Fox Bride Star: Episodes 7-8
This drama finally seems to be settling into what it wants to be, despite a rough start. There’s a slightly dreamy feel and we see the human problems that plague the team of Terminal Two, and how they’re learning to work with the system instead of against it. The show manages to balance out the very serious airport events with toothache-inducing cuteness between some of the characters, and I’m very much on board with what it’s offering now that it’s figured out its direction.
EPISODE 7: “The border from everything else”
Having been unexpectedly kicked out of her apartment three days early, Yeo-reum lugs all of her worldly possessions to work. Soo-yeon sees her loading her luggage onto the airport bus, but he ignores her when he boards. Despite having his earbuds in, Soo-yeon listens as a passenger strikes up a conversation with Yeo-reum about airport employee perks (there are none), and he chuckles to himself.
He thinks about his conversation with Bartender Jang at the Fox Bride Star bar last night. Bartender Jang had asked why he decided to stay at Terminal Two, but Soo-yeon hadn’t wanted to give a reason. He thinks about his accident when he was young — he’d been in the hospital afterward as doctors worked in vain to save his right arm and leg.
Eventually, deeply depressed, he’d tried to end it by driving his wheelchair down a flight of stairs. But someone (whose face we don’t see) had grabbed him at the last second.
Soo-yeon comes back to the present when Yeo-reum slumps over in her seat, fast asleep, hee. He seems to enjoy watching Yeo-reum’s head bob back and forth until she pulls herself upright. It reminds him again of last night, when Bartender Jang had asked if he decided to stay because of a woman, and he’d answered with a sheepish smile, “Yes, it is.”
A foreign passenger seems nervous as he hands over his passport in Customs, and he’s refused entry into the country when his passport turns up fake. He begs the Customs agent, saying that his wife is about to have a baby, but he’s taken aside by Security.
In-woo watches as Soo-yeon arrives for work at Terminal Two, while at the same time, Young-ran from Commercial Facilities confronts Seo-koon about a letter telling her to remove the signs in front of the duty-free stores. She wants Seo-koon to let it slide since it’s a busy time, but Seo-koon refuses to compromise the safety of the passengers for any reason.
Seo-koon sends Soo-yeon to go fix another water dispenser, and the “Um, okay?” look on his face is hilarious. She asks Manager Gong to check on an order of tensabarriers he was supposed to make, which he’d delegated to Yeo-reum, only she’s not at her desk yet. She’s trying to find a place to store her stuff while on the phone with Eun-seob, who invites her to stay with him for three days until she can move to her new place, but she declines since he lives with his parents.
They talk about someone who’s arriving on a flight tonight, and whose upcoming visit seems to make Yeo-reum especially happy. After they hang up, Eun-seob’s coworker says that his voice sounded sweet on the phone, as if he’s dating. He nervously rejects the idea and quickly changes the subject. Uh-oh, crush alert!
Elsewhere, security guard Dae-ki asks Young-joo if she feels okay after drinking last night. She insists she’s fine, but a flashback shows her hugging the toilet all night, HA. Dae-ki jokes that she can be his “black rose” (drink for him) at work outings, and Young-joo quickly snaps that she only does that sort of thing for a boyfriend.
He asks if she has a boyfriend, and although she doesn’t, she just asks if that’s a bad thing. Dae-ki says that she’s just always working so hard, and he gets a faceful of “Can’t hardworking women also date? Why are you so biased?” LOL, at least he knows when to admit defeat and shut up.
Young-joo notices a pregnant woman nearby who seems to be in distress. Oh, she must be the foreign passenger’s wife.
Seo-koon spots Yeo-reum trying to sneak into the office late, but Yeo-reum is caught by Team Leader Lee while hiding behind a desk. She claims she’s just tying her shoelaces… only she’s wearing loafers, whoops. But she sticks to her story about getting to work early and doing an extra round of the terminal, which fools Manager Gong, but Soo-yeon sees her pulling her purse out from under her jacket and gives her a baleful glare.
In the break room, he calls out Yeo-reum on the lie that she was an hour early, since they came to work on the same bus. He even mentions her little nap, but when Yeo-reum is concerned that she might have snored, Soo-yeon doesn’t answer.
He asks about her luggage, and she says that she’s moving into the employee dorms in three days. Soo-yeon hands her a drink (“You must be tired from lying.” LOL!) and she takes it, fussing at him for holding something so hot even if he can’t feel the pain.
She grabs his hand to show him that he burned his fingers, and Soo-yeon goes still at her touch. He asks if she always touches people’s hands so casually, so Yeo-reum carefully lets go and apologizes. Embarrassed, she turns to go, but he says after her, “A little. You only snored a little.” Ha!
He leaves, all cool and smooth, but stops to look at his hand when he gets to the hallway. He’s distracted by a call on his walkie-talkie about a pregnant woman having trouble breathing, but before he can answer, Yeo-reum says she’s on her way. He watches her deposit the drink he made on her desk, then go back for one last big gulp, which makes him smile.
In-woo follows the still-smiling Soo-yeon to the elevator, but the smile disappears when In-woo joins him. Soo-yeon looks incredulous when In-woo says casually that it’s been a while, remembering the last time they saw each other—the night of Soo-yeon’s tragic accident.
When Yeo-reum arrives at the terminal, Dae-ki tells her that the pregnant woman is from the Philippines. They think she’s in labor but she refuses to leave before her husband arrives, even when her water breaks. Yeo-reum promises to find her husband if she’ll go to the medical center.
Soo-yeon tells In-woo that it would have been better if he hadn’t recognized Soo-yeon, or at least pretended he hadn’t. In-woo says it’s still nice to see him, but Soo-yeon grumbles, “I’m sorry, but I don’t feel the same way.” In-woo asks how Soo-yeon got this far, but Soo-yeon snarls that he really wants to ask how he survived the accident.
He leaves without another word when the elevator door opens, but he gets lost in another memory, of a time before his accident. He’d followed In-woo, a neighborhood hyung, around with a case of hero-worship. In-woo had told him to go away and study or do something useful, but he’d relented and gone to eat with Soo-yeon, all the while denying that he’s enjoying the time they spend together.
Soo-yeon is a little sniffly when Yeo-reum tells him on the walkie-talkie that she texted him a picture of the woman’s husband and asks him to help her find him. The husband’s name is Ian Santos, and he’s still being held in Customs. He’s been caught for illegal immigration once before, which is why he tried to use a fake passport. He pleads to see his baby, but he’s denied entry into the country.
His wife is finally at the medical center, and she has a death-grip on poor scared Dae-ki as her labor progresses.
Soo-yeon goes to fix the water dispenser in the customs waiting area, and he spots Ian, who looks stricken. He’s called to board his plane back to the Philippines, and he asks to use the bathroom first. Soo-yeon calls Yeo-reum to tell her that he found Ian, but that he won’t be able to see his family because he was denied entry into the country.
From the bathroom, Ian calls his wife, Mari, and apologizes that he can’t join her and their baby. Mari cries piteously, which seems to get to Dae-ki and Young-joo. Yeo-reum arrives, wanting to talk to the immigration officials, and when Soo-yeon says that she can’t change anything, she argues that his wife and baby are so close, so she wants to at least try. Soo-yeon lets her go, then calls Seo-koon.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
When Ian comes out of the restroom, he shoves his escort and makes a run for it. Soo-yeon considers chasing him but decides against it, at the same time as Yeo-reum loses her nerve to ask for leniency. But then they both change their minds again — Soo-yeon runs after Ian, and Yeo-reum starts to open the door to the Immigration office, but she’s stopped by Seo-koon.
Soo-yeon chases Ian through the airport and right past where In-woo is meeting with some foreign businessmen. In-woo sends the VIPs to a safer area and goes to see what’s happening.
Eventually Soo-yeon corners Ian, but he says he has no authority to get Ian in to see his wife. Growing desperate, Ian brandishes a pen knife at Soo-yeon, and he slashes Soo-yeon’s right sleeve. Soo-yeon says it’s fine, but Ian attacks again, and this time he stabs the knife deep into Soo-yeon’s arm with a metallic clang. He lets go in shock, and though there’s a bit of blood, Soo-yeon pulls the pen out of his arm easily.
It’s at this point that In-woo finds them, and he watches as Ian tries to punch Soo-yeon, but he overbalances and flips over a balcony railing. Soo-yeon reaches out with his right arm and catches the man, and with one hand, easily lifts him back up to safety. As the security team finally arrives, Soo-yeon quietly steps on the bloody pen knife and hides his arm. Ian notices, but doesn’t say anything as he’s taken away.
Yeo-reum tells Seo-koon that she wanted to talk to Immigration about letting Ian see his wife and new baby. Seo-koon says that they won’t change their minds just because someone begs, and Yeo-reum apologizes, then she gets a text that the baby was born.
Awww, Dae-ki gets all choked up looking at the new baby girl, making Young-joo laugh. She takes a picture of the mother and child and sends it to Yeo-reum, who starts crying and shows it to Seo-koon, upset that the father is going to be sent home without seeing his beautiful family.
Seo-koon thinks about how earlier, she’d asked Team Leader Lee why he transferred Yeo-reum to her. He’d said that she reminded him of another new employee many years ago who also struggled a lot, but who became a very talented team leader… Seo-koon.
With a sigh, Seo-koon leads Yeo-reum into the immigration office. She shows the photo to the officer in charge, saying that the baby is in the medical center waiting to meet her father. She says she’s not asking for leniency, but just for him to do the humane thing and let a new father see his child, but he still refuses.
In a store room, Soo-yeon is tending to his arm when Yeo-reum talks to him through the walkie-talkie. She says he was right that she couldn’t change anything, and that she overstepped her boundaries. But she asks sadly, “What kind of boundary stops a baby from seeing her daddy?”
Something shifts in Soo-yeon… he tapes up his torn sleeves and calls Dae-ki to ask a favor. He tells Dae-ki that they could get in trouble and says he doesn’t have to get involved, but whatever it is, Dae-ki is up for it. He goes to get Yeo-reum and says they’re heading to the gate.
Ian is there, waiting for his plane and miserably watching a family with small children. The immigration officer watches Ian, and he sees Yeo-reum and Soo-yeon approach the security guards watching him. Soo-yeon hands a guard the phone, and Dae-ki gives him an order. Ian can tell something is happening, and he starts to beg, “Please, please!”
Young-joo settles the mother and baby into a wheelchair, and they all head out, while Soo-yeon leads Ian in their direction. They meet in the middle, and though there’s a glass wall between them, the look on Ian’s face when he sees his wife and child is worth everything.
This time, Dae-ki doesn’t bother hiding his tears. Soo-yeon hands Yeo-reum a hankie for her tears and she notices the tape on his sleeve. She asks what’s wrong, but he just slides his arm behind his back and smiles.
The immigration officer is still watching the scene, and he makes a call. Team Leader Choi comes to get Seo-koon, saying that they’re summoned to the Immigration office, and they find Soo-yeon and Yeo-reum waiting there with Dae-ki and Young-joo. Dae-ki takes responsibility for the other security guards, but Soo-yeon says that Dae-ki did this as a favor to him.
He asserts that they broke no rules, because Ian was escorted by security and never left the outgoing side of the terminal. The immigration officer says that they crossed a line, but Soo-yeon argues that they just have different opinions on what’s right.
The officer says that Immigration can’t act according to personal beliefs and opinions, and that the border’s rules are more important than one individual. He says he’s going to order an investigation into what happened today, and make Soo-yeon take responsibility. But Seo-koon volunteers to be responsible, saying that she ordered the group to do this. Team Leader Choi looks surprised but then he says the same thing — that he ordered his people to take action.
It’s time for Ian to board his plane, but the immigration official says that he can’t board while there’s an open investigation. In fact, he says the married couple will need to be investigated too, so they’ll just have to stay together in the investigation room. Aww, ya big softie!
Dae-ki, Young-joo, Yeo-reum, and Soo-yeon get slap-on-the-wrist punishments, and although Yeo-reum offers to help Soo-yeon with his, he says they should take care of their new tasks on their own. He looks curious when Yeo-reum gets a text from Eun-seob that makes her smile widely, and he looks down to see that his arm has gone magnetic again and collected a few metal items. He hides it until Yeo-reum leaves.
Eun-seob’s texts to Yeo-reum are about the airplane that’s bringing in whoever they’re so excited about. Yeo-reum changes clothes, then hides her suitcase and runs to meet the plane.
At his desk, In-woo stares at Soo-yeon’s personnel records again… particularly the part that says he has a serious physical disability involving a “support device.” He’d seen the slash in Soo-yeon’s sleeve when he lifted Ian over the railing, and the metal in Soo-yeon’s arm that showed through.
Yeo-reum’s anticipated plane prepares to land, but suddenly the plan lurches dangerously, and a woman looks out her window to see one of the engines on fire. The pilots report that there was a possible bird strike (when a bird in flight gets caught in the engine), and Eun-seob, who’s watching the monitors for Yeo-reum, begins to panic.
Soo-yeon happens to be outside when he sees an oddly bright light approaching the airport. A message goes out to all airport employees about the emergency, including Yeo-reum, who gets the text just seconds after spotting the fire in the sky.
She watches the plane in shock, barely able to breath a single word: “Mom?”
Oh no, this is bad! A great cliffhanger, show-wise, but very bad for Yeo-reum if her mother gets injured or worse right in front of Yeo-reum’s eyes. I don’t know if I can take it, and I’m hoping that the fact that Yeo-reum’s mom is being played by one of my favorite actresses (the incredible Kim Yeo-jin) means that she’s not going to die as soon as we meet her.
The more we learn about Soo-yeon’s arm, the more curious I get! I originally assumed it was a full prosthetic, but even the metal section of his arm appears to retain biological material, since he’s bled twice when the arm was injured. And his hand seems to be his actual hand, because it can get injured/burned just like a normal hand, even though he can’t feel the pain. But why is it only sometimes magnetic? It seems to happen when he’s feeling emotional, like when he first met Yeo-reum, and again after this very emotionally draining day. I’m dying to know what kind of crazy technology he’s got going on, and why it makes him so afraid of attracting attention.
But on a lighter note, ask me how much I love the fact that Soo-yeon is already falling for Yeo-reum! As tsundere as Soo-yeon is, and with Yeo-reum being such a big ball of feelings, I didn’t really expect Soo-yeon to topple first, but he did and it’s just so adorable. His way of watching her is unbearably cute, and it’s even amusing that he doesn’t do any of the normal drama-hero moves like catching her head when she falls asleep — he just lets her wobble and enjoys the view. He doesn’t even hold back from giving her grumpy glares when he catches her lying. It’s somehow extra sweet that he thinks Yeo-reum is pretty even in her most unflattering moments… okay that’s it, I’m just in love with Soo-yeon-in-love.
This show is just going in a cute direction in general, at least in regards to interpersonal relationships. Eun-seob’s crush on Yeo-reum is also adorable, though I’m sure it will break me later. And I live for the interactions between goofy-puppy Dae-ki and grumpy-cat Young-joo… the look on his face when she twisted his comments around on him were equally precious and hilarious. I could see them getting to be a couple, and Dae-ki being perfectly happy letting Young-joo run his life, ha. Something about this show makes me want to ship everyone, even Seo-koon and Team Leader Choi, who I feel like would be a cute couple. There was some chemistry between Seo-koon and In-woo, but we haven’t seen them together much this week, so it’s hard to tell. Young-ran mentioned a failed marriage… I wonder who Seo-koon was supposed to marry?
Originally I didn’t find the setting of an airport to be that exciting, but now I really like the direction the show is going in. The airport setting actually allows for a lot of human interest stories to go into and out of Incheon International. I like the different people and problems that Soo-yeon and Yeo-reum are faced with, and how they’re adjusting to the system and their jobs in a way that allows them to help people and learn about themselves in the process. The show’s first week was rough, but the characterizations and situations seem to have found their direction — I feel like Fox Bride Star has finally worked out what it’s trying to say regarding life and these quirky, flawed characters, and all I can say is that I’m in for the long haul.