Beauty Inside: Episode 11
Recovering from loss and grief is an uneasy process — one that requires unconditional love and care. After the devastating loss of her mother, Se-kye tries to carry on with a brave face, but that proves to be more difficult than she realizes. Do-jae initially hesitates to involve himself in Se-kye’s recovery process, but his support becomes her biggest comfort. Meanwhile, a few snoopers wriggle their way into our couple’s lives, threatening to expose their biggest insecurities.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
While talking to Woo-mi over the phone, Se-kye returns home to a stack of unread mail and a box with a few of Mom’s belongings. As Se-kye walks around her peaceful house, she imagines Mom nagging her to do the dishes and eat the side dishes she made, and cleaning the house.
Se-kye follows imaginary Mom to the couch and watches a video that Mom filmed of herself. In the video, Mom nags her like always, and Se-kye responds that she did all her chores. Mom tells Se-kye to sleep well and that she did well today. She ends the video by telling Se-kye to have a great day tomorrow and reminds her that she’s the best. Se-kye weakly smiles at the encouragement before sleeping on the couch.
When Se-kye returns to work on the movie, Director Lee thanks her for returning to set and warmly reminds her not to strain herself. During filming, Se-kye expertly acts out her assassin role, and the staff compliment her professionalism, especially right after her mother’s wake. Yoo-ri listens to them with silent envy.
On her way home, Yoo-ri flips through the articles about Se-kye’s sudden runaway incidents, and she remembers the odd run-in with Se-kye as she exited the empty bathroom at the wake. Yoo-ri smells something fishy and calls someone to trail Se-kye.
At the pojangmacha, Se-kye tells her friends to order as much as they want as a gesture of gratitude. She advises them to live saying what they want before its too late, so both Woo-mi and Eun-ho tell her that they love her. She’s weirded out by Eun-ho’s love and jokingly asks if he needs money.
When the ajumma brings them egg rolls, Se-kye comments that Mom could never make egg rolls this delicious. Woo-mi and Eun-ho freeze at the casual mention of Mom, and Se-kye apologizes for ruining the mood. She assures them that she’s fine, but Eun-ho recalls Sa-ra’s warning that Se-kye would pretend that everything is fine. Woo-mi embraces Se-kye, and Eun-ho tells her to accept their affection.
Drunk Se-kye calls Do-jae on her way home, and he tells her that he’s yielding to her friends to comfort her since they’ve loved her for longer. She jokingly wonders if he’s being aloof or considerate. He wishes that he could see her all day and night, and Se-kye assures him that they can, as her movie filming is ending soon. She smiles as she promises to call soon, but her optimism feels forced.
Do-jae’s mother enters his office and says that she blocked the news articles speculating about Do-jae and Se-kye’s relationship status based on his attendance at the wake. He initially says that her interference wasn’t necessary, but when she points out that the scandal would have made things more difficult for Se-kye, he thanks her.
Do-jae’s mother asks if he loves Se-kye and if she knows his condition, and he confirms both. Mom tells Do-jae that she resorted to working nonstop when his father left them, but she became useless when Do-jae suffered his accident. Her world collapsed.
When Do-jae woke up in the hospital, Professor Kang (Do-jae’s stepfather) told her that if Do-jae was her light, then he would be her foundation. After hearing those words, she knew that this person would be by her side for life.
Mom advises Do-jae to go to Se-kye, especially in this difficult time. She tells Do-jae to care for her unconditionally, without waiting his turn, if his love is sincere. Do-jae leaves to tend to Se-kye, and Mom notes that he’s a fool just like her.
Se-kye finds Do-jae at her doorstep, and he hugs her after acknowledging that he was a fool. Se-kye’s façade melts in his arms, and she tearfully admits that she only pretended to be fine when she was actually having a hard time.
Facing each other in bed, Se-kye tells Do-jae that she’s selfish for only thinking of her pain and adding to the burden he already carries from his own condition. Do-jae explains that he’s also selfish in his love for Se-kye because she makes him feel like he’s living an ordinary life.
He tells Se-kye that he’ll love all her flaws, and even if she isn’t beautiful, he’ll still love her as she is because she is whole. Se-kye tells him that she loves him, and Do-jae says that he loves her, like a miracle.
As Eun-ho passes by a flower shop, he remembers Sa-ra’s mention of flowers with the meaning “incoming happiness,” and enters the store to request these flowers. The worker points him to marigolds and notes that marigolds also hold another meaning.
Sa-ra looks up the meaning of marigolds and also finds two interpretations: the first meaning of “incoming happiness” and the second meaning of “pitiful love, sad heartbreak.” She sighs in revelation of the second meaning and comments that second place was always her spot anyway.
As Sa-ra leaves the office, she finds Eun-ho waiting for her with a basket of marigolds. He wanted to wish her incoming happiness, even if that isn’t him. Sa-ra says that this is why she doesn’t like nice people, and she tells him to forget what she said if it’s bothering him.
As she walks away, Eun-ho blurts out that he submitted his seminary application and asks if she has anything to tell him. Sa-ra says that she doesn’t and leaves. Eun-ho wonders to himself what he was expecting by telling Sa-ra this.
After filming the final scene of the movie, Se-kye thanks Director Lee for trusting her with this opportunity. He apologizes for believing the false rumors about her and thanks her for giving him a second chance. Then, Se-kye walks over to Yoo-ri to shake hands in farewell, and Yoo-ri coyly says that they may see each other soon.
Se-kye receives a call from Do-jae and wonders how he managed to call right as her filming wrapped. That’s because he’s right there, and she turns around to find him waiting with a bouquet of red roses. She runs into his arms, just like she did when she first booked the role.
As they enter the first-class cabin of the airplane, Se-kye marvels that Do-jae booked the entire cabin for themselves. The flight crew greets Do-jae, and after they leave, Se-kye mimics their contentious conversation on their first flight together. She had no idea that they would end up together then, but Do-jae says that he had an inkling because his heart fluttered when she fell asleep on his shoulder.
Se-kye takes delight in Do-jae’s confession and leans on his shoulder again, asking if his heart is still fluttering. Do-jae says that it’s her turn and points to the sunset outside their window. He tells her to greet her mom, since they’re as close as they can be to the sky. Se-kye cries emotionally as she watches the sunset.
As the couple enjoy their vacation at their ocean destination, Do-jae narrates that he would stare at his fishes swimming in the blue water because they looked like they were flying in the sky. He says, “There was a point when this was my world — a strange world where everything looked the same.” Se-kye reaches out her hand, and Do-jae takes it as he walks alongside her. He continues, “Then, my strange lover entered my strange world.”
Se-kye shares Mom’s description of how her dad suddenly appeared, suddenly became intimate, suddenly loved, and suddenly disappeared. She says that Do-jae also suddenly appeared in her life, suddenly became intimate, and suddenly loved her. Do-jae promises not to disappear and tells Se-kye to promise as well. He narrates, “I wish that my strange lover will strangely always be happy so that I can be happy.”
At night, Se-kye tells Do-jae about how her experience with Mom as lil’ boy Se-kye reflected her childhood with Mom, and she wonders if that transformation experience was meant for her to cherish now. Do-jae agrees that some moments are meant to cherish in retrospect. She wonders how they’ll reflect back on this moment and hopes that it will be happy memory. Do-jae says that it may not be too happy because he plans on making her even happier.
Se-kye says that she’s going to live happily for Mom, and she vows to smile and love a lot. She also promises to make Do-jae happy for a long time — enough to make happy moments like this seem like nothing.
Director Kim enters Sa-ra’s office unannounced to taunt her about her fiancé, Choi Ki-ho, and he looks pleased when Sa-ra seems uninformed about his return. As the oldest member of her fiancé’s family, Director Kim insults Ki-ho for being a miscreant, and Sa-ra sternly warns him to say no more. With that, Director Kim goes on his merry way, leaving Sa-ra to brew in anger.
At a bar, fiancé Ki-ho boasts to his friend about doing whatever he wants because he and Sa-ra are only engaged for business. The friend knows that Ki-ho is trying to wriggle his way up in the Sunho Group, and it seems that Ki-ho knows one of Do-jae’s weaknesses and plans to use that chip to bargain his way into the company.
When Eun-ho enters the room and introduces himself as their designated driver, Ki-ho childishly mocks him. He throws his keys on the ground and degrades Eun-ho by telling him to wait in the car.
As Eun-ho drives the asshole, he overhears Ki-ho’s phone conversation with another lover about Sa-ra. Ki-ho says that he finds Sa-ra unattractive because she’s not submissive and that Sa-ra is only marrying him out of ambition to beat her brother. Eun-ho swerves on the road in anger.
Se-kye wakes up to find the bed empty and opens up the door to their patio, which overlooks the ocean. Do-jae embraces her from behind with coffee, and Se-kye calls him a player. Se-kye calls him oppa as she says she’s hungry, to which Do-jae calls her a player. Cute.
Do-jae steps away as Se-kye checks out trinkets on the street, prompting her to search for him in the crowd. She grows increasingly desperate as she looks for Do-jae, and she finally finds near the fountain. She runs to him and realizes that this is how he must have felt when looking for her in a sea of unfamiliar faces.
At Se-kye’s apology, Do-jae reminds her that he loves her selfishly and says that he intended to surprise her with a gift — a necklace. He replaces her namesake necklace with his gift and promises to recognize her regardless of what she looks like. Se-kye looks touched and says that she’s ready to go home now.
Sa-ra hesitates to call her fiancé, and with one look at the marigolds, she changes her mind. She calls Eun-ho (saved on her phone as “snail bride” based on a Korean folk tale — basically means “kind helper”) and immediately asks where he is. He responds that he’s at church.
At the church, Eun-ho confesses his uncertainty about his path to the priest, and he fears that he’ll delay his decision if he doesn’t decide now. The priest says that one will never know a path he’s never walked, no matter the destination. He offers to let Eun-ho try on the priest garment, as it may help him decide his path.
Eun-ho looks at his reflection in the priest garment, just as Sa-ra arrives at the church. She seems hurt that Eun-ho would purposely wear that garment, knowing that she was coming to see him. He claims that he needed to confirm something, but she sees it as him testing her.
She deplores him for not know what she just sacrificed, and Eun-ho asks to know so that he can decide what to sacrifice. Sa-ra decides not to disclose her sacrifice and looks at the church, accusing God for being unfair about their compromise. As Sa-ra walks away, Eun-ho feels his heart racing.
As soon as Sa-ra returns home, Eun-ho appears at her doorstep. Eun-ho asks why she likes him, and Sa-ra responds that she likes him because he’s pretty. He wonders if she means that as a pretty good with high value, but Sa-ra clarifies she likes this pretty person who listens to her, comes at her request, makes her meals, and occasionally feeds her sweets.
Eun-ho accuses her of lying and asks why she didn’t disclose that she has a fiancé. Sa-ra admits that she initially didn’t think it was necessary to share, and later, she didn’t want to tell him. Eun-ho calls her shameless but adds that for some reason, he likes that. Oh, confession!
Their conversation is inconveniently interrupted by a surprise visit from fiancé Ki-ho, and Sa-ra casually lets him into the house. She looks at Eun-ho with pleading eyes and asks that he come when she calls. As she closes the door, Eun-ho looks at her with disbelief.
Sa-ra coldly interfaces with Ki-ho when he asks about Eun-ho, reminding him that their relationship doesn’t warrant him knowing about her life. He concurs and reminds her of their quest to make her the wife of the Sunho Group’s owner. Sa-ra corrects him that she’ll be the owner, and Ki-ho mockingly agrees to her ambitious goal. He adds that he has a gift for Sa-ra and prefaces it as Do-jae’s weakness.
Se-kye finds Eun-ho drinking soju alone at the pojangmacha and asks why he’s drinking so much. Eun-ho explains that he mustered up the courage to approach his crush, only to get kicked out. He admits that he stood at the closed door for a long time and realized that this is what his crush must have felt like.
Se-kye asks if his crush also likes him, and Eun-ho nods. She advises him to verbalize his thoughts, lest it cause heartache. Eun-ho worriedly asks if it will cause heartache for his crush, and Se-kye laughs that he’s already in deep, seeing that he worries about his crush before himself. She notes that his first love came at him strong, and he wonders if this is love.
Eun-ho wonders if he could give up his dream of ten years so easily, and Se-kye tells him that he creates his dream — not the other way around — so he can change his dream. Se-kye blames Sa-ra for being too pretty, and Eun-ho looks alarmed that Se-kye knows that his secret crush. Se-kye says that it’s obvious and notes that the two siblings are a headache.
Yoo-ri covertly meets the hired spy, who reports that he hasn’t found anything yet. Yoo-ri insists that Se-kye has a secret child or a condition that makes her suspicious and offers the spy any amount of money to find any evidence.
After her PPL photoshoot, Woo-mi tells Se-kye about Eun-ho’s hangover and feels left out that the two shared secrets without her. Se-kye blames Woo-mi for abandoning them for her boyfriend, so Woo-mi teases Se-kye for being ready to get married soon.
As Se-kye giggles about the prospect of marriage, she notices a strange sensation and looks around her surroundings. We notice a suspicious masked man in a hat, but Se-kye seems to dismiss her concerns.
In the car, Se-kye shares with Woo-mi that she felt like she was being watched, so Woo-mi decides to recruit Reporter Park to look into this. Woo-mi commends Se-kye’s future mother-in-law for impressively blocking any dating rumor articles, and Se-kye smiles proudly.
Woo-mi mentions that she’s cold, so Se-kye puts her coat over Woo-mi’s lap as a blanket. Woo-mi’s appreciation for her friend gets cut short by a call from Do-jae, and Se-kye channels all her attention there. He asks what she wants to eat and commends her for picking sushi because he already bought that.
When they arrive at the house, Se-kye runs inside to change, and Woo-mi puts on Se-kye’s coat as she digs through the car trunk. Do-jae arrives behind her and recognizes Se-kye’s coat. He approaches Woo-mi and addresses her as Se-kye, asking if she waited for him.
Woo-mi freezes at his misidentification, and when she begins to speak, Do-jae suddenly realizes his mistake. He apologizes to Woo-mi for not recognizing her because it’s dark out and hands her the sushi to deliver to Se-kye. Then, Do-jae speeds away in his car, ashamed of his mistake.
At Do-jae’s office, Secretary Jung flips through Do-jae’s notebook and notices the sketches of different people that are labeled as Se-kye. Uh-oh, looks like Do-jae isn’t the only one causing suspicion.
When Do-jae arrives at home, he receives a call from Se-kye, who heard about the interaction from Woo-mi and assures him that she’ll cover for him. Their phone call is interrupted by an incoming car that screeches to a halt in front of him.
Sa-ra storms out of her car and throws an envelope at Do-jae, asking if it’s true. He’s confused by her sudden confrontation, so she asks, “Is it true that you can’t recognize faces?”
Oh boy, the secrets are out. After learning that Sa-ra actually has a soft spot for family, I doubt that she’ll be using Do-jae’s condition to her advantage. Sa-ra is a pitiful character with potential, but I find myself appreciating her from a distance. I sympathize with Sa-ra’s inevitably cold demeanor when navigating the world of foul male executives, but I wish there was more to her character to make me root for her to win Eun-ho’s affection. I think it’s really cute how Sa-ra deals with the novel emotions that Eun-ho makes her feel, but I find myself forcing myself to be more invested.
We still don’t get an explanation for why priesthood was a dream for Eun-ho and it seems like we’re going to be moving forward without addressing that motive. I don’t find the reversal of the dream to be incredibly compelling because we’re not sure why this was his dream to begin with, but maybe that doesn’t matter. Sometimes we don’t really know why we started on a path, and it’s okay to be unsure and veer off from your original path. I’ll stop beating a dead horse for answers and move on because I think this moment of realization for Eun-ho transcends what I want from logic.
The brief moments that Se-kye and Do-jae shared with their mothers were precious. The motherly solace and guidance almost made their adult children seem like little kids again. I think these heartwarming moments allow me to overlook some of the glaring flaws in the show. These are the moments that I’ll surely cherish from the show in retrospect, and although I’ll surely gape at the flaws as well, some moments are meant to be realized in the future.