Oh My Lady: Episode 2
Episode 2 continues the light, comic feel of Episode 1. For those of you who felt Episode 1 was too familiar and conventional, plot-wise, perhaps the added complication in Episode 2 will capture your interest. Yes, it’s rather like Speed Scandal: The Drama Version — but hey, who doesn’t want to see the drama version of Speed Scandal?
SONG OF THE DAY
Oh My Lady OST – “그대 인형” (You’re a Doll) by Sunny (SNSD). I don’t really like this song, but it’s pretty much the main theme of the drama. [ Download ]
EPISODE 2 RECAP
After getting Show Company CEO Shi-joon to promise to hire her if she succeeds in bringing Min-woo to their musical, Kae-hwa decides to give it a shot. First on the list is internet research to find out about Min-woo’s background, personality, and hobbies. (Her notes indicate that he’s arrogant, picky, and cocky.)
Next, Kae-hwa writes up her proposal, discarding a few other approaches before hitting upon her hook: He has risen to stardom because of his six-pack, but now it’s time to pour his soul into acting, perhaps even walk the red carpet at Cannes.
Shi-joon aims to convince Min-woo himself, so he seeks him out in person at the gym. Min-woo’s manager runs interference — access to the star is tightly controlled — but Shi-joon actually knows Min-woo personally. Despite not recognizing him at first, Min-woo soon recalls his former teacher who’d put him through rigorous (acting?) training in the past. From the way they talk, it’s clear that Shi-joon was one for strict discipline, while Min-woo was, well, not.
They relocate to a quiet restaurant, where Shi-joon gets to the point about his musical. Min-woo takes the script, but his answer is the sort of noncommittal thing everyone says out of politeness, that he’ll have his manager take a look.
Min-woo’s immature enough to enjoy this role reversal, now that he’s in the more powerful position, and reminds Shi-joon of something he’d said a long time ago — that Min-woo wouldn’t be able to become an actor within ten years. Min-woo says there are no hard feelings, but he does get a kick out of rubbing it in Shi-joon’s face now. In fact, when he emerges from the meeting (with a rock-star swagger) and rejoins his manager, he says that he purposely picked this exclusive restaurant to intimidate Shi-joon. He laughs at the script, having no intention of doing the musical.
Another (brief) character introduction: This is successful choreographer JUNG-AH, played by Moon Jung-hee (who, by the way, got her acting start in the musical world).
Jung-ah has a flirty thing going on with one of her colleagues, which I suppose wouldn’t be such a big deal if only she weren’t married. To Shi-joon, in fact.
Kae-hwa cringes at the idea of shamelessly presenting her proposal to Min-woo, but she works up the nerve to go back to his apartment. A reporter is harassing the security guard for entry, eager to sniff around Min-woo’s apartment, but he is denied entry. Kae-hwa, on the other hand, is remembered as the maid from the other day, so the guard lets her through.
When she nervously rings Min-woo’s doorbell, she is surprised to be welcomed inside, having expected greater difficulty in capturing his attention. He shoves his shirt at her and shows her the singed hole. Realizing that this is her doing, she apologizes and promises to replace the shirt.
Kae-hwa had been fired as his maid, so he wonders what she’s doing here. Identifying herself as an intern for The Show Company, she starts her pitch about casting Min-woo in a musical. He kicks her out.
She can’t just give up here, so Kae-hwa pesters him as he gets into his car, even jumping into the vehicle to make her spiel. She reminds him of a recent interview in which he declared his desire to succeed for his acting rather than his looks. Furthermore, she’s watched his dramas and found that the common weakness is that his characters lack depth and thought. She leaves him with her proposal and exits the car… only to have Min-woo toss her papers out his window.
Kae-hwa’s friend Bok-nim advises that she give up, because it’s a losing battle. Getting Min-woo to agree is hard enough, but the Show Company may not even hire her — what if they were just saying empty promises to get rid of her?
Kae-hwa is dejected after today’s events, but she’s not giving up yet. Confident in her persuasive tactics, she reminds her friend (yet again) that she once scored a big interview in her reporter days. One gets the sense that’s the sole success story in Kae-hwa’s professional life, and she’s been clinging to it all these years.
Min-ji calls about her piano lesson fees, so Kae-hwa rushes to the piano academy to give her the money. The girl is quite perceptive for her young age, and she says she wasn’t sure whether she should call her mother for the money or ask her father. Plus, her stepmother wants to be called unni rather than ajumma, but that’s weird — should she do it? Also, she doesn’t want to ask but she’ll need a new dress for her piano recital…
It’s sweet how Kae-hwa covers her feelings and gives positive answers to ensure her daughter doesn’t feel bad. For instance, it can’t be pleasant to hear about the girl’s stepmother insisting on being called unni and being late to pick up Min-ji, but she smiles and says that stepmom is right, and unni’s easier to say anyway. And even though mention of a new dress makes her smile falter momentarily, Kae-hwa recovers and assures her that of course she’ll get one for her. She’s on top of it!
In order to bring her daughter home soon, she’ll need to land that job, and this reinforces her drive to succeed. With revived motivation, Kae-hwa heads back to Min-woo’s apartment, where she catches the guard in a curious argument with a taxi driver. The man has been paid to drop a young girl off at this address, but the guard can’t accept a random child. But he can’t let the driver up to the tenant’s apartment, either.
Thus the guard is relieved to see Kae-hwa and dumps the girl in her arms. She’s supposed to go to Apartment 702 — Min-woo’s place — and he’s happy to let the maid deal with this tricky situation.
Kae-hwa is at a loss and has no idea what to do. She tries to talk to the girl, but the child remains frustratingly silent. On top of that, she has to go to the bathroom and can’t hold it, and wets her pants.
With nobody answering the doorbell, Kae-hwa figures she’ll have to let herself in and take care of the girl first.
Min-woo is out at the moment, and walks into his manager’s office in time to catch the tail end of his conversation with his boss. The manager says confidently that Min-woo won’t switch agencies; he will be able to get him to re-sign his contract with the exact same terms, because he’s holding a special card over him.
Furrowing his brow, Min-woo confronts his manager. He must be referring to an accident in his past — Min-woo had been accused wrongly of a hit and run, probably by an opportunistic type who was trying to extort some money from the star. His manager had told him to stay put and that he would cover everything up for him.
Now, Min-woo is genuinely hurt to realize that his manager didn’t do all that because he believed in his innocence. The manager has a coldly pragmatic view on things — his job was to get rid of the matter, not have faith in Min-woo’s innocence.
Min-woo understands that his manager is clinging to him using his weakness (or at least he’s ready to use the weakness if Min-woo should ever try to leave), and this comes as a big blow. Disillusioned, he remains quiet on the drive home.
No solace for him there, though, because as soon as he steps inside, he sees unfamiliar shoes and knows someone’s here. He immediately assumes that the girl is Kae-hwa’s own daughter and that she has come back to beg him to do the stupid musical. Grabbing both ladies, he starts to shove them toward the door.
Kae-hwa can’t get in a word edgewise so finally she bursts out that this is HIS daughter! A little dumbly, he protests — but they never… together… (Okay, so he’s a little dim. But so pretty!) Impatiently, she clarifies that she’s HIS daughter, not her own.
Now he’s even more annoyed, jumping to the conclusion that she has made up this ridiculous story to blackmail him. He shoves them out into the hallway and shuts the door, ignoring the girl’s crying.
But that doesn’t last long because Kae-hwa keeps pounding his door and calling out his name. With other people living nearby, he can’t have a random woman with a kid shouting for him, so he grudgingly lets her back inside.
Kae-hwa shows Min-woo the note that came with the girl, which identifies her as Ye-eun. The note is signed with the mother’s name — Yeon-hee — and although he says he doesn’t know who that is, his reaction says otherwise. It’s apparent to us that he does know exactly who this Yeon-hee is — and that he realizes Ye-eun could very well be his daughter — but he insists to Kae-hwa that the mother must be some crazy stalker.
Min-woo tries to talk to the little girl, asking for her name and her parents, but his temper flares at the girl’s continued silence and he ends up yelling at her.
Frustrated, he wants nothing to do with this and yells at Kae-hwa to take care of the kid. If she wants to abandon her, fine. Or she can raise her herself!
Min-woo heads out to find his friend Tae-gu, who manages a smoothie shop that Min-woo owns. He asks Tae-gu about Yeon-hee — has he heard from her? Does he have her number?
Yeon-hee had in fact looked Tae-gu up recently to ask for Min-woo’s address, but left no information for herself. Min-woo orders his friend to get a hold of her immediately.
They call out a couple more old buddies and hit a club, where they drink together. These three are all non-celebrities, sort of like Min-woo’s Entourage-esque clingers-on, who date back to his younger days and enjoy the perks of being friends with a famous star.
Meanwhile, Kae-hwa is left to take care of Ye-eun in Min-woo’s apartment. Thinking of her own daughter, she sighs, “Kids stuffer a lot because of adults,” then texts her daughter to check in.
Kae-hwa’s friend Bok-nim — the one obsessed with Min-woo — texts her with the latest scoop. Another scandal has broken regarding Min-woo and a certain ladyfriend, but Kae-hwa thinks that’s nothing compared to the brewing problem he’s got at home. And then the thought comes to her — as the only one who knows about Ye-eun, she has got a powerful secret that she could hold over his head…
In the morning, Min-woo finds Kae-hwa and Ye-eun still in his kitchen. Kae-hwa sits down for a talk, having thought over her strategy carefully, and hesitantly makes her proposal/blackmail threat. She can help him with the girl, in exchange for him appearing in the musical. After all, he’s a top star and if news about Ye-eun leaked, his career would surely take a hit. She threatens (rather weakly) to talk to the press.
Min-woo calls her bluff, so she tells him that she’s taken photos of the letter and the girl. She’s really sorry, but she’ll use them if she has to. Min-woo wrestles the phone from her, but she hurriedly adds that she’s already backed up the data elsewhere.
Perhaps he can tell she’s not really up for real blackmail, because he challenges her to go ahead and leak the information. He’s got lawyers and managers, and he’s not scared of her. He kicks Kae-hwa out of the apartment, and she worries, “That’s not how this was supposed to end.”
But this means he’s left alone with Ye-eun, and he still has to contend with the matter of what to do with the girl. The wee, unwanted, mute girl.
First, he heads to his car, but finds that the tenacious gossip reporter is camped out in the parking garage next to his car. The man tells his boss over the phone that he won’t move a muscle until he gets his story.
Therefore Min-woo is forced to leave on foot, keeping his face half-covered and his head bowed as he leads the girl to the police station. He wants to just dump her there, but the police officers tell him that he’ll have to fill out a report and identify all the details — how the girl was left, where, his contact information.
Min-woo can’t have that, and one of the officers starts to recognize him. Denying it, Min-woo quickly leaves, taking the girl with him.
It’s not long before he’s spotted in the street — fangirls! — who recognize him instantly. They don’t buy his weak denials and accost him, doggedly pursuing him down the street.
Min-woo grabs the girl — holding her as far from him as he can while running — and races down the street until he’s finally able to lose them.
He puts Ye-eun down for a moment, and she wanders off to play with a toy. For a brief second he thinks he has lost her, and when he sees her a few feet away, a curious look comes across his face — nobody’s around and the girl is distracted. This might be the perfect chance to ditch her for good…
He starts to turn away to leave, just as the two fangirls corner him again.
The addition of Min-woo’s child definitely spins Oh My Lady into a different direction than the other dramas that it otherwise resembles. There are still elements of Full House, Last Scandal, Wish Upon a Star, and Speed Scandal — but rather than repeating those dramas, it picks a few elements from each and puts them together in a new way. So that gives this a different angle. I’m still not going to call this an original drama, but it’s not a direct copycat, either.
The addition of Ye-eun may also be that factor that bridges Kae-hwa and Min-woo and makes their connection more credible — or at least I hope. I don’t have a problem with the age gap, or the older-woman trend, or even Choi Si-won’s age. (Honestly, if I didn’t know he was an idol star in a boy band of hot young things, I don’t think I’d find him so very young-looking in this drama. I don’t have a hard time thinking Min-woo’s 28 even if Siwon is actually 23.) But I wasn’t sure if the chemistry would work between the characters. Now that both are parents to young daughters, perhaps they’ll find more common ground as Min-woo has to figure out how to be a parent. Especially since he’s a very reluctant one, compared with Kae-hwa who would do anything to be able to bring her daughter back home with her.
Also: How adorable is this boy, right? I’ve been reading reviews and articles since the drama’s premiere yesterday, and most have been very favorable of Choi Siwon. This is hardly his first acting endeavor (I’ve liked him since Hyang Dan, where I thought he was very charming), but now that he’s starring in a prime-time miniseries, I expect he’ll be the next idol star to be declared a crossover success.