Fox Bride Star: Episodes 19-20
The thing about keeping secrets is that, while everyone has something they want to hide, sometimes hiding the truth can make a situation worse than being honest. We all have things that we wish nobody knew, but it’s not always possible to keep them hidden. For both our protagonists, it’s time to decide – tell the truth now, or risk being found out later?
EPISODE 19: “The thing that exists now, but doesn’t exist in the future”
On the way to his date with Yeo-reum, Soo-yeon’s arm prosthetic stops working, then becomes more magnetic than it ever has before, attaching itself to a car with a strong enough pull to warp the door and break the window. Eun-seob hears the noise and goes to check on Soo-yeon (he came to the house to confess to Yeo-reum).
He finds Soo-yeon trying to hide on the other side of the car, his right hand bleeding badly. He takes him home to Bartender Jang, who thanks him and leads Soo-yeon to his room. When the door opens, Eun-seob sees something inside that makes him frown.
With the prosthetic off, Soo-yeon’s arm looks worse than before, covered in burns and bruises. Soo-yeon himself seems to be in shock, shaking and gritting his teeth, and unable to even look at his arm.
Young-joo tells Dae-ki that she feels uncomfortable around him, so she wants to switch to a different team. Dae-ki asks if she thinks he doesn’t like her, and she asks why he always interprets her words negatively. He tells her that she should have talked to him instead of just notifying him that she wants off his team.
He says that it’s normal to disagree with your superior, but that she wants to be understood when she’s not willing to communicate. He refuses her request to change teams, instead telling her that she’ll have to work with him until she comes up with an acceptable reason to switch.
Yeo-reum is waiting at the airport for Soo-yeon, and In-woo corners her, saying that he really wants to clear up the misunderstandings between him and Soo-yeon and asks for her help. Later she gets a text from Soo-yeon, regretfully canceling their date and promising to call her later.
No matter how much Soo-yeon begs, Bartender Jang firmly refuses to let him wear his prosthetics again until he determines if the problem is mechanical, or a default in the microchip in Soo-yeon’s body. Looking like a sad puppy, Soo-yeon says that Team Leader Choi only promised to keep his secret for a month, so he hasn’t got much time. Bartender Jang asks what happens after a month, and Soo-yeon says that he agreed to quit his job.
Bartender Jang had warned that he could be risking his health for that one month, but Soo-yeon had counters that that one month means everything to him. He promises himself that during that month, he’s going to do whatever it takes to be remembered by Yeo-reum as the perfect man.
Yeo-reum wakes early the next morning to the sounds of Young-joo exercising. Young-joo tells her that her boyfriend left flowers last night, and Yeo-reum blurts out, “Soo-yeon came here?” But Young-joo meant Eun-seob, and Yeo-reum’s question tips her off that something is going on between Yeo-reum and Soo-yeon like she suspected.
She growls at Yeo-reum for shouting at her for spreading rumors, and reminds her that she never apologized for the false accusation. Yeo-reum bows and says she’s sorry, but she swears that back then, there really was nothing going on. When Young-joo asks about now, Yeo-reum reminds her that it was her request to respect each other’s private lives, lol.
With that settled, Yeo-reum asks who brought the flowers, and she’s flummoxed to learn that it was Eun-seob. She calls him and tells him to buy flowers for someone he likes next time. Boy, she is really dense. Eun-seob recalls last night, and how he saw Soo-yeon’s wheelchair in his room.
When Yeo-reum hangs up, a young woman standing nearby calls out her name. Yeo-reum doesn’t look happy to see her old classmate MIN-JUNG (cameo by Bae Noo-ri), or to hear that Min-jung is at the airport several times a week for her job as a travel agent.
She turns down Min-jung’s invitation to catch up, but Min-jung insists on exchanging phone numbers. She tells Yeo-reum to meet her for lunch, but all Yeo-reum can think of is how Min-jung used to bully her in school.
Soo-yeon ignores Bartender Jang’s medical advice again and puts on his prosthetics to go to work. Bartender Jang guessed this would happen and gives him a portable discharger to use in case of another malfunction, explaining that it will nullify the rogue magnetic pull.
But it will also disable the prosthetics and cause muscle damage, so Bartender Jang tells Soo-yeon only to use it in a dire emergency. He asks why Soo-yeon doesn’t just tell Yeo-reum the truth, but Soo-yeon doesn’t give him an answer.
The atmosphere is super awkward between Dae-ki and Young-joo as they walk their rounds. Dae-ki witnesses a man pickpocketing a sleepy passenger, and when they confront him, he knocks Dae-ki down and runs. Young-joo chases the pickpocket and sweeps his feet out from under him, but she falls with him and hurts her shoulder.
Dae-ki sees Young-joo get hurt, but this time he jumps up and goes after the pickpocket, performing an awesome sliding kick to knock him down. They notify the police, and in the excitement, neither of them notices that Dae-ki lost his radio and that it’s been picked up by the mysterious airport ajusshi.
While Young-joo is in the bathroom cleaning up her split lip, Yeo-reum’s classmate Min-jung comes in on the phone. She says that she saw a girl she bullied in high school, and that she plans to make Yeo-reum snag her some Fast Track passes.
Dae-ki panics when he realizes that he’s lost his radio, but no matter how hard he looks, it’s nowhere to be found. Young-joo tries to contact him when he’s not waiting for her outside the restroom, but instead of Dae-ki, a weird voice sing-songs, “Dae-ki isn’t he-re!”
In front of the entire office, Manager Kwon yells at Team Leader Lee over recent complaints about the Transportation department. Team Leader Lee says calmly that the complaints are due to the high parking fees, but Manager Kwon shouts that that’s not good enough.
He wants Team Leader Lee to bring up his Airport Service Quality score, ranting that all Team Leader Lee does is sit at his desk and drink tea. Team Leader Lee slams down his mug and glares, but Manager Kwon orders him to start doing a better job.
Feeling bad for Team Leader Lee, Seo-koon instructs Manager Gong to do a crackdown on illegal limousines today, which was the subject of one of the complaints. Manager Gong tells one of his team to handle it, but the guy whines that it’s Transportation’s job. Surprising everyone, Soo-yeon appears and offers to do the job.
Seo-koon and Young-ran follow Team Leader Lee to the break room to check on him, but he says he’s used to Manager Kwon treating him badly. He looks out the window and admires the beautiful weather, wishing for enough money to take off on a trip somewhere.
Team Leader Choi takes Dae-ki to task for losing his radio, as it’s a huge security risk. He has the team change their radio frequency and tells Dae-ki to find his, no matter what. Luckily, Young-joo tells him that she has good reason to believe his radio is still in the airport.
Yeo-reum would prefer to avoid Min-jung, remembering how Min-jung and her minions used to hit and kick her back in school. But she womans up and does her job when she catches Min-jung taping signs to a railing, telling her that it’s not allowed and refusing to make an exception.
Min-jung’s friendly smile slips just a little, but she takes the signs down. Yeo-reum also tells her that she has other plans for lunch, and that she’ll never have lunch with Min-jung because she’ll always have plans. She leaves after ordering Min-jung firmly never to call her, telling herself nervously that she did great and it will be fine.
She turns around to see Soo-yeon, who asks if she knows the woman she was talking to. Yeo-reum tells him about the taped signs, but she leaves out that Min-jung used to bully her. He pouts that she’s doing her job well without him, and she jokes that it’s because of her strict mentor, who asked her out to dinner then canceled and never called like he promised.
It turns out that they’re both on transportation duty, so they head off together. Min-jung watches them go, noticing how they smile at each other. Someone else is also watching them over the CCTV cameras and looking unhappy — Eun-seob.
Yeo-reum and Soo-yeon get calls at the exact same time. Yeo-reum’s call is from Min-jung, and when Yeo-reum says she has no interest in talking, Min-jung asks nastily if Soo-yeon knows about Yeo-reum’s secret. Soo-yeon’s call is from Eun-seob, who asks Soo-yeon to meet him for lunch so they can talk about last night.
EPISODE 20 RECAP
Dae-ki uses Young-joo’s radio to ask who took his, but nobody answers. Young-joo pretends that she’s trying to contact Dae-ki, which gets another taunting response. Dae-ki yells into the radio for the thief to return it immediately, but again he gets no response, so he changes his voice and tries Young-joo’s tactic of calling his own name. PFFT.
The airport ajusshi tells him to sit on the floor if he wants his radio back. Dae-ki kneels, then stands again at Ajusshi’s order, while Young-joo bites her lip to keep from busting out laughing. As a test, Dae-ki says he’s sitting when he’s not, and Ajusshi knows he’s lying, which tells Dae-ki that he’s nearby.
As they argue, Young-joo takes off running, having spotted Ajusshi on the landing above them, but he’s gone by the time she gets upstairs.
Yeo-reum reluctantly agrees to talk with Min-jung, who demands four Fast Track passes for some VIP customers she’s escorting next week. As the passes are for handicapped passengers, Yeo-reum explains that healthy passengers wouldn’t be allowed to use them.
Min-jung just says that’s what friends are for, but Yeo-reum asks incredulously, “When were you ever my friend?” She tells Min-jung that she’s not getting her the passes, so Min-jung asks who Yeo-reum would like for her to spill her secret to this time. She gives Yeo-reum until the weekend to produce the passes.
When Soo-yeon and Eun-seob meet up, Soo-yeon thanks Eun-seob for his help yesterday. Eun-seob wants to know how Soo-yeon damaged the car, but Soo-yeon balks. Eun-seob admits that he doesn’t owe him an explanation, but he says that Soo-yeon should tell Yeo-reum the truth about the wheelchair he saw.
He says that he and Yeo-reum are close and tell each other everything, but he thinks it would be better if she heard about this from Soo-yeon. Soo-yeon says that it’s hard to talk about, but Eun-seob says that if he likes Yeo-reum, “Then you shouldn’t keep secrets from her.”
Soo-yeon growls that it’s because he likes Yeo-reum that there are things he wants to hide from her. He asks Eun-seob not to tell Yeo-reum, but Eun-seob says that he’s Yeo-reum’s friend, not Soo-yeon’s, so he can’t support her dating a guy who keeps secrets from her. He gives Soo-yeon until the weekend to tell Yeo-reum the truth, or he will.
Young-joo tries to coax Dae-ki to eat, but he pouts that he has no appetite. She asks if it’s because she bought lunch, which at least gets him to take a bite (and seriously, how is he so adorable even when he’s mad?). He tentatively asks about Young-joo’s injuries, and she thinks he means her split lip, surprised that he knows about her jammed shoulder.
He says that the people they chase don’t care if they hurt them, so he advises Young-joo to be careful or she might get seriously hurt. He tells her that he’ll let her switch teams at the end of the month, and apologizes for losing his temper when she asked. It’s what she wants, but neither Young-joo nor Dae-ki look happy about it.
When Yeo-reum returns to the office after doing her inspection, Manager Gong actually compliments her on her willingness to do whatever is asked of her. She asks him who’s in charge of Fast Track passes, and he says that In-woo approves the requests.
Seo-koon quietly listens in, having been at the next table and overheard Min-jung’s threats to Yeo-reum about the passes. In-woo also notices that something is up with Yeo-reum when he catches her staring at him nervously, so he follows her to the break room to ask what she wants.
Yeo-reum tries, but in the end, she can’t ask In-woo for the passes. He sees an opportunity and suggests they each do a favor for the other — information about Soo-yeon in exchange for whatever she wants. But Yeo-reum says that she doesn’t know much about Soo-yeon anyway, so she can’t do him that favor.
Soo-yeon hears the tail end of her sentence and asks what favor she’s talking about. She tells him that In-woo says he wants to reconcile because they used to be brothers, and at Soo-yeon’s angry glower, In-woo says with fake innocence that he thought she already knew about that, as well as Soo-yeon’s accident and how he is now.
He turns to Yeo-reum and says he knows she saw Soo-yeon’s personnel record on his desk, and he explains that a first-degree disability means that the person can’t move by themselves because of severe disability of the arms and legs. He asks Yeo-reum if she ever wonders how Soo-yeon seems to do just fine, and even has superhuman strength.
He turns to Soo-yeon to ask for an answer, and although Soo-yeon is too angry to speak, his arm starts to twitch involuntarily. All of a sudden, all of the metal objects in the room begin to gravitate towards Soo-yeon. Utensils fly through the air to attach themselves to Soo-yeon’s arm, and after standing frozen under the stares of Yeo-reum and In-woo, Soo-yeon flees.
Soo-yeon looks for a safe place while avoiding anymore loose metallic objects, as Yeo-reum narrates, “Everyone has a secret they want to hide. A secret they don’t want anyone to know. A secret they don’t want to tell anyone.”
More scenes of Min-jung and her cronies beating Yeo-reum flash through her mind as she continues, “There are memories so sharp that just thinking about them still cuts your heart and hurts terribly. Those memories sometimes crash into me in the present in an unexpected place.”
Soo-yeon finds a storage room, where he sits and contemplates using the discharger, knowing that it will render his prosthetics useless. He hears Yeo-reum’s voice through his radio asking where he is, but he can’t bring himself to answer.
Until Dae-ki finds his radio, Team Leader Choi puts him and Young-joo both on stand-by. He asks Team Leader Choi not to punish Young-joo, but Team Leader Choi says that a team sticks together no matter what. He tells Dae-ki that if he feels bad about Young-joo, to find his radio.
After ignoring her husband’s calls for several days since seeing him with another woman, Young-ran finally answers with fake cheerfulness. She hangs up and sees Seo-koon watching her, but neither of them say a word.
Airport Ajusshi sneaks into the new employee lounge after hours with a bottle of soju. He takes a drink, then pulls an old photo out of his wallet. It’s himself with a teenage boy (his son?), and looking at the photo makes him cry.
Outside, In-woo meets with a stranger — one of the smugglers who beat up Team Leader Choi. Well, this explains so much.
Yeo-reum is still siting in the office, staring at Soo-yeon’s empty chair, after everyone else has left. Seo-koon says that Soo-yeon will come back eventually and tells her to go home. She gives Yeo-reum four Fast Track passes, but she warns that if Yeo-reum lets people push her around, it will quickly get out of control. She advises Yeo-reum to put a stop to it now, before it’s too late.
Yeo-reum meets with Min-jung and shows her the passes, but when Min-jung reaches for them, Yeo-reum pulls them out of her reach. She says that thanks to Min-jung, she had no self-confidence or self-respect, even though her parents loved her very much.
Min-jung chirps that that’s all in the past, and that she was just joking around. Yeo-reum says that it wasn’t a joke to her, it was terrifying to the point that she even wondered if death would be better. Min-jung grabs for the passes again, but Yeo-reum tears them to shreds and tosses the pieces at Min-jung’s feet.
She tells Min-jung that she’s going to ignore her from now on, and Min-jung shows her true colors as she asks if Yeo-reum can handle what will happen if she does. Yeo-reum asks if Min-jung isn’t too old to be bullying people, and whether she’s ashamed of herself, before shoulder-checking her and storming off. YESSS.
Later, she texts a message to Soo-yeon: “Lee Soo-yeon, do you know why my name is Han Yeo-reum? It’s because I was born in the middle of summer. But the season I like most is autumn, because it was autumn when I first met my parents. What about you? What season do you like most?”
He reads her message and thinks, “Summer, because that was the season I first met you. My heart fluttered. Actually, I was trembling. My heart was so full that it almost exploded.” We see all the times when Soo-yeon’s arm prosthetic went magnetic, and each time, it was when Yeo-reum was nearby… and the stronger Soo-yeon’s feelings, the stronger the magnetic pull.
That evening, he tells Bartender Jang that he knows why his prosthetic malfunctions: “Han Yeo-reum.”
I feel a little bit vindicated right now, because I noticed early on that Soo-yeon’s random magnetic episodes seemed to be linked to strong emotions, and nothing makes him more emotional than Yeo-reum. Somehow, his emotions are affecting his prosthetic in unexpected ways, I’m guessing possibly through the microchip that Bartender Jang mentioned is implanted in Soo-yeon’s body. The microchip probably helps control the prosthetics by connecting them to his mind, so if that’s the case then it makes sense that his emotional state would also create a reaction. But it’s also problematic if Soo-yeon’s feelings for Yeo-reum are causing his prosthetics to break down, because it’s putting him at risk of harming himself to the point that even the prosthetics won’t help. If it comes down to a choice between Yeo-reum and living a “normal” life, what will Soo-yeon choose?
As much as I adore Soo-yeon, I’m kind of mad at him for not talking to Yeo-reum about all this. If he loves her, then he should trust her enough to at least give her the courtesy of deciding for herself if she wants to be with him, disability and all. I understand why he just wants to feel whole for a while, but that’s not the reality of his life, and he needs to face it. I don’t find it heroic or admirable for Soo-yeon to risk his health just for one “normal” month with Yeo-reum, because he’s making the decision for both of them and that infuriates me. Yeo-reum is a grown woman who should can choose whether being with him is worth it… and besides, if he thinks he’s going to lose her after a month anyway, then wouldn’t it be better to tell her the truth and give things a chance to work out? That’s what I never understand about Noble Idiocy — by playing that card, the Noble Idiot is only ensuring that they’ll never get to be with the one they love. Why not at least try? If it doesn’t work out, then you haven’t really lost anything because you were prepared to lose it anyway, but what if it does?
Speaking of honesty, can we talk about Eun-seob for a moment? He hasn’t been a huge part of the story until now, and I worried when he was spying on Yeo-reum and Soo-yeon that he was about to become a problem. But after hearing what he had to say to Soo-yeon, I just luff him to bits. He’s not the first person to tell Soo-yeon that he needs to come clean to Yeo-reum, but he’s the first person to say it on Yeo-reum’s behalf. And you have to admire a man who’s willing to help the other guy even if it means he loses the girl, simply because her happiness matters more to him than his own. Eun-seob jumped up about ten levels in my estimation of him in that one scene, and while he’s not cute enough to give me Second Lead Syndrome (to be fair, nobody is when the lead is Lovepuppy Soo-yeon), I really hope that he doesn’t just end up lonely by the end of the show.
At least In-woo’s attitude makes a lot more sense now… I thought that he was so defensive and angry because he was trying to hide a criminal past. But it looks like he’s actually trying to hide a criminal present, judging by his association with the smuggler. If I’m interpreting that scene correctly, it explains why In-woo is such an unpleasant person since he’s associating with a rough element, and it also explains why he’s so determined to get Soo-yeon out of the airport. Soo-yeon knows of his past, and if he recognized one of In-woo’s buddies, he’d quickly figure out that In-woo is still a pretty shady character. I do believe that In-woo cared about Soo-yeon at one time, judging by his hesitation to leave Soo-yeon right after the accident, but he’s had twelve years to become more deeply entrenched in illegal dealings and to harden his heart, and there’s been no sign in the present that he retains even the slightest bit of love for Soo-yeon.
I’m really proud of the way Yeo-reum has grown and matured in such a short amount of time. In the past, she would have either gone out of her way to avoid her high school bully, or given in and let herself be bullied all over again. But instead she bravely faced Min-jung, refused to let her rule violations slide, and made it clear that she has no interest in socializing with her. And she did all that without getting emotional or out of control, and I nearly cheered out loud for her. I don’t see her as weak for being afraid that Min-jung would tell her secret, and for seriously considering just giving her the passes, especially considering how physically brutal Min-jung was to her in the past. Yeo-reum is still young and has a lot to learn, and thank goodness she has Seo-koon looking out for her. And is her secret that she’s adopted, since she was born in summer but met her parents in autumn? Because if so, that’s a lovely secret, and I’m doubly proud of her for telling Soo-yeon about it and not being ashamed anymore.