The Last Scandal of My Life: Episode 9
How can you not love this couple? Okay, they’re not perfect — but they do have really cute chemistry. Maybe it’s my particular love of guys with goofy senses of humor, but Jae Bin is such a great combination of immature and mature, silliness and gravity, confidence and insecurity. I’m sure he’d be annoying in real life, if I were the object of his attentions — although that right there might just make up for it — because his methods of courtship are still very much stuck in fifth grade. But that’s part of the charm, since he’s such an overconfident, charming movie star when we first meet him.
SONG OF THE DAY
Deb – “ScarS into StarS” [ Download ]
EPISODE 9 RECAP
After Jae Bin’s gallant act of chivalry, protecting Sun Hee from emotional devastation at seeing her husband engaged to another woman within days of their divorce, reporters work themselves up in a frenzy over the Big Movie Star’s secret woman. The two Jang brothers guide Sun Hee out of the fray and go home — only to find the reporters already there, lying in wait.
Jae Bin has no regrets — in fact, he’s rather proud of himself. Jae Bin tells his brother he had no choice but to do what he did (Dong Hwa begs to differ, but this is typical hot-headed Jae Bin behavior — act first, consequences later). He makes it clear that it’s not Sun Hee’s fault and trusts Dong Hwa to clean up this mess. Dong Hwa gives him some very serious advice:
Dong Hwa: “Don’t forget you’re a public figure, you’re Song Jae Bin. If you can’t take responsibility for something through the end, don’t start it in the first place.”
Jae Bin: “What are you talking about?”
Dong Hwa: “Don’t interfere in her business again. I’ve employed her because I need her services, so if there’s any problem, I’m the one who will help her. Got it? Even if you have good intentions, I can step in, but Song Jae Bin can’t.”
Word has already spread through the internet, and Jimin vows to find out who Jae Bin’s mystery woman is and crush her. Sun Hee’s the most rattled from the night’s events, worried over the scandal that’s unfolding as well as the fact that she never got a chance to confirm who was at the engagement party.
While Dong Hwa is busy strategizing with his team on how to best spin this scandal, Sun Hee can’t rest until she finds out what Yoo Shik is up to, and leaves the house (despite Dong Hwa’s instructions for everyone to remain home because of the reporters). But fortunately, she’s merely the housekeeper, and the reporters who swarm around her quickly lose interest and let her go.
On the other hand, Jae Bin has a harder time slipping away, which he decides to do when he hears that Sun Hee left the house. He manages to sneak to his car and drive off just as the reporters discover him and attempt (unsuccessfully) to follow.
Sun Hee arrives at Jung Sook’s apartment, where she’d found Yoo Shik previously, and pounds on the door nervously. Unfortunately, he’s away with Jung Sook on what is her idea of a romantic outing — a campout.
(Jung Sook really is like a young girl with exaggerated notions of romanticism, which may be her only excuse for falling for such a ridiculous man as Yoo Shik. Youthful [in spirit] stupidity.)
Jae Bin drives up and finds Sun Hee sniffling outside the apartment, waiting for Yoo Shik. He tries to convince her to leave; she refuses, so he takes matters into his own hands (har har).
The next day, Jae Bin’s scandal is in all the papers, and while Sun Hee is in a total panic over it, Dong Hwa is strangely calm. In fact, he was the one who fed the story to the press. (Jae Bin and Sun Hee are, for once, on the same page about the damage the scandal could do, but when Sun Hee describes her involvement as truly “embarrassing,” Jae Bin starts feeling indignant — frankly, she should be honored. It’s HIM who should feel embarrassed.)
Although most of the world has no idea who the mystery woman is, Yoo Shik recognizes Sun Hee from the picture — and in keeping with his inconsistent moral standards, he has the gall to be offended at his ex-wife stepping out on him. (You can’t even hate Yoo Shik because he’s such an idiot.) He calls her in an angry fit, and they agree to meet later.
Because Jae Bin’s methods of prolonging interaction with Sun Hee are limited to him ordering her around, he tells her to prepare lunch for the crew at his movie shoot today. (She refuses, but he tells her the alternative is to wash all the curtains and clean the workout room floor. She agrees.)
The scandal grows more complicated when Na Yoon, tired of being relegated to the backseat, speaks out and fabricates her own story that she and Jae Bin are dating. Her intention is to win Jae Bin back, and though Dong Hwa is displeased with her meddling, he tells Jae Bin to go along with the story for now. Just till the movie is completed.
Jae Bin resists the idea, unwilling to have anything more to do with Na Yoon than absolutely necessary. Dong Hwa asks if he still has feelings for Na Yoon — his overreaction suggests that — and Jae Bin retorts, “Why would I, for your ex-girlfriend?”
Sun Hee overhears the conversation as she arrives with lunch. She tries to leave straightaway, but Jae Bin insists she stay.
Na Yoon plays the part of the affectionate girlfriend, and Jae Bin is forced to go along for the sake of photographers. He doesn’t enjoy the performance, but he sees Sun Hee’s dissatisfied expression and his playful mood returns, asking her, “Don’t you just hate Lee Na Yoon right now?” Sun Hee answers, “I don’t hate her, but she isn’t so great either.” Jae Bin smiles and asks, “You’re feeling jealous, aren’t you?”
Sun Hee meets Yoo Shik as planned, and he demands to know what her relationship with Jae Bin is, and why she’s in the papers. She confronts him about seeing someone at the hotel the night before, and tells him she’s been seeing him around. He denies it, but Sun Hee’s finally opened her eyes to him — just a little — and starts feeling suspicious. After they part ways, she follows him on foot, then in a taxi.
Meanwhile, Jae Bin arrives home and immediately starts looking for Sun Hee. My favorite bit is when he tries to ask where she is without admitting that he’s looking for her, and asks, “Hey, where is everyone? Why is nobody home?” Everyone stares at him blankly.
Jae Bin assumes she’s gone to meet her husband again, not knowing that she’s actually out with Dong Hwa — feeling the need to confirm her suspicions, she’s called him to ask him about Yoo Shik.
Over drinks, Dong Hwa asks Sun Hee to be a good friend to his brother — he may be constantly busy and surrounded by people, but he doesn’t actually have close friends: “I made him into that. Afraid of scandals, I kept him from love, and from drinking with friends. Please be his friend. I may block his romantic relationships, but I don’t want to block friendships.” (Which, I think, is his subtle way of asking her NOT to engage Jae Bin’s romantic affections.)
Sun Hee asks Dong Hwa about man in the engagement invitation; Dong Hwa answers, “I don’t know enough about him to answer, but if you’re curious, I can arrange a meeting.” But Sun Hee turns out the offer; for the moment, she’d prefer not to be confronted with the truth.
They bond a bit afterward, commenting on growing older, like wanting to walk all night but feeling tired the next day. Or how cold, rainy weather makes you feel dizzy. Or, as Dong Hwa says, “When your hair thins out, you wear a cap, but then appear 5 years old.”
While strolling down the street, Sun Hee’s distracted by a pair of shoes in a store window — and naturally Dong Hwa takes notice (he later comes back and buys them for her).
By the time they arrive home together in high spirits, Jae Bin has been sitting outside waiting, noting their camaraderie from a distance.
He comes upon Sun Hee as she sits by the water, and overhears the phone conversation she has with Yoo Shik. Sun Hee starts to ask her ex, “Just for today, please don’t say you’re busy and hang up on me —” But he’s an asshole, so he cuts her off saying he has no time to listen to her drunken rambles, and hangs up. Tearing up, Sun Hee wonders aloud:
“Why do you treat me like this? We lived together for fifteen years, but you act as though we haven’t lived together for even a year. You don’t ask if I’m having a hard time, you don’t say you miss Jimin. If I meet you, you’re busy, and you always leave like you’re running away from me. And even though I know everything, like a fool I pretend not to. But… but since I want you to, can’t you come back anyway?”
And despite Jae Bin’s frequent immaturity and selfishness, he is occasionally awesome, and this is one example:
He visits Yoo Shik at work and asks him a series of questions, which are hilarious because Yoo Shik is so busy trying to get the “right” answer that he doesn’t know how to connect the dots and make sense of the line of questioning.
Jae Bin: “What’s the thing you’d like to protect most in the world?”
Yoo Shik: “My… pride?”
Jae Bin: “There should be something more important than that.”
Yoo Shik: “The world?”
Jae Bin: “A little smaller.”
Yoo Shik: “Our nation.”
Jae Bin: “You’re almost there. Just a little further.”
Yoo Shik: “I don’t think this is it…”
Jae Bin: “Tell me.”
Yoo Shik: “You can’t mean… my family?”
Jae Bin: “Bingo.”
Jae Bin hands over an envelope of cash and tells him he doesn’t want his housekeeper living with him anymore. So break up with Go Jung Sook and take Sun Hee back.
When Sun Hee meets Yoo Shik (driven by Jae Bin, who sends her off to her husband with restraint for once), Yoo Shik hands over the money he’d gotten from Jae Bin and tells her to move out. Despite having his own sugar momma, apparently he doesn’t like his ex-wife living in the vicinity of (such superior) other men.
But Sun Hee refuses the money, unwilling to take so much when she doesn’t know its source. Without referencing his other woman, Sun Hee pleads with him to give it another try to keep their family together. And just then, Jung Sook arrives, having spied Yoo Shik leaving, suspicious of his behavior.
To save his own skin, Yoo Shik makes a quick decision — he can’t preserve both relationships, so he’ll have to pick which one to save. He chooses Jung Sook, telling her that Sun Hee has been harassing him — so he borrowed money from Song Jae Bin to pay her off.
Confused, Sun Hee tries to plead with him, but Yoo Shik shakes her off in irritation and says their relationship is over — can’t she realize that? “And don’t try to use the kid as an excuse. You already agreed to raise Jimin!… You asked for money and I gave it to you! So stop bothering me now.”
Faced with incontrovertible proof of Yoo Shik’s cowardice and selfishness, Sun Hee cries over the betrayal. Yoo Shik takes Jung Sook away.
Meanwhile, Jae Bin remains in his car, expecting Sun Hee to reconcile with her husband and trying to deal with his disappointment.
Seeing Yoo Shik driving away with Jung Sook, though, he knows something’s wrong, and rushes to Sun Hee’s side. She’s alone and sobbing, overcome with her emotions.
Jae Bin: “Hong Sun Hee, listen to me. From now on, I’m not your friend.”
(Meaning, obviously, that he wants more. Whee!)
Yes, Last Scandal has the occasional moment of dramatic flair — but it does it with such relish and excitement that I don’t really mind. Plus, most of those extra-dramatic moments are soon undercut with humor, meaning it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
I do wish Sun Hee were more receptive to Jae Bin’s attentions (or at least willing to acknowledge it consciously, because she must be aware unconsciously), but I suppose it’s tricky given how she’s a married woman at the start, and one must take care not to make her seem too flighty as to ditch her fifteen-year marriage too easily and still seem worthy of Jae Bin’s affections. And yet, there has to be enough movement in the Jae Bin–Sun Hee relationship to satisfy our romance craving. Thankfully, I think Jae Bin has enough romance going for the both of them. Heh.