People with Flaws: Episodes 17-18
Our cute proto-couple is experiencing a lot of personal growth, but unfortunately, only one of them is growing in the right direction. The other is still mired in the past, stuck in a memory she can’t fully recall and blaming herself for events she couldn’t possible be at fault for. Thankfully, her suitor is proving to be patient and willing to wait for her to straighten out her personal issues.
While out of town for the track meet, Kang-woo lets his feelings for Seo-yeon get away from him, then wonders if he’s ruined everything. She finds him on the dock and asks angrily why he keeps making her think about him.
Kang-woo says that she doesn’t have to see him if she doesn’t want to, and he holds a hand over her eyes as he kisses her. When he ends the kiss, Seo-yeon just stands there, stunned. Kang-woo hugs her, smiling fondly at her reaction.
Back in his room, Kang-woo is startled to find Min-hyuk waiting for him, having seen him hugging Seo-yeon on the beach. Min-hyuk growls that Kang-woo is the one who doesn’t really need to be there, and he muses that maybe he should stop hiding that he’s part of the Shinhwa Foods family.
Mi-kyung decided to join Seo-yeon for a mini-vacation once she heard that Kang-woo was footing the bill for a fancy resort. When her plane lands, Seo-yeon begs her to hurry and get there, leading Mi-kyung to conclude that something has happened. Mi-kyung runs into Hyun-soo and Seo-joon, who are there for idol group Hi-Seven’s television appearance (Seo-joon was chosen along with his friend Jung-ho as a back-up dancer).
She’s shocked to learn that Hyun-soo is the president of Hyun-soo Entertainment and not a janitor like she’d assumed. She begrudgingly accepts Hyun-soo’s offer to share a cab, especially when it turns out they’re going to the same resort. They run into Joo-hee, and Seo-joon begs her not to tell Seo-yeon that he’s there, since he didn’t mention the trip to her, ha.
Min-hyuk has to remind the flustered Seo-yeon that they should probably feed the students, and on their way out, they pick up Mi-kyung (who Seo-yeon hugs like she’s a lifeline, hee). At dinner, Kang-woo keeps poking Seo-yeon under the table with his toes, trying to get her attention, until she finally leaves claiming to need the restroom.
He follows her, and Mi-kyung takes the chance to tell Min-hyuk that she’s seventy percent on his side, ha. She looks out the window and sees Hyun-soo snarling at them jealously, and she wonders why she’s surrounded by weirdos.
Kang-woo tells Seo-yeon that he likes knowing he’s on her mind, but she tells him she needs to focus on tomorrow’s track meet. He reassures her that he’s not planning on pouncing on her, but he adds that he doesn’t know what he’ll do after the meet is over because he’s been holding back for fifteen years.
Back in Kang-woo’s room, Hyun-soo has taken over his room, his bed, and his fancy pillow. Kang-woo wonders why Hyun-soo bothers making lots of money when he never spends it, and he can’t sleep when Hyun-soo falls asleep and snores loudly.
Down the hall, Mi-kyung asks Seo-yeon what happened that’s got her so flustered. Seo-yeon deflects by asking about Hyun-soo being the president of Seo-joon’s agency, but Mi-kyung says that even if he’s a billionaire, she’s got her pride (she’s still upset at being assumed to be a gold-digger). She asks Seo-yeon if Kang-woo kissed her, and Seo-yeon’s reaction makes the answer obvious.
She asks if it was a good kiss, and Seo-yeon can’t answer the question, though she admits she didn’t slap Kang-woo for it or anything. Mi-kyung says that a no-slap kiss couldn’t have been bad, and that kissing is no big deal these days, anyway.
Kang-woo texts Seo-yeon to meet her outside, and HAHA, she wears Mi-kyung’s infrared skincare mask so he can’t kiss her again, lol. It just makes Kang-woo laugh, and he gives Seo-yeon his special pillow to help her sleep and rest up for the track meet. Wait, that’s all he wanted, to give her his pillow? Awww.
In the morning, Kang-woo is all ready to go with the team to the meet… until he gets a frantic call from Hyun-soo, wailing that his stylists were in a minor accident and can’t make it to Hi-Seven’s event. As much as Kang-woo would rather go to the meet with Seo-yeon, he makes the right decision.
Soon Kang-woo turns up at the TV station with suits and accessories to dress the band and their dancers. He even thought to bring Mi-kyung along to do their makeup, and they get down to work. Later, Kang-woo and Mi-kyung watch the guys perform from the dressing room, and Mi-kyung tells Kang-woo that he’d better be good to Seo-yeon or she’ll be claiming her when they turn 40.
The track team does well at the meet, and Joo-hee wins first place in her race. Seo-yeon accidentally lets slip to Min-hyuk that she’s relieved because Kang-woo threatened to disband the team if they weren’t successful, but Min-hyuk promises her that that will never happen.
Everyone boards the bus to head home, and Hyun-soo and his people hitch a free ride home. Seo-joon ends up sharing a seat with Joo-hee, and Hyun-soo parks himself next to Mi-kyung, leaving Kang-woo and Min-hyuk to sit together, hee.
Kang-hee arranges a meeting that evening, and from her expressions and comments as she’s on the phone, she’s clearly annoyed at being seen by the other executives as less competent because she’s a woman. She takes a call from Won-jae, who’s downstairs delivering the new car she bought from him.
Kang-hee asks if he’s after her money, since he could go after younger, prettier women than her. Won-jae admits that at first it was her money, but now he’s decided that he’s genuinely attracted to her. Kang-hee offers him a job letting her “use his body,” and he flinches at the implication.
On the bus, Hyun-soo pesters Mi-kyung for attention until she bites him. She asks why he’s being so cheap for a company president, and he argues that he rewarded Hi-Seven with their own plane for their hard work. A few rows back, Seo-joon congratulates Joo-hee on her win, and when she asks how his performance went, he’s got a fancam all loaded up ready to show her, hee.
Min-hyuk and Kang-woo bicker (as usual) until Kang-woo gets carsick, so Min-hyuk calls for a break. When Kang-woo feels better, he approaches Seo-yeon as she admires the pretty pink muhly grass, and he jokes that if she wants to touch something pretty, she can always touch him.
He steps closer and Seo-yeon looks alarmed, putting up a hand to block his mouth in case he’s about to kiss her again. Kang-woo simply reaches up to pluck some of the pink grass from her hair, then he teases her for having naughty thoughts, kisses her palm, and saunters away.
Min-hyuk visits his grandmother to discuss the new position he asked for after he saw Kang-woo and Seo-yeon together. They don’t say what it is he wants to do, but Chairwoman Han says that Min-hyuk could do the same work from more powerful positions than he’s chosen. Min-hyuk says that he wants to work his way up, and Chairwoman Han reluctantly gives in.
Kang-woo’s mom overhears their conversation and goes to her husband, worried that Min-hyuk has decided he wants to work for the company. Kang-woo’s dad thinks that Min-hyuk is smart enough, but Mom says that’s the problem — she’s worried about Kang-woo getting on Chairwoman Han’s bad side. Dad says he heard Kang-woo is interested in something else anyway, but Mom thinks that’s just an excuse to get out of work.
Seo-joon and Joo-hee are still being tutored by Ho-dol, but Seo-joon whines that they should ease up now that exams are done. He asks Ho-dol if he doesn’t have a girlfriend to spend time with, and Ho-dol nervously says he doesn’t. Seo-joon offers to fix him up with a girl he knows, but Won-seok throws something at him and tells him to shut up and study. Hmmm, is somebody jealous?
Ho-dol follows Won-seok to the kitchen to tell him that he’s made a male friend, but Won-seok doesn’t seem very happy for him. He stomps off, leaving Ho-dol sighing in frustration. Aww, I just want them to date and be cute together.
Seo-yeon hides out in her office, so Kang-woo had to follow her there to see her. He offers to help her spruce the place up, but she turns him down, saying that she has what she needs and she’s already aware that he can shut her team down at any moment. Kang-woo apologizes for threatening to disband the track team, without making any excuses for his behavior.
They go for a walk, and Kang-woo says he’s also sorry for resenting Seo-yeon for not showing up that night back in school when she called him and asked if she could come over. He explains that he never knew her parents died that night, and Seo-yeon also apologizes, explaining that she doesn’t remember anything about that day, including calling him.
She tells Kang-woo that she woke up in the hospital, and that her brothers said she collapsed from the shock of their parents’ deaths. She was in the hospital for a month, and during that time, she’d wondered why her parents had to die. She’d decided that, because they were beautiful inside and out, they were too beautiful for the world.
Seo-yeon tells Kang-woo that that’s when she started avoiding good-looking people, and that she’d just used her brothers as an excuse. She says that she likes him but she’s scared, and Kang-woo tells her that if anything happened to him, it wouldn’t be because of his looks. He asks Seo-yeon, “Don’t let this scare you (away) when we haven’t even started.”
That night, Seo-yeon has her nightmare again — she’s running down the street, covered in blood, begging someone for help. She sees a car coming straight at her, and that’s when she wakes up. She believes that she’s inserted herself into the accident in her dreams, from the trauma of imagining her parents’ deaths.
Kang-woo tells Doctor Kim about Seo-yeon’s problem, and he asks if it’s possible for someone to believe they experienced an accident they didn’t actually experience. Doctor Kim pulls a book from his shelf, forgetting that Kang-woo spent years in America and can read the cover that says it’s about heart conditions, lol. He fakes a sudden cough so that Kang-woo leaves, and we see a photo of two identical teenage boys on the shelf.
Won-jae is outside feeding the (possibly invisible but very loud) stray cat that he’s named Antoinette when Mi-kyung shows up to see Seo-yeon. They have a cute little exchange where they decide to marry rich people, get divorced, then marry each other and live on their alimony. Won-jae decides his body is doing no good not being used, and he calls Kang-hee to accept her job offer.
Inside, Mi-kyung almost runs into Jang-mi, who’s dressed in slouchy sweats and even has her hair in a high ponytail like Seo-yeon. Mi-kyung sneaks past her and upstairs, where she notices the same bag Jang-mi tried to give to Seo-yeon on the night they all met. She starts to open it, but Jang-mi catches her, and luckily, all she does is hug Mi-kyung, happy to see her.
When Seo-joon returns to the agency, his teammates are all watching his fancam from the performance, which has gone viral because of Seo-joon’s good looks. Unfortunately, Jung-ho’s fancam is getting a lot of netizen hate, attracting comments that he’s not as handsome or as good a dancer as Seo-joon. Jung-ho hides in the men’s room, nursing a growing grudge against Seo-joon despite Seo-joon making an effort to be extra nice to him.
Hyun-soo convinces Mi-kyung to come to his office to talk, and he dresses up and even gets out the fancy (and very expensive) luwak coffee. She’s not at all impressed, sarcastically thanking him for the “poop coffee” and asking what he wants. He says he wants to thank her for helping with Hi-Seven’s concert, but Mi-kyung says she did it a as favor to Kang-woo.
Frustrated at his inability to impress her, Hyun-soo asks what’s the difference between him and Kang-woo. Mi-kyung snaps that Kang-woo didn’t treat her like a gold digger, so Hyun-soo drags her to a high-end store and loftily tells her to pick out whatever she wants (as long as it’s only two bags, hee). Mi-kyung is seriously offended that he’s treating her like someone who only cares about his money, and she storms out of the store saying she never wants to see him again.
Seo-yeon is surprised to find Min-hyuk in her alley, claiming to have been petting Antoinette the Invisible Cat. She says he must have some kind of power to make animals and people more gentle because he’s such a nice person, but he replies seriously that he’s not that nice.
He gives her a macaroon cake he brought, and she invites him inside to have some. He turns her down after learning that there’s nobody home, saying that he might get too excited being alone with her. After he leaves, he grumbles angrily that Seo-yeon must not see him as a man (in other words, she must not find him attractive) if she’s so unbothered to be alone with him.
Seo-yeon sits alone and idly eats most of the macaroons, still upset about whatever’s been bothering her since the trip out of town.
Kang-hee meets up with Won-jae about this new job, speaking in vague terms that lead him to conclude that she’s offering him money for sex. He only skims the contract before signing it, then Kang-hee takes him shopping. He obligingly removes his shirt when she tells him to try another shirt on, thinking it’s what she wants, but she just buttons him up.
While she does, she explains that people will say that it’s what’s inside that counts, but that they still judge you based on your appearance. She tells Won-jae that that’s why she wears expensive clothes — she views it as her armor, and she says that her “bodyguard” needs to wear even better armor. Strangely, Won-jae finds himself more affected by the moment than Kang-hee is.
Meanwhile, during his shift at the bar, Won-seok is annoyed to see the student who’s been pursuing him (and not taking “no” for an answer) show up. Won-seok is unaware that the guy saw him with Ho-dol previously, but he’s clearly up to something, as he’s evidently invited Ho-dol to meet him there. Oh no, is this Ho-dol’s new “nice friend?”
While working on some designs, Kang-woo takes a break and flips through the pictures Seo-yeon took on their one date. It reminds him of Seo-yeon asking why he no longer designs women’s clothing, so he starts a new sketch.
Min-hyuk shows up at Kang-woo’s door with drinks and an angry expression. He unceremoniously tells Kang-woo that he likes Seo-yeon, and Kang-woo growls that he didn’t want to hear that, and Min-hyuk didn’t have to say it.
Seo-yeon invites Mi-kyung over to help her eat her macaroon cake, and they go up to the roof. Seo-yeon tells Mi-kyung what’s been bothering her for days now — she can’t feel anything. Mi-kyung misunderstands, so Seo-yeon clarifies: “When I kissed Kang-woo, I didn’t feel anything.”
Well, I wasn’t expecting that. I was assuming through the whole episode that Seo-yeon’s distant behavior towards Kang-woo was because she was very affected by his kiss… you know, like in every other drama ever. But instead, she feels nothing, and on second watch I could see how her actions backed that up. It’s got to feel strange to know that she has feelings for Kang-woo beyond friendship, yet when things got physical, she just locked up and felt absolutely nothing. The girl needs some serious therapy, and by an actual therapist.
We clearly haven’t delved into the deepest reasons for Seo-yeon’s emotional stagnation, but I did think that her explanation for why she avoids good-looking people makes sense from the point of view of a middle-schooler. Her parents were beautiful inside and out, and at the time, all Seo-yeon’s immature mind could come up with for why they died so young was that they were too good for this world. So she grows up with a distaste for beautiful people, afraid that she’ll love them and lose them like she lost her parents. This theory breaks down a little when you consider that Seo-yeon’s best friend is beautiful, as is Min-hyuk, her newest friend, as well as all three of her brothers, yet she doesn’t hesitate to openly love them. But it’s logical when you consider her age when she made the connection between death and beauty, and the fact that she’s been stagnating at that emotional level ever since then.
On the other end of the spectrum is Kang-woo, who at first seemed much more immature and resistant to change than Seo-yeon, but who has made some pretty incredible strides in growing up and learning to stop focusing on himself and respecting others. Kang-woo won me over when he apologized for misusing his power as Seo-yeon’s boss to punish her, but that’s just the beginning of how he’s changing the way he treats her. He’s confident that there’s something between him and Seo-yeon, and he’s not going to let her weasel out of it because of fear, but he also approaches her very carefully and respectfully and is letting her come around in her own time and within her comfort zones. He gives Seo-yeon little pushes, reminding her that he has feelings for her and asking her not to give up on him without giving him a chance, while still giving her the space she needs to figure things out.
On a lighter note, I feel so bad for Hyun-soo, but only because he’s so damn clueless. He’s spent so much time and effort trying to avoid women who want him for his money that now he’s managed to offend the one woman he finds himself liking. Now that he’s trying to get her attention, Mi-kyung’s got him all figured out, and she’s having none of it. I love that she actually does want to marry someone with money, and she’s unashamed of her love of the finer things, but not at the expense of her pride and not only because of money. Hyun-soo keeps treating her like all he has to do is flash his cash and she’ll fall all over him, and Mi-kyung is about to teach him some very valuable lessons in how to be a decent person.
- Premiere Watch: People With Flaws, Chocolate
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- First look at teachers Kim Seul-gi, Goo Won in People With Flaws
- Oh Yeon-seo is out on the track field for People With Flaws
- People With Flaws holds script reading with Oh Yeon-seo, Ahn Jae-hyun
- Casting news for beauty-oriented rom-com People With Flaws