Wish Upon a Star: Episode 10
That just speaks for itself, doesn’t it?
Hehe. Heh. I find myself more and more glad that Kang-ha was such a grumpybutt early on, because it makes his funny moments now that much more awesome. It wouldn’t be nearly as gratifying, for instance, to see that look of frustration on Jun-ha’s face, would it?
SONG OF THE DAY
Younha – “좋아해” (I like you) [ Download ]
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Jun-ha gets in Kang-ha’s face about being mean to Jae-young, asserting that it’s purely because he feels bad for her. She’s his friend and little sister: “I don’t want her crying because of my brother.”
The next morning, Ju-hwang helps prepare breakfast, and he’s pretty proud of himself. He jokes that with his skills, he may just have to marry Kang-ha himself. (This makes Pal-gang ask hesitantly, “Do you… like guys more than girls?” His response — “Noona!” — is delivered with that embarrassed annoyance most of us reserve for “Mooom!“)
The kids limp out of the bedroom, explaining to a concerned Tae-kyu that they slept with their legs tied together to keep Pa-rang from sleepwalking to Kang-ha’s room. The Won brothers hadn’t realized the kids felt that bad about Pa-rang’s wandering, and when Pa-rang grimaces in discomfort, Kang-ha instructs the kids not to sleep with their legs tied anymore.
Everyone gapes at him; No-rang points out that if they don’t, Pa-rang might sleepwalk into his room again. Kang-ha retorts that he doesn’t want them to demand compensation if something happens to their legs.
When Kang-ha gets up from the table, Ju-hwang asks how the meal was, looking for approval. Kang-ha says noncommittally, “It was so-so.” Coming from him, that’s a pretty positive comment, which makes Ju-hwang happy.
Pa-rang asks the others, “It seems like he was worrying about me, huh?” Although No-rang says it was just because he doesn’t want to pay them compensation, Pa-rang insists, “You’re so dense! The lawyer ajusshi really likes me!”
At work, Kang-ha calls another department to ask about Pal-gang’s wage garnishment, looking disturbed at the confirmation.
Jae-young storms in, still smarting from last night’s encounter. Is he purposely treating her badly in front of “that kind of woman” to get her to give up?
Kang-ha: “And what is ‘that kind of woman’?”
Jae-young: “Do you really not know? Because of that bottom-feeder, I even drank last night! I know you have a lot of ways of ignoring me, but don’t do that anymore. I warned Jun-ha too, but you can get confused about a woman like that. If you get stuck with a strange woman like her just because you’re trying to get rid of me, you can find yourself in worse trouble.”
Kang-ha: “You’re wrong.”
Kang-ha: “I told you that you’re the only woman in the world that I don’t see as a woman.”
Kang-ha: “That means that I do see all the other women in the world as women.”
Jae-young asks what that means. Kang-ha tells her not to feign ignorance when she knows.
Jae-young pulls Pal-gang aside to offer a new banknote — this time for 10 million won ($8,500, which is ten times the first offer). Pal-gang admits that she’s very tempted, and that all sorts of thoughts are flying through her head. However, she can’t take it: “If I take this money now, I have to return to being Useless Miss Jin. This may be a huge windfall, but it would also be the last in my life.”
Jae-young says coldly to stop acting so high and mighty and just take it. Pal-gang replies, “Yes, it does seem righteous, but I want to try being righteous. If I don’t want to end up with a 10 million won life, I think I’ll have to grit my teeth and act righteous now.”
Jae-young doesn’t give Pal-gang credit for being honorable, and asks suspiciously what her real reason is. After all, she’ll have to leave empty-handed in a month anyway.
Jae-young: “Surely you don’t have some sort of Cinderella fantasy, do you?”
Pal-gang: “No. I have a bigger dream than that. Cinderella is only a prince’s wife, but an insurance queen is a queen. Aren’t you proud of that? You’re the successor to JK, so to hear that your lower employee has such a big dream must make you happy.”
What’s so satisfying about Pal-gang’s answer is that she is firm but respectful (while Jae-young can’t hide her petty jealousy). Pal-gang excuses herself to return to work.
Kang-ha calls a meeting with Pal-gang’s creditor, requesting to be named her guarantor. In the event she cannot pay her debt, he’ll take repsonsibility for it, so they can stop garnishing her wages. Kang-ha asks the creditor to handle everything but not tell Pal-gang of his involvement.
At the office, Jun-ha’s curiosity is piqued to overhear two employees talking about his brother. They have heard that Kang-ha inquired into Pal-gang’s salary garnishment. Given that Kang-ha is the biggest shareholder, doesn’t this suggest that he’s preparing to fire people and take over? With Kang-ha’s reputation, nobody would even think to suspect him of asking out of curiosity or helpfulness. Nobody except Jun-ha, who mulls this over.
Grandpa Jung drops by the house to bring the kids meat. It’s adorable that the kids admonish him for spending money on food when he doesn’t even have a reliable place to sleep. Pa-rang recounts all the good stuff they’ve been eating recently, surprising Grandpa by saying that Kang-ha had treated them to a fancy meal.
Tae-kyu bursts in excitedly to announce that he ordered jajangmyun for everyone. The kids distract him by begging him to fix the broken toilet, giving Grandpa a chance to slip back downstairs. (The toilet isn’t broken, but the kids flatter Tae-kyu for magically fixing it, and he’s happy to accept the praise.)
Back in their room, Ju-hwang warns Grandpa not to bring anything next time because they almost got caught. Grandpa replies that this is the first time he’s been scolded for buying someone food.
Tae-kyu walks into the room suddenly, and they aren’t quick enough to hide Grandpa from his sight. Without any choice, the kids tell Tae-kyu that he’s their biological grandfather (it might sound weird otherwise). To their surprise, Tae-kyu urges them to make sure he doesn’t get caught, then bows in respect.
He also pours Grandpa drinks, wanting to get on his good side because he assumes that winning her grandfather’s favor will help his case with Pal-gang. He explains that he loves her, and as the only son of parents who own a big supermarket in the States, he’ll inherit it all. So please, won’t he consent to their marriage?
Tae-kyu misinterprets a low grunt as approval, and calls Pal-gang to exult, “Grandpa says yes to the marriage!” Pal-gang retorts, “Then marry Grandpa.”
Pal-gang receives a distressed phone call from one of her clients, Choi Man-ho, who had filed an insurance claim when he was stricken with blindness. However, the company denied his claim and didn’t pay out his policy. Although they said they would re-try his case, he has no money for immediate survival or a lawyer. Thus Man-ho has resorted to begging in the street.
Pal-gang feels sympathy for his plight, particularly when his young daughter comes by with food. She takes the case up with her supervisor, but is told to butt out and leave it to the proper channels.
She can’t just sit back and wait while the legal team takes its sweet time, so Pal-gang bursts into Kang-ha’s office to plead Man-ho’s case, asking him to expedite the process. She can vouch that he’s really blind, and he can’t survive on nothing while his case is retried.
Kang-ha is firm about leaving this case to the law. Heatedly, she argues that he it’s not his own money but the clients’ money — so they should serve the client. Besides, the law isn’t on the side of the poor; it’s the the rich and powerful who benefit.
Playing peacemaker, Jun-ha urges her to let it go; if Man-ho’s claim is genuine, the money will come. Pal-gang insists that the man is poor and can’t wait. Growing impatient, Kang-ha raises his voice and orders her to leave. Pal-gang glares:
Pal-gang: “Then it’s all a lie that the customers are like family, isn’t it? Now I understand why I stuttered every time I was in front of a client. It was because I wasn’t sure if I was scamming them or not.”
Pal-gang broods. Jun-ha offers her a drink and explains that Kang-ha’s very thorough about his work, meaning that he has to make sure the claim is sound before proceeding.
Pal-gang insists that she saw the man’s blindness for herself. Jun-ha says that’s good — then things should work out for him. He urges her to smile, teasing her when she gives him a halfhearted half-smile. Her clients should feel good to have a counselor like her, he says.
Watching this scene are Eun-mal and Jin-ju, who immediately sense something in the air. Jun-ha is definitely interested, they think. Pal-gang protests, not believing that at all, but the women urge her to work the relationship and grab him.
Contrary to his cool words, Kang-ha does feel frustration at Pal-gang’s accusations and goes for a long workout. Jun-ha points out that he runs more when he has an upcoming case going to trial — why is that?
His next encounter with Pal-gang is at home; he walks into his room, where she’s changing his sheets. She apologizes (since he doesn’t like her around when he’s here) and promises to leave immediately, but he sighs that she may as well continue. Pal-gang takes that as a positive sign, and decides to press her luck a little. He has gone into the glass room within his bedroom, and she knocks on the door to ask for a moment.
Bringing up the case again, she explains that Man-ho can’t hire his own lawyer. Does Kang-ha have a friend in human interest law, maybe someone who’d work pro bono? Kang-ha asks incredulously, “Are you asking me to introduce you to my opposing counsel?” Furrowing his brow, he asks, “I’m asking because I’m truly curious. Could you explain the reason that you ask when you know that it’s ridiculous?”
Pal-gang: “I’m the type to say whatever comes to mind.”
Kang-ha: “Is that something to brag about?”
Pal-gang: “Who said I’m bragging? Still, my mother told me that if I meet the right person, he’d dote on me. Rather than harboring lots of thoughts and being sneaky, people who openly express what they’re thinking are the kind who get fussed over as cute.”
He scoffs at that. Pal-gang tries to bring the converstaion back to the issue at hand, but she has lost her train of thought and wonders how they got here. He suggests that she think it over downstairs.
Pal-gang muses, “I started with something important…” Oh, well. Downstairs she goes.
After her exit, Kang-ha mutters, “Cute? She’s irresponsible.” Then, remembering, he winces: “Ah! I told you to stop talking to yourself!”
Jun-ha sees Pal-gang coming downstairs and reminds her that Kang-ha doesn’t want her in his room while he’s home. Pal-gang figures that he must have given up on that, then recalls why she went into the glass room — the lawyer introduction!
Jun-ha is surprised that Kang-ha allowed her in his audio room, and heads upstairs to talk to his brother. Pointedly, he mentions that Kang-ha wouldn’t let the other maids into his glass room for fear that they’d mess up his audio equipment, but it’s odd that he let Pal-gang inside. Kang-ha shrugs, “She insists on cleaning. What can I do?”
The next morning, Kang-ha wakes up and feels/sees a lump at the foot of his bed. With a bit of hope, he sits up and pulls back his blanket… but it’s just a pillow. He actually looks disappointed and mumbles, “I told them not to tie their feet together when they sleep.” (This is an even sadder sentiment, as though that’s the only reason Pa-rang wouldn’t sleepwalk here.)
The three men arrive at the breakfast table and look surprised to find an empty kitchen. Pal-gang has prepared food for them and left a note to say that she had something to take care of. The entire Jin family is gone.
Yesterday, Pal-gang had encountered difficulty trying to solicit new customers at the crowded Dongdaemun market. Last night, she had decided to employ a more eye-catching tactic, and Ju-hwang had suggested that it would be more effective if the family did it together.
The tactic involves each sibling dressing in his/her respective color (apparently they’ve done this before). Pal-gang goes around introducing herself, as does each sibling. This exercise isn’t to pitch policies, just to hand out her card. Even so, Pal-gang feels a twinge of guilt, calling this panhandling. Ju-hwang corrects her — it’s promotion.
Having recovered her lost train of thought, Pal-gang asks Kang-ha again for a referral to one of his lawyer friends. Kang-ha answers, “I have no friends,” to which she blurts (using his words), “Is that something to brag about?”
She catches herself before straying off-topic again and asks for a close senior colleague, then. He doesn’t have any of those, either. She can’t hold back and knows this isn’t her place to say, but asks how he can live like this. This means that if some trouble were to befall him, he has nobody to come to his aid.
Jae-young and Jun-ha step out into the hall in time to hear Pal-gang explaining herself: she made the realization after losing her parents that she hadn’t cultivated personal relationships, and after being Useless Miss Jin for five years, her co-workers aren’t friendly either.
When Kang-ha answers, “There’s no reason something would happen to me, but I don’t care if anyone comes or not,” Pal-gang advises him not to think that way. He points out, “Do you know we’ve veered from the topic again?” Oops — again, Pal-gang has forgotten her reason for talking to him.
Now that he’s already bickering with her, Kang-ha complains about her behavior over breakfast — it’s not appropriate for her to leave with just a note. She should clear that with her employer! Pal-gang is puzzled at his overreaction (and it IS overreaction), because she did all her duties first. She wonders, isn’t the reason he has no friends because he’s such a stickler for the rules?
Jae-young asks Jun-ha if he’s ever seen Kang-ha talking that much with somebody before. Jun-ha tries to make her feel better with the excuse that Pal-gang has the habit of drawing out conversation.
Jae-young complains that she hates herself for getting upset over nothing: “And what I hate more is myself for clinging to Won Kang-ha even after he told me boldly that he sees someone like her as a woman.”
That surprises Jun-ha — he said that about Pal-gang? Surely he said that just to piss Jae-young off. She answers, “I know. But it was unfamiliar.” It’s also unfamiliar to see him chatting with Pal-gang, and that unfamiliarity makes her upset.
In his office, Kang-ha gives himself a stern pep talk: “Argh! Don’t get involved, Won Kang-ha. It’s because you keep talking back that things get drawn out.”
He pauses, then wonders (in Pal-gang style), “Wait, why was I on my way out again?” He remembers — lunch!
He’s interrupted by the appearance of Jae-young, which brings the frown back to his face. She challenges him about his earlier comment, asking again if she’s the only woman in the world that he doesn’t see as a woman. He’s not interested in engaging in an argument, but she blocks his exit and kisses him suddenly.
Aw, isn’t that the look of a man in love! No, wait, the other one. Disdain.
Not only does he not kiss her back, Kang-ha looks bored and pushes her away. She asks if he still doesn’t think of her as a woman, and he retorts, “Don’t you think you’re stooping too low?”
She answers no: “I could even take off my clothes right now.” When she insists that she loves him, Kang-ha contradicts her. She just needs him to fulfill her vision of what she wants, but it’s not love.
Jae-young: “Love is supopsed to be a dirty, mean feeling. Isn’t this proof? Isn’t this proof that it’s love to have Jung Jae-young clinging to you in such a dirty, mean way?”
Kang-ha: “No. It’s proof of your ambition.”
Jae-young sighs to herself that she wishes it were ambition. Then she might be happy with someone else.
Pal-gang heads out to visit Man-ho, stopping at a food cart to buy him some warm sweet bread. She looks up when a car screeches to a stop at the intersection, just in time to avoid hitting a young girl crossing the street. Recognizing his daughter, Man-ho ditches his blind-man act and rushes into the street in concern.
Shocked to be thus deceived, Pal-gang approaches the pair. He apologizes tearfully, begging not to be reported to the police. Sympathetic to his desperation, Pal-gang gives him the bread she bought for him and says, “I want to help you somehow, but this is all I can do. I’m sorry.” She adds encouragingly, “Still, this isn’t all there is to life. So please be strong.”
As Pal-gang leaves the father-daughter pair, she looks up to see Jang-soo (Jin-ju’s penny-pinching admirer) — he’s here on company business, to check into the man’s claim. She’s shocked when he says that Kang-ha had asked him to gather hard proof of the man’s situation so he could push through his case without waiting for a trial. Both find it hard to believe that Kang-ha asked this when he didn’t have to.
That night, Pa-rang taps on Kang-ha’s door. After a day of eating too much food — first Grandpa’s meat, then Tae-kyu’s noodles — he is here to announce: “Ajusshi, I’m not on your side just because you bought us jajangmyun. It’s just because I like you. So you can’t be pushed aside by Tae-kyu. Fighting!” As he bows to leave, Pa-rang says, “Good night! Dream of my sister!”
Kang-ha mutters to himself, “Those siblings really drive me crazy.” Then he recalls, “Arg, stop talking to yourself!” Followed by a confused, “Why are you like this, Won Kang-ha?”
Pal-gang comes with warm tea, which Kang-ha refuses, asking sarcastically whether it’s poisoned. She laughs: “Even when watching comedy programs, you don’t laugh, do you? You don’t understand why they’re laughing, do you?” In five years, she’s never seen him laugh. He replies, “I didn’t laugh because there was nothing to laugh about. Okay?”
Pal-gang thanks him for following up with Man-ho, guessing that he had actually felt the same way she did. He says no, that the law is fair; he just wanted to make sure things were fair for all the customers. She sighs, “Can’t you just agree with me?” Does have have to talk so coldly? (His response: “Yes.”) Jun-ha catches this scene from the staircase below, bothered.
Pal-gang explains that Man-ho is going to give up his claim, because it turns out he wasn’t completely blind. Worriedly, she checks that this won’t get him in trouble for fraud, since he’s dropping the case, right? Kang-ha confirms it, but not without a dig at her (saying that she should know such an obvious answer).
Pal-gang finds Kang-ha’s dismissal particularly rude, and enters his room to confront him on his lack of manners. Kang-ha points out that it seems she’s taking too many liberties because of his promise not to kick her out.
She thinks, “You’re right. Why am I doing this? I tell myself I shouldn’t, but when I see you the words just come out. In the past, I wanted to impress you so I just spoke nicely. It must be because I don’t have those feelings now. I’ll take your words into consideration. Trust me!”
She sets the tea down and goes, leaving Kang-ha to think on her comments.
Downstairs, Jun-ha overhears Tae-kyu on the phone, asking his mother for more money. He asks if Tae-kyu has caused more trouble, but Tae-kyu confides that he wants to buy a diamond ring. Jun-ha scoffs, but has to confirm, “Are your feelings for real?” Tae-kyu has a habit of acting rashly.
Tae-kyu insists this is real and swears that Pal-gang is the one for him.
So, Jun-ha helps him out. Suggesting after-work drinks, he takes Kang-ha to the bar. Pal-gang arrives shortly thereafter, called here by Tae-kyu with the promise that his friends want to hear her sales pitch.
A spotlight shines on her as soon as she walks in. Puzzled, she looks around as a waiter leads her to a table laden with flowers.
Tae-kyu appears onstage singing a song whose lyrics go, “I want to live by your side.” As he serenades her, Jae-young arrives at the bar — no doubt called by Jun-ha, who watches Kang-ha’s reaction closely, as though this is a test.
And then, Tae-kyu gets on his knee and presents Pal-gang with a ring. At that, her eyes widen. So do Kang-ha’s.
Almost unconsciously, Kang-ha rises from his seat, freezing in shock — Jun-ha clocks his reaction — just as Tae-kyu says, “Marry me.”
Despite the general uselessness of the Jung family, I do think it’s sorta sad how In-gu is the less-loved son. Min-kyung may be downright malicious, but In-gu just wants his father’s love. For instance, there’s a scene when Chairman Jung ignores a phone call, saying it’s one he doesn’t have to take. It turns out to be In-gu, calling because he’s worried that his father hasn’t been sleeping at home.
Min-kyung checks in to see if Jae-young is making any progress — does she have a chance with Kang-ha? Jae-young says she’s trying, but her mother counters, “I dislike that more. Love isn’t something that happens through trying. I wish you wouldn’t live like that.” Jae-young says, “I’m your daughter” as though that’s proof of her ability to get things done. However, her mother has a different take: “Because you’re my daughter, I don’t want you to be like me.”
Kang-ha has managed to locate a photo of the woman who may have borne Chairman Jung’s grandchild. The chairman doesn’t seem to recognize her, and prays that she’s still alive.
I can’t help but wonder if the creditor issue will be a bad thing — will Pal-gang be touched that Kang-ha acted on her behalf, or will she think that it’s another setback, keeping her as Useless Miss Jin? (Probably both?)
Regardless, it’s the first time we see Kang-ha do anything proactive, which is then reinforced when he tells Jang-soo to check up on the man’s claim. Furthermore, his word choice (to take responsibility if Pal-gang defaults on her debt) is not insignificant; recall his admonition to Jun-ha not to start helping Pal-gang if he wasn’t going to be able to take responsibility through the end. Plus, there’s the fact that “taking responsibility” is a commonly used euphemism for marrying. I’m sure he has ways of justifying this behavior to himself, and I don’t think he’s aware of why he’s doing this, at least not consciously. Too bad he doesn’t know that his motivations are showing through his actions.
I did enjoy the moment when Pal-gang said she probably talks back to Kang-ha freely now because she doesn’t have any romantic designs on him. The comment didn’t visibly have an effect on Kang-ha so it’s too early to say that it brings him outright disappointment, but we can see from his actions that he’s growing fonder of the whole family. For instance, his disappointment to find that Pa-rang wasn’t in his bed was obvious, and I think it was strong enough that he could even admit it to himself.
Even for a child, Pa-rang speaks bluntly, and he assures Kang-ha that the reason he likes him isn’t because he buys the family food. He just likes him, no reason given. That’s the closest thing to unconditional love Kang-ha has probably ever had — he doesn’t even have to be nice to earn the kid’s admiration. He gets it just because he’s himself. It makes sense that he’d warm up to Pal-gang (romantically or not) because she’s the grown-up version of the kids, sometimes demanding unreasonable things and speaking without a filter. Not always polite, but always honest.