Clean With Passion for Now: Episode 4
Our leading pair’s interactions trigger a crisis for our germaphobic leading man, who has to battle dueling reactions. He’s both repelled and drawn to the sloppy Oh-sol. At the same time, aware his condition is worsening, Seon-gyeol seeks professional help, but it’s becoming clearer each day that the unpredictable woman who keeps popping up in front of him is not only the reason for his confusion, but the key to his recovery.
EPISODE 4: “Bit by bit, just like that”
Seon-gyeol opens his eyes in a VIP hospital room and learns from Secretary Kwon that he’s there because he fainted. Seon-gyeol gags and runs to the bathroom when he remembers Oh-sol’s kiss, but he assures Secretary Kwon and his doctors that he’s fine.
Oh-sol frets while the rest of the team speculates about what happened to Seon-gyeol. Secretary Kwon calls Dong-hyun, who lets everyone know that they can go home, and Oh-sol collapses in relief when she learns that Seon-gyeol is okay.
At the hospital, Secretary Kwon argues that Seon-gyeol should stay overnight, but he insists that he fainted because of a mental shock. When Secretary Kwon won’t relent, Seon-gyeol blurts out, “I was hit by poop. A big chunk of bird poop fell on my lips.”
After Secretary Kwon leaves to process Seon-gyeol’s discharge, there’s a knock on his door. Seon-gyeol assumes that it’s Secretary Kwon and welcomes in his visitor while he’s fastening his pants and is startled by Oh-sol.
Eager for her to leave, Seon-gyeol urges Oh-sol to explain the reason for her visit, so she tries, “Thank you. And I’m sorry…I shouldn’t have done such a thing…I did it without thinking.” Seon-gyeol complains about her complicated love life and waves Oh-sol away, “Get out. I can’t stand breathing in the same space with you. It’s gross and disgusting.”
When Oh-sol attempts to defend herself, Seon-gyeol wants to know if she’s forgotten what she did. Oh-sol does her best to minimize what happened, “It was just a kiss,” but her face reddens as soon as she says it. Seon-gyeol is aghast when Oh-sol adds, “It was just a peck on the lips. Why make such a fuss over it?”
Frantic, Seon-gyeol details how contaminated Oh-sol was at the time of the kiss. Oh-sol exclaims, “Gosh, it’s not like I’m a colony of bacteria,” but that’s exactly how Seon-gyeol sees her and he suggests that she should change her name from Gil Oh-sol to “Gross Gil”.
Secretary Kwon returns as Oh-sol reels from being called “gross,” and notices that both Oh-sol and Seon-gyeol are upset. When she inquires, “Did something happen?” Seon-gyeol responds by spritzing sanitizer at Oh-sol.
Oh-sol researches one of the many bacteria that Seon-gyeol mentioned while Joo-yeon questions her interest. Oh-sol complains that she’s so embarrassed that she could die and confesses, “I kissed my boss.”
Oh-sol explains that she kissed Seon-gyeol out of the blue when Do-jin showed up and belittled her. When Oh-sol explains that Seon-gyeol just happened to be nearby, Joo-yeon figures out that she pretended that he was her boyfriend to save her pride.
Joo-yeon leans in, eager to hear what happened after the kiss, but she doesn’t expect Oh-sol’s answer, “He passed out…Apparently, he went into shock because I was too dirty.” Oh-sol confesses that Seon-gyeol kicked her out of the hospital after calling her, “…unpleasant and filthy.” Incensed, Oh-sol downs her beer and crushes the can as she vows, “I’ll destroy him. I’m going to destroy everything!”
At home, Seon-gyeol dries his hands at sink #3 and then absentmindedly touches his lips. He stammers, “Gross Gil. How dare she kiss me,” distressed that she ruined years of excellent hygiene. Seon-gyeol vigorously brushes his teeth and pledges, “Gross Gil! I’ll destroy you. I’ll never forgive you!”
Oh-sol gets home just as her father is about to leave for work, so she follows him and watches as he resumes his one-man protest. When his director passes by, Oh-sol’s father appeals to the man, but gets pushed to the ground hard enough to break his phone.
Oh-sol runs to her father’s side and lovingly escorts him away. They end up at a pojangmacha where Oh-sol’s father laments that cleaning is the only skill he has. Oh-sol promises to take care of him now that she has a job and when her father asks what she does, she answers that she has a generic office job.
Oh-sol’s father suddenly gets weepy, “You had to quit being an athlete,” but Oh-sol reminds him, “How many times do I have to tell you that I quit because I wanted to? Having Oh-dol as the athlete in the family is enough.” With her mother’s death anniversary coming up, Oh-sol’s father confesses that he’s ashamed to face his late wife, but Oh-sol blames her mother for leaving them too early.
Jae-min attends an open audition and acts out a scene that has him playing multiple characters, but it doesn’t go well. At work, Yeong-shik asks why he’s dressed up and gets angry when Jae-min asks to be left alone. Dong-hyun explains that Jae-min wants to be an actor and must have failed another audition.
Jae-min erupts in anger when Yeong-shik scoffs, “Does he think anyone can be an actor?” Yeong-shik thinks that Jae-min should be more realistic about his goals, so he asks what qualifies as realistic, “Moving from one job to another until you finally get to work in an office…getting married…having children and being chased by time for the rest of your life?” Jae-min shouts that Yeong-shik can pursue that for himself and warns him to stay out of his life.
Seon-gyeol dresses for work but when he looks in the mirror, he imagines Oh-sol puckering up her lips for a kiss and declares, “I must be crazy.” Oh-sol arrives at work at the same time as Seon-gyeol, who points to the bread crumbs around her mouth. Seon-gyeol is transfixed when Oh-sol licks her lips, until his cheeks turn red. Embarrassed, Seon-gyeol demands, “What are you, a kid,” leaving Oh-sol to wonder why he’s picking on her first thing in the morning.
When Seon-gyeol gets to his office, he hallucinates that there are multiple Oh-sols coming at him from every direction. He sprays two sanitizers simultaneously and pleads, “Don’t come near me,” just as Secretary Kwon walks in. She witnesses Seon-gyeol’s attempt to eliminate an imaginary army of tiny Oh-sols on his desk as he warns, “I’ll exterminate you! I’m going to kill you! Get lost!”
Outside, Jae-min shoots water into the air while the team cleans the company grounds. Yeong-shik thinks that it’s raining but once he realizes what’s going on, he throws a bucket of water on Jae-min.
Oh-sol and Dong-hyun join in and soon their laughter is overheard by Seon-gyeol and Secretary Kwon. When Seon-gyeol looks out the window, all he sees is Oh-sol’s laughing face and he can’t help but smile.
Seon-gyeol snaps out of his reverie when Secretary Kwon voices how much she envies the team’s youthful exuberance. He argues that they’re wasting water and warns Secretary Kwon that she should do a better job of training the employees, but she mumbles something about his 4-hour long showers wasting water.
Jae-min runs out of the courtyard with Oh-sol close behind and when she sprays her hose, she soaks Seon-gyeol as he walks by. Secretary Kwon and Jae-min look at Seon-gyeol in horror and when Oh-sol runs towards him, he spits, “Don’t touch me! You make me feel filthy.”
Once Seon-gyeol has changed into dry clothes, Secretary Kwon lectures him for calling Oh-sol “filthy”. Seon-gyeol doesn’t see anything wrong with telling the truth and after he leaves for the day, Secretary Kwon notes that he’s become especially sensitive around Oh-sol.
On his way out, Seon-gyeol worries that perhaps he was too harsh, just as he sees Oh-sol on her phone in the employee lounge. He overhears Oh-sol tell someone, “He totally hates me now,” and when she dabs her face with a blue tissue, Seon-gyeol is convinced that she’s crying.
Oh-sol walks out when someone calls her name, which gives Seon-gyeol a chance to investigate. Seon-gyeol finds several wet looking tissues and when Oh-sol catches him peering at her things, he asks, “What are those blue sheets?” She explains that they’re used to absorb oil and demonstrates by pressing one to her face.
Seon-gyeol gags when he looks at the “wet” tissues saturated with oil. A sudden draft sends the papers swirling into the air and Seon-gyeol shrieks in alarm when one sticks to his forehead.
At home, Seon-gyeol washes his forehead repeatedly in sink #3 and rants, “What did you do to my forehead, Gil Oh-sol?” He finally manages to leave his bathroom and puts on some calm music and reaches for a book. When Seon-gyeol sees that it’s titled, Almost Transparent Blue, he’s reminded not only of the blue tissue that stuck to his forehead, but other times when Oh-sol looked particularly messy. Seon-gyeol touches his lips lightly at the memory of Oh-sol’s kiss and decides, “I think I’m going crazy.”
Secretary Kwon meets with Seon-gyeol’s mother to report that Seon-gyeol has gotten worse since he fainted. Seon-gyeol’s mother explains that the death of Seon-gyeol’s doctor in the States led to the return of his symptoms.
Secretary Kwon mentions that Seon-gyeol’s doctor had a student who is now in Korea and suggests introducing Seon-gyeol to him. His mother reports that the student is practically impossible to find, but when Secretary Kwon offers her a victorious smile, she delightedly exclaims, “I’d really appreciate it if you could do that.”
Oh-sol finds a smartly dressed man on the street in front of her house looking for someone named Choi Ha-in. She assumes he means the jobless guy on the rooftop and warns that he’s a lousy fortune-teller, “He’s a fraud. His readings aren’t accurate at all. An important person in the northeast, my foot.”
Mr. Choi walks out just then and warmly greets the man as DR. BAEK. They meet in Mr. Choi’s book-filled room where Dr. Baek observes that Mr. Choi looks much better than he did a year ago. Mr. Choi returns the compliment and adds, “I was very worried about you.”
Mr. Choi asks, “Are you still busy with your patients?” When Dr. Baek confirms that he is, Mr. Choi jots down, “Ripley’s Syndrome” — a psychological condition where the patient creates a delusional fantasy based on lies.
Outside of Mr. Choi’s door, Oh-sol realizes that her assumptions about him were all wrong. When Dr. Baek walks out, she pretends that she’s taking down the laundry and manages to ask how he knows Mr. Choi.
Dr. Baek confides, “He’s one of my patients that I’ve been looking after for a long time.” When Oh-sol learns that Dr. Baek’s specialty is neuropsychiatry, she gasps and tells herself, “Gosh, I knew it. He (Mr. Choi) didn’t seem to be sane. Poor guy.” When Mr. Choi emerges from his room and greets Oh-sol, he’s surprised by her friendliness, unaware that her kindness is rooted in pity.
In Seon-gyeol’s office, Secretary Kwon mentions his old doctor’s student and suggests that a consultation is in order. Seon-gyeol doesn’t appreciate being treated as if he’s ill, but Secretary Kwon assures him that she’s just worried because he’s becoming increasingly sensitive and leaves the number for a Dr. Daniel.
As he drives home that night, Seon-gyeol is surrounded by scenes of kissing couples. Seon-gyeol starts to twitch when the couple on a jumbotron is replaced by him and Oh-sol, kissing. Seon-gyeol manages to calm down by reminding himself, “It’s okay. I can see a doctor.” At home, Seon-gyeol thinks long and hard before he calls Dr. Daniel.
Seon-gyeol’s grandfather, Chairman Cha, is disturbed when he sees the headline of the daily newspaper, “6th Anniversary of Jungang-dong’s Redevelopment Disaster”. At the same time, Oh-sol bursts into Oh-dol’s room and wakes him up with the vacuum cleaner.
During breakfast, Mr. Choi sees Oh-sol vacuuming and asks, “What’s with Oh-sol?” Oh-dol informs him, “It’s that day again. The day that comes every year.” After breakfast, Oh-sol’s father explains to Mr. Choi that it’s his wife’s death anniversary, unable to believe that she’s been gone for six years. Each death anniversary, Oh-sol cleans the whole house and puts on makeup.
Once Oh-sol is finished cleaning and putting on her makeup, she opens a box filled with her track medals and gazes at them. Her father’s explanation to Mr. Choi continues, “It’s as if she’s doing it to show her mom that we’re doing good and that she doesn’t have to worry. I feel proud and sorry at the same time.”
Dong-hyun, Jae-min and Yeong-shik react with surprise when Oh-sol reports to work. Jae-min smiles that she looks different while Yeong-shik exclaims, “Oh-sol, you look gorgeous!”
Seon-gyeol walks in and is stunned by the sight of Oh-sol, and her hair moves softly as if there’s a breeze. The guys watch with interest as Seon-gyeol asks Oh-sol if she has a blind date after work, and scowl when he describes her dress as elegant but tacky.
Seon-gyeol orders everyone to work, but once he’s in his office, he catches himself smiling broadly. He recalls his phone conversation with Dr. Daniel, who explained that Seon-gyeol suffers from Acute Stress Disorder, triggered by a shocking event. While they spoke, framed certificates for Daniel Choi were seen hanging on the doctor’s wall.
Seon-gyeol watches Oh-sol’s team load their van as he recalls Dr. Daniel’s prediction that his symptoms would disappear in four weeks, with one exception, but we don’t hear what that is. Seon-gyeol ducks out of sight when Oh-sol looks in his direction and then wonders, “Why am I hiding?”
Oh-sol’s team arrives at their assignment, a client with an extensive collection of action figures. As the team is shown to the room with the figures that they’re to clean, they pass a security camera installed in the house.
The team gets to work cleaning the figures with small brushes, under the critical eye of their client. When he walks out of the room to return a couple of the figures to their places, Jae-min collapses and complains, “I can’t breathe in here.”
Oh-sol offers to get Dong-hyun fresh water and she passes by the client as he places a figure on a shelf in the living room. When his tea kettle whistles, the client runs to the kitchen and the figure falls to the floor and breaks.
Oh-sol walks through the living room just as a report on the Jungang-dong Disaster airs on the television. The reporter explains that there were never any apologies or compensation offered to the families of the deceased, and she calls for an investigation so that charges can be filed against the responsible parties. The closing footage of the report shows an award medal that was left behind at the scene of the disaster.
Dong-hyun comes looking for Oh-sol, who steps on the broken figure and falls. The client shrieks at the sight of his broken figure and he pushes Oh-sol away when she tries to pick up the pieces. Jae-min has to pull an angry Yeong-shik off of the client while Dong-hyun tries to calm the man down. Oh-sol offers to pay for the figure but the client claims that it was priceless and demands to speak with their CEO.
In Seon-gyeol’s offices, Oh-sol repeats her offer to pay for the broken figure but he reminds her that she hasn’t even been able to pay him the money she owes. When the rest of the team insists on sharing responsibility for the accident, Seon-gyeol decides that they can all face the disciplinary committee together. Oh-sol objects, so Seon-gyeol dismisses the rest of the team to chastise her, “Ms. Gil. You made a mistake like this because you’re distracted by your love life.”
Secretary Kwon tries to intervene when Seon-gyeol accuses Oh-sol of having her mind on a blind date or plotting to hit on a wealthy client. A stricken Oh-sol informs Seon-gyeol that he’s out of line, but he doubles down and claims, “You don’t even know your place and hit on every guy you see. Isn’t that your specialty?”
Seon-gyeol shouts, “You made this stupid mistake because you were distracted. You completely ruined the company’s reputation, which my employees have worked so hard to build.” When Oh-sol apologizes to Seon-gyeol for the umpteenth time, he orders, “Get out of my office and my company right now!”
Yeong-shik and Dong-hyun have a contest to see what cleans a second-floor glass partition best, Yeong-shik’s preferred newspaper, or Dong-hyun’s squeegee. Yeong-shik leans over the partition in his haste and falls, but he’s saved thanks to Dong-hyun’s quick reflexes and strength. When Dong-hyun goes back to work, Yeong-shik looks at him with hearts in his eyes.
For perhaps the first time, Seon-gyeol is able to see the person behind the curtain of bacteria that has always kept him at bay, and he’s confused as can be. Seon-gyeol may be a world class germophobe, but he’s also a man, who’s suddenly very aware that “Gross Gil” is all woman. But he’s irritated because she kissed him so casually, so he’s convinced himself that she’s not only a flirt, but an opportunist. Seon-gyeol threw some horrible accusations at Oh-sol, which was terribly uncomfortable considering all of the issues surrounding women in the workplace these days, but he’s upset over something other than bacteria for once.
Of course, Seon-gyeol is going to be forced to eat his words once the security footage from the client’s home surfaces, because the person responsible for the damage to that action figure was the client himself. That will surely save Oh-sol’s job, but how will Seon-gyeol overcome his treatment of an employee who was unjustly accused? I see lots of groveling in Seon-gyeol’s future, which will certainly pain him since practically every encounter between him and Oh-sol leads to a disaster.
With the attraction between Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol building, new plot points are being introduced that promise to give us plenty to look forward to. It looks as if we won’t have to wait much longer to learn about Mr. Choi’s profession, since it was heavily hinted that he’s the student of Seon-gyeol’s late doctor. Dr. Baek is no doctor, rather he’s the patient who suffers from Ripley’s Syndrome, but Oh-sol doesn’t know that and her belief that Mr. Choi is the patient is sure to lead to more confusion. Hopefully it doesn’t undermine getting Seon-gyeol some help, because based on his many hallucination, Seon-gyeol’s grip on reality is slipping.
The other plot development this week has to do with the disaster that changed the life of the Gil family forever, the death of Oh-sol’s mother. That was the reason that Oh-sol abandoned her athletic career, a necessary sacrifice that still hurts. It looks as if Chairman Cha’s company was behind the disaster, which is sure to impact the prickly relationship between Seon-gyeol and his grandfather even more, as well as his relationship with Oh-sol. There is so much to look forward to, but I just want to see more of Seon-gyeol pining for Oh-sol.