Fox Bride Star: Episodes 29-30
Our hero is in a bad place both emotionally and physically, and it’s getting to the point that he may not have the luxury of making a choice anymore. If he doesn’t listen to advice and slow down, he’s going to do permanent damage that may make it impossible to live a “normal” life ever again. Luckily he’s got friends nearby willing to help – if only he’ll admit that he needs it.
EPISODE 29: “The truth behind what we call love”
We go back in time to one year ago, to the first time Soo-yeon tried to use his prosthetics. He’d been scared, but they had worked, and he’d been able to stand and use his arm for the first time in eleven years. He and Bartender Jang had both teared up.
He narrates that it was something he’d only dreamed of, but that it had become reality.
Back in the present, the man who caused his accident, Director Jo, sets his men on Soo-yeon to test out how Soo-yeon seems physically normal. He’d called In-woo and told him what he was doing, so In-woo rushes to find Soo-yeon and (hopefully) stop the attack.
Soo-yeon doesn’t fight back much at first, but then he decides that enough is enough. He deflects a blow from a metal pipe with his right arm, and when the pipe bends in half, Director Jo sits up and pays attention. When Soo-yeon starts throwing henchmen into cars, the rest of them realize that they’re losing the fight. Director Jo looks a little scared when Soo-yeon walks right past his men to ask if he wants to keep going.
At the airport, Eun-seob stops Yeo-reum from leaving and asks her to stay with him, just for tonight. She asks him to choose between being her friend or dating, but she warns him that Soo-yeon is the only man for her so if he chooses dating, then she’ll lose a good friend.
She runs into Soo-yeon on her way home, and she gets upset when she sees his battered face. He just looks glad to see her and tells her he’s fine, but she insists on taking him to the hospital. He stops her firmly, calling her “Yeo-reum” for the first time, and says that he’s really okay, but she hurts to see him like this.
She goes to his place to doctor his injuries, and when he winces and whines that it hurts, she fusses that her mother was right — as soon as a man finds a woman who loves him, he becomes a child. Soo-yeon grins that that’s because her father is pure and innocent like a child, which is why he wrote children’s books.
He apologizes for yelling and walking away from her earlier, but she says that when you’re dating, it’s normal to get mad and fight. He seems delighted by the idea that she wants to do that with him, and they end up teasing each other about fighting, so cute. Soo-yeon grows serious and invites Yeo-reum to sleep over, but the question makes her nervous so she runs out after a quick goodnight kiss.
In-woo never does find Soo-yeon, but Director Jo calls him to ask breathlessly what’s up with him. In-woo sticks with his story that he doesn’t know Soo-yeon and hangs up on Director Jo. He’s right outside Soo-yeon’s apartment, but he leaves now that he’s certain Soo-yeon is okay.
Director Jo seethes as his men pick each other off the ground, staring at the pipe that Soo-yeon drove right through his car’s engine.
Without his prosthetic, Soo-yeon’s arm is beginning to look scary, like one huge, angry bruise. He remembers Bartender Jang’s warning that he could die, but the decision he needs to make still doesn’t look easy.
Seo-koon is still at the airport, and she’s surprised to see Team Leader Choi coming out of Manager Kwon’s office. He says that he left something important on Manager Kwon’s desk, but he’s not inclined to tell her what it is, so she goes up to check it out for herself.
Team Leader Choi finds Dae-ki looking out over the tarmac morosely and jokingly asks if he got his heart broken. Dae-ki denies it a little too vehemently, then admits that it’s true but declines to say who dumped him. Noting that there’s a full moon tonight, Team Leader Choi predicts that tomorrow will get hectic, because “those people” appear when the moon is full.
It’s time for the Airport Service Quality assessment, which Manager Kwon announces will be conducted anonymously, so he instructs his teams to carry out their duties to the best of their abilities. Team Leader Lee and Young-ran decide to perform extra inspections, but Seo-koon calmly tells her team to just do what they always do.
Soo-yeon confronts In-woo in the hall and asks angrily if he’s disappointed that he’s not injured more than he is, but In-woo just asks Soo-yeon why he didn’t run away. He tells Soo-yeon that all he can do now is either escape to where Director Jo can’t find him, or beg for forgiveness.
He warns Soo-yeon that they’ll chase him forever, and Soo-yeon asks if that’s why In-woo ran that night. In-woo remembers being caught and badly beaten by Director Jo, who wanted a hard drive that In-woo stole. In-woo’s claim that he lost the hard drive only got him a worse beating. Director Jo told him that the chairman made sure he got an education and a good life, but that he was being ungrateful.
In-woo swore that he really lost it, but that he’d ensured that nobody could hack the passcode. Director Jo had ordered his men to find out which hospital Soo-yeon was taken to, and if he hadn’t yet died from his injuries, to make sure he didn’t survive. In-woo had grabbed Director Jo’s leg and begged for mercy for Soo-yeon.
Now In-woo tells Soo-yeon to stop talking about the past, but Soo-yeon stops him cold by mentioning the hard drive. He’d accidentally left it at the restaurant that night, and Yeo-reum’s father had given it to Soo-yeon, which is why he was following In-woo. Soo-yeon says that the password was very complicated, and that he knows what was on the hard drive.
Manager Kwon finds the file that Team Leader Choi left on his desk last night. Whatever it is makes him sit up in alarm, and he looks down to see Seo-koon watching him carefully.
Team Leader Choi also reminds his team about the quality assessment. He notices Dae-ki shooting sad little glances at Young-joo and smiles to himself, obviously finding the whole thing adorable. The team gets a call that someone is decorating the airport with flowers, but Team Leader Choi just says there was a full moon last night like that explains everything.
In-woo gets a call from Manager Kwon, who’s upset about Team Leader Choi’s file — an anonymous letter stating that the person knows they met with Chairman Shin. They both look at Seo-koon, who’s staring back at them like she knows something, so In-woo says he’ll talk to her.
Soo-yeon suffers a bad dizzy spell, but he tries to pull himself together to answer an urgent summons from Manager Gong. He fails, and just as he’s about to topple over, a hand grabs him and steadies him — Eun-seob.
In-woo asks Seo-koon if she sent Manager Kwon the anonymous letter, and she says honestly that she didn’t but she knows what it’s about. She asks him when he started planning to privatize the airport, so he tells her that the airport needs a change or it could fall behind its competition. Seo-koon points out that people said the same thing nine years ago, but that the airport has thrived and expanded since then.
She disagrees that Incheon should privatize just because other airports are doing so. She points out that selling off the airport in shares only puts the companies who buy the shares in charge. Historically, airports that do that end up raising their rates, which harms their passengers.
She storms out and goes straight to Manager Kwon to ask if he intends to go along with In-woo’s plan. She tells him to call an emergency meeting and be open about it if he’s going to do it, and that she expects an answer by the end of the day.
EPISODE 30 RECAP
Eun-seob takes Soo-yeon to an empty storage room to recover. He asks if Soo-yeon’s illness can be cured, but instead of answering, Soo-yeon says that he knows Eun-seob likes Yeo-reum, so he doesn’t like him much, but that he’s also relieved because Eun-seob is a good guy. Eun-seob doesn’t care for the way that sounds.
They’re interrupted by a call from Yeo-reum on Soo-yeon’s radio reminding him that Manager Gong is waiting for him. Eun-seob answers her because Soo-yeon is too exhausted, but he just tells Yeo-reum that Soo-yeon is too busy to talk and pretends not to know what she means when she asks if Soo-yeon is sick. She asks Eun-seob if he’s her friend again, and he says casually that they’ve always been friends.
Yeo-reum’s job is to talk to the flashy lady setting up the huge flower arrangement in the terminal. Yeo-reum gets backup from Dae-ki and his team, and when the lady claims that this is a public space for anyone to use, Dae-ki counters that exhibitions need approval, which she doesn’t have.
She sobs that this is her art, but Dae-ki has his team begin removing the flower arrangements. The lady screams at the top of her lungs, so they all stop to stare at her, then go right back to what they were doing. HA, she’s so surprised that she didn’t scare them.
While Young-joo is grabbing one flower arrangement, Dae-ki reaches over and silently removes a small bouquet. He walks away without even looking at her.
As they head back to their office, Young-joo watches Dae-ki as he walks a bit ahead, picking up people’s dropped bags and stopping kids from getting hurt. She asks him if he’s mad at her, and he says quietly that he’s not, but Young-joo tells him that things feel awkward.
Dae-ki says that he’s simply trying to find the right distance between them. He admits that telling Young-joo his feelings was unprofessional and that he needs to fix things, but he says he doesn’t want to pressure her in the process.
He asks her to wait until he finds the right distance, and Young-joo says she will, but then she asks him what he likes about her. Dae-ki tells her haltingly that he likes everything about her — how curt she is, how she’s cute when she’s cranky, just everything.
He suddenly apologizes for crossing a line again, and Young-joo apologizes for asking. But Dae-ki smiles and thanks her for giving him the chance to say it. He turns away, and Young-joo has to slap herself to snap out of her daze. Can’t say I blame her… the boy is pretty swoon-worthy.
As Manager Gong watches the flower spectacle, he notices a man in a suit taking notes. He follows the man, who even seems to be taking notes on the water fountain, and when Young-ran finds Manager Gong, he tells her that he thinks the guy is on the anonymous assessment team. They decide to follow him to get an idea of what he might object to, so that they can plan ways to counter anything negative.
Eun-seob leaves Soo-yeon to rest in the storage room, but he runs into Yeo-reum in the hall and has to think fast. But he’s terrible at lying and Yeo-reum knows something is up, so Soo-yeon just comes out and tells her that he was doing some organizing. As soon as she sees him, Yeo-reum forgets all about Eun-seob, so he leaves sadly.
On their way back to the office, Soo-yeon tells Yeo-reum that he doesn’t feel sick, and she believes him. She says that it’s been two months since they moved to Terminal One, and that she wishes she could hold his hand while they walk. Soo-yeon grows dizzy again, then his nose starts gushing blood, but he refuses when she wants to take him to the medical center.
He rushes to the men’s room to wash his face, but his nose won’t stop bleeding. Oof, he looks terrified. He misses a call from Bartender Jang, but Yeo-reum calls him and tells him that something is wrong, so Bartender Jang heads to the airport. Before he goes, he removes a vial of green liquid from a small drawer and takes it with him.
While Soo-yeon is still in the men’s room, Director Jo’s henchmen come in en masse and silently surround him. They’re joined by the stalker that Soo-yeon beat up after he cut Yeo-reum, who’s a lot braver with a gang backing him up.
While waiting outside, Yeo-reum peeks in and sees that there are a lot of men just standing around Soo-yeon. He’d told her that the people he fought yesterday were thugs, and she correctly assumes that these are the same men and goes for help.
Stalker tells Soo-yeon insincerely that he never intended to hurt anyone with that knife, that he feels bad about what happened, and that he has a great boss who bailed him out of jail. He invites Soo-yeon to come with them and discuss this elsewhere.
Yeo-reum asks Dae-ki to check the men’s room, because she thinks Soo-yeon is in trouble. It’s empty when Dae-ki arrives, all except for Soo-yeon’s radio, so they call Team Leader Choi to report that Soo-yeon disappeared. Team Leader Choi has someone check the CCTV footage, and as he’s reporting back that Soo-yeon left with a group of men, Eun-seob wanders by and sees what’s happening.
Team Leader Choi sends as many of his team as possible to intercept the henchmen in the parking lot, with Dae-ki leading them. Dae-ki tries to make Young-joo stay with Yeo-reum, but when she objects, he just sighs that she’s stubborn and gives in.
Both In-woo and Seo-koon wait for Manager Kwon to make a decision. Finally, In-woo gets a text from Manager Kwon saying that he’s not going to endorse his plan to privatize the airport, so In-woo storms away from his desk to make a call.
Team Leader Choi finds him, wanting to talk about Director Jo, who’s Chairman Shin’s right-hand man and the one in charge of all carrying out the chairman’s dirty work. He reminds In-woo of his friend who was a Geosan scholarship student, then one day he wrote a negative article about Geosan. A week later he died in a suspicious car accident, prompting the NIS to begin tracing Director Jo, which led them to In-woo.
But Team Leader Choi is primarily interested in why Director Jo is after Soo-yeon. In-woo is shocked to hear that Director Jo’s men just led Soo-yeon out of the airport, and Seo-koon is also alarmed, having overheard their conversation.
Dae-ki and his team manage to find Stalker and his men in the parking garage, and Stalker chuckles when he recognizes Dae-ki as the guard he got away from. He denies that there’s anything going on besides a conversation with Soo-yeon, and Soo-yeon even asks Dae-ki to let them go or people could get hurt, but Dae-ki says that he was ordered to stop Soo-yeon from leaving the airport.
When Bartender Jang arrives at the hospital, he asks Yeo-reum to meet with him. She fills him in on Soo-yeon’s abduction and the fight last night, almost frantic with worry, and he mumbles, “I didn’t make it for that purpose.” He tells Yeo-reum that they have to stop Soo-yeon.
In-woo tells Team Leader Choi and Seo-koon not to make a fuss, saying that he’ll bring Soo-yeon back. He warns that violence will become a problem at the airport if they intercede, but he also promises that he won’t run away this time, and that he won’t let Soo-yeon die. Seo-koon begs Team Leader Choi not to go along with this, but In-woo tells him that this isn’t about being sentimental.
In the parking garage, the security officers are surrounded by even more thugs. Soo-yeon pleads with Dae-ki to let them go before his people get hurt, but before Dae-ki has to make a difficult decision, Team Leader Choi does it for him and orders him over the radio to withdraw. Dae-ki balks, and his team look to him for a final order.
Bartender Jang gives Yeo-reum the vial of green liquid, saying that this will stop Soo-yeon.
Well, this is very bad. I can’t see a way out of this that doesn’t end with Soo-yeon getting very badly hurt, sick, or worse. He’s either going to get a terrible beating now that the henchmen are warned about his abilities, or he’ll fight back and make himself even sicker with regards to his prosthetics.
I don’t trust In-woo to save him, much less to bring him back in a healthy physical state. He’s been too hostile for too long about Soo-yeon’s prosthetics for me to feel like his involvement will do anything but make the entire situation worse. I will grudgingly admit that I can see how In-woo talked himself into believing that it was reasonable to be awful to Soo-yeon in an attempt to drive him away from the airport, thus avoiding the danger of that he’s up to (to the best of my understanding, In-woo wants to sell off shares of the airport so that Chairman Shin can buy up most of them, thus giving him the ability change the rules and allow shady, lucrative things like smuggling). He’s not exactly a guy who makes the nicest choices, so I can understand how the logic made sense in In-woo’s head, even if it doesn’t make sense to most of the world.
My problem with In-woo is that (as far as he knew) he abandoned Soo-yeon to die bleeding in the streets, never once in twelve years even attempted to check up and see if Soo-yeon had survived or what kind of condition he was in. Then when they finally did reconnect, rather than be thankful that Soo-yeon is alive and well, In-woo made every effort to be as horrible as he possibly could to Soo-yeon. He was suspicious and hateful about Soo-yeon’s apparent health, did everything he could to undermine Soo-yeon’s job, and was personally just a huge jerk to him.
So it’s not that I don’t see the logic in a redemption arc for In-woo — it’s that I don’t care if he gets one. I don’t want In-woo to be redeemed… I don’t think he deserves it. I don’t believe that he deserves the benefit of the doubt, or a pass for his behavior just because he acted that way to protect Soo-yeon. A jerk is a jerk regardless of his reasons, and In-woo purposefully acted horrible to Soo-yeon at times and in ways that didn’t have anything to do with trying to “save him.” Was it beyond the scope of In-woo’s imagination to just… talk to Soo-yeon and explain that he’d be better off in a different workplace? It’s not like Soo-yeon ever thought In-woo was a stand-up guy, so he wouldn’t have been that shocked to hear that In-woo is involved in some shady dealings that could put him in danger as well.
I’ve been saying for a while that Soo-yeon is going to have to come to terms with not always being able to wear his prosthetics, but now Bartender Jang is warning him that if he doesn’t stop, he could end up in a situation where he’ll never be able to use them again. I’m afraid that Soo-yeon is going to push himself too hard in this final confrontation and that he’ll soon have the choice taken away from him, but that’s not what I want. My hope for Soo-yeon is that he’s able to choose to live in his wheelchair and learn that he’s a worthy person anyway, not for him to end up there because he went too far or because some last-minute intervention from Bartender Jang and Yeo-reum force the issue. But with only one episode left and Soo-yeon stuck in a terrible situation, I’m worried that there’s no time left for Soo-yeon to learn to love himself.