dinner, but Young-joon doesn’t take his eyes off his tablet and says stiffly that he’s working. Sung-yeon says he’s curious about Mi-so and how she put up with him for nine years. He says that it seems like Young-joon is purposely keeping her away from him, and asks if Young-joon is worried he’ll date her.
Finally looking up, Young-joon just growls, “Get out.” Sung-yeon complains that he’s trying to reach out to Young-joon, but Young-joon asks why he should be thankful. Sung-yeon reminds him that he’s willing to pretend nothing happened, but that just makes Young-joon angrier.
He says that Sung-yeon is rubbing it in too much for someone claiming to be willing to forgive. He says that “it” happened over twenty years ago, and he doesn’t even remember, and Sung-yeon looks stricken. He asks why Young-joon hates him so much, but Young-joon says he doesn’t hate him: “I abhor you.”
Sung-yeon gets angry and yells, “If it weren’t for what you did, I would be in your place!” Young-joon asks if he truly believes that, calling him weak and incompetent. He says that Sung-yeon tortures others to protect himself, and that even if “that” hadn’t happened, he still wouldn’t have been capable of running the company.
He starts to walk out, but Sung-yeon stops him with a right hook. Young-joon jumps up ready to punch back, but their parents walk in. Dad bellows at them, and Mom bursts into tears. Her sobs get through to Young-joon, and he drops his fist and leaves without another word.
In his room later, Sung-yeon gets a call from his publisher that they emailed him an urgent proposal. He checks his email, and sees the request from Mi-so about the book concert.
Young-joon drives straight to Mi-so’s apartment, but he stops and turns back to his car. He sees Mi-so walking towards him, looking at her phone, and he smiles. She walks right past him without looking up, so he reaches out to touch her shoulder, nearly giving her a heart attack.
She fusses at him for scaring her, but stops when she sees the blood on his lip. He tells her not to ask, and she grabs his wrist to pull him inside. She immediately regrets it when she sees how messy her apartment is, so she shoves Young-joon back out and tells him to give her one minute. He waits while she hurriedly cleans up, stashing things wherever she can, including hiding a pile of her bras underneath Hardworking Cow.
Finally she lets him in, insisting on doctoring his lip in case of any photos taken at the art center opening. She sits him in a chair while she sits on the bed and makes him lean towards her. It gets his heart thumping, and he looks adorably terrified as he obeys.
He’s mesmerized by her as she concentrates on cleaning up his lip. At one point she looks up at him, and gets stuck staring back. He jerks away abruptly, breaking the spell, and Mi-so asks if he got in a fight. He tells her again not to ask, so instead, she brightens and invites him to stay for ramyun. She’s so perky that Young-joon can’t help but smile, then laugh.
While Mi-so makes ramyun, Young-joon looks around her room, and he finds her favorite book and mutters at the childish thing. Mi-so pops up behind him and pouts that he doesn’t understand love, so he asks wryly if she does, having been single all her life.
She stomps off to check if the water is boiling, and Young-joon notices that Hardworking Cow is lying face-down. He leans over to adjust him, and Mi-so runs in, frantic to stop him before he sees her entire bra collection. She ends up shoving him onto the bed and landing on top of him, but this time when Mi-so starts to get up, Young-joon wraps his arms around her and pulls her into a hug.
He whispers, “Just for a little while. Let me stay like this for a little while. From now on, I’m going to be madly in love with you.”
Okay Young-joon, you said it, you can’t take it back now! I’m sure he’ll try, but Mi-so heard him loud and clear, and it’s going to be a lot harder for Young-joon to come up with far-fetched justifications for his actions from now on. I’m actually hoping for the opposite — that he embraces (heh) his new feelings and runs with it, and just storms Mi-so’s emotional castle with his awkward, ridiculous, endearing feelings.
You know, as nice as the big grand gestures like fireworks shows and fancy dinners are, I think I prefer Young-joon when he’s doing small, thoughtful things for Mi-so. Holding the light so she could read was just pure swoon, because it shows that he’s watching her closely, and that he wants to make things easier for her. He even reads the book she likes because he wants to understand her better, and it’s pretty telling that, when he was in physical and emotional pain, he went straight to Mi-so for comfort. So I hope Young-joon was paying attention when she read the book passage about wanting to be with someone who takes away her weariness, because up until now, he’s unfortunately been the source of it. I think that was a huge clue as to what Young-joon needs to do if he truly wants to win Mi-so’s heart — become a man who makes her life easier, not harder.
I’m so fascinated by the relationship between Young-joon and Sung-yeon, and why they’re so antagonistic. Sung-yeon’s current friendly attitude doesn’t fool me — this is the same guy who midnight-texts Young-joon that he’s living in hell. He bullied Young-joon as a child, and he definitely seems to have been involved in the event that traumatized Young-joon when they were young. It’s interesting that someone that toxic grew up to be a romance author, of all things. But I’m mostly curious about the event they keep alluding to, and what exactly happened. Sung-yeon seems to blame Young-joon for something that happened to him, but all the evidence (the scars, the nightmares, the cable tie phobia) points to Young-joon as being the child who was kidnapped. So what is it that Sung-yeon thinks Young-joon did to him?
I worry that Young-joon’s mom told Sung-yeon about Young-joon’s trusting relationship with Mi-so. If he’s really hiding a sinister side, she just handed him the ammunition of how to get right to Young-joon. Now I’m scared that Sung-yeon will do something to Mi-so, or even just try to date her to hurt Young-joon. Hopefully Mi-so is too smart to let that happen, and she doesn’t seem interested in him anyway, since she gave Sung-yeon a fake number and seemed annoyed by him. But if Sung-yeon develops a real interest in Mi-so, he could start to see her as another thing that Young-joon has that he should have as the eldest, and do something regrettable. For some reason, I just feel like Sung-yeon is capable of hurting someone else in order to get revenge on Young-joon for whatever he thinks happened when they were children, and it really concerns me that Mi-so is on his radar.
Even though it was the humor in What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim that drew me in at first, somehow the darker turn that the plot has taken doesn’t bother me like it would have if you’d told me about it a week ago. The childhood trauma subplot is interesting enough to me that I’m just fascinated in a different way, and I love the way Young-joon and Mi-so’s relationship is evolving and growing. The humor is still there, and Young-joon is as endearing as ever with his arrogant confidence that he’s the best thing that ever happened to Mi-so, and all he has to do is make her realize it. The problem is, he’s got it the wrong way around… she’s the best thing that ever happened to him. All Mi-so has to do is hold out until he figures it out, and she’ll have him hooked good.