Romance Town: Episode 13
Oh my God. For all my complaints and disinterest from last week, I have to say – this episode gave me a full on heart attack. My heartbeat was racing throughout this episode. Thanks for picking up again, Romance Town!
Soo Jung convinces Soon Geum to go to the dark side! It’s a question of 2 billion Won, or 5 billion Won – which do you prefer? They’re interrupted by a phone call, from none other than Hyun Joo.
Hyun Joo is in town and wants to meet up for some barbecue. Soo Jung tries to say that she’s busy and can’t go, but it sounds too suspicious. Hyun Joo even layers on the flattery – when times were bad, Soo Jung was there for her, even more than a man. Grudgingly, Soo Jung agrees to meet up.
Hyun Joo is in a generally happy mood, as her encounter with Hwang Yong at the bank ended with positive results. Perhaps out of indebtedness, he offers her a job at his home. Zar Lin can serve his daughter, and she can serve his needs better, since both have different lifestyles.
Soon Geum is wracked with guilt though, as she thinks it’d be better if they split it five ways than continue this deception. But Soo Jung is greedy as hell – she’s not going to let her money go anywhere else. “Money or friendship?” That’s the question Soo Jung pressures Soon Geum with, continually repeating, “5 billion or 2 billion?”
Staring into another person’s eyes to bend them to your will doesn’t help the situation.
Of course, Soon Geum chooses 5 billion – or more like, caves in – because she’s human too. They pack up the luggage with Soo Jung’s share.
Tae Won goes to the bank to once again check on his lottery ticket and put away some business documents. He gets the feeling that someone is following him, but the chauffeur says there’s no one. Actually there is – a couple of men watching across the street.
Gun Woo goes home in the middle of the day and sees the letters in his desk drawer. He’s kept the lottery ticket – the real one – in one of the envelopes. He calls the number on the back to make sure he gets Granny Choon Jak, and then goes to return the lottery ticket in his father’s desk drawer. He is interrupted by Yoon Joo, who asks him to bring his father’s seal back to the office. Gun Woo never gets to replace the lottery ticket.
Meanwhile, Soon Geum and Soo Jung drag the insanely heavy bag down the block back to their neighborhood. Not suspicious at all, ladies. They bump into Soon Ok and Boon Ja, who are on the way to the market. Of course, they ask what’s in the bag. Some vegetables! they say, as they’re preparing a banquet. Oh goodio – Soon Ok and Boon Ja want to purchase some garlic from them, but Soo Jung overreacts immensely, guarding the bag with her dear life.
Soon Ok and Boon Ja are all, “It’s just garlic lady…” while I’m wondering if Soo Jung’s near temper-tantrum would just make the madames more suspicious. Good thing Soon Geum recovers her senses and yells at them for trying to take away their garlic after firing Hyun Joo. If they were going to fire their maid, they might as well go experience the hardship of going all the way to the market and buying it for themselves!
Hwang Yong is gardening in his front yard, and Yoon Joo crouches down next to him in high heels and a fine dress. She’s only here to tell him that she’s enjoying the pen he gave her, and that he shouldn’t get along with the maids so much since they’re in different classes. But Hwang Yong reveals he’s getting another maid. Through some good old thinking with her noodle, she realizes he’s going to hire Hyun Joo! She’s completely against it, but Hwang Yong points out that they’re friends.
Yoon Joo is taken aback that Hyun Joo made up such a “lie.” Hwang Yong apologizes for saying that – and also the fact that she just stepped on some poop in his fertilizer. Yay.
Soon Geum and Soo Jung hurry back to the standing barbecue place where Da Kyum, Young Hee, Zar Lin, and Hyun Joo are already eating. Awkwardly, Soo Jung offers to pay for having held everyone up, and Soon Geum says she’s pay half of it too. Everyone’s just ballin’ today, eh?
Da Kyum has an announcement to make. She takes out the painting Young Hee gave her. Immediately, Young Hee gasps at seeing it carried around so carelessly, while Soon Geum remembers her little chat with Joo Won about how expensive – and real – that little thing is. Da Kyum still thinks it’s a fake, but knows that Young Hee treasures it because it’s still his father’s. Young Hee: “Uh, sure…”
So Da Kyum has a proposition – he can have the painting back, if he goes out with her officially. He must renounce his love for Soon Geum in front of everyone, and agree to go out with Da Kyum. It’s quite extreme (and forward), and Young Hee is reluctant to do so. However Soon Geum says it’s totally fine – and he should take the offer.
Young Hee asks to hold the painting once, getting immense satisfaction from it. Then he hands it right back; he gave it as a gift, and he’s no Indian Giver. Soon Geum immediately screeches, “Kim Young Hee!” Everyone’s surprised to see Soon Geum react so passionately. She tells him he’s absolutely insane for not accepting the offer. She doesn’t care about his feelings or being “hurt” – just accept it and save whatever money he’s got left!
Young Hee’s like a total rag doll, allowing Soon Geum to grab him by the collar and shake him back and forth.
That evening, Tae Won arrives home late to see his wife having a small garden party with Soon Ok and Boon Ja. At the same time, Zar Lin passes the wives, and Soon Ok and Boon Ja warn her that another maid may be taking her place soon. (They’re so petty.)
Gun Woo finds Soon Geum in the kitchen, and he wraps his big, muscular arms around her from behind. (Oooh – I want to be her right. now.) They share sweet nothings about how one didn’t call the other and therefore missed each other. JUST THEN, Tae Won enters the dining room and asks if Gun Woo is doing the dishes. From his point of view, he can’t see that he’s covering Soon Geum.
Soon Geum nearly drops the bowl she’s soaping, and Gun Woo catches it for her. He shouts back to his father that he is doing the dishes, and Tae Won yells at him to get out. They have maids, so he doesn’t need to do anything unnecessary like that!
Gun Woo stammers that he’ll be out in a moment, but both are frozen in place. Has Tae Won left the dining room yet? Gun Woo slowly turns around to check. Tae Won is seething mad, staring right at the both of them.
Tae Won: “You jerk, you have nothing better to do? To the housemaid?! I’m going to kill you! I knew it when you treated her badly!” (I’m paraphrasing here.) He starts beating Gun Woo, chasing him around the kitchen, angry that Gun Woo would dare sexually harass Soon Geum. If he’s so desperate to get laid, he should find a girl somewhere else! And to think, Soon Geum must have been so scared and unable to say anything!
Heh – I love that Tae Won totally misunderstood the situation. But he insults Soon Geum, saying that housemaid is not a woman. She’s only a homemaker, and an employee. Gun Woo sputters: “Dad! I like this woman!”
Yeah! He declares his love for Soon Geum, but Tae Won is disbelieving. He thinks Gun Woo is just making up lies now to cover up his actions, and demands his son to kneel for forgiveness before Soon Geum. She tries to interrupt and stop the president from forcing Gun Woo to kneel, but he cuts her off, saying he’s too embarrassed to face her for his son’s irresponsible actions. (I’m cracking up at this situation – it’s both insulting to her, and yet I’ve never seen Tae Won so… fatherly.) He promises to compensate Soon Geum, as long as she doesn’t spread rumors for Gun Woo’s sake.
Not like Gun Woo cares if she spreads rumors, but Soon Geum is caught; she promises Tae Won.
In Soo Jung’s room, Zar Lin rushes in accusing Hyun Joo of stealing her job, having figured out that she’s the one the wives were referring to. Hyun Joo insists that she’s not, although she’s worried that she may have accidentally pushed out Zar Lin. Soo Jung really wants to look at her money again, so she farts to get all the ladies out of her room. (Bwahaha. Sorry toilet humor gets me.)
Gun Woo goes for a private talk with his father in the office. Tae Won actually believed that Gun Woo was in love with Soon Geum, but he still doesn’t approve because she’s not of equal wealth or standing. There is no way that one would be comfortable with the other’s family. He beat Gun Woo just for show, and wants his son – and future heir – to get a hold of himself and get a better girl than someone as “rotten” as Soon Geum.
Of course, Soon Geum is listening outside. Hurt enough, she leaves when Tae Won pleads with his son to give her up.
Gun Woo presents a hypothetical question: if Soon Geum were to have 10 billion Won, and be richer than them, would Tae Won approve? To his credit, Tae Won stands by his opinion and disapproves. (So he’s not money hungry after all. Or supremely confident that Soon Geum can’t possibly be richer.) Tae Won believes she is rotten food – she will always be bad for Gun Woo no matter how good she may “taste” right now.
Gun Woo searches the home for Soon Geum, only to find her outside with San on her back, lulling him to sleep. He takes San off her back to put him to sleep, and asks that she wait here for him. Soon Geum doesn’t want to, telling him to just go to sleep. Understanding that she’s hurt, he just stands there and waits for her to talk.
She finally breaks down; she feels so cheap and pathetic after hearing how Tae Won described her, and tells him to get away from her. She hates every single man in that house right now, and leaves the neighborhood.
Soon Geum goes back to her purchased apartment and packs up all the money into another luggage bag. Dragging it back by herself, she takes a detour by sitting next to Young Hee at his picnic table on the lawn, where he’s calculating his debts. Soon Geum finally gets straight with him – she’s kissed Gun Woo before. But Young Hee has the same reaction as Gun Woo: a kiss is just a kiss, so what? He’s “slept” with Da Kyum! Soon Geum finds men so strange in that skinship means nothing to them. (She’s not the only one wondering this…) But Young Hee is just trying to be honest.
Soon Geum admits she needs some consolation, to which Young Hee finds odd, since she always pushes him aside. But since she’s hurt, he offers to get one of his friends to cut off some deer antlers and make a tonic for her. Touched, Soon Geum also says that she’s a bunny – if rumors start to get to him, she will use her “large ears” to be his earmuffs. He can just ignore every bad thing people say about him from now on. Aww… is this going to be one of “those” cute phrases now – “rabbit earmuffs”?
The entire time, Gun Woo is watching her from outside his home. He eventually waits for her inside the house as she drags the large bag inside. He wonders if she’s moving out already, but she promises she isn’t yet. Besides, she got strength from Young Hee. Gun Woo notes that she must be soooo great to have another man to run to when she’s hurt by him. Soon Geum points out he’s not so great at consoling people.
He helps her carry the bag to her room, and wonders what could possibly be so heavy inside it. Soon Geum says he can open it – if he wants it, she’ll give it to him. She’s giving him an opportunity!!! She cryptically says that it is full of all her worries and concerns, and it’s clear that splitting the money with Soo Jung only is weighing heavily on her mind. Gun Woo doesn’t want it; he’s rejecting all of her money, and by extension, all her dark secrets.
In front of her door, he advises her to just leave the house, and she says, “Harass me again.” (OOOH girl – do you know what you’re asking for?!) He hugs her tightly, before bidding her good night.
Gun Woo joins Young Hee outside and offers him a place to stay since he put his house on sale. As long as he’s nice to Soon Geum and can provide some comfort for her, he can stay with Gun Woo.
The next day, Soo Jung quickly acts on her new-found wealth by going to a travel agency. She wants to travel around the world, and wants the agent to find her a flight the coming Monday at 9:30 AM after finishing her affairs at 1st Street. Yes – she’s thought this out completely.
Young Hee wakes up to find Da Kyum standing at the foot of his bed, ladle in hand. She orders him to get up and eat breakfast, and he protests, claiming to want sleep more than food. So Da Kyum grabs his attention again, this time with the truth. That night they really didn’t do anything, and Young Hee never touched her inappropriately even in his drunken sleep. “I lied,” she admits. “I tried to get your heart in an underhanded way.”
Young Hee’s expression? Priceless.
Tae Won informs Yoon Joo about the budding romance that is blooming right under their noses. While Yoon Joo wants Soon Geum out, Tae Won thinks it’s better to treat her insanely well and have her learn her place through this passive-aggressive tactic. Therefore, at breakfast, Tae Won invites Soon Geum to eat with them. She hesitantly takes her place next to San, and is handed an envelope of money. Tae Won makes up the excuse that San had made it difficult for her the other day, so this money is compensation.
Gun Woo is sickened by his father trying to buy Soon Geum’s favor, and tries to leave the table. However Tae Won forces him to sit back down. Surprisingly, Soon Geum accepts the money happily, saying that taking care of San has hurt her back and neck recently. Tae Won and Yoon Joo are surprised by her easy acceptance of their excuse and the money, but don’t complain. Gun Woo can’t even look at her, and he finally leaves the table. To him, accepting the money is basically showing that she’s not going to fight back against her father.
However, Soon Geum is a lot more hurt than she let on at breakfast. She takes out the money and finds that they gave her 500,000 Won. “Am I worth this much?” she mutters bitterly, and takes out a lighter. She’d rather burn the money than accept this. However, her hand shakes too much, because at the end of the day, it’s still money. Gun Woo enters her room just in time to catch her singeing one of the bills. She quickly snuffs out the bills under her skirt.
Gun Woo sits across from her and lifts her skirt to see the money. (It’s only the money! Nothing kinky! Or so he says…) Soon Geum tries to kick him out – what if they get caught again? But Gun Woo wants to see how his father insulted her, and if she’s going to be playing with fire, then they might as well play with fire together.
At the convenience store, Zar Lin is taking a mini break sipping her drink outside, when she sees the clerk assist Jang Chi Gook with some instant ramen. The look on Jang Chi Gook’s face as he takes his first bite of dehydrated noodles is pure satisfaction – until he realizes that a maid is watching him.
Zar Lin plunks down a bottle of soju next to him; she had bought it for the maids to have later, but no one will know if he has a little bit. Though Jang Chi Gook initially declines, he can’t resist when she hands him a cap-full. He’s so excited he asks for another cap-full, but Zar Lin quickly seals the bottle. If she gives him anymore, she’ll get yelled at by the other maids!
On the news, the National Tax Department has announced that they’re sending out 100 auditors to hunt down tax evaders. The reason they’re taking a drastic step is because people are coming out with more creative methods to evade tax. That puts Tae Won in a pensive mood, and for good reason – the auditors are visiting his house first.
Soon Geum calls up Hyun Joo to gather everyone to play go-stop in her room. It might be Soon Geum’s last chance to play, so she wants to up the stakes. Soon Geum’s even made sure that Yoon Joo will not enter her room that evening and disturb the ladies’ “meeting.” Soo Jung is immediately apprehensive, suspicious that Soon Geum might be making a run with the money.
Meanwhile, Young Hee goes around the different households asking for each of his neighbors for some money. Tae Won pretends he’s absolutely poor and can’t lend him any; Jang Chi Gook tells Young Hee that because he co-signed for his son and the business seems to have failed, he really has no money (which shocks both his wives); and Hwang Yong gives him a flat out no.
Hwang Yong sees Hyun Joo passing by with the other maids on the way to Soon Geum’s home, so he asks her to come in for a moment. Young Hee tries to follow inside, but Hwang Yong goes, “Oh hey Soon Geum!” momentarily distracting the boy and escaping inside before Young Hee can get in.
The ladies minus Hyun Joo gather at Soon Geum’s room, and Soon Geum surreptitiously palms Soo Jung’s house key card. She pretends to go get the cards, and then quickly finds Gun Woo for a favor. She wants him to bring a black bag that is similar to her luggage the other day from Soo Jung’s room, saying that it’s hers.
Gun Woo goes and finds it so much heavier than the first one he carried that night, and literally falls on the grass from dragging it home. He enlists Young Hee’s help to carry the bag, and Young Hee is suspicious as to the contents. Afraid of Soon Geum, Gun Woo refuses to look inside. If Young Hee wants to look, he can open it himself.
Young Hee unzips the bag, and his eyes bulge from the sight of money. He quickly calls Gun Woo’s attention to it, and when he turns to see it, Gun Woo immediately pounces on it, zipping it back up and protecting it from Young Hee. He tells his friend that Soon Geum was the lottery winner, so the money is all hers.
Back in her room, Soon Geum shows her friends the 500,000 Won Tae Won gave her. She wants to use it all up at go-stop today, so they’re not stopping until she loses it all. Gun Woo and Young Hee arrive to quietly drop off the bag, and Soo Jung’s eyes grow wide. You can see her having a silent panic attack.
Meanwhile, Hyun Joo is being given a tour around Hwang Yong’s home. He shows her what her responsibilities will be and invites her to use the guest room as her own room.
Soon Geum unzips the bag and lets all the 50,000 Won bills fall out. Soo Jung closes her eyes in anger, while the two other girls gasp in delight. Soon Geum informs them that it’s all of their money – they collectively won the jackpot, and the 10 billion Won are theirs! They’ll all split it up tonight – 2 billion each. While the other two are distracted, Soo Jung calls Soon Geum a rotten girl. However, Soon Geum tells her that it would look worse if the other girls found the 5 billion in her room.
As they count the money, the auditors arrive at the Kang residence. They are here to arrest Tae Won, and gather everything in the house that could be used as evidence. They ransack Tae Won’s office and even Gun Woo’s room. Imagine if they went into the maids’ room and saw all that money – what would they think!?
Suddenly, Soon Geum’s door creaks open. The maids freeze in terror – but it’s only San, who’s crying out of fear from seeing the auditors. Soon Geum comforts him, but they all hear the auditors going through the house.
They immediately cover the money with the carpet in time before the auditors come in. Pretending to be checking the lottery numbers on the TV, the auditors deem the maid’s room harmless and leaves.
Gun Woo and Young Hee are having a drink at Young Hee’s home. Now that they know the truth about Soon Geum and Da Kyum, Young Hee wants to pursue Soon Geum formally. Gun Woo believes his friend is just interested in Soon Geum because she has money, but Young Hee says he always knew she had money. The two of them down their liquor – it’s now war between them for Soon Geum’s love!
Once the auditors are out of the house, the maids go back to counting. However, count on Da Kyum to realize that Hyun Joo did not play go-stop that day (because she was canoodling with Jang Chi Gook), and so she did not contribute to the pot that purchased the ticket. Shouldn’t they be excluding Hyun Joo from the winnings?
Meanwhile, Hyun Joo is finally on her way to Soon Geum’s home right now…
Soo Jung: It isn’t five ways. We have to divide it 4 ways.
Maids: We have to!
Soon Geum: Is…that right?!
I’m proud of Soon Geum for finally telling the other maids that they all won the lottery. However, I’m not proud that she’s so easily persuaded – first by Soo Jung to split the winnings 50/50, and then by all the maids to split the winnings and exclude Hyun Joo. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to see all the ladies be so greedy because I just get that foreboding feeling that they will be found out, and it will open more cans of worms.
This episode didn’t really go down the dark path as I thought – or hoped – it would. However, it certainly surprised me. Soo Jung is absolutely annoying to watch, but she is the antithesis to the conscientious Soon Geum. I was amazed that Soon Geum was willing to give Gun Woo the money so that she could no longer be tortured by the guilt, and I am equally amazed that Gun Woo is so honest and ethical when it comes to money. He could have easily taken the money or demanded a share, but he didn’t, choosing to protect what’s Soon Geum’s. Of all people, the maids are the most nitpicky in terms of what is considered fair because they have so little. On the other hand, the rich people live recklessly and are now being stripped of their wealth one by one. Only Hwang Yong is coming out unscathed so far – and he’s the one who made his money shadily by being a loan shark!
I can’t help but love this series for the framing, such as in the first picture above. Soon Geum and Gun Woo benefit the most of the framing, where we see the two of them in the lower foreground and see a lot of the background. Oh it’s so beautiful…