Fox Bride Star: Episodes 13-14
Our two protagonists are turning out to be one of the sweetest drama couples I’ve seen in along time, and they aren’t even a couple yet! They still have a lot to work out, individually and with each other, but there’s an understanding there that laces all of their interactions with an extra layer of meaning, which just makes them that much more interesting to watch. You can see where this will end, but the journey is the best part.
EPISODE 13: :A secret I can’t tell, a secret I can tell”
Soo-yeon sees Yeo-reum sitting alone with her luggage, and he invites her to stay the night at his place in the employee housing. She hesitantly follows him home, where they’re both immediately struck with a bad case of awkward.
Soo-yeon points out the bathroom and Yeo-reum says she’s happy to sleep in the living room. He shuffles off to his bedroom and she collapses onto the couch, then she pops back up intending to sneak out. Soo-yeon catches her at it, so Yeo-reum admits that this feels like a bad idea.
She adds that she hopes there’s no misunderstanding, because unlike him, she can’t start liking someone in only three seconds. Soo-yeon asks if he’s being dumped, but Yeo-reum clarifies that she’s just saying she needs time to like someone. Soo-yeon takes that as a solid “maybe,” and he’s happy when she admits that it means he still has a chance.
He tells Yeo-reum to stay, promising not to misunderstand and think this means they’re dating. He makes kimchi stew while she watches, breaking into a huge smile where she can’t see.
Over drinks, Seo-koon gets a chance to ask In-woo the story between him and Soo-yeon, telling him that Soo-yeon said that they were brothers once, and that he liked In-woo best of anyone. She informs a silent In-woo that Soo-yeon wanted to quit, but she dragged him to Terminal Two, meaning he’s there because of her, not him.
In-woo says that everyone has a jinx, and Soo-yeon is his — everything gets messed up when Soo-yeon is nearby. He tells Seo-koon that Soo-yeon isn’t the only one who got hurt twelve years ago, but he doesn’t go into detail.
Soo-yeon watches Yeo-reum shyly as she eats, taking in her pleased expression when she tastes his cooking. She jokes that it’s not fair that he’s smart and a great cook, making him smile again.
She coughs, and they both reach for a water glass, freezing when their hands touch. It reminds Yeo-reum that Soo-yeon flung away her hand when she felt his prosthetic, but this time he just gently pulls away. He thinks about a conversation he had with Bartender Jang about his arm — Bartender Jang had asked when Soo-yeon would tell Yeo-reum the truth, and he’d said he didn’t plan to, because he wants to hide it forever.
As they eat, Yeo-reum narrates that she had many questions, but she didn’t ask any of them. Soo-yeon’s voice tells us that he wanted to spend more time with Yeo-reum as if nothing was wrong.
In the morning, Yeo-reum wakes to the sound of loud voices, and she whines, “Aww, let me sleeeep!” before remembering that she’s at Soo-yeon’s place. Soo-yeon went to work early, but he made Yeo-reum breakfast and left a note telling her to leave her suitcases at his place, and she can pick them up after work.
Soo-yeon went in early to meet with Team Leader Choi, who wants to talk about his prosthetic after In-woo’s challenge of whether it’s safe to have it in the airport. He asks Soo-yeon to prove it’s safe, saying that it will be an issue if he refuses. Soo-yeon says it’s an invasion of privacy, but Team Leader Choi tells him that objecting will only attract more attention. He gives Soo-yeon a week to either prove it’s safe, or quit.
When Yeo-reum leaves for work, she runs right into Young-joo, who’s also moving into employee housing, in Soo-yeon’s building. Yeo-reum nervously stammers that she was staying with a friend before moving into employee housing herself today, and Young-joo is curious who the friend is, since she’ll be their neighbor.
When Yeo-reum gets to work, Soo-yeon is nowhere to be seen. Yeo-reum is told by a coworker that he hasn’t arrived yet. Talking to herself, she nearly gives away that she was at Soo-yeon’s place this morning, so she stammers that he texted her and scoots away.
She sends Soo-yeon a worried text, so he heads towards the office, and on the way he runs across In-woo. After a short glare-off, Soo-yeon walks right past In-woo without a word. In-woo makes a call to have the homeless people hanging out in the airport removed in anticipation of an inspection, and one man who appears homeless seems to take interest in his conversation.
Yeo-reum meets Soo-yeon at the elevator and drags him off to a storeroom so they can talk privately (seriously, his amused grins at her antics are going to kill me). She tells him that Young-joo is moving into his building, and that she saw Yeo-reum leaving his place this morning.
Soo-yeon doesn’t see the problem, but Yeo-reum is afraid of what people might say if they thought they were dating. She explains that when dating rumors circulate, it’s always the woman who ends up shamed. She says that people’s stares can hurt, assuming he doesn’t know about that, but she couldn’t be more wrong.
He asks how she knows about it, so she tells him that people were prejudiced against her because of what happened to her family. She asks him to help her avoid it happening again, so he promises to think of a way to deal with Young-joo. He asks sweetly if she ate breakfast and whether she slept well, and the soft look in his eyes makes her shy.
After Yeo-reum leaves, Soo-yeon hears something fall to the ground nearby. He follows the noise, and when he leans over to pick up the object, someone slips out the door behind him. Uh-oh. He rushes back to the office to see if anyone looks suspicious, but everyone seems to be acting perfectly normally.
Soo-yeon and Yeo-reum are ordered to help prepare for today’s inspection of the terminal. Seo-koon asks Manager Gong about their staff lounge, but Young-ran is claiming that her department needs that space for a new store and tells Seo-koon to find another place. Seo-koon agrees that profit is important, but so is giving employees a place to rest.
Young-ran and Seo-koon continue their argument over the space in front of In-woo, who says it’s not decided yet, so they demand that In-woo make a decision immediately. He says that he’ll review their information and make a decision before the inspection.
Young-ran orders her employee to write up the numbers on potential profit, but Seo-koon decides to make a personal presentation instead. She chooses Soo-yeon to give the presentation since he chose the space, and when he says that he’ll only make things worse, she tells him to do it anyway.
On her way to help get ready for the inspection, Yeo-reum spots Young-joo and looks worried. Maybe she should be worried about the coworker who overheard her mumbling to herself earlier, who gives her a look behind her back in the elevator.
The security team gear up for the removal of the homeless people, with Dae-ki telling them to be persuasive rather than forceful. It goes well for the most part, though Yeo-reum keeps staring at Young-joo worriedly. From a distance, the possibly homeless man who overheard In-woo’s phone conversation watches the proceedings.
EPISODE 14 RECAP
During a break, Yeo-reum hands out bottles of water, and her eyes go huge when Young-joo asks where Soo-yeon is (so do Dae-ki’s — aww, somebody’s jealous!). Young-joo says she just always sees them together, and Yeo-reum denies it, a little too forcefully.
Belatedly, Yeo-reum realizes that she’s made a spectacle of herself in front of everyone. Nobody says anything, but the suspicious coworker smirks to himself.
Yeo-reum finds a quiet spot to be alone, near the man who’s been watching her all afternoon. He notes that she makes mistakes because she’s too sensitive to what others think, and when she asks who he is, he tells her not to ask or she’ll get hurt. He mutters that she has a good soul but bad luck when it comes to parents, somehow aware that she was hurt by her parents when she was young.
Young-ran’s employee gives In-woo the numbers she prepared, and Soo-yeon approaches to give his presentation, looking like he’d rather be anywhere else. He unrolls a detailed drawing he’s made of the terminal, showing that the area Seo-koon wants for the lounge is removed from the other stores, which would make it difficult for the passengers to find if it were a retail place.
Yeo-reum takes the mysterious man for ice cream and asks if he has some sort of mystic power. He says he did study them for fun once, but that his true area of study is psychology. He says that he guessed that her parents neglected or abandoned her by the way she cares about others’ opinions, and when he sees her expression, he congratulates himself for nailing it.
He tells Yeo-reum that she puts up a wall because she’s scared people will disregard her. He says she just needs to be honest, and to accept those who like her, while disregarding those who don’t.
Eun-seob invites Yeo-reum to lunch, and while he’s waiting, he overhears some employees gossiping that Yeo-reum and Soo-yeon are dating. They joke that they can see why Yeo-reum likes Soo-yeon, but that all she has going for her are her looks. Eun-seob interrupts to politely ask which jerk is spreading such a rumor.
Of course, it’s Mr. Nosy from Yeo-reum’s office who’s gleefully telling everyone about the latest dating scandal. The rumor eventually makes its way to Manager Gong and Seo-koon.
Yeo-reum notices that Soo-yeon skipped lunch, so she brings him a coffee to thank him for her latte this morning. His grateful smile is gorgeous, but it doesn’t last long as Manager Gong comes in crooning about love. He crows that he heard they’re dating and that Yeo-reum spent the night at Soo-yeon’s place, making so much noise that the entire office hears.
Yeo-reum runs off, furious, to find Young-joo. She goes after Young-joo with guns blazing, accusing her of starting the rumor when she knows how much such rumors can harm another woman. She doesn’t believe Young-joo when she says she didn’t start any rumor, and that she didn’t even know it was Soo-yeon’s house Yeo-reum was leaving this morning.
Young-joo finally convinces her, which just confuses Yeo-reum more, wondering who could have told everyone. Dae-ki hangs outside the door while they argue, and eventually Soo-yeon finds them. He literally yanks Yeo-reum out of the room to tell her that someone overheard them in the storage room.
He apologizes for not telling her sooner, and steps towards her, possibly to comfort her. But she reels back from him and he stops cold, and lets her walk away when she says she needs to be alone.
Seo-koon is furious with In-woo when he decides to grant the space she wanted for an employee lounge to Young-ran for another store. She accuses In-woo of playing favorites against her and Soo-yeon, disbelieving that he made the decision purely for business reasons.
When she informs her team, Manager Gong turns on Soo-yeon, saying that his presentation must have been terrible to lose against Young-ran’s plain document. He continues that Soo-yeon is only successful in love, adding that Yeo-reum should try working harder instead of beguiling new employees.
Soo-yeon remembers how worried Yeo-reum was that people would look down on her, and he thinks that it’s because he’s experienced that first hand, her words hurt all the more because she was right. He speaks up, admitting that he didn’t do his job well, but that that’s all it was. He snaps at Manager Gong for bringing an innocent person into it, and when Manager Gong yells at him for being insubordinate, Seo-koon tells Manager Gong to stop.
She’s so mad that she offers to let the two fight it out like men. Manager Gong sits down, and Soo-yeon starts to leave to do his rounds. But he turns back to tell everyone that Yeo-reum didn’t do anything, and that he likes her, but it’s a one-sided thing.
This time he’s the one looking for Yeo-reum as she cries in a storage room. Soo-yeon finds the door locked, and in his worry and frustration, he twists the handle right off the door. Team Leader Choi is nearby and sees this, but he leaves Soo-yeon alone.
At the end of the work day, the guy who spread the rumors gets a strange call — a voice warns that if he spreads rumors again, he’ll tell all of his secrets. Ah, it’s Eun-seob, who tells him to apologize to Yeo-reum and Soo-yeon, then he’ll reveal himself and apologize for this call.
Young-ran makes a point to simper on the phone to her husband that something good happened at work, right in front of Seo-koon. After she brags about having a family to go home to and leaves, Team Leader Lee kindly tells Seo-koon not to wear herself out working.
Soo-yeon arrives home to find Yeo-reum outside his building, waiting to pick up her luggage. He invites her in, but instead, she asks him to bring her things out. When he does, he asks if she’s okay, but she says sadly that she wants to erase everything that happened today.
She blames herself for being careless and acting foolishly, and admits that she just wants to hide away somewhere. Soo-yeon asks to see her address and he’ll help her find her new place, gently insisting that it’s easy to get lost in all these buildings when she tries to decline.
Upstairs in her new digs, Young-joo admires her sparkling-clean place and makes herself a nice steak to celebrate, wondering when her new roommate will show up. Downstairs, Soo-yeon goes still when he sees Yeo-reum’s new address and realizes that she’s moving into his building… oh boy, she’s going to be Young-joo’s roommate!
Horrified, Yeo-reum actually tries to run away, but Soo-yeon manages to stop her. He asks what she’s so scared of, but she wails that she’s embarrassed, not scared. Soo-yeon asks if she’s embarrassed that he likes her, and that finally slows her down.
She admits, “It’s me. I’m embarrassed about myself.” Quietly, Soo-yeon tells her, “There’s no such thing as a coincidence. Everything happens for a reason. Looking back, today will have become a meaningful day.” It’s the exact thing her father used to tell her, and she asks him how he knows that phrase.
Soo-yeon sweetly tells her to stop being embarrassed and go inside, but Yeo-reum stops him. She asks, “By chance… do you know my father?” From Soo-yeon’s perspective. We see again the day he tried to throw himself down the stairs, and earlier when he and In-woo ate together before the accident. It was Yeo-reum’s father who served them their meal, and later saved Soo-yeon from ending his life.
In answer to her question, Soo-yeon tells Yeo-reum, “Yes, I do know him.”
I never in a million years expected that Yeo-reum would end up living in Soo-yeon’s building! This is going to be so much fun, especially with her living with Young-joo — you can see that the two women have a lot of friendship potential, though right now they’re like oil and water. But they’ll be good for each other… Yeo-reum can teach Young-joo to be more friendly, and Young-joo can be an example for Yeo-reum of how not to care so much what people think of her. Not to mention that Soo-yeon lives in the very same building, which is just going to push him and Yeo-reum together more often, and hopefully give us a lot of out-of-the-office cuteness to enjoy.
Soo-yeon and Yeo-reum are just too cute for words together, and Soo-yeon’s little micro-expressions over Yeo-reum are going to make my heart explode, I swear. He’s smiling more and more often, particularly when he thinks she’s being overly dramatic, but I also love the way he becomes all sweetness and concern whenever he realizes that her worries are founded in past mistreatment. He’s good at talking Yeo-reum through her freak-outs while never making her feel like her emotions are wrong. His crush is perfect because he doesn’t see Yeo-reum as perfect, and he never indulges her histrionics, but he takes her more valid worries utterly seriously — in other words, he doesn’t put Yeo-reum on a pedestal. He sees her as realistically flawed and sometimes so wrong that she needs to be corrected. He’s not afraid to be the one doing the correcting, but you can tell that he also finds her unbearably cute a lot of the time.
And I made a sound I’m sure only dogs can hear when Yeo-reum pretty much confessed that she’ll come to like Soo-yeon in the same way he likes her, given time. His face barely changed, but you could see the hope light up his eyes when she asked for his patience until she comes around. I actually think that Yeo-reum likes Soo-yeon more than she realizes, it’s just that she’s got so many other things to worry about right now that she doesn’t have time to examine those feelings right now. But just asking for time was a huge admission, and I loved the honesty in that conversation, and how Soo-yeon promised not to misunderstand or get ahead of himself. Hooray for open communication!
Then on the opposite end of the communication spectrum, there’s In-woo… it really bothered me, the way that In-woo called Soo-yeon his jinx, as if Soo-yeon is the reason bad things happen to him. The way I see it, Soo-yeon’s accident happened because of In-woo’s shady past, and if anything blows up now that they’re working together, it will be because of In-woo’s terrible attitude. It’s not fair to blame Soo-yeon for those things when they aren’t even coincidental, but a direct result of In-woo’s bad decision-making skills. He acts out because he has a grudge against Soo-yeon, then when things go wrong, he blames Soo-yeon… but if he would just act like a decent human being in the first place, those bad things might not happen at all.
I really like how this show tackles interesting social issues without beating the audience over the head with them… an episode about an employee losing their temper with a customer turns out to really be about sexual harassment, or a dating scandal becomes a gentle lesson on how women are looked down upon in office relationship situations. Poor Yeo-reum, as a young, pretty woman trying to support herself in the working world, runs across these situations often (and I wish I could say they’re blown out of proportion, but sadly, they aren’t), and it’s no wonder she fights so hard against the prejudiced attitudes against women in the workplace. And as a disabled man, Soo-yeon hides his limitations in an attempt to avoid the same things that Yeo-reum struggles against, which gives them something really meaningful in common. I really like how these topics are addressed but never feel heavy-handed, so that the takeaway from each episode isn’t primarily that we’ve been given a lecture, but the focus still sits squarely on Soo-yeon’s issues and his and Yeo-reum’s growing feelings for each other.