Reach of Sincerity: Episode 8
Jealousy is the word of the hour, as the romance kicks into high gear. Yoon-seo learns secrets from Jung-rok’s past that she might have preferred stayed hidden, but jealousy gets the better of our stoic hero as well. Our sweet, naïve hero, who apparently never once thought that dating a famous, beautiful actress could come with any problems. Oh, how sweet it is when the haughty fall.
Episode 8 Recap
Attorney Yeon calls Yoon-seo into his office, and laments that she was a fool for not telling him how difficult working with Jung-rok was. To Yoon-seo’s dismay, Attorney Yeon offers to move her to Attorney Choi’s work, and she is quick to shoot the idea down.
Back at her desk, Yoon-seo huffs that CEO Yeon spilled her secrets. But her mood lifts when she remembers that Jung-rok has the evening off, and starts to make plans for a date.
Outside court, Jung-rok bumps into Yeo-reum, but they are both awkward after the Yoon-hee trial and Yeo-reum’s ER trip. To dispel the tense air, Yeo-reum and Jung-rok agree to get a drink after work.
Poor Yoon-seo is thrown off when Jung-rok informs her that he is having drinks with Yeo-reum tonight. At first, Jung-rok seems to pick up on Yoon-seo’s forlorn face, but is obliviously reassured by her (so clearly fake) acceptance.
And then he makes it worse by noticing the plans Yoon-seo was making and not figuring out they were with him. Pride dented, Yoon-seo fibs that she’s going out with her ‘best friend’ Attorney Dan. Jung-rok goofily replies that he’s glad she’s making friends at the firm. Oh, Jung-rok.
Oh man, Yoon-seo really went all out with the restaurant. Attorney Dan is overjoyed at the extravagant meal, and when Yoon-seo thinly hides how upset she is, Dan ponders that she must really want to go on a date with someone.
In much humbler surroundings, Yeo-reum apologizes to Jung-rok for her behavior on the Yoon-hee case and admits that she lost sight of the big picture. With that, the awkwardness is gone, and they go back to teasing each other.
Meanwhile, Attorney Dan confides to Yoon-seo that even though she knew Jung-rok was cold-hearted, she was surprised at his actions during the Yoon-hee case. Dan says, “I never thought he could make a fool out of his first love.”
This news comes as an unpleasant shock to Yoon-seo. She intently asks if Jung-rok and Yeo-reum were ever together, and isn’t happy to hear about the intimate backstory between Jung-rok, Se-won, and Yeo-reum. Unwittingly, Attorney Dan infuriates Yoon-seo even more when she confesses that it seems like Jung-rok still likes Yeo-reum.
Determined to confront him, Yoon-seo meets Jung-rok outside his apartment after dinner. Upfront, Jung-rok admits that he used to be in love with Yeo-reum, but that’s in the past now. In disbelief, Yoon-seo points out that no girlfriend would be happy about their partner meeting with an old flame. Yoon-seo hesitates and says, “Others might think… you still have feelings for her.”
Before Jung-rok can answer, Se-won interrupts, and Yoon-seo has just enough time to put on her sunglasses. He quickly susses out that Yoon-seo is Jung-rok’s new girlfriend, and won’t take no for an answer when he invites her upstairs.
As the three sit down for dinner, Yoon-seo’s mood brightens when Se-won admits that he really wanted to meet her after Jung-rok talked about her so much. Unashamed, Se-won embarrasses Jung-rok by telling a delighted Yoon-seo that after their movie date, Jung-rok gazed at his ticket for a long time.
Figuring that she will be around Se-won a lot, Yoon-seo decides to reveal her face — and Se-won says admiringly that she looks exactly like Oh Yoon-seo. Lol. Yoon-seo has to tell him that she IS that Oh Yoon-seo and Se-won is flabbergasted. He even begins to sing one of her old commercial jingles, which Yoon-seo cutely finishes with him.
Se-won turns on Jung-rok and asks why he made the ‘universe’s goddess’ angry. He admits that he stepped in earlier because it looked like they were having a fight — since Jung-rok is so bad at dating. Yoon-seo is reluctant to tell Se-won why, but Jung-rok openly says that it was because she found out about Yeo-reum.
Se-won laughs and says, “Oh, I was worried for nothing.” Yoon-seo is reassured when Se-won points out that it was a long time ago, and if it was serious, he and Jung-rok wouldn’t still be friends. With a nod, Se-won tells Yoon-seo, “He’s very cranky and kind of a fool, but I hope you understand.”
Feeling much better, Yoon-seo confides in Se-won that Jung-rok didn’t make a very good first impression. To Jung-rok’s indignation, they both take turns making fun of him, and all three dissolve into laughter.
Afterwards, Yoon-seo is much happier with Jung-rok. Jung-rok is glad, and loftily says that jealousy is the most unnecessary emotion there is. He adds that as long as they trust each other, the past doesn’t matter.
When Jung-rok gets back home, Se-won warns him to be nice to Yoon-seo since so many men want to date her. A bit concerned, Jung-rok sincerely asks, “How do you be nice?” Jung-rok admits that it isn’t easy for him, and thanks Se-won for earlier.
The next day, (in the middle of applying lip balm for Yoon-seo, lol) Jung-rok asks Se-won how it’s going with Yeo-reum. Tone blasé, Se-won answers, “How do you think? I’m lost in my memories alone.”
Eager to get to work, Jung-rok is tickled to find Yoon-seo already waiting for him outside his apartment. Yoon-seo grins, and whispers that this is the secret joy of dating at work. She pretends to pat herself down, and then reveals that she left something at home – her jealousy. They grin at each other.
While Jung-rok drives, Yoon-seo fiddles with her lucky mascot – the mirror she bought on the day she was discovered by CEO Yeon. Aww, Yoon-seo gets giddy when Jung-rok asks to hold her hand, and they happily drive together as a couple.
At the office, two interns have been accepted to work at Always Law – and one is so excruciatingly eager to please that he even memorized all the lawyer’s names before he met them. Yoon-seo arrives late to the meeting – and even though they were both told, the interns are shell-shocked when she smiles at them.
Jung-rok isn’t very happy about it though, especially not when he learns that he they will be around Yoon-seo a lot since he is mentoring them first.
Meanwhile, Attorney Choi smarmily asks Attorney Dan if she is looking forward to mentoring a good-looking intern. Ha, Choi just yawns when Dan protests that she has a boyfriend now.
The interns can’t take their eyes off Yoon-seo, and clamour for her autograph, a photo, a handshake – until a cranky Jung-rok comes in and tells them to get back to work.
In his office, Jung-rok says that Yoon-seo must be happy that the interns are her fans. But Yoon-seo answers, “To be honest, I forgot I was a celebrity since I started working here. But it does feel nice to hear compliments.”
Yoon-seo hopefully asks, “Are you… jealous?” Jung-rok denies it, and Yoon-seo mutters that she wouldn’t be too upset if he was.
Outside court, Se-won watches Yeo-reum from afar before he greets her. Smiling, he says that it’s nice to see her back to her old self, because looking weak doesn’t suit her. Yeo-reum, slightly thawed now, tells Se-won they should get dinner soon so that she can pay him back. Se-won eagerly warns Yeo-reum not to forget, and Yeo-reum walks away with a small smile.
Attorney Choi smirks as he finds himself sitting in Attorney Dan’s boyfriend’s café. The smirk falls from his face though, as he overhears Dan’s ‘boyfriend’ admitting that he’s just using her for her legal help.
Oh no, Attorney Dan heard everything. She flees from the café. Attorney Choi follows, and gently asks if she’s ok. Dan sobs that she isn’t, and even though she knew her ‘boyfriend’ didn’t really like her, she still hoped she could change his mind. Tears drying, Dan makes up her mind to go back and give him an earful for using her.
But when she gets back there, the café owner isn’t repentant for leading her on. As Dan seems to lose her nerve, Choi walks in and demands, “Is this the man you turned me down for?” Turning to the surprised café owner, he continues, “I won’t let you take someone like her away from me.”
With that, Choi pulls Dan away. Outside, he tells her that she should consider personality, not just looks when she falls for someone – and from Dan’s face, I’m pretty sure she just found her new crush.
As Yoon-seo prepares for an overnight team outing, Hyuk-joon attempts to cut down on the obscene amount of clothes (and bath-bombs – for insomnia, of course) she wants to bring. But, Hyuk-joon warns, there is one thing Yoon-seo must remember above all – her dignity as an actress. Pfft.
When Yoon-seo shows up, no longer in office-wear, the whole team is reminded of why she got the nickname goddess. But Yoon-seo is just happy that she gets to go on a group trip, since this will be her first one.
On their first break, Yoon-seo decides to wait in the car because it’s so crowded. All the men in the office bunch round, to Jung-rok’s distinct displeasure, until Yoon-seo encourages them to get some food.
She offhandedly mentions that she loves fish cakes, so Jung-rok hurries off to buy one. But he wasn’t the only one with the idea, as the interns, Attorney Choi and Attorney Yeon all run back bearing food, squabbling for Yoon-seo’s attention.
Meanwhile, at the prosecution office, the shark-like Prosecutor Im sees his chance to needle Yeo-reum about her loss some more. Im waves over Se-won and Prosecutor Kim to eat with them. Ove Se-won’s objections, Prosecutor Kim jokes about dating Se-won and asks Yeo-reum for her permission.
Yeo-reum keeps her cool as she warns Kim not to try dating Se-won, and delivers a smackdown, “No matter how hard you try, you won’t get what you want.”
The Always Law team finally make it to the mountains for their getaway. In a quiet moment, Ms. Kim astutely asks Mr. Lee how much he likes Ms. Yang, since it seems obvious to her. When they go for a walk, Yoon-seo gets puffed almost immediately, and shivers in her impractical clothes. But every time Jung-rok tries to help her, one of the other men jump in faster. As he disconsolately kicks a rock, Attorney Yeon even berates him for not taking care of Yoon-seo.
Yoon-seo gets ready for the barbecue ‘party’ and appears dressed to the nines – while everyone else is in their casual clothes. Yoon-seo quickly realizes her mistake, and the rest of the Always Law firm fondly laugh. Attorney Yeon catches Jung-rok smiling, and accuses him of looking weird, ha.
In more casual clothes, Yoon-seo enjoys her first outside barbecue – and delights in setting the grill alight, when Attorney Choi cannot. While the team drinks, and eats, Attorney Yeon provides the entertainment.
He gives the team awards, which are a hilarious mix of earnest and pointed. Highlights include Choi’s “I’ll be Number 1 tomorrow”, Dan receiving the “Stop Being so Timid” award, and Mr. Lee’s “Only My Face is Scary” award.
Aww, and there’s one final award given out to Yoon-seo. Attorney Yeon calls her the ‘vitamin the office needs’ and thanks her for all her hard work. That looks like it made her night.
Afterwards, Yoon-seo and Jung-rok find each other, and Yoon-seo warmly says that everyone is so nice to her. Jung-rok starts to say “I want to be nice to you-”
…but gets interrupted by the team heading inside for the night. Attorney Yeon complains about something in his eye, and Yoon-seo lends him her special mirror to get it out.
Yoon-seo doesn’t want to fall asleep, so the women decide to have a late-night snack and stay up chatting. The sharing kicks off when Dan confesses her break-up story, and Yoon-seo curses the ex out. Dan grandly claims to be done with love… temporarily.
Over in the guys room, talk quickly turns to romantic feelings as well – and just who exactly has touched Yoon-seo’s heart. The Always Law men congratulate themselves on a job well done today – and then they all laugh that Jung-rok is definitely not Yoon-seo’s ideal type since he hasn’t done anything nice for her ever.
Uh-oh. When Attorney Yeon goes looking for Yoon-seo’s mirror, he can’t find it.
Meanwhile, Ms. Yang brushes aside Ms. Kim’s suggestion of dating again, and says that she’s too busy at work and with her child. Seeing Ms. Yang and Attorney Dan’s glum faces, Yoon-seo breaks out the bottle of wine she smuggled with her. Yoon-seo encourages Ms. Yang to take a chance on dating, and makes plans to take revenge on Dan’s ex.
Yoon-seo admits that she enjoys sharing her feelings like this, because she has never had real friends before. Touched, Ms. Yang puts her number into Yoon-seo’s phone and tells her to call any time she wants spicy noodles. The four women clink glasses, bonding over wine and heartbreak.
On her way back from fetching towels, Attorney Dan promises herself that the best revenge is to move on and find a better man… which is when she walks in on Attorney Choi. Topless.
Just a little stunned, Dan slips backwards. Ahaha, Choi dramatically catches her and warns her to be careful. He swaggers off, leaving behind a swooning Dan.
Elsewhere, Attorney Yeon hesitantly comes up to Yoon-seo and confesses that he lost her mirror. Although Yoon-seo hides how upset she is to assure Yeon it wasn’t anything important, she sighs over the loss. Later, she tells herself, “I had fun today, and that’s what matters.”
Unable to get to sleep, Yoon-seo heads out to look for her mirror, and bumps into Jung-rok. Looking very pleased with himself, Jung-rok holds out his fist… to reveal Yoon-seo’s mirror. Touched, Yoon-seo asks if that’s why he was out so late, and Jung-rok sweetly replies, “I was finally able to do something for you.”
Jung-rok tells Yoon-seo, “I want to be the one who makes you laugh, but others kept beating me to it.” With just a touch of smugness, Yoon-seo asks if that means Jung-rok is jealous, and he readily agrees, “I thought jealousy was pointless. But its hard to control your emotions when you like someone.”
Huge smile on her face, Yoon-seo replies that hearing that makes her happy. It makes her so happy, in fact, that she leans in and asks, “Can I kiss you?”
Flustered, Jung-rok replies, “Here?”
Yoon-seo doesn’t wait for an answer, and drops a peck on Jung-rok’s lips. Standing back, she tells him that he was so adorable she couldn’t help herself… and shyly tells him that he doesn’t need to ask if he wants to kiss her. Squee.
Yoon-seo turns to go back inside, but Jung-rok gently stops her and cups her head to pull her in close for a kiss. Squeeeee.
Looking deep into her eyes, Jung-rok “You said I shouldn’t ask.”
Aaaaand he goes back in for another.
Yesssssssss, get it gurl.
That was everything I wanted and now I’m satisfied. Yoon-seo and Jung-rok’s sparkling chemistry takes what is (let’s admit it) a formulaic story and elevates it. The show is pure froth, and just like froth, it threatens emptiness at the end – but oh my, it’s so much fun while the bubbles last. I loved that Yoon-seo was the one to make the first move, because even with her lack of dating experience, she has thrown herself unselfconsciously into the relationship. Yoon-seo is refreshingly spontaneous, and true to her own emotions – she sees something that she wants, and goes for it. Unlike Jung-rok, who I suspect isn’t very in tune with his own emotions, so it takes him a step or two to catch up with Yoon-seo.
This is often my favorite stage of rom-coms – when the two leads know they like each other, and are making tentative steps to deepen their relationship. There are trivial blockades (like jealousy) that spice up the story, but ultimately, it makes them stronger as a couple when they face them together. Yoon-seo was so quick to move beyond her own jealousy (wouldn’t it be wonderful if that truly was the end of the Yeo-reum–Se-won–Jung-rok love triangle?) that it didn’t drag the story down. Jung-rok’s own jealousy (again, a step behind Yoon-seo) was simply delightful, because it was such a petty jealousy, and honestly, I got a real kick out of watching his hubris trip him up. The writers and Lee Dong-wook have finally got us into a sweet spot with his character – not just the perfect and uptight lawyer, but really leaning into his inexperience and dorkiness. I agree, Yoon-seo, he really was too adorable not to kiss.
The rest of the episode (and yesterday’s) was a lovely breezy watch as well, with nary a complaint from me. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we didn’t have any legal case bogging the action down, and gave the characters room to breathe and develop. And color me very pleasantly surprised by Yeo-reum’s volte-face. This is the first time that I have actually warmed to her character, because at times it’s almost as if she is in a totally different drama to everyone else. Yeo-reum has been largely unconnected to the other storylines and characters, and her interactions focus on the professional – in a drama that clearly isn’t very good at professional. Just take a look at the Always Law team and their antics. But Se-won has proved to be charismatic, and downright fun, when given the chance – so I’m glad to see that some of that might be spreading to Yeo-reum as well. I still don’t care at all for Prosecutor Kim, and Prosecutor Im, the terrible tag-team at the prosecution office – but on the upside, they aren’t in it very much.
Instead, we get a good dose of fun from the Always Law team. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the team get transplanted up to the mountains, with all the hilarity that came with it (except for that annoying new intern). Especially Attorney Dan, and her burgeoning crush on Attorney Choi – who are getting all the classic rom-com moments for themselves. There is definitely an element of protective “I can mess with Dan, but no one else can” in Choi’s attitude. And on the friends front, we got the heartwarming scene with the women – and it looks like this is the first real female friendship that Yoon-seo has ever had. So even though Jung-rok was being hilariously oblivious about Yoon-seo’s ‘date’ with Attorney Dan, he was right on the money – it is good to see Yoon-seo making friends at the office. Especially when Yoon-seo is going to need said friends for the upcoming storm that is headed her way.
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