Sly and Single Again: Episode 13
Jung-woo continues to pull out all the stops to convince Ae-ra how much he likes her, and there’s a good chance that all his cute (and adorably clumsy!) attempts at affection might actually be working. Even so, Ae-ra continues to rebuff him — but not as much as she rebuffs poor Seung-hyun, who seems to be in the final stages of transforming from cute second lead puppy to soulless second lead who must win at all costs. Oh, and Yeo-jin throws a hissy fit. Or two. Or ten.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
We pick up this episode where we left off previously, with Jung-woo finally admitting that he does indeed like Ae-ra, and proving it with a kiss.
She slowly starts to kiss him back, but then her eyes open and she pushes him away. Jung-woo is still caught up in his lovesickness frenzy and repeats in desperation that he likes her.
Ae-ra points out that just because he feels that way, doesn’t mean she feels the same way about him. She likes her life right now; she’s discovered the joy of working hard for a goal and being rewarded for that accomplishment, and she’s determined to go to the interview at Shilla because it’s a good opportunity for her.
As she turns to walk away, Jung-woo stops her, offering to give her a ride to the interview since she’s now running late on account of him. But as they head across the street to his car, a mysterious person takes paparazzi-style photos of them. Uh-oh. This can’t be good.
On the ride to Shilla Hotel, Jung-woo coaches her on how to answer the interview questions, telling her she should emphasize her passion and dedication (such as working overtime on her birthday, even though he admits that was his fault). She’s thankful for all his tips, and he says that if she’s really thankful, she should meet him for dinner after the interview.
When Ae-ra says she can’t do that, the car screeches to a halt. Jung-woo hunches over the steering wheel, and a worried Ae-ra asks him what’s wrong. Instead of answering, he uses the closeness of their faces to try and sneak in another kiss. Ohhhh, now who’s the sly one?
Ae-ra shoves him back, and when she demands to know what’s wrong with him, he clutches at his chest: “Lovesickness.” Ae-ra isn’t falling for it, but the way Jung-woo acts like a pouty little kid asking mom to fix a boo-boo is kinda adorable.
Seung-hyun waits anxiously on the roof of the Dontalk building and, aw, he tries unsuccessfully to be the iron for his own furrowed brow. He’s hoping to hear from Ae-ra about how her interview is going, but instead is surprised by a visit from Director Oh. Seung-hyun cheerfully asks why Director Oh is really there, since it can’t really be to talk about his father’s health, and Director Oh hands over some photographs.
Seung-hyun’s smile fades as he sees the photos of Jung-woo and Ae-ra kissing. Ooof.
He requests that Director Oh keep it a secret from his father, and not to worry, because he’ll take care of everything. But his reassuring smile doesn’t quite match his eyes.
Yeo-jin’s secretary reminds her that it’s time for her regular doctor’s visit, but she insists she won’t go (and has another paper-tearing hissy fit to prove her point). Seung-hyun watches through the doorway, concerned.
Ae-ra waits in the hotel lobby with a few other interviewees, who all proudly share their impressive work histories and then scoff when they find out she’s just an intern. She escapes to the restroom and tries to settle her nerves with a mirror pep talk, and as she’s freshening up her lipgloss, the touch on her lips reminds her of the kiss. Unsettled, she rubs at her lips to remove the lipgloss (and, no doubt, the memory of Jung-woo’s lips on hers).
One of the bitchy interviewees is also in the restroom, and she confronts Ae-ra, saying that the only way Ae-ra could have possibly gotten an interview is if she has a “sponsor” (as in, she’s sleeping with one of the higher-ups). Jung-woo, who’s been eavesdropping outside the restroom, takes offense at this, and frets about the fact he can’t barge into the women’s restroom and save Ae-ra from Bitchy Interviewee.
But Ae-ra doesn’t need any help as she shoves Bitchy Interviewee up against the wall. HA!
Bitchy Interviewee (okay, okay, she has a name: Jolie Choi) cowers in fear as Ae-ra goes into full-on gangster mode, letting her know that her mental and emotional state is very sensitive right now. If she tries to bother her again, Ae-ra threatens to jump her.
But it doesn’t look like that will be necessary, because Jung-woo also manages to help in his own way — by convincing Jolie Choi to walk up all twenty flights of stairs to meet the Shilla Hotel higher-ups on the rooftop. Pfft. She may have an impressive work history, but she’s not that bright.
After the interview, Ae-ra and Jung-woo stop for frozen yogurt. She picks out the nuts from her sundae, and he eats them (which is such a couple-thing). When she tells him he has some frozen yogurt on his lips, he leans in with the expectation that she will kiss it off of him. But she roughly wipes it off with her hands instead. Hahaha!
Jung-woo gets serious for a moment, and asks her if she really doesn’t like working at Dontalk. She admits that she does — she likes the work and the people, but it’s just because of the awkward situation between them. He says he understands, and then becomes the playful suitor again as he whisks her off to dinner.
Only it’s at one of those “dining in the dark” restaurants, and Jung-woo explains it’s so no one will see them eating together. But it seems more like an excuse to try and get a little handsy when a piece of his pork cutlet goes flying to her side of the table. Ae-ra slaps away his attempt at skinship.
Jung-woo apologizes: “Because everything was so dark, I didn’t see you.” Ae-ra thinks he means literally, but he explains that ever since he heard about her interview at the Shilla Hotel, everything became darkness in front of him. “But I think I can see things one by one now.”
He realizes how much her heart must have felt wronged, and how resentful she must have felt. Even so, he asks her to watch how hard he’ll work to get closer to her from now on. Instead of answering directly, she cuts up a piece of pork cutlet and feeds it to him.
Afterwards, Jung-woo walks her back to Seung-hyun’s studio, and the goofy way he repeatedly wishes her goodnight as he stumbles backwards down the stairs reminds me of the adorkable Jung-woo of old. He’s like a cute eager puppy. But above them on the landing is Seung-hyun, silently watching the entire interaction.
As she walks up to the studio, Seung-hyun gently chides her for ignoring his calls all day, adding that “a normal couple would be nagging each other” in situations like these. Once he realizes she’s about to explain that she doesn’t see him in a romantic way, he quickly makes his escape. His attitude towards Ae-ra is breezy and nonchalant, but his eyes brim with tears as he walks away.
He meets up with Jung-woo at a bar, and as Jung-woo concernedly tries to get him to stop drinking so much, Seung-hyun drunkenly confronts him about being caught between two women. Jung-woo plainly tells him that he’s going to try and start over with Ae-ra, and is offended when Seung-hyun asks if that means he’s just going to throw Yeo-jin away, having used her as much as he needed.
Jung-woo says that he cares about both Seung-hyun and Ae-ra, and will do all in his power to look after both of them. Seung-hyun: “What if you can only choose one [of us]?” Jung-woo: “I hope that won’t happen.”
The next day at the Dontalk offices, the Mobile Shopping Team gives a department presentation to the board of directors. Jung-woo walks in late (in slo-mo hero glory, ha!) and Ae-ra is very aware of his presence. The topic of the meeting is about the luxury items the Mobile Shopping Team will start selling, but what’s more important is all the subtext in the exchange of glances between Ae-ra, Jung-woo, Seung-hyun, and Yeo-jin.
Jung-woo is super cute with how he maintains his professional CEO demeanor as he sends a message to Ae-ra, telling her she looks pretty today (which she totally does, largely because Lee Min-jung is finally sporting a flattering hairstyle). She’s a little flustered by his attention, and even more so when he clutches his head like he’s in pain, only to send her a little wink through his fingers. OMG so adorable.
But these cute interactions are not lost on the Kook siblings. They are not pleased.
Later, while waiting for the elevator, Team Leader Wang surprises Ae-ra (and me) with some sincere encouragement about her job. When the elevator finally arrives at their floor, Jung-woo and his nameless aide are already onboard. As they ride down together, Jung-woo tries to hold Ae-ra’s fingers behind Team Leader Wang’s back. He’s pleased with his secret attempt to be romantic, until Ae-ra tries to tug her hand away, which makes him only hold on tighter. This provokes Ae-ra to pull harder to free her hand…
…only the force of her exertion causes her to slap Team Leader Wang on the ass. (And I cry with laughter as I rewind and watch that scene a dozen more times.)
Back in the Mobile Shopping Team office, Ae-ra overhears Manager Kam on the phone, talking about Dontalk’s investment issues. When she asks him if the company is really in trouble, he says they are and that the CEO isn’t exactly liked by investors, especially since he punched one potential investor in the face (which Robert Kim totally deserved, though). But he reassures Ae-ra, telling her not to worry because the last time the company went through a crises, the CEO and Director Kook were able to find a way to fix it.
That night, Ae-ra meets Seung-hyun outside his studio, where he asks to hold her, and before she can answer, he pulls her into a hug. She resists, but he clings tighter, begging to just let him hold her a moment.
After she shoves him away, he tells her that he’s finally realized just how much he likes her, and that he’s not going to step aside. It doesn’t matter if he’s not the only one to like her; he’s never giving up on her.
At Jung-woo’s office, Yeo-jin gives him a list of investors who can provide immediate funds. Jung-woo refuses it, because it’s a list of shady investors with dirty money who, he says, will ultimately destroy the company. Then Yeo-jin pulls out the big guns and asks if Jung-woo wants to release a notice of their marriage, because that’s the safest and most reliable way to get their money. Uh-huh, sure.
But Jung-woo resists her crazy-second-lead logic by saying he doesn’t want to receive funding by lying to the investors. Ooo, burn.
She continues to persist, demanding to know if the reason he won’t agree to marry her is because of Ae-ra: “Are you thinking of remarrying her?”
Jung-woo sidesteps her accusations by explaining that he doesn’t take care of business matters with personal feelings, before finally telling her straight out that he can’t accept her feelings. But Yeo-jin persists, informing him that she’s given him the only options to save the company, and that the decision to be with Ae-ra or to save Dontalk ultimately rests with him.
Conveniently, just then Jung-woo meets with the CEO of Shilla Hotel, who expresses an interest in investing in Dontalk — but with a stipulation that the Shilla Group gets to have a say in how to manage the company. We don’t find out Jung-woo’s decision on the investment proposal, but the Shilla CEO leaves the meeting and gets into Seung-hyun’s waiting car.
The Shilla CEO cheerfully tells Seung-hyun that he made the proposal exactly as he asked him to, and that even if it was motivated by a favor for a friend, it still seems like a good investment. When he asks Seung-hyun if this proposal is a knife in the back for Jung-woo or a shield to protect the knife, Seung-hyun sighs and says he’s not sure yet.
That night, Jung-woo pensively walks along the Dontalk rooftop, and comes across Manager Kam on the phone with his son (yelling at him for being more interested in girls than in studying, ha). Manager Kam hurriedly hangs up, but Jung-woo sits down next to him and offers him a beer. Aw, is Jung-woo cashing in on his promise of a friendly drink?
Jung-woo says that it must be nice to have someone to talk to when things get hard, and Manager Kam agrees, but he adds that it wasn’t like he hasn’t had his family problems. Early in his marriage, his wife had wanted to divorce him because he’d wasted all their money trying to start his own business. But as they were fighting about whether or not to get divorced, his wife got pregnant, and they decided to make a fresh start with the birth of their second child.
When Manager Kam adds that children are hope for their parents, Jung-woo is reminded when Ae-ra told him that even if Jung-woo had been able to repay all their debts, it wouldn’t have been enough to revive their lost hope.
He rushes to go meet with Ae-ra at Seung-hyun’s studio, and as he affectionately surprises her with a back-hug, she’s startled and instinctively elbows him in the face. Ha! And ow.
But he’s not going to let the moment be ruined, so he spins her back around and hugs her again. This time she doesn’t resist. She’s not willing to cater to his sentimental mood, though, and asks him how he can seem so happy when the company is going through a financial crisis.
Her pragmatic attitude doesn’t deter him, and when he learns that she’ll be moving out of Seung-hyun’s studio soon, he’s even happier because now all his stress has suddenly faded away. As he’s leaving, he turns back with a serious face with the intent to ask her about that night on the rooftop and the “lost hope” — but decides to pleasantly bid her goodnight instead.
Yeo-jin arrives home with her secretary, who continues to be worried for her boss’s health as she sees Yeo-jin painfully clutch at her prosthetic leg. When Yeo-jin petulantly tells her to stop nagging about going in for a check-up, she loses her footing and goes rolling down the hill.
From a nearby window, President Kook watches his daughter struggle to stand. He has the photos of Ae-ra and Jung-woo kissing (wait, wasn’t that supposed to be kept a secret?), and he angrily crushes them in his hands as he curses Jung-woo.
The next day, the Mobile Shopping Team prepares for the live broadcast that will show the luxury goods being appraised. Jung-woo looks around for Ae-ra, and happens to run into Seung-hyun. The two men silently exchange meaningful stares before Seung-hyun cooly shoves past Jung-woo.
Jung-woo finds Ae-ra in the warehouse, carefully inspecting the items. Drawing from her previous experience in selling luxury items, she explains how to tell whether or not an item is fake — but Jung-woo is just happy to have an excuse to be this close to her.
Yeo-jin happens to be walking by, and upon seeing the couple’s playful banter, interrupts to remind Jung-woo he’s on his way to a meeting. Yeo-jin’s jealousy flares up once more when Jung-woo wishes Ae-ra good luck on the broadcast by putting a friendly hand on her shoulder.
Once he leaves, Yeo-jin tells her that this project will be Ae-ra’s last at Dontalk.
After Ae-ra leaves to meet with the appraisers, a mysterious person swaps out the luxury purses with fakes. Oh no! When Ae-ra goes to retrieve the purses, she bumps into Yeo-jin’s secretary, who’s holding the same yellow-plaid shopping bag of the person who swapped out the real goods for fake ones. Is Yeo-jin actually going to sabotage her own company just to destroy Ae-ra?
Unaware of the swap, Ae-ra heads to the broadcast control room, where Seung-hyun shows her how the webpage is set up for the live broadcast. The purses onscreen catch her eye, and she realizes that they’re actually fakes.
Frantic, she runs down to interrupt the broadcast. Just before his meeting starts, Secretary Gil updates Jung-woo on the chaos, adding that the internet forums are ablaze in criticism. Jung-woo wants to rush out to find her, but he’s trapped at his meeting.
Things are not looking good for Ae-ra, but when Manager Kam mentions that she was the only one in the warehouse before the broadcast, she remembers seeing Yeo-jin’s secretary.
The secretary is now in Yeo-jin’s office, and, to her credit, Yeo-jin is shocked to discover that the sabotage was ordered by her father. I guess it’s a relief that she isn’t totally evil, but Ae-ra walks into the lobby just in time to overhear Yeo-jin tell her secretary to cover up any evidence of tampering.
Yeo-jin turns to leave, and comes face-to-face with Ae-ra.
Oh, Yeo-jin. I was your number one champion since the beginning of this show, but now I’m just so done with you.
It doesn’t matter that this cockamamie scheme was her father’s — the fact that she’s more willing to cover it up and let Ae-ra take the fall makes me so mad. I’m also annoyed about her ultimatum to Jung-woo, where she demands that he decide between losing Ae-ra or losing the company, like those are the only two options available. Puh-lease. Not to mention how messed up it is to be willing to trap a man into marriage just for business purposes, knowing full well he doesn’t really love her. I’d feel pity if I could summon up some empathy for her, but I just can’t. She wearies me.
Thankfully, though, Yeo-jin was really the only dark spot in this episode. Sly and Single Again may have had a bit of a bumpy start, but each episode just gets better and better, and I’m really happy with how this show has matured into a fun and thoughtful rom-com. The production team has finally found the right balance of hilarity and sweetness, and I’m fully invested in all our characters (well, almost all of them).
Which is why my heart breaks for Seung-hyun and the path he’s chosen. Even though I know it’s practically k-drama rom-com law that he had to eventually turn to the dark side, I really hate the fact that he’s now following in his sister’s footsteps and becoming more manipulative. One of the things I’ve adored about Seung-hyun is his cheerful honesty, and even though he’s been careful not to reveal who his family is, I never felt like he was playing games. I’ve still got some wild hope that his optimism will win out and he’ll live up to his promise to respect Ae-ra’s decision. But that uncomfortable hug with Ae-ra seemed to mark the official moment when sweet puppy Seung-hyun gave way to the cold, calculated Seung-hyun who’s determined to win at all costs. But I’m just not ready to see the puppy go!
No matter how I feel, it has to be done — because that means we get lots more cute couple moments with Jung-woo and Ae-ra. And I have no complaints about that! In fact, this episode has won me over completely to the idea these two could end up together (again) and be happy. All those minor glimpses into their comfortable familiarity only make me hungry for more. And maybe some skinship, too, even though it’s been loads of fun watching Ae-ra deny all his ridiculous attempts so far.
I adore the fact that Jung-woo has decided to start wooing her anew. I love seeing Ae-ra flustered by his wink and swooning over the “you’re pretty today” message. It’s really like watching a relationship grow from (almost) scratch, and now that so many of the issues that separated them previously have been addressed, their gradual courtship is just so dang adorable I can’t help but goofily grin whenever they’re together.
What I appreciate the most is that Ae-ra is no dummy. Even though I’m wary about how the show has treated various other characters, I’m so grateful that the writer continues to respect Ae-ra as a person and let her be strong, opinionated, and true to herself. She hasn’t had to go through some Dramaland lobotomy just to make it easier for her and Jung-woo to get back together. Instead, the show has managed to mature both of them to a point where they are sincerely supportive of each other, and that mutual respect makes me more weak in the knees than any grand romantic act ever could. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Jung-woo now acts like an adorable lovestruck teenager whenever he sees her.)
When the show started, based on how they treated each other back then, I couldn’t accept that there would be any believable way the show could bring them back together. But now I’m fully anticipating my happy ending where Ae-ra gets to redeem her years of working terrible jobs to support Jung-woo, by having him now support her in a career she enjoys and finds fulfilling. (Because that’s what’s going to happen, right, show? Right?)
- Sly and Single Again: Episode 12
- Sly and Single Again: Episode 11
- Sly and Single Again: Episode 10
- Sly and Single Again: Episode 9
- Sly and Single Again: Episode 8
- Sly and Single Again: Episode 7
- Sly and Single Again: Episode 6
- Sly and Single Again: Episode 5
- Sly and Single Again: Episode 4
- Sly and Single Again: Episode 3
- Sly and Single Again: Episode 2
- Sly and Single Again: Episode 1