Clean With Passion for Now: Episode 14
Now that our CEO and his former housekeeper are officially dating, Seon-gyeol wants to be the best person that he can be for Oh-sol’s sake. Buoyed by her love and encouragement, he’s ready to tackle his mysophobia and for the first time in his life, Seon-gyeol is hopeful about his future. Oh-sol is just as excited to challenge herself but an unsettling revelation could change everything for everyone.
EPISODE 14: “You make me want to be a better man”
Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol are back in the kitchen the morning after their kissing marathon, this time for a cozy breakfast. Seon-gyeol laughs when Oh-sol ends up with a milk mustache and under the guise of inspecting her face, he surprises her with a quick kiss and calls her cute. Their happy morning comes to an abrupt halt when Oh-sol gets a text from Oh-dol, “You’re dead meat now.”
Oh-sol gasps that she forgot to call her father and soon she’s hurrying out the door. Seon-gyeol offers to drive Oh-sol home, but she reminds him that she’ll be in more trouble if her father finds out that they were together.
Oh-sol enters her house very quietly and runs into Oh-dol, who clucks that she didn’t come home or call. When she asks about their father, Oh-dol motions towards the kitchen just as he whacks the head off of a fish with a cleaver.
Oh-sol’s father points the cleaver at her and growls, “Where on earth did you sleep last night?” As soon as Oh-sol answers that she spent the night with Joo-yeon, Oh-dol has her on the phone to confirm Oh-sol’s story, which she does flawlessly. After Oh-dol hangs up, their father bellows, “What’s your cell phone for,” and storms off. Oh-dol warns his sister, “Come to your senses…You’re so out of it these days because of your boyfriend.”
Oh-sol calls Seon-gyeol with an update as he arrives at work and he praises Joo-yeon’s quick wittedness. Thinking that he’s alone, Seon-gyeol sends Oh-sol a kiss over the phone and Dong-hyun, Jae-min and Yeong-shik witness the whole thing. Dong-hyun beams, but Jae-min cringes while Yeong-shik’s skin crawls.
Mr. Choi visits a colleague at her hospital and is offered a position if he decides to stay in Korea. Mr. Choi politely declines and as he says goodbye, he sees Chairman Cha and asks his friend for a favor.
Oh-sol meets with Joo-yeon, who wants details about her night with Seon-gyeol, but all she’s told is, “…what you’re thinking did not happen.” After thanking Joo-yeon for her help, Oh-sol sees Oh-dol’s prized pin on Joo-yeon’s purse. Joo-yeon fibs that Oh-dol dropped it and that she’s keeping it safe until she can return it. She avoids more questions by reminding Oh-sol that she’s running late and soon her friend is off to meet Seon-gyeol.
Seon-gyeol arrives at the park and finds Oh-sol digging in the sand with some children who are looking for a lost tooth. It reminds him of their childhood and when Oh-sol catches Seon-gyeol staring at her, he tells her about the girl who flicked her booger into his mouth. His story reminds Oh-sol that the exact same thing happened to her when her booger flew into the mouth of a boy with shiny, enamel shoes. When Oh-sol asks, “Do you know what happened next,” Seon-gyeol answers, “He passed out?”
Oh-sol recalls that the boy was completely smitten with her. He returned to the park every day but never talked to her and Oh-sol guesses that he must have been shy, but Seon-gyeol suggests he was scared. When he asks Oh-sol, “How is your doll doing? That dirty baby doll you used to carry on your back,” she finally realizes that the boy with the shiny shoes was the young Seon-gyeol.
Once she’s home, Oh-sol retrieves her doll and giggles that she and Seon-gyeol must be destined for each other. She snaps a selfie with her doll and sends it to Seon-gyeol with the message, “The booger girl is going to bed. Goodnight, the enamel-shoes boy.” As Geum-ja whizzes around, Seon-gyeol hugs a pillow and yells out, “Gil Oh-sol is so cute!”
In the morning, Oh-sol decides to clean her room and finds a photo of her mother under her bed. When Mr. Choi walks in, Oh-sol’s father and brother hide behind him, unsettled by Oh-sol’s cleaning frenzy.
Oh-sol has fun washing her comforter in a tub of soapy water and she stomps out the dirt while Mr. Choi provides hot water. He tells Oh-sol that it makes him happy to see her smile and confesses, “I hope you will always smile like today.”
When Oh-sol asks why he told her that, Mr. Choi reminds her that all relationships have their challenges. Mr. Choi counsels, “No matter what is awaiting you, always stay strong. That’s my advice.”
Mr. Choi suggests something to drink and while in his kitchen, Oh-sol sees some receipts for flowers and yogurt purchased near her mother’s resting place. When questioned about them, Mr. Choi claims that her father must have left them behind.
That night, Oh-sol sits in her clean room and tells Seon-gyeol over the phone that she never knew that cleaning could feel so rewarding. Oh-sol tells him, “After meeting you, I think I changed a lot. For the better.” When Oh-sol sees the photo of her mother, she mentions that Seon-gyeol’s mother is afraid to visit him and suggests that he should visit her for a change.
Seon-gyeol does just that and surprises his mother at her boutique. After he compliments the store, Mae-hwa explains that she designed the space herself and when he agrees to look at more of her designs, he discovers the photo of a t-shirt printed with his childish drawing. Geum-ja sent it to his mother when she lived in the States and Mae-hwa shares how thankful she was to know that he was growing up well.
Mae-hwa offers to ask her boyfriend, Chairman Yang, to disinfect his resort so that Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol can schedule a visit. She’s surprised when Seon-gyeol confesses that he can only see Oh-sol at his house.
The next time Oh-sol visits Seon-gyeol, she casually mentions his visit with his mother. Seon-gyeol admits that he went to see her because Oh-sol asked him to, embarrassed when she rewards him with a pat on the bottom and gushes, “Great job, Mr. Jang.”
Oh-sol gasps when she sees an ad for the movie, Be With You, and she momentarily forgets about Seon-gyeol’s condition when she asks to see it with him. Seon-gyeol insists that he wants to see the movie too and suggests going to the theater together.
Oh-sol arrives at a movie theater and finds its lobby empty. When Seon-gyeol joins her, he explains that he’s early because he was already in the area. Seon-gyeol suggests popcorn and after Oh-sol heads to the concessions area, he stealthily speaks into a microphone, “Dong-hyun, Yeong-shik, get ready.”
After two masked employees serve them refreshments, Seon-gyeol alerts Jae-min via his hidden microphone. As they make their way through the lobby, Oh-sol mentions that one of the weird employees sounded just like Yeong-shik. A masked Jae-min takes their tickets and excitedly exclaims, “I hope you lovebirds enjoy your movie and have a great time,” and then he mutters to Oh-sol, “Did you wash your hair?”
The theater is empty and Seon-gyeol explains that a group reservation cancelled at the last minute. During the movie, Oh-sol catches Seon-gyeol staring at her and gives him a kiss on the cheek. In the dark theater, Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol snuggle together and enjoy the movie.
On the drive home, Seon-gyeol gushes about how much he enjoyed the huge screen. Oh-sol suggests a baseball game or concert next and Seon-gyeol stammers that he’ll do whatever she wants. Oh-sol explains how thankful she is for their date but she imagines that it was hard on the cleaning team.
Surprised that Oh-sol knew what was going on, Seon-gyeol learns what tipped her off — the theater was empty on a weekend and there was the tell-tale scent of disinfectant. Seon-gyeol explains that he just wanted to go on an “ordinary” date just as they drive past a beautifully lit park filled with couples, and he sees what an ordinary date looks like. Oh-sol assures him, “The fact that I have you by my side like this makes me so happy,” but Seon-gyeol looks sad.
Mr. Choi sits with Seon-gyeol in his office at Cleaning Fairy and exclaims, “My gosh, how romantic. You rented the entire theater for your date?” What really impresses Mr. Choi is that Seon-gyeol asked to see him.
Seon-gyeol inquires about the treatment plan for his mysophobia and confesses to Mr. Choi, “…I find it uncomfortable. These days, especially. The fact that I’m different from others…I’ve never felt like this before.” When Mr. Choi asks what’s changed, Seon-gyeol mentions Oh-sol, “I want to change for her.”
Mr. Choi alarms Seon-gyeol when he leans close to ask, “…can I…assume that you’re mentally ready to do anything and everything I ask you to do?” When Seon-gyeol agrees, Mr. Choi is ready to begin treatment immediately.
Soon, Seon-gyeol and Mr. Choi are outfitted in matching parkas, traveling somewhere together in Seon-gyeol’s car, arguing about his plastic seat covers. When Seon-gyeol asks about their destination, Mr. Choi explains that they’re going somewhere for “training”.
Oh-sol’s father isn’t thrilled when she joins him to wash a fussy client’s car, until he sees her work. Done for the day, father and daughter go out for dinner where Oh-sol’s father mentions how much Oh-sol has changed since she started dating Seon-gyeol, and that it makes him both happy and relieved.
When Oh-sol’s father asks about her plans, Oh-sol proposes helping him wash cars while she figures out what she wants to do. After she quit hurdles, Oh-sol only cared about earning enough money for a decent life, but now she wants to find the right path for herself.
Oh-sol’s father gets emotional, “If your mom heard that, she’d be so happy for you.” When Oh-sol shares that is feels as if her mother intervened to resolve Oh-dol’s issue, she suddenly remembers the receipts from Mr. Choi’s place. But Oh-sol’s father hasn’t been to visit her mother lately and the flowers and yogurt mean nothing to him.
Mr. Choi has taken Seon-gyeol to a campground where the two of them are to spend the nignt, but the bugs and cold are too much and Seon-gyeol asks to go home. All Mr. Choi has to do is mention Oh-sol to get Seon-gyeol to stay. Mr. Choi tells Seon-gyeol that he seems like a nice guy who won’t make him regret giving up on Oh-sol.
Mr. Choi is suddenly serious when he asks Seon-gyeol, “Please protect Oh-sol no matter what. I think all will be fine if you don’t give up.” Seon-gyeol assures Mr. Choi, “I’ll be sure to protect Oh-sol and keep her safe at all times. That’s why I’m here now.”
Chairman Cha meets with Secretary Kwon and asks for the list of the disciplinary committee members. Instead, Secretary Kwon explains that she can no longer work for Chairman Cha and asks him to stop meddling in the disciplinary hearing and to leave Oh-sol’s family alone.
Chairman Cha wants to know why he wasn’t told that Oh-sol’s mother was one of the victims in the redevelopment accident and assures Secretary Kwon, “I’ll protect Seon-gyeol in my own way.”
Joo-yeon meets with Oh-dol on the eve of his disciplinary hearing to return his pin and outline what it would take for her to consider dating him, “The first medal you win after the disciplinary committee. I want that.” When Joo-yeon clarifies that she’ll only accept a gold medal, an inspired Oh-dol runs to his taekwondo team and yells, “I’ll win a gold medal!”
Oh-sol is at a study center when Seon-gyeol texts her to look out the window. A balloon bouquet floats up with sweet messages, “I love you, Oh-sol. You’re the only one…Let’s walk together. We’ll always be together.” Giggling, Oh-sol answers her phone and runs to the lobby where she finds Seon-gyeol.
Oh-sol notices that Seon-gyeol is gloveless and he admits to opening the door with his bare hands, thanks to some special training. When she asks if he’s all right, Seon-gyeol’s discomfort becomes more pronounced and Oh-sol pulls him outside. There she finds even more balloons and tiny lights on the ground, some in the form a heart.
Seon-gyeol wants to wash his hands, but Oh-sol places them on her face and shares how proud she is of him and gives him a quick kiss. Surrounded by balloons, Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol kiss each other sweetly, as if they’re the only two people in the world.
Secretary Kwon is surprised when Mr. Choi thanks her for the missing security camera footage. He questions her relationship with Chairman Cha and learns that because of her son, Secretary Kwon’s intent was to help Seon-gyeol. But she admits that she misjudged the situation and only made things worse for Seon-gyeol.
Secretary Kwon warns that Oh-dol’s disciplinary hearing won’t go well because Chairman Cha knows about Oh-sol’s mother. He’s determined to end the relationship between Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol and he’ll use her family to get his way.
Mr. Choi pays a surprise visit to Chairman Cha, who admits that he’s dying with no more that three months to live and that he’s kept it a secret to protect his company. When asked if he intends to blackmail Chairman Cha, Mr. Choi warns him to leave Oh-sol’s family alone.
Mr. Choi points out that because of Chairman Cha’s poor judgement, four people died in the redevelopment accident, including Oh-sol’s mother, and now he’s targeting her family. Mr. Choi promises, “To stop you, I’d do something even worse than blackmailing.”
Seon-gyeol checks in with Oh-sol in the morning and when she expresses confidence that Oh-dol’s hearing will have a good outcome, he suggests celebrating later. When it starts to rain, Oh-sol has to hang up to bring in the laundry.
When Oh-sol gets to the rooftop, Mr. Choi appears with an umbrella and tells her that he took care of the laundry. He fixes her a hot drink inside his place, surprised that Oh-sol isn’t at Oh-dol’s hearing, but Oh-dol didn’t want her there.
Oh-sol brings up the receipts that Mr. Choi claimed belonged to her father and asks if he’s the one who left the yogurt for her. Mr. Choi admits the truth and when he explains that she once gave him some yogurt, a flashback revisits the day that they met. Mr. Choi confesses that her yogurt comforted him, “I received solace but you didn’t.”
Mr. Choi explains that after the redevelopment tragedy, Oh-sol’s family was always in his thoughts. Oh-sol doesn’t answer when Mr. Choi tells her, “I want to stay with Mr. Gil, you, and Oh-dol. I know I won’t be much help, but can I stay here like this…I want to help.”
Oh-dol and his father are shocked when the disciplinary committee imposes a one year suspension on Oh-dol. As they walk through the building, Oh-dol and his father overhear some men discuss the case and learn that Seon-gyeol is Chairman Cha’s grandson.
Oh-sol returns to her room and she pauses when she sees the plant that Mr. Choi gave her. She’s about to go out when her father and Oh-dol return and she’s confused when her brother pushes past her without a word.
Oh-sol’s father is crying when he asks Oh-sol why she had to date the grandson from the family responsible for her mother’s death. Oh-sol is stunned to learn about Seon-gyeol’s connection to AG Group as her father explains what happened, “Not only did they kill your mom, but now they’re trying to ruin your brother’s life as well.” Oh-sol is speechless while Mr. Choi silently takes in the scene.
At home, Seon-gyeol has a cake and the necklace the he bought for Oh-sol ready. When he hears her come in, Seon-gyeol greets Oh-sol with the gift hidden behind his back, alarmed to find her soaking wet. Seon-gyeol tries to get her to come inside when Oh-sol announces that she wants to break up, but she pushes him away and the necklace falls on the floor.
Seon-gyeol can’t understand when Oh-sol repeats that she wants to break up and he asks what he did wrong. Oh-sol tells Seon-gyeol, “You did nothing wrong…I just got sick of everything. I can’t even stand the sight of you. Let’s end it here,” and then she walks out. Once Oh-sol returns to her bedroom, she drops to the floor and sobs inconsolably.
Unable to reach Oh-sol the next day, Seon-gyeol leaves a message asking to talk but she deletes it after listening to it. She closes her eyes and recalls how her father was thrown to the ground after he called Chairman Cha a murderer at the site of the redevelopment accident. Surrounded by a hostile crowd, Chairman Cha retreated after giving Oh-sol and her father a cold, hard look.
Oh-sol is in bed when her father announces that he’s going to work. Out on the street, he finds a worried Seon-gyeol and coldly tells him, “Do not come here ever again. You’d better stay far away from Oh-sol.”
Mr. Choi returns home just after Oh-sol’s father leaves and he takes Seon-gyeol to a nearby spot to talk. Seon-gyeol explains that he’s been trying to reach Oh-sol for days and asks Mr. Choi if she’s sick. Mr. Choi answers that Oh-sol is struggling with something difficult and suggests that even if it’s hard on Seon-gyeol, he should give her more time.
Seon-gyeol just wants to understand what happened and when a haggard-looking Oh-sol walks by, he runs to her side. Oh-sol stares at Seon-gyeol silently for a long time before turning around and walking away.
So much cuteness, so much skinship, only to have to endure the cruelest of break ups. I think this episode might be more aptly titled “You make me want to hurt myself” because that’s pretty much how I felt when it ended.
That’s an unusual response for me to have after so many good performances, especially from Yoon Gyun-sang, Song Jae-rim and Kim Won-hae. I could watch Seon-gyeol and Mr. Choi bicker all day long and the scenes of them together helped to lessen the sting of the heartbreak to come. Yoon Gyun-sang has made me care so much for an eccentric, fussy CEO who’s also a kind and caring man. Song Jae-rim as Mr. Choi has practically erased my memories of the messy Our Gab-soon, which also featured our Secretary Kwon (Yoo-sun). His Mr. Choi is mysterious because I still can’t decide if he’s completely given up on Oh-sol, which leaves me guessing. Kim Won-hae, what can I say, that knife work with the cleaver was both scary and impressive. He’s laughed, cried and yelled through one scene after another as one of the most realistic patriarchs I’ve ever seen.
Even so, this episode was a huge disappointment for me because when Oh-sol learned the truth about Seon-gyeol and broke up with him, she was deliberately cruel in the way that she went about it. I can’t be convinced that she ever really loved him when she told him, “I can’t even stand the sight of you.” Whoa. This is a man who’s been emotionally traumatized from a young age who just had a recent breakthrough in his recovery.
And what was behind that breakthrough? Seon-gyeol’s desire to become emotionally healthy so that he can share “ordinary” experiences with Oh-sol, to be the best man that he can be, for her. And what was the reason for Oh-sol’s harsh treatment of Seon-gyeol? The one thing that he can never hope to change, his DNA. Seon-gyeol is guilty of being the grandson of Chairman Cha, who does bear all the responsibility for what happened to Oh-sol’s mother and for what’s happening to Oh-dol. But even though Oh-sol and her family were shocked to learn about Seon-gyeol’s connection to Chairman Cha, he’s as much a victim of his grandfather as they are. Oh-sol’s rejection of Seon-gyeol is exactly what Chairman Cha wanted and the fact that she breaks up with him, after deciding that they were destined to be together, makes no sense.
I don’t mean to minimize how much Oh-sol’s family has and continues to suffer, but why do they have to hurt Seon-gyeol intentionally? Don’t they bear some responsibility for knowing everything that they can about Chairman Cha, especially with the internet and social media at their fingertips? Oh-sol sat across a table from Chairman Cha when he warned her not to date Seon-gyeol and I’m supposed to believe that she didn’t know who he was? And what about Mr. Choi and Secretary Kwon? They certainly knew the truth yet said nothing, guaranteeing maximum devastation for both Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol.
My worry is that Oh-sol and her family will never be able to accept Seon-gyeol again because he can never overcome the fact that his grandfather was responsible for the death of Oh-sol’s mother. If that’s true, is there any hope of a satisfying ending for Seon-gyeol, or is he destined to overcome yet another traumatic event?