What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim: Episode 9
Love is weird enough when two average people are involved, but when someone like Young-joon falls in love, he does it big. He’s changing in ways that the whole company notices, and all for the better, though they don’t quite know what to do with a vice president who suddenly makes his own copies. But he doesn’t know when to stop, which could cause a problem that can’t be resolved with a simple apology.
EPISODE 9 RECAP
After Sung-yeon’s public confession, Mi-so says she wants to clear up any misunderstandings, and she confesses to Young-joon that she likes him. He hugs her, but when he tries to kiss her, he has another bad flashback. Mi-so reaches up and gently kisses him, and when she pulls away, he goes right back in for another kiss, his fears gone.
They go for a walk, and Young-joon says he wants to make things clear: “We stopped being a ‘some’ and became a couple, right?” Oh, you are so cute, yet still so arrogant. He teases Mi-so for her formal response, making her sail off, head held high.
Young-joon calls after her, “Let’s go together! My woman!” and poor Mi-so looks like she’d happily crawl into the nearest hole. Young-joon enjoys her reaction so much, he yells My woman! several more times just to see her blush.
He drops Mi-so off at her door, then just stands there, reluctant to leave. He reminds her that he’s smart, healthy, rich, and competent (in case she forgot in the last five minutes), and he asks her again to marry him. Mi-so points out that they’ve been together less than an hour, worried that he’s rushing things, and he mutters under his breath, “Who rushed it more?”
Young-joon smiles all the way home, remembering the little-girl Mi-so that he met so long ago. She’d insisted that he marry her after saving her from the house where they were locked up, and even made him pinky-swear. He makes a u-turn and goes right back to Mi-so’s apartment, saying that it’s in case she misses him all night long.
He jokess that he never gives second chances, but he wants to give her a second and even third chance to see him. He asks cheekily if she feels honored to be special to him, and he wishes her sweet dreams, which she knows means to dream of him. Young-joon asks for one more hug, and says softly that he’ll be having sweet dreams tonight, too.
Mi-so finally shoos him home, reminding him that he has a big meeting in the morning. She plays it cool, but when she gets inside, she immediately runs to the window to watch him driving away. Young-joon makes it home and catches his reflection in the mirror, and he futilely tells his mouth to stop curling up like that. Awww, he even smiles in his sleep — they’re so sweet, my teeth ache.
Mi-so dreams of Oppa, and making him promise to marry her. She wakes, thinking that Oppa was supposedly Sung-yeon, but feeling confused.
In the morning, Yoo-shik carefully backs out of Young-joon’s office, worried that his friend is acting strange lately. He tells Mi-so that Young-joon has been nodding off all day, and she says he even overslept this morning. Yoo-shik offers to show Mi-so something fun, and they creep into Young-joon’s office, where he’s fast asleep on the couch.
Young-joon answers groggily when Yoo-shik whispers to him, and Yoo-shik and Mi-so giggle that his mind never shuts off even when he’s sleeping. Yoo-shik asks if something happened to create a cognitive shift, but he gets a call from Ma-eum before Mi-so can answer.
Mi-so covers Young-joon with a blanket and sits to look at his sleeping face. She remembers that he had a nightmare the last time she did this, but she thinks that he looks more relaxed this time. She starts to leave, but he grabs her wrist and pulls her into his arms, unconcerned that someone might come in and see them.
Mi-so is flustered, but Young-joon tells her to expect this much when she awakens someone’s “slumbering desires.” Well, RAWR. That flusters her even more, and he tells her to get used to it because he won’t slow down. Double RAWR.
She asks if he’s feeling well, since he’s sleeping so much today. He says a huge weight was lifted from his shoulders yesterday, and he doesn’t think he’ll have nightmares anymore, either. He tells her that he’s not ill anymore, and she notices that “anymore” and asks if Sung-yeon is really her Oppa.
Young-joon says that she’s asking an obvious question, so Mi-so explains that she keeps feeling like he’s really Oppa because of his scars and traumatized behaviors. Young-joon tells Mi-so that it would be great if someone she likes is the Oppa she’s been looking for, but he says he’s not him, and that his scars and nightmares have nothing to do with that.
He asks if it changes her feelings about him, and Mi-so shakes her head no. She says she likes him no matter what, and leaves him to finish his nap.
Back at her desk, Mi-so overhears Ji-ah on the phone with her movers, who are moving her things into her new apartment today. Ji-ah says that she’ll focus more on work now that she lives closer, and Mi-so reminds her that she’s late for a meeting. Ha, oops.
Mi-so declines a call from Sung-yeon, who’s waiting to talk to his agent (cameo by Jung Soo-young). She’s thrilled at the response after his book concert, but Sung-yeon isn’t interested in the interviews he’s offered. His agent says sadly that she loved when he confessed to his first love, but Sung-yeon just looks downcast.
At lunchtime, Young-joon wants to take Mi-so to eat, noting that it will be the first meal they’ve had together since they started dating. Mi-so behaves like a good secretary, offering to make a list of nice restaurants that serve his favorite dessert, but they both feel like this isn’t how couples should interact.
They still feel awkward over lunch when they realize that it was Young-joon’s idea to celebrate their new relationship, but Mi-so did all the work. She even waits on him so attentively that the waiter remarks that she seems more like Young-joon’s secretary than his date. Whomp whomp.
After lunch, Young-joon suggests they go to a movie. Mi-so says very stiffly that it’s not right to skip work for personal reasons. Young-joon sighs that it’s confusing how she sometimes acts like his secretary and sometimes his girlfriend.
He says that her previous way of supporting him, like pouring his water at lunch, makes him look like a bad guy now. Mi-so says it’s her job to look after his comfort, so Young-joon asks her only to support him on work-related issues, and he’ll take care of his own personal needs. He says he may be a selfish boss, but he doesn’t want to be a selfish boyfriend (that squishy sound you hear is my heart melting).
Yoo-shik’s regular driver is out, so Ma-eum drives him to a meeting while he reviews the paperwork. He’s in a good mood until he sees a man and woman crossing the street in front of his car, and Ma-eum recognizes the woman as his ex-wife. Awww.
The next time Young-joon leaves his office, Mi-so asks if he needs anything, and he says he needs her to be indifferent and lazy. He goes down to the copy room, where the office team reels in shock to find him making his own copies. They all clamber to take over, but Young-joon says he’s already mastered the copy machine.
The team is even more surprised when they learn that Mi-so was at her desk the whole time Young-joon was making his own copies. She’s just as surprised to hear what Young-joon did, and she gives him a weak smile when he proudly points at the copies, then himself.
Team Leader Jung and Se-ra are startled later to find Young-joon making his own tea and cookies. Mi-so sees him on his way back to his office with the tray, and she finds the office team having an emergency meeting about Young-joon’s problematic behavior. Team Leader Jung worries that Young-joon is showing them he doesn’t need them, planning a layoff, and Mi-so wants to assure them that’s not the case, but she can’t without giving away the truth.
Young-joon sits to drink his tea, then he decides he wants to give it to Mi-so. He waves her in from where she’s glowering at her desk, and he tells her he wants her to have the first tea he’s ever made. It’s so hot it scalds her tongue, and poor Young-joon tries to get her to open her mouth so he can check for burns.
Which is, of course, when they notice the office team watching them through the window, hee. Young-joon brings everyone in to make an announcement, saying that today is a special day. Mi-so looks worried, but he ad-libs that it’s Team Communication Day.
He does his two-second eye contact bit in reverse to show them his grateful heart, and it’s just as weird the other way around. It’s so awkward that Mi-so stops him, and he tells the rest of the team that he’ll show them his sincerity next year, ha.
Back in their office, the team is rattled at Young-joon’s odd behavior. Se-ra thinks Mi-so is hiding something from them, but thankfully, she just gives Mi-so the credit for suggesting Team Communication Day. They’re all relieved that there doesn’t seem to be a layoff coming after all, but Team Leader Jung is still unsettled by the way Young-joon’s acting.
Young-joon is extremely pleased with his own quick thinking when Mi-so gets back to his office, but she tells him that the way he’s looking after his own needs makes her uncomfortable. She says it hurts her pride to get special treatment because of their relationship, and she asks him to let her keep taking care of things for him like she’s done for nine years.
He says he understands her point, but that he doesn’t want her doing petty tasks… but she interrupts, upset at his use of the word “petty.” She says it’s her job, and she takes pride in doing those tasks well, and that his word choice sounds like he doesn’t respect what she does and hurts her feelings.
Young-joon looks taken aback, and he says that Mi-so is hurting his feelings, too. He tells her that he did those tasks, which weren’t easy for him, because he wanted to be good to her. Mi-so deflates a little, but she asks him firmly not to do it again.
She says that this is work, and she needs to draw a line between the personal and the professional. She goes back to work, and Young-joon admits to himself that everything she said was correct, but he still feels bad about it.
Later, Ji-ah notices the icy atmosphere in the office. She assumes Mi-so upset Young-joon and asks if she can’t apologize, but Mi-so says she didn’t do anything to apologize for. Ji-ah points out that Mi-so usually bends over backwards for Young-joon even when she hasn’t done anything, which makes Mi-so think.
Young-joon grumbles to Yoo-shik that Mi-so is entirely too rational, calling her an over-meticulous workaholic, and Yoo-shik gently points out that Young-joon used to like those things about her. Ignoring him, Young-joon just mutters that Mi-so doesn’t understand men because she’s never dated (Yoo-shik: “Neither have you…”).
He says he feels like she turned a small problem into a huge disaster, but Yoo-shik says that happens in all relationships. He says that small misunderstandings turn into big problems, then the relationship ends badly, like his marriage did.
Young-joon asks if he’s cursing them when they just started dating, and Yoo-shik drops to banmal, saying dramatically, “Young-joonie-ah, don’t let the fight drag on for too long. If you do, you’ll break up, like me.” Awww, he’s so pitiful.
Still concerned by what Ji-ah said, Mi-so wonders why she used to apologize when she did nothing wrong, but it’s not so easy now. Young-joon asks awkwardly if his schedule is done for the day, internally begging Mi-so to say they need to make up, but she just says he’s finished, hoping that he’ll suggest a talk over dinner. They end up leaving, both of them frantically hoping the other will speak up.
Ji-ah arrives at her new apartment, and the movers are almost finished, so she grabs a few things to help them. The only thing left is a fan, and when Gwi-nam arrives a few minutes later, he thinks it’s been abandoned so he takes it.
A passerby tells Ji-ah that the guy in the rooftop apartment took the fan, so she storms upstairs to find him already using it while he works. Gwi-nam tries to blame her for leaving it in the street, but Ji-ah snaps that she was just moving her things in, and takes her fan back.
She’s settling in for a nice dinner of Chinese delivery when a knock on the door reveals Gwi-nam, holding out a baggie with five cherry tomatoes. He says he carefully raised them like his own children, adorably sheepish as he says they’re an apology and a welcome gift.
Ji-ah wonders if she was too hard on him, and when she goes back to her dinner, she remembers Gwi-nam saying she should share her delivery food with him to avoid waste. She takes half of her dinner upstairs for him, where he lets her know he prefers shrimp next time. Annoyed, Ji-ah tries to take the food back, and their temporary truce is broken.
Mi-so mopes at home, depressed because she hasn’t heard from Young-joon, so she’s shocked to find him at her door. Young-joon struggles to think of what to say, until a voice yells, “I have a package for you!” and he blurts, “I have a package for you!” HAHA, it’s a deliveryman with an actual package for Mi-so.
Young-joon sees that it’s kimchi, and he grabs the opening and says it would go well with the grilled pork skin he brought from her favorite place. Mi-so says she guesses he can come in, you know, if he really wants to. Awww, he even grilled the pork skins himself without setting anything on fire, so sweet.
He says he even got “bugs” (silkworm pupae) for her, practically throwing them at her squeamishly. She thanks him, not just for the food, but for coming here, because she was missing him.
Touched, he ducks his head shyly, but he gathers his courage to ask why she’s so rational at work. Mi-so says that as the secretary, she has to be extra careful, but she apologizes for making him feel bad. Young-joon decides he wants her to call him Oppa, calling her Mi-so-yah and making her nearly spit out her drink. He waits eagerly, but Mi-so can’t make herself call him Oppa yet.
Mi-so’s sisters knock on the door, and though Young-joon is ready to meet her family and announce their new dating status, Mi-so shoves him into her closet. He tries to pull rank, but Mi-so says that right now he’s her boyfriend, and shuts the door in his face.
She hides Young-joon’s shoes just as her unnis let themselves in, brandishing the exact same meal that Young-joon brought. Pil-nam notices the two servings, immediately guessing that Young-joon was here again, and poor Young-joon has to listen to them badmouthing him.
Mi-so sticks up for him, but her sisters aren’t impressed that he brought pork skin and not something nicer. They forbid Mi-so to date him since they’re from such different classes, and because he’s so narcissistic and selfish.
While they berate Mi-so, Young-joon starts to sweat and shake from being stuck in such a small space. He snaps out of it for a second when her sister mentions his “sexual dysfunction,” even glancing down at his own lap in surprise, hee.
After eating, Mi-so kicks her sisters out then runs to the closet to find Young-joon absolutely furious. He wants to know why she told him all the negative things about him, but not the positive things, snapping that bringing her pork skins and bugs wasn’t selfish.
Mi-so apologizes, but Young-joon says they should stop before they get in another fight He pulls her down into his lap and tells her that she’s so pretty, he can’t stay mad, and he kisses her right there in the closet.
The next morning at work, Mi-so gets a text from Sung-yeon apologizing for putting her in an awkward position at the book concert, and that he wants to talk to her. As soon as Young-joon arrives, Mi-so shows him the text, and she says she wants to talk to Sung-yeon and end things with him.
She sees Sung-yeon for coffee, and he says he’s been feeling bad because she’s been avoiding his calls. Mi-so tells him that she wasn’t meeting with him with the intention to strike up a relationship. She says she was thankful that he helped her in a scary situation, but that’s all she feels for him.
Sung-yeon asks if this has anything to do with Young-joon, and when Mi-so confirms it, Sung-yeon grows angry. He says that he’s suffered all his life because of Young-joon, but Young-joon shows up and asks if he’s tired of telling that story yet. Sung-yeon says he still clearly remembers “that incident,” which is why he lives in pain, but Young-joon feels fine because he erased the memories he didn’t like.
Young-joon just tells Sung-yeon to stop calling Mi-so and talking nonsense, and he takes Mi-so and leaves. As they walk to his car, she asks if he doesn’t feel bad for Sung-yeon, but Young-joon says that the past Sung-yeon obsesses about doesn’t exist in his memory, and it’s hypocritical to feel sorry about something you don’t remember. He asks not to discuss that time ever again, and Mi-so agrees.
Instead of driving back to work, Young-joon takes Mi-so for a drive. They end up going for a walk by the river, and Young-joon gives Mi-so a burgundy sweater from his car to keep her warm. She says he looks good in burgundy, which reminds him that a designer once said the same thing.
He says the designer was a friend of his mother’s and used to make clothes just for him. Mi-so remembers that Young-joon’s mother said something similar about a designer who made clothes just for her son, and even made the burgundy cardigan he was wearing when he was kidnapped.
Young-joon yawns, and he’s quick to assure Mi-so that he’s not bored, he just feels comfortable with her. She says he should rest in the car, and though he knows it’s bad form on a date, the idea appeals to him. While he cat-naps, Mi-so remembers more of what his mother said about her son who was kidnapped, and remembers that at one point Mom called him “our Hyun.”
She wonders if, when she was a child, she misunderstood Oppa when he said his name. Softly, she says to Young-joon, “Sung-hyun oppa?” and in his sleep, Young-joon answers. Suddenly he wakes, and his eyes go cold.
Not that we didn’t already know that Young-joon is Oppa, but this definitely confirms it for Mi-so. She thought Oppa said his name was Sung-yeon, but if he said Sung-hyun, and Young-joon is living under a new name for some reason, that would explain the confusion. I still don’t understand exactly what happened — and I appreciate that the mystery isn’t an easy one to figure out — but I’m tired of Young-joon pretending like it wasn’t him. It’s not healthy for him to deny something so traumatic, especially not to the intelligent woman who shared the experience and will figure everything out anyway. If anything comes between Young-joon and Mi-so, it won’t be something so small as an office misunderstanding… Young-joon needs to talk to her about this, even if just to say, “Yes, it was me, but I’m not ready to examine it just yet.”
I was really looking forward to this part of Young-joon and Mi-so’s relationship progression, where they acknowledge their feelings but still have to work together, because the possibilities for hilariously awkward situations are endless. Doubly so, because neither of them has been in a relationship before and they don’t really know how to make that transition. And they ran smack into that wall of weirdness when Young-joon wanted to take Mi-so on a nice first date, but she ended up doing all the planning work because that’s how they always operate. Thank goodness Young-joon does actually know how to plan nice dates (even the pork skin delivery was surprisingly romantic), so I’m sure he’ll figure it out.
I love the way Young-joon is changing for the better, yet still retaining his impossibly high self-esteem and arrogance. It’s good for him to learn to do things for himself even at work, and sweet that he’s doing them for the right reasons and not just because he’s scared Mi-so’s quitting. But it’s also fun to watch him congratulate himself every time he does something like make a copy or get his own tea, because he really hasn’t ever done those things. They seem simple to most of us, but they really are an accomplishment for him. I just love how proud he is of himself for learning to do the thing, particularly when it’s a thing that lets Mi-so relax and not feel she has to look after every single detail of his day anymore.
But it also makes sense that Mi-so is unsettled by it all. She’s not ready to make their new relationship public knowledge, which is understandable considering their long-running professional relationship. But Young-joon wasn’t really thinking about how she might feel in that area, so even though it was sweet that he wanted her to try the very first tea he’s ever made, I get why Mi-so prefers that he keep things as they are, at least until after her last day. However, I do think it’s a good sign that Young-joon feels uncomfortable with Mi-so waiting on him hand and foot, because her initial objection to marrying him was that she was worried she’d be stuck in secretary-mode for life. His distaste at having her wait on him now that they’re together proves that he wouldn’t expect that from her after they were married.
This drama does one of my favorite things — its characters address issues head-on and right away, and don’t let misunderstandings or awkward situations go on for too long. When Sung-yeon confesses, Mi-so goes straight to Young-joon and tells him her feelings. When she feels uncomfortable by him doing tasks at work that she normally does, she tells him as soon as possible, then lets him know in no uncertain terms that she’s offended by his attitude. But I love that Young-joon throws it right back and expresses his own feelings… not to mention, how many times has he confessed now?
All of this makes me think that Young-joon and Mi-so are in for a rocky beginning, especially when you consider that it’s a first for both of them. But you have to give them credit that their first real fight is over how much they want to take care of each other. It also tells me that once they work out their insecurities, and figure out how to transition from boss and secretary to lovers (and spouses, I hope), that they’ll be just fine. They’re both honest and forthright to a fault, which will stand them in good stead if they can make it past the initial adjustment phase.