Beauty Inside: Episode 3
Se-kye fearlessly sniffs out Do-jae’s condition and challenges him to admit his weakness. It’s not an easy feat, as Do-jae remains stubborn and reacts aggressively in defense of his vulnerability. Though she’s also on the defensive, Se-kye finds herself sympathizing with Do-jae as she pries further, and her persistence manages to crack his aloof façade just a bit.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Covering Se-kye with his suit jacket, Do-jae leads her away from the crowd and admits that he believes her ridiculous condition is real because to him, she was always Se-kye, despite her outer appearance. Se-kye finally comes to her senses in Do-jae’s car and claims that he’s mistaken about her body transformation, but Do-jae’s more concerned with their dating rumor.
She’s confounded by this baseless scandal, and when Do-jae reminds her that he saved her twice, she sheepishly tones down her vehement response. He returns her phone, but Se-kye stubbornly claims that it isn’t hers. Then, he asks if she has somewhere to go to avoid the clamoring reporters at her house, and she directs him to her childhood friend/aspiring priest Eun-ho’s place.
When they arrive, Do-jae and Eun-ho recognize each other from their phone calls, and Se-kye interrupts their pleasantries to drag Do-jae into the house before Eun-ho could warn Se-kye that his family is eating. Eun-ho’s parents look alarmed by their surprise guests, and they all awkwardly join the meal.
Se-kye suspiciously asks how the reporters identified her from the photos, and Do-jae suspects that it was leaked from her side. Eun-ho complains to Se-kye for coming to his house when they could have gone to a hotel, and Se-kye calls him crazy — she could go to a hotel with Eun-ho but never with Do-jae. That raises more flags, and Do-jae wonders if Se-kye purposely tipped off the reporters to cover up her real relationship with Eun-ho.
Do-jae reveals that the photos were from the day she transformed, and Eun-ho looks to Se-kye in shock. Se-kye pulls Do-jae aside and asks how Do-jae recognized her from the crowd with his face blindness, but he denies having face blindness. A quick flashback shows that Do-jae correctly identified Se-kye in the photo from their encounter in the closet. She reminds him that he didn’t recognize her when they first met on the hospital roof, but he coldly disputes her assumption that her fame warrants recognition.
Then, Do-jae opens the video on Se-kye’s phone of her transformed body introducing herself as Se-kye. He tells her that her body transformation condition would explain all his strange encounters with not-so-Se-kye. Defeated, Se-kye asks why he helped her, and Do-jae responds that it was simply because they’re business partners. She thought he empathized with her circumstance, but he clarifies that it had nothing to do with Se-kye herself. Ouch.
Do-jae’s grandfather summons him to the hospital to scold him about the dating rumor, and Do-jae assures Gramps that the rumors are false. But Gramps has already called his lawyer to change his will, the main inheritance capriciously oscillating between Do-jae and Sa-ra. Do-jae notices his mother’s gifts for Gramps and notes that his mother is doing her best to make sure his name remains in the will.
As Do-jae leaves the hospital, he passes by Sa-ra without acknowledging her, and she thinks he’s rudely ignoring her. She confronts her stepbrother and doesn’t believe his claim that he didn’t see her, since he looked right at her. Suspecting Sa-ra as the source of the dating rumor, Do-jae calls her tactics disgraceful but forgives her this one time because the person his mother loves is Sa-ra’s father.
While Eun-ho cleans the house, Manager Woo-mi busily denies the dating rumors to reporters, but Se-kye angrily sabotages the denial by yelling that she’s dating Do-jae. Woo-mi quickly hangs up the phone, and Se-kye haughtily says that this scandal will do more damage to Do-jae than her. Then, Se-kye asks her friends if they’ll visit her if she gets trapped in a lab, and Eun-ho suspects that Do-jae threatened her at his house earlier.
Se-kye admits that Do-jae witnessed her transform before his eyes and even saw all her transformation videos on her phone. In response, Woo-mi calls back the reporter and confirms the dating rumor. She plans on using this scandal to their advantage — if Se-kye’s secret leaks, then they can just claim that Do-jae went crazy after breaking up with Se-kye. Eun-ho reminds them that Se-kye needs to work, but Woo-mi says that Se-kye can make money as a chaebol’s girlfriend. Eun-ho shakes his head, calling them ruthless.
Secretary Jung continues to address reporters with a strict denial of the rumors and relays a message to Do-jae from his mother, warning him to deal with Se-kye before she steps in. Secretary Jung receives another call from a reporter, but Do-jae picks up to set up a meeting in person.
Meanwhile, Se-kye merrily plays Go-Stop with Woo-mi and Eun-ho’s mother. When Eun-ho’s sister, Ryu Aram, returns home from a full night of drinking, Se-kye and Woo-mi hilariously commend her for living her youth to the fullest. Eun-ho’s mother scolds them all while Se-kye hands Aram more money to enjoy herself.
The doorbell rings, and it’s Do-jae. Se-kye confronts him on her own and refuses to agree to Do-jae’s terms. Do-jae reminds Se-kye of her debt (the donation to the children’s fund), but Se-kye says the tables have turned. She doesn’t care if she’s viewed as a crazy person confirming a false dating rumor since she’s already perceived as crazy. She has nothing to lose while Do-jae has plenty to lose.
But Do-jae claims that he also doesn’t have anything to lose personally. He clarifies that the public’s perception of Se-kye as a crazy person will affect the airline and Sunho Group, which will then affect investors and their families. He accuses Se-kye of affecting innocent people’s livelihoods by trying to sabotage him, and Se-kye reluctantly agrees to his terms if he forgives her remaining debt. They shake hands in agreement.
Do-jae and Se-kye appear in front of reporters at a food donation event, and they use this opportunity to clearly deny their dating rumor. Just then, Sa-ra appears with a bouquet of flowers to congratulate Se-kye’s relationship with her brother. Se-kye looks between stepsiblings and laughs that the two must not be close, since Sa-ra didn’t know that the rumor was false. Sa-ra says she must have misunderstood, but Do-jae corrects her and says it was just a mistake.
A truck full of women’s sanitary pads arrives on site, and Sa-ra humble-brags that she couldn’t come to the event empty-handed. Then, from the other side, a larger truck arrives with 1000 tablets computers, and Do-jae announces that his additional donation is for underprivileged children. Sa-ra’s expression hardens, and Se-kye witnesses the rivalry between the two stepsiblings. In the distance, she spots a mother and child crouching in the dirt while the trucks pass by.
As they all participate in the charity event, Se-kye comments to Do-jae that the siblings must have a troubled relationship. Do-jae says that they’re more like enemies than siblings and blames Sa-ra’s treachery. Right next to them, Sa-ra says that she can hear everything, so Se-kye proceeds to ask Do-jae if he can recognize his family. Do-jae looks at her unamused, and Se-kye covers up that he just seems blinded by arrogance.
Do-jae smirks at her attack and counters by asking how it feels to transform. It’s Se-kye’s turn to look at him unamused, and Do-jae explains that she suddenly transforms as an actress. As they work, an elderly woman asks for rice, but Se-kye recognizes her from earlier in line. Do-jae says that it’s a different woman, and we see the woman’s twin sister at the table. Secretary Jung looks at Do-jae proudly while Se-kye looks puzzled.
As Se-kye carries out a basket of laundry, she’s intercepted by Sa-ra, who apologizes for her misunderstanding earlier. Sa-ra correctly detects Se-kye’s distaste for Do-jae and suggests that they play on the same side, but Se-kye doesn’t intend to involve herself in their childish sibling rivalry.
Sa-ra then joins Do-jae as he’s washing dishes and taunts him about her manufactured scandal. He’s not interested in her antics, so she tries to poke around his contentious relationship with Se-kye. She offers to help resolve his issues with Se-kye, but Do-jae hands her dishes to clean if she wants to help.
As he walks away, Sa-ra deliberately drops the dishes as an “accident,” and Do-jae demands that she clean up and apologize. Sa-ra threatens to throw the remaining dishes on the ground, but Do-jae doesn’t care because it’s her mess. He says that she needs to learn how to clean up her own mess. Enraged, Sa-ra almost throws another plate on the ground before catching herself.
Se-kye and Do-jae have separate photo shoots while hanging laundry, but their photo shoots pale in comparison to Eun-ho’s photo shoot, courtesy of some adoring ajummas who surround him. Se-kye calls Eun-ho a human energy drink, and Woo-mi regrets not making Eun-ho a celebrity. Se-kye interrupts Eun-ho’s ajumma fan event and asks him to cover Sa-ra while she confronts Do-jae.
As Do-jae hangs laundry, Se-kye approaches him from behind and gets close to the nape of his neck. She explains that it’s a common behavior exhibited by her dog to identify people, and she likens it to Do-jae’s behaviors. Sa-ra spies on the two from behind hanging laundry as Se-kye points out Do-jae’s curious ability to distinguish between the two twin grandmas. She deduces that Do-jae has a habit of identifying other key features because he can’t register people’s faces.
Se-kye looks to their spy and notes that Sa-ra must not know his secret. Do-jae leads her away from their lurker, while Eun-ho steps in to block Sa-ra. He insists that she help him hang laundry and flashes a charming smile.
Out of earshot, Do-jae says that his supposed face-blindness wouldn’t change anything, but Se-kye disagrees, saying that she would be at ease if they knew each other’s weakness. Do-jae threatens that could easily ruin Se-kye and that his silence merely adds to her debt to him. He reminds her to have some fear, but Se-kye’s expression barely falters.
Sa-ra tries to spy on the conversation as she shakes out a wet sheet with Eun-ho. He notices her creeping, so he pulls the sheet harder to knock her off balance. She pulls harder in return, and they go back and forth until Eun-ho gets pulled into her arms. Sa-ra complains that he’s weak, but Eun-ho says that he was just pretending to be weak. He flashes another charming smile, this time affecting Sa-ra just a bit.
Se-kye admits to Do-jae that she’s been terrified ever since she’s had this condition, but Do-jae found her in hiding. She asks why he trusts her and asked her to trust him, and she says that she’s angry at herself for expecting his trust. Regardless, she believes that Do-jae saved her knowing it was her, but Do-jae says that she’s just believing what she wants to believe.
As he leaves, Se-kye tells him that he blew his chance to be honest and says that those opportunities are rare. Then, they hear the child from earlier, crying for his mother as she walks toward an approaching truck. Se-kye runs to save her. Se-kye shields the mother, and Do-jae pushes them out of the way just as the truck swerves away.
Se-kye scolds the crying mother for being reckless in front of her child, and she belatedly notices Do-jae still in a haze on the ground. His thoughts spin in recollection of a prior accident, and Se-kye finally shakes him awake. Do-jae pulls her close and notes the blood on her elbow.
As Woo-mi tends to the scrape, Eun-ho tells Se-kye that the mother’s first child died in an accident on that road. Since then, the mother would sit on the side of that road all day. Se-kye sympathetically looks at the mother and the child. She then asks about Do-jae, and Woo-mi says that he left right after the accident.
Woo-mi marvels at the power of Sunho Group boosting Se-kye’s image but notices Se-kye’s despondent mood in response to the good news. Se-kye assures Woo-mi that she’s just tired.
Once she’s alone, Se-kye enters a room with its walls covered in framed photos of her transformations. She thinks back to Do-jae’s concern after the accident and wonders why Do-jae was suddenly so considerate. She looks around and says that it’s nice to see herself again.
Do-jae watches the CCTV footage from the café when he met a transformed Se-kye, and he recalls the footage of Se-kye introducing herself in her transformed bodies. We see his thoughts written in his notebook: “At the outset, everything made no sense — Han Se-kye’s situation and Han Se-kye the person. Even if I understand the situation, understanding the person is a different issue.”
Do-jae meets with Director Kim, who makes snarky comments about his scandal. Though Se-kye is a notorious scandal-maker, Do-jae justifies her as their model because of her marketing power. Director Kim warns Do-jae that everyone will be watching them at the aircraft launch event, and before he leaves, Do-jae reminds him to return his credit card, which Do-jae gave him to buy lunch and an airplane over Se-kye’s poor publicity.
Eun-ho recognizes Sa-ra at the café he works at, much to the disappointment of the girls adoring him. He offers her two stamps on her stamp card since she does charity work, but she’s indifferent about the gesture. As she walks out, Sa-ra comments that kids these days are too reckless. She sees the heart that Eun-ho drew on her lid and calls him cute. Turns out, Eun-ho drew the heart on the lid to distinguish the two drinks that came out simultaneously, but I’m ready for this misunderstanding to flourish.
Se-kye shoots a makeup commercial with a tagline about unchanging beauty, and she later mocks herself in the van about her shamelessness. Woo-mi warns her not to consider retirement again, and Se-kye assures her that she can’t retire. She admits that she only whines about retiring because she can’t actually do it, just like she complains about wanting to die but continues to live. She enjoys her work too much to retire, but her feelings about work are complicated.
That night, Se-kye looks up prosopagnosia (face-blindness) while her dog barks at her, unable to recognize Se-kye in a face mask. She reads that the condition is caused by an impairment to the brain and that patients can even have difficulty recognizing their own face.
Instead of faces, prosopagnosia patients use other hints, like hairstyle, gait, and voice, to distinguish people, she reads. Se-kye suddenly feels bad for Do-jae but shakes away the sympathy. She reads further about prosopagnosia patients facing difficulty recognizing storylines in shows or movies.
As they wait for the elevator, Do-jae asks Secretary Jung if Se-kye is pretty. Do-jae confirms that she’s pretty like white porcelain, referring to her white skin, but admits she’s not his type. When asked about his type, Secretary Jung says that even if he explained, Do-jae wouldn’t understand. Do-jae says his feelings are hurt, but Secretary Jung won’t give him any pity.
Later, Do-jae drinks beer before bed and looks at the white porcelain in his living room, which reminds him of Secretary Jung’s comparison.
The next morning, Do-jae showers and prepares for the aircraft launch event in his massive closet. Looking at himself in the mirror, he hopes to become friendlier with Se-kye, though it’s unclear if he’s also referring to his own reflection. Se-kye also prepares for the launch event, glamming up so that she doesn’t lose to a particular someone.
Secretary Jung briefs Do-jae with photos of the VIP guests at their aircraft launch and points out Director Jang, an important aircraft executive who could immediately impact their airline. Then, he flips to Se-kye, and Do-jae takes a long look at her photo.
When Do-jae sees Se-kye at the event, he notices the band-aid on her elbow, and she looks at him coldly. Their stare-down is interrupted by Gramps and Do-jae’s mother, who scolds Do-jae for rudely dismissing his arranged date. She worries about the rumors, and Do-jae assures her that the rumors are false. Do-jae scans the crowd and notices someone spilling their drink on Director Jang.
Do-jae lines up next to Se-kye as the event formally begins, and Director Jang runs up to introduce himself to Do-jae. He’s changed out of his spoiled jacket and tie, and Do-jae seems lost. Director Jang innocuously asks if Do-jae can’t recognize him, and as Do-jae struggles to identify him, his prolonged silence begins to turns heads.
Se-kye stages a timely intervention and cheerfully greets him like an old friend. She claims to know him but says she’s terrible with names and asks for a reminder. When he reveals his name, Se-kye admits that they haven’t met before and says she must have seen him in a magazine. Director Jang laughs lightheartedly, and Do-jae looks at her with a hint of gratitude.
As the representatives prepare to cut the ribbon for the aircraft launch, Do-jae tries to speak to Se-kye, but she says that he doesn’t need to thank her. She reciprocates his words by saying, “It wouldn’t have mattered whether or not it was you. I would’ve helped even if I didn’t know it was you.” Then on the count of three, Se-kye cuts the ribbon and smiles at the camera. Do-jae belatedly cuts his ribbon and does the same.
Do-jae walks through the airport and remembers Se-kye saying that he found her hiding in fear. Then, thinking about Se-kye’s helping hand, he smiles as he calls her fearless.
In the van, Woo-mi tells Se-kye that she should have let Do-jae flounder, but she hopes this will turn into good karma for Se-kye. When Woo-mi steps out, Se-kye admits that she sympathized with him.
Then, Do-jae suddenly opens her van door. He reminds her of what she told him previously — that he found her in hiding and that he lost his chance to be honest. He admits that he wants to learn more since he’s already found her and to seize his chance to be honest. Do-jae asks if she’s free later and proposes that they sleep together. Pardon?! Se-kye thinks she misheard, so Do-jae says again, “Let’s sleep together.”
Since Do-jae has been generally abrasive with Se-kye so far, it was satisfying to finally hear him address her in a kinder manner. Se-kye was unfairly bearing the brunt of his defense mechanisms, and I appreciated Se-kye for rising above their contention to save Do-jae and defeat him with her compassion. I’m puzzled by the cliffhanger, which is surely a misleading one, but part of me is hoping for the hilarious hijinks that could ensue if this was a literal suggestion. Would definitely spice things up a bit.
Being privy to Se-kye’s struggles, I sympathize more with Se-kye’s character and see Do-jae through her eyes. She’s been more honest and vulnerable as a character, while Do-jae seems more closed off. Though we get a taste of Do-jae’s prosopagnosia, we haven’t seen him admit how truly crippling his condition can be. His stubborn disinterest in Se-kye’s condition makes him seem even more distant as a character, and I hope that I’ll warm up to him alongside Se-kye. I fear that his detachment will hinder his ability to engage me later in the show, but this is where I surrender my trust to Lee Min-ki (and his shower scenes) to develop his character into a compelling and likeable dude.
Eun-ho continues to be endearing, and I love his complete lack/abundance of self-awareness — I can’t decide which one it is yet. Considering his charm, I wonder why he wants to become a priest, and I’m eager to see how/if Sa-ra changes his mind. I don’t find Sa-ra likeable at all yet, but I think Eun-ho will have the same impact that Se-kye has on Do-jae. The synergy between the two is bizarre, and I’m enjoying it because I’ve already suspended my disbelief for our main couple’s premise. If they can be as real as Se-kye candidly hanging laundry in perfect lighting, then I’m all about it.