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Misaeng: Episode 6

How much of your pride are you willing to put on the line in order to make a sale? That’s the question Chief Oh struggles with as he must convince an old friend to now do business with his company. Another employee’s lack of confidence makes it difficult for him to be taken seriously (especially by Baek-ki), and he must decide whether ambition or integrity is more important in the end.

 
EPISODE 6 RECAP

Baek-ki arrives early to work and revels in the sensation that he’s the first one there. As a child, he had routinely passed by a shopkeeper who would open the doors and wash down the sidewalk. Arriving early before anyone else gives him the same feeling, like he’s there to open the business doors for the rest of the staff. He savors a cup of coffee while he reads through the company’s message boards and news sites, enjoying the mix of the leisurely and work — a scene that reminds him of something out of a drama, pffft.

But reality comes crashing down when his supervisor arrives, busy on his Bluetooth and juggling multiple tasks while he ignores Baek-ki. The sound of cheering from the other side of the office gets Baek-ki’s attention, and he watches as Sales Team 3 celebrates a contract win. Chief Oh tells Dong-shik and Geu-rae that he’ll treat them to a cup of a coffee, which turns out to be him making a them a cup of instant coffee from the stash in the break room. Hahaha!

Baek-ki’s also there, making his own cup of coffee, and he tries to ignore the excited Sales Team 3 chattering around him. The sound of a manager chewing out another employee in the next room over gets their attention, and they all eavesdrop (while totally pretending that they aren’t). PARK YOUNG-GU is the IT sales department assistant manager, and it seems he’s an honest employee who tries to look out for his client’s best interests, even if it means putting the company’s priorities second.

Meanwhile, Young-yi’s boss yells at her for a mistake on a report. She tries to explain she just put in the information that was given to her, but her boss seems to want to make her pay for her “disloyalty” to the resource team after she told Geu-rae where the missing document was. He kicks her out of the meeting room, emphasizing once again that he doesn’t like working with women because he can’t trust them.

Seok-yul happens to see everything, and rushes to Geu-rae to fill him in on Young-yi’s situation. While he’s there, he leaps to attention to treat Dong-shik as his sunbae, much to Dong-shik’s irritation, as he points out that he and Seok-yul went to different schools.

But Seok-yul continues to chatter at him about the contract that all the sales teams are eager to get that hinges on Sales Team 3’s ability to get Wilmart Ramen Company to sign a contract, and Dong-shik marvels at how Seok-yul seems to know everything. He totally leans in like he’s one of the team when Dong-shik gets the email from Wilmart, requesting that they meet.

Chief Oh is particularly thrilled once he discovers that the head of Wilmart is an old school friend, BYUN HYUNG-CHUL. He brags that he’ll be able to use his past connection to easily seal the deal.

He takes Geu-rae with him to the meeting, and as they reach the parking garage of One International, they meet Young-yi who’s busy trying to gather up wood samples from the back of a van. Geu-rae stops a moment to ask if she’s doing okay, and he doesn’t just mean if she needs help to carry the wood samples. But she tells him she’s fine — besides, she’s expecting help from one of her coworkers.

Her coworker eventually arrives in time to see Chief Oh drive away, but instead of helping Young-yi, he sneers that she should have asked them for help instead. When she points out that it would be ridiculous to ask for help from another department when he was going to help her, he yells at her for only just acting loyal now, accusing her of “cheating” on their department by supporting Sales Team 3.

The wood slips out of Young-yi’s hands and lands painfully on her foot. In order to avoid getting chided even further by her superior, she insists that she’s fine and limps her way to the elevator. Baek-ki also gets on and takes note of her foot and the samples she’s carrying for a few seconds before taking the wood from her arms. He ignores her protests as he reminds her that he warned her it would be hard.

At the Wilmart offices, Chief Oh is excited to see his old school friend again, laughing off the half-hour they’ve already been waiting as just one of his friend’s quirks. Just then, Hyung-chul bursts through the door and the two men loudly greet each other in delight as they hug and slap each other on the back. Hyung-chul apologizes for keeping them waiting, but he assures them he’ll be back to sign everything soon.

While they wait, Chief Oh happily tells Geu-rae about his friendship with Hyung-chul, like the time he saved Hyung-chul from getting hit with a chair by one of the school bullies. But the “important work” that Hyung-chul had to do was play baduk on his computer while he grumbles, “Friend? Crazy bastard. Since when were we friends?”

Chief Oh and Geu-rae wait and wait and wait until finally, hours later, Hyung-chul returns to the meeting room. Chief Oh has the documents all ready to be signed, but Hyung-chul tells him that the data is insufficient for him and he’s not prepared to sign anything today, despite Chief Oh’s reassurance that he has everything ready.

Even more shocking to him is when Hyung-chul asks if he really thought it was going to be that easy, and then pointedly drops his informal way of speaking to let Chief Oh know he’ll review the documents and get back to him.

Chief Oh’s smile fades, but he responds politely in jondaemal as well. When Hyung-chul realizes he’ll need to find a tie for his next meeting, Chief Oh immediately takes off the one he’s wearing, the one his children painstakingly saved up to buy their father (and that had been considered a “lucky” tie due to his team’s success this morning). He politely offers it to Hyung-chul: “Please use this one, sir.”

As they leave, Chief Oh reassures Geu-rae that it’s merely a tactic so that he’ll see Hyung-chul again, since he’ll need to get the tie back. But Chief Oh looks shell-shocked when he returns to the office, and Dong-shik’s excitement turns awkward when he realizes that the visit wasn’t as successful as everyone assumed it would be.

Chief Oh’s alone on the rooftop as he thinks back to his boss yelling at him for his failure to get the contract, especially after he had bragged how close he and Hyung-chul were. Just then his phone rings, and he answers it formally: “Hello, Mr. Byun.” But Hyung-chul is back to his cheerful, friendly self as he invites Chief Oh out for a drink that night.

His hope revived, Chief Oh excitedly picks out the best restaurant in town based on what he remembered from Hyung-chul’s tastes when he was younger. Dong-shik thinks that since Hyung-chul also invited Geu-rae, that means they’ll be wrapping up the contract information tonight.

But Hyung-chul dismisses Chief Oh’s selected restaurant, and instead he takes the guys to a hostess bar where he’s apparently a regular. Despite Chief Oh’s obvious discomfort with Hyung-chul’s choice of venue, he laughs and reassures him that this place is to his taste.

As they drink, Hyung-chul continues to get in his digs at Chief Oh by marveling that his company would let in someone with just a high school equivalency test, and then worries about Chief Oh’s liver because he has to drink when other people want it (implying that Hyung-chul is now higher in the hierarchy).

Chief Oh’s laughter tiptoes the line of forced hilarity and utter hysteria, and Geu-rae watches in silent concern as Chief Oh continues to kiss up to Hyung-chul. He seems almost near tears when Hyung-chul, by rights of their corporate hierarchy, forces him to pour a drink, but Geu-rae picks up the bottle to pour instead.

By the end of the night, the men are utterly blitzed, and Chief Oh literally runs after the taxi to get his tie back when Hyung-chul waves it out of the window, dropping it to the ground as the taxi drives off.

The next morning, Chief Oh sits at his desk, staring at nothing while Dong-shik sends the other department head silent signals about what happened. Geu-rae is hurrying back to the office with a hangover remedy, and not a second too soon because Chief Oh is about to lose his cookies.

Young-gu is getting another chewing out by his boss for issues about one of their contracted suppliers delaying the delivery of goods. When he meets with the managers of the other company, he’s given a sob story about the the director’s daughter being in a car accident, and so he hasn’t been able to focus on One International’s accounts. Tender-hearted Young-gu is sympathetic, but when he reports to his boss, he gets yelled at once again for not seeking compensation for the orders being late.

There’s still no call from Wilmart, and Dong-shik worries that they’ll become the office scapegoats for letting this deal go south. But just then, Hyung-chul calls, and everyone waits expectantly. But Chief Oh’s hysterical laughter can only mean one thing: The deal is denied. Chief Oh’s boss is furious: If Chief Oh hadn’t tried to use his personal relationship with Wilmart, they could have used another tactic to get a contract with the company.

On the rooftop, Chief Oh calls Hyung-chul to ask him why he refused to sign the contract, and Hyung-chul tells him they never planned to work with One International in the first place. He only met with Chief Oh so that he could get a little revenge from his school days when Chief Oh was the one who had the power. When they were younger, he used to kiss up to Chief Oh, and so wanted to use this chance to have Chief Oh kiss up to him for once. Laughing to himself, Chief Oh rips up the contract and throws it out across the city.

As Chief Oh continues to brood at his desk, Dong-shik explains to Geu-rae how difficult it is to have to try and sell something to a friend, since the power imbalance means you have to ignore the friendship in hopes of wooing them for a sale. Sometimes it’s so humiliating that you have to wonder if this job is really worth it.

That night, Young-gu drinks alone and hesitantly calls his wife to try and broach the topic of quitting, but she tells him that she just signed their child up for lessons, and he can’t manage to say anything. He staggers home, depressed and drunk, thinking about his friend who had quit his job to go back to school, and then ended up getting a better job at another company.

His friend said that if he wants to make a change, then he needs to think about himself since he can’t please or take responsibility for everyone. Young-gu collapses on the sidewalk just outside his building and slurs, “I’m happy. I am happy… but I don’t want to go inside. Home… is difficult.”

The next morning, Geu-rae finds Young-gu on the roof where he’s reading through his resignation letter. Geu-rae politely greets him, happy to introduce himself since he’ll be going on a subcontractor training trip with Young-gu today. Young-gu dejectedly apologizes, since he probably won’t be very helpful, but Geu-rae happily repeats that Chief Oh told him Young-gu is a good employee, one whom all the clients trust. Then he asks to know what else Chief Oh said about him, and Geu-rae has to scramble to think of more praise. Ha!

His ego restored, Young-gu sloooooowly drives Geu-rae and Baek-ki to the subcontractor they’re to meet, all the while boasting about his experiences in the field. Baek-ki just rolls his eyes from his spot in the backseat, but Geu-rae is totally interested in everything Young-gu says.

When they arrive at the subcontracting company, they can hear the manager loudly telling the rest of his staff to make up a lie to convince Young-gu that they need more time on his accounts so they can focus on the newer, more profitable accounts. At least the manager has the presence of mind to look embarrassed when he realizes Young-gu is already there.

Young-gu’s ego is once again utterly deflated, and Baek-ki remarks that they must think One International is a total pushover. He excuses himself to return to the office, but Geu-rae tells Young-gu that he’ll stay.

A subdued Young-gu returns to the subcontractor’s office, his shoulders slumped in defeat. Just as he’s about to walk away from the manager who weaves another excuse as to why they’re behind on fulfilling One International’s order, he looks into Geu-rae’s smiling, expectant face.

He remembers all the positive things that Geu-rae had told him on the rooftop, as well as the way he had bragged about his other sales experiences. It’s adorably hilarious that Geu-rae’s eyes have literal stars in them as Young-gu imagines Geu-rae cheering him on, and he thinks back to his friend’s advice to take responsibility for his choices.

Young-gu (voiceover): Did I want to be a good person who never said anything bad to anyone? Did I ever take responsibility at the workplace?

He spins around to tell the manager that the next step is to sue for breach of contract, adding to himself that if he doesn’t speak now, it’ll be the same no matter where he goes. Aw, his courage manifests itself as huge angel wings.

But once Young-gu and Geu-rae are in the subcontracting director’s office, he’s back to his bashful self, more worried that he’ll now be the one responsible for ruining the longstanding relationship between this company and One International.

Geu-rae recognizes Young-gu’s strategy as similar to one in baduk, a risky move made to turn the tables when things don’t look good for you. It can be a clever move if completed successfully, since it proves you have the upper hand.

He texts Dong-shik to call him, and before he steps outside to answer it, he tells Young-gu that his boss won’t be worried about him staying later because, “I’m with you.” That’s enough of a confidence booster to bring back at least a small pair of Young-gu’s angel wings.

Geu-rae stands just outside the door and loudly talks into the phone so that they can overhear him as he tells Dong-shik that there’s a problem with the contract and that the director said he would go to the office and talk to everyone personally.

Everyone’s mobilized into action back at the office as the IT sales team, along with the legal and risk departments, scramble to get all the documents in order to prep for this last-minute meeting. The resident busybody Seok-yul sees everyone arrive, and is over the moon when Young-gu petitions for Geu-rae to join him in the meeting.

He hurries to update Baek-ki and Young-yi about the proceedings, and Baek-ki is mildly surprised that Young-gu is the type to initiate anything. But the true shocker is when he finds out about Geu-rae. The three contemplate what it means for such a newbie to be a part of such a major meeting, and Seok-yul’s convinced this means Geu-rae will be promoted faster.

Young-yi’s more curious as to why Baek-ki didn’t stay behind with Geu-rae and Young-gu, and Seok-yul cuts straight to the heart of the matter by pointing out that Young-gu isn’t Baek-ki’s “style.” Baek-ki admits that Young-gu seems like the weak-willed indecisive type who will avoid conflict, and questions that he’ll be able to stay strong in his testimony against the subcontracting company.

Indeed, Young-gu’s testimony is what will decide the case, and as he nervously stands up before everyone, more consumed about what will happen with the other company than himself, Geu-rae slips him a note of encouragement: “Become irresponsible!”

Young-gu’s angel wings spread out as Geu-rae tries to telepathically remind him that he needs to focus on himself. He confidently begins his testimony about the history of delayed shipments, and the other company’s clear failings. But then he suddenly adds that the real blame belongs on him because he only found out about it today.

As he looks around, everyone’s faces are replaced with his own, and he explains that he was more focused on his lack of confidence and desire to quit than the other company’s difficulties in fulfilling their contract. Instead of making the other company pay the penalty, he begs that they hold him responsible.

His angel wings and clothes disappear in a feathery gust of wind, and he stands (figuratively) naked before everyone as he lays bare his reasons for being the one who destroyed a ten-year relationship with a largely reliable company.

After his moving speech, he hangs his head low, awaiting the decision. But the rest of the directors point out someone who’s only worked here for four years can’t have singlehandedly ruined a longstanding contract. However, he’s commended for his idealistic and forthright attitude.

More than any other time when he’s lost a game of baduk, Geu-rae feels the shame of trying to teach Young-gu anything. He realizes that everyone has a different game they’re playing, and his little note was useless for Young-gu’s game.

Seok-yul passes along the results of the meeting to Baek-ki (who tries to be disinterested but Seok-yul totally knows he’s dying of curiosity). He finds Geu-rae sitting outside and looking glum. When he admits he wasn’t any help, Baek-ki sighs that he’s finally getting it: “We can’t do anything, yet.”

But a smiling Young-gu comes out to meet him, sincerely thanking Geu-rae for helping him break his shell. Baek-ki is headed back inside, but that stops him in his tracks, and he watches as Young-gu bows his head in gratitude to Geu-rae.

Geu-rae asks Dong-shik why Young-gu didn’t get fired, and Dong-shik points out that their type of job means that they have to take risks, and accidents sometimes happen. The company can’t expect the employees to take the blame all the time, so they instead focus on finding solutions for such issues. Chief Oh points out it’s all nonsense, since even if the company protects the employee, the employee will still suffer (as Dong-shik knows from his disciplinary action). As he writes up his progress report on Wilmart (deleting his original report, which was just a string of “I’m sorta very…” just like his apple apology, ha!), he gets an email from his wife.

It’s a video of his son performing in a class play about heroes, and his young son is adorably dressed as a businessman like his father, loudly declaring that working for a trading company is just like being a superhero. Chief Oh’s frown disappears and he’s all proud papa smiles, as the other office workers gather around to watch, too. It’s just the kick in the pants he needed to remember why he works for this company, and he pulls out the family photo.

Geu-rae: “Yes, everyone has their own baduk.”

 
COMMENTS

I really loved Young-gu and his story. He seems to be such a pathetic sad sack, the kind who will quit and run because he just can’t live up to his superior’s expectations despite the fact that he does his job sincerely and to the best of his ability. He’s that sort of tenderhearted, trusting soul that is so easily tamped down in what can be a harsh environment where the bottom line is the most important — the type of person who can so easily be chewed up and spat out as a hollow shell from years of working in an office (and in sales, no less!).

Most powerful, however, was him seeing his face in his superiors and coworkers. This was a man who had been told again and again that if he wanted to succeed, he needed to stop caring about what others think and start thinking of himself (or the company). But this was also a man who was willing to sacrifice himself in order to save the company, who would rather strip himself bare and speak from the heart than use any savvy trick to prove that he was in the right. This was a man who, even if it ruined his career, preferred to be honest.

Which is why he was so easily dismissed by the more ambitious Baek-ki, because Baek-ki assumed that the “pushover” Young-gu would continue to be a pushover, and not have the spirit to fight back. In Baek-ki’s mind, there’s nothing to be learned from a personality like that, since why would he respect someone who still can’t gain the admiration or even attention of the same supervisor who constantly ignores the new guy?

Yet Baek-ki actually seems to be not quite so different from Young-gu. Despite his more ambitious personality, he has gradually shown that he’s the type to veer to the path of least resistance, more content to stay on a safer path than rock the boat. Even though it does seem like he helped out Sales Team 3 to get the missing document in the previous episode, he did it so there would be no evidence traced back to him. He’ll help the unfortunate so long as it won’t hurt his chances for success.

But there seems to be some hope. Even though he learned his lesson about helping Young-yi out when she didn’t want it, he was willing to withstand her wrath to take the wood from her and make sure she stopped at the infirmary (all the while letting her maintain her dignity). He knows full well what kind of treatment she’s getting from the rest of her team, and even though he’s all, “I told you so,” there doesn’t seem to be any bitterness. While I, too, have no desire for romance to come in and gum up this beautiful drama, I am looking forward to Baek-ki’s eventual thaw and him officially becoming part of the “gang” (with Geu-rae, Young-yi, and Seok-yul) instead of being begrudgingly dragged in each week.

Since this drama does seem to love showing people growing and learning, I’m hoping that the realization that Young-gu actually has some spirit and bravery will show Baek-ki that you can’t judge someone just by appearances or hearsay. So, too, with Geu-rae. I guffawed at the end when Baek-ki was all, See? We’re nobodies. Why do you think you’d actually make a difference when you barely know what you’re doing? Only to have Young-gu end up thanking Geu-rae for giving him a new perspective on himself.

That also further highlights the difference between Baek-ki and Geu-rae: Where Baek-ki had walked off, assuming Young-gu couldn’t possibly teach them anything, Geu-rae realized that he had made the mistake of thinking he could teach Young-gu, forgetting that this was a man who had his own experiences and stories to tell. He may be the baduk genius, but everyone has their own game to play — their own strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly, their own motivations.

I do really love how Geu-rae is so genuine and willing to learn from everyone, and I think that’s what is going to eventually set him apart from the rest of his peers. He isn’t afraid to be humble and learn, no matter who is teaching him the lesson.

But I’m glad that Chief Oh still reigns in the top spot in Geu-rae’s mentor list, even if it might have been difficult to see his beloved department chief have to lower his pride before a man he had thought was a friend, and instead quietly take the abuse so that he could try and close the deal. Geu-rae may have Chief Oh on a bit of a pedestal (and if I’m honest, I probably do a bit, too), and it was slightly heartbreaking to watch his hopes continually get dashed while he tried to make his sale and put up with all the debasing antics required to please the man who wanted to be treated as a superior instead of a friend. To see Chief Oh put on a dancing monkey act just to make sure his department would get a sale was almost too painful to watch.

He’s still on that pedestal, though. How can he not be, when even his own son thinks he’s a superhero?

 
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I have a co-worker whose personality is very similar to Seok-yul, all he does is move from one department to another seeking to know what's happening to everyone, exchanging news exactly the same way Seok-yul does :|
I hate such people & I had to confront him at one point to stop that bad habit! But I admit I like Seok-yul ^^ Dunno why I love to hate him. There's something about every character in this drama that I can sympathise with.

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I know what you mean about colleagues like Seok-yul! They're irritating at times, but I admit like the irrepressible Seok-yul too!

Probably because he's come such a long way from the condescending slacker we saw in Ep 1-2. Now he seems to have attached himself to Geu Rae and looks out for GR's interests in such a way that I don't have the heart to hate him!

Plus, when he got all those missed calls from his factory co-workers during his presentation, I was shocked - and slightly ashamed - that I'd thought so badly of him, when all the guys at the factory were obviously genuinely fond of him! He may be a bit of a poser, but it looks like his heart's in the right place!

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Make friends with people like that. They're the best source of knowledge (gossipy, at least) and knowledge is power (it helps you stay at the top of everything so you don't suddenly get blindsided, like, for example, if a department suddenly explodes for one reason or another and you have to work with them). Also, he's not hurting anyone. He's just a busybody and as long as it hurts no one, I don't see a problem.

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That might be the case, but I think gossip is a double edged sword. There's no accounting for reliability in the information being spread and my experience is that it encourages prejudice and eats away at organization morale.

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What was the deal though about him and touching that girl's derriere? The earlier times he was shown chatting up girls in a few places? If he's just a harmless gossip, that's OK, but wanting to touch the material of a skirt while the girl is in it!! ;( and without a by-your-leave! :D

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I really relate to Young-gu. I once worked in sales and found myself too empathetic to clients.

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Thanks for the great recap Odilettante!
Ep 6 was great - many good life lessons to be learned and the characters drew out those lessons with great acting.

Both Chief Oh's and Park Young-gu's plights were so awkward and difficult to watch because it seemed very real.

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so true about the life lessons. I'm tunng into a baduk frequency: a clever mood is counteracted by a proper move.

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I was just contemplating downloading or finding an online baduk game to learn how to play it.

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hahaha! me too! I read wiki article and tried to look at playstore on downloading a baduk app!

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i looked online...couldn't find any so far but there are some sets for sale.

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http://www.flyordie.com/go/

free on-line game

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Thanks, auntiemame!

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me too..and i got a headache just by reading on how to play!

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It's not the game per se, but the strategy that is important. Same strategy can be used for baduk, chess, checkers or even World of War Craft.

And, there are two books to learn basic strategy: "The Prince", by Machiavelli and "The Art of War", by Sun Tzu.

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heh. just downloading the game from itunes store. it's free! there's quite a few apps (some free) so, i simply choose two.. just in case. hohohoho.

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Try looking under its other names:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_%28game%29

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Thanks a lot for the recap.
Is anyone else in love with Seok-yul as much as I am? I mean he's just adorable!

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yes I like him too :)

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He's definitely a really fun character, especially when he's with Geu-rae! To be honest, I'm hoping he'll grow as a person and stops sexually harassing before I can fully like his character, it's a bit hard to get past that :/

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Yes, save for this fact I'm LOVING SY!! He's just so fun! I giggle that he just has to be to irk Geu-rae! Their elevator interactions which left Geu-rae super aggravated were hilarious!

His "GED legend" had me howling!!

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ppl like SY, though can be annoying, can light up a sombre environment. let's be honest, we're all like BK.. we're super curious abt what's happening to this guy or that guy but we have too much 'dignity' to say so and heaven's forbid us digging up the dirt! that's when ppl like SY comes in handy! hehehehe

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Seok-yul cracks me up.

I thought he was going to be annoying, but he's a riot. He knows everything and, best of all, I love how he gets to know everything. He just shamelessly inserts himself EVERYWHERE. Bwahahahaha. He's like the gossipy old ladies in the neighbourhood.

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And best part, when he tells Baek-ki 'You wanted to know this, didn't you?' and Baek-ki looks like it's the very last thing he wants to hear (except that it of course isn't).

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i love the moment when young-gu turned around dejectedly to leave and saw geu rae looking up to him expectantly(see, being small sized, siwan can really look like a child!). just like a child looking at his superhero to perform an awesome feat. how could a 'hero' disappoint such expectation? it must have take a lot of courage for young-gu to make a stand firmly. and i love the fact that geu rae helped him in little ways like the phone call. he knew the company's pres n his minions are mocking young gu with the pretext of being mad abt how poorly they treated young gu. serves the president right that gey rae told dong shik that the president is hoing to come personally to one international to explain.. hohohoho. well.. he did say he's going.... good job, geu rae!

oh.. and i can't help laughing at mr oh's wilmart report and suk yool's attempt to get the lowdown from geu rae.

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i wasn't sure which Mr Kim Geu-Rae called.

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it's kim dong shik, most likely coz there's no way a lowly worker like geu rae has the phone number to that mr kim who heads the emergency meeting.

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thanks!!! so glad he had areally ally he trusted to play the game with

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Does anyone know why Geu Rae did that move of making the call and loudly saying the Pres was going to go personally explain? What was the purpose of that? I'm sure One International could have asked the Pres to visit and explain. But to make it happen faster?

Still loving this show!

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Never mind...I think it was probably bc GR took the initiative to be the bad guy so Mr Park wouldn't have to?

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I got the impression that the president was screaming at his employees in front of young-gu and saying that he will visit the company to apologize to appeal to young-gue's sympathetic personality and make him back down. So, Geu Rae put the president on the spot and forced him to come to their company by telling the sales team that the president is coming. I might be wrong, but this is what I understood from the situation.

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Thank you!

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My understanding is that when the president criticizes his own minions for not doing their job properly, Geu-rae immediately realizes that the president is playing a dirty trick, or 꼼수 as you would call it in baduk. The person that the president actually wants to criticize is Young-gu of course, but given Young-gu’s overly empathetic character, he knows that embarrassing the minions in front of Young-gu will make him feel worse than getting himself embarrassed in front of the minions. Geu-rae knows that when a dirty trick as this works, it means that thus far the president/his company has had the upper hand (which is true). So Geu-rae decides to play the proper move, or 정수, in response, which in this case would be to go along with the president’s insincere promise that he’ll explain the matters to One International. By calling Dong-shik and confirming that One International will now hold a meeting with the president, Geu-rae makes the president now obligated to keep his false promise. I like this type of scenes where it shows Geu-rae, despite being a lowly worker and lacking social experience than others, can still make these bold and insightful moves because he understands the power dynamics between people as a baduk match.

When I wrote this reply I realized hyperbutterfly89 had already answered your question but hopefully this helps anyway

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JWK you explained it even better than me and I agree that Geu Rae impressed by being insightful and able to think on his feet and take action in a round about way. It was a smart move to put the president on the spot. I'm glad I wasn't the only one to interpret the scene that way.

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Thank you!

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Yes, completely agree! Geu Rae was great when he called the president's bluff and put him on the spot instead!

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"I like this type of scenes where it shows Geu-rae, despite being a lowly worker and lacking social experience than others, can still make these bold and insightful moves because he understands the power dynamics between people as a baduk match."

Exactly! Just like how even one lowly pawn can turn the tide of the situation.

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I loved this episode so much. I watched it three times, pointedly avoiding the first half of the episode because i couldn't deal with the betrayal. I can see Baek-ki and our heroine getting together. In another drama, he'd be the icy lead and we'd be waiting for him to thaw. I love how this drama gives us the other side and shows us what that kind of character would look like in a non-comedy.

I got a really bad case of the blues when I saw that Misaeng is supposed to be a 10-episode special. So it's fated to end soon. Please say I'm wrong. I want more. Please Misaeng...go on forever, or at least have 13 or 16 episodes.

Thanks for your as usual wonderful insightful recap.

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I just checked Asianwiki and it is said that the number of episodes is 20 :) So we have a long way to go, unless the info is wrong.

BTW, Thanks a universe for the awesome recap <3

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YAY!!!!!! ::great sigh of relief here!!!!!:: Thank you. Now, Misaeng, continue to be great!!!!

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Many well-choreographed scenes, where position, posture and movement tells most of the story, e.g. Young-yi bowing twice (and fetching up her thrown away paper in between) after her dismissal from the misogynic department meeting, with the camera angles and depth-of-field usage (which Seok-yul in the background). Or most of Young-gu (even the pace of his driving). And a lot of Seok-yul works this way too.

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I love the look on Bae-ki's face when the Sales no. 3 marveled. It showed him how to be on a real team compared to his "team" that he is being ignored. Adding to his dismayed, seeing Mr. Oh preparing coffee for his staff.

Doing sales didn't really cross my mind. I even hated it when we have to up sell while doing technical support.
I like the use of big wings, small wings and nakedness. We all feel that one way or another in our jobs. And that is why I like this show so much.

I recently have to deal with OJTs in our office and I feel bad giving an annoying face to them for asking about small things and ended up doing things for them.

Thanks for the recap and can't wait for the next episodes!

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is it just me then? i liked this episode the least, because i thought the special effects were overdone. the story itself i liked though, and how again, it tied it back with baduk. but i wasn't really feeling the repeated use of the special effects.

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Only ten? I could seriously watch this forever. Or at least until Geu Rae retires after years as head of his own sales team, with a parade of his own interns to coach and be coached by.

I had an emotional reaction to Geu Rae from the start, when the first two episodes were almost too painful to watch and I seriously considered dropping the show. Not because it wasn't good, but because it was TOO good. And then they gave us that little hint of sunshine at the end of episode two and I knew I wouldn't leave.

Everyone is doing so well in their roles, I look forward to this every week. There isn't any one of the key players that I can't find something to empathize with, even Seok Yul. The genius of this show is that everyone has a story. People aren't just stock evil or stock good characters. They're human, with things that you like and don't like, admire or despise. Never entirely one or the other - and often, so much more and so much different from your first impression.

I really have to single out the casting of Im Si Wan, though. It's not just that he's doing a fine job acting. The actual casting of him was really wise - his appearance and physical traits are truly perfect for the role.

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Me too re: Im Siwan and Seok-yul. I liked Seok-yul from the start. Because he was so clearly overcompensating. I liked Baek-ki as well, although I suspected if we were ever in the same company, he would not find me useful even if he liked me. Still waiting for more Exec Dirscenes.

As for Si Wan: some actors have something which can only be called charisma. Something almost magical that makes most people like them no matter what. I think Siwan has this. And Seo Inguk...and heck Keanu Reeves. Something about them just grabs you. Si Wan's melancholy fragile beauty definitely helps but there's also something else...something that just magically appeals

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I agree with this comment -- I really disliked Triangle (script being the chief offender on that one -- and criminal misuse of Lee Beom Soo) -- but consistently found Im Si Wan compelling to watch. As an actor, I think he has something more rare than it should be -- he always seems to be really listening when someone else is talking.

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triangle started off with a great promise until they start to focus too much on kim jaejoong's character.. i began to think that drama is all about young dal and not much about the three brothers. it could have been great if the brothers joined forces to avenge their father's death. sadly, i agree that lee beom soo is totally 'useless' and siwan did nothing much than brooding over glasses of whisky!

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Was thinking of watching Triangle for the love of Im-Siwan and Lee Beom Soo. Thanks for the heads up.

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I was the same Joanne! The first episode was difficult to get through but because it started with a current geu Rae that appeared awesome, there was a knowledge that he must have developed into that person and then epi 2 had a more optimistic tone for me and despite his humiliation, that he became more determined and stronger, made it ok.

This, however, is the episode that made me fall for the drama.

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Thanks odilettante.

It was a difficult episode to watch. I was squirming at how badly Chief Oh was treated by his so-called friend. It was so petty, so childish. It makes me wonder if my assumptions about who my friends are, are accurate.

Your analysis on Baek Ki and Geu Rae is very insightful. Baek Ki would ignore someone who appeared to be weak but Geu Rae would consider learning from anyone, (just as he learnt from his Baduk masters) and even 'teaching' them from his Baduk experience. I hope this drama will show us how his humility will aid him in a time when he least expects it.

I have personally found, that although I too tend to empathise quite a bit with clients whom I have to market to, to support and train, being not just the 'vendor and trainer' but at the same time the one who is listening and learning from them (the clients) actually makes the relationship much warmer and work so much easier.

And I can't wait to see how this thoughtful, humble aspects of Geu Rae tie in with his determined, no-holds-barred, spy-like, pursuit of the mystery man in Episode 1.

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I remember a line a mentally-disabled character in a 70's movie memoried because it meant so much to him and his self-esteem. It was "every man is my master in that I may learn from him." The character used it to show that he himself had something to offer the world. Saw the movie (or wasit a tv show?) and that saying has always stayed with me.

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ooh...just googled the line. It's from Emerson.

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Thanks Carole McDonnell, it's a great saying and true!

I do some stuff with children as well and yes, it's amazing, but I learn sometimes so much more from the children (3-6 year olds upto 9-12 year olds) than I think I ever share with them!

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It's like for all his cleverness Baek ki doesn't understand how to see and understand true value. He's got noonchi but he istoo logical-thinking, too standardized in where he assumes worth can be found.

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Thank you for the quote Carole!

I agree with you about Baek ki being so focused on logic alone...it made me think back to how during the presentations, Chief Oh said that Baek ki's presentation skills strike at the head and not the heart.

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Yes, the rough edges of youth thinking they are right, impatience with the slowness of others and inflexibility have yet to be rubbed off! ;) I face that too!

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The whole humiliation thing is so hard. I suspect in an hierarchical culture one could acquire resentful friends and yet be totally unaware of their resentment. While Chief Oh did say his old friend was a bit silly at times, he didn't say it with any meanspiritedness. He doesn't seem to remember having taken advantage of the hierarchy. But i guess that's the thing about some kinds of hurts: someone doesn't see the wound even the little name-calling does to another person. Then the other person holds onto the anger FOREVER. If we're the ones who did the hurting, we tend to say, "we were kids then, get over it!" But speaking for myself, although I would never use an opportunity to spite anyone who ever harmed me as a kid, most adults are walking around still hurt by the cruel things teenaged kids say to their teenaged selves.

I wish Chief Oh's friend hadn't used the opportunity to indulge a revenge fantasy though. Didn;t he think that such cruelty had larger business ramifications? He could've just said, "I'm your equal now. I was very hurt back in the day and I want to tell you why. I could treat you like dirt. I wanted to treat you like dirt. But that kind of behavior is childlike. Let's be equals now."

All the same, i guess we have to be careful whom we consider small and less than. And maybe in all that hurt, Chief Oh understood (or now understands) that.

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But he did say in the end why he hurt Chief Oh. What I found interesting was the insistence with which that school friend requested that GR was present during humiliation. He needed audience for his revenge, to gloat. A vengeful, hurt little schoolboy, not a grownup manager of a large corporation. Was he able to let go after the revenge? Or did he need to continue playing with Chief Oh?

I was impressed with the cadence, the recital of Chief Oh's name, when the "friend" transformed their relationship from an intimate, close on to a formal and how quickly Chief Oh understood what was going on and his place in the relationship.

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He said it, but he should ONLY have spoken of his desire to exact revenge. He shouldn't have actually done it. And when he said it, I got the feeling that he felt all was well now. But you don't explain your revenge after youve done it. If you;re mature, don't do it in the first place. Or don't explain your hurt after the revenge as if that somehow validates it. Isn't someone understanding the pain they caused you enough? Why should they experience the vengeance? And why to such an extreme degree?

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Some people believe in Old Testament… they think that their pain might be understood only by inflicting the same pain into people who hurt them.

The psychological triggers from the past could be very powerful. People regress, or they feel like being thrown back in years. I despise that school friend for his cowardice but I do understand why he wanted to make Chief Oh suffer.

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The thing about the Old Testament is that it puts a cap on revenge. An Eye for an Eye. Not Two Eyes for an Eye. Human nature is such that if someone harms us in a little way, we want to return harm to them in a big way. That's human nature. Someone steals our kid's bike,the anger rises to so a pitch that we want to punch them. Someone steals our husband, we want to murder and mutilate the adulteress. This is human nature. The Old Testament is aware of that so it says the punishment must fit the crime..and there is also the question of intentionality.

Young Chief Oh didn't seem to have malice against his dunce friend. He did seem to either harm his friend or be unaware of how wounding he was to his friend.

Incidentally, from what we see of Chief Oh...he can be very blunt to those he doesn;t like. He wasn't very kind to GeuRae in the beginning. He seems quite capable of damaging people. So he is not a pure victim. It's only because we see his home life and we see his good side that we --like GeuRae-- have forgiven him. His friend, however, either didn't see Chief Oh's good side or was too much of a wounded person to take the teasing in fun. Whatever the reason, his friend returned the unintentional even loving teasing with vicious malice. So it's not really Old Testament because it amped up the revenge.

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Personally, I've come across a friend who asked me point blank, the FIRST time I bumped into her in like over 25 YEARS ... "Why did you give me that look and turn away? I've been wondering for years why you did that." I was totally gobsmacked - she had been holding on to that hurt for decades and I did not even remember doing anything deliberately to hurt her!!! I apologised anyway because regardless of whether I did anything or not, she had been hurting and remembering it.

I realised that I might have been having a bad day and had not even seen her, but she had thought I had seen her and done it on purpose.

So yeah, Chief Oh might have been clueless that he had been maybe putting his friend down or that he'd appeared to have the upper hand in their relationship. It's just that from different perspectives, the interpretation of the same thing could be worlds apart.

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I remember someone bumping into me and telling me off about something I had supposedly done to her. I kept thinking, WOW!!!!

I was just so speechless. I hadn;t hurt her but she thought I had and she just seemed so frickin immature and petty to just tell me off out of the blue like that. Without much politeness.

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:( *in case the emoticon does not show up... Sad Face*

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What IS it about this show??? I cried reading this recap! Lol! I'm a sucker for the underdog story! I adore all of them! Geu-Rae continues to impress me with his quiet strength.

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love everything about this show. the camera angles especially! and I love how the show is slowly sprinkling those little bits of sunshine through the melancholy. :) makes us want to watch on!

on a side note - love the life lessons that are coming through from Misaeng. ep 3's (?) 'the centre is calm' quote got to me, ep 5's explorations of gender discrimination, and this ep's key idea of getting rid of the unnecessary & making clever moves; as well as everyone learning humility and distinguishing between living with pride & living with dignity.

overall - great drama that's keeping me going through this exam season! Young-yi's character just gets to me too, I'm pretty certain her ace status is bred out out of insecurity with people/her place in life in general.

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Odilettante - thanks for another great recap to another great episode!

Misaeng: it really underlies the way they do business - good will and ties of loyalty and trust are still strong foundations of a business relationship
It's not a game of tennis or even baduk that will end in
It was an interesting touch that Chief Oh's old frenemy was playing baduk on his PC, since I think of it as Geu Rae's game. (Come to think of it, it was Chief Oh who told Geu Rae about the meaning of "misaeng" on the rooftop.)

Everyone initially underestimates Geu Rae, as they do with Young-gu, but Geu Rae's actually a sharp baduk strategist, and I like how he applies this to his new job. What I like even more is how this show constantly shows us the flip side and goes back to the human relationships at the heart of it all, and how everything ultimately hinges on a person's sincerity in their dealings with others (in a way, it reminds me of Liar Game and Da Jung).

Baek Ki with his elite skills seemed so infallible and confident during his internship, but he's thoroughly off-balance this episode (and Young Yi is too, to a lesser extent). Poor Baek Ki's confidence lasts for only 15 mins or so, until his immediate boss gets to work! I love how Geu Rae, who was the "lost duckling" intern, is gradually showing the way for the others, while losing none of his humility.

Geu Rae also tries to take care of Chief Oh in his own quiet but capable way - I cheered when he jumped up to pour the whisky for Hyung-chul, to save Chief Oh from having to do it!

Chief Oh truly was a superhero this episode - he took one for the team, literally, and showed 'em how to be a BOSS. By contrast, his old "friend" looked like a petty tyrant, even if he's judged more superior or successful by worldly standards. I never tire of watching Geu Rae and Chief Oh together!

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(oops, sorry for the stream-of-consciousness sentences in the 2nd para there! Just ignore them - no edit button, drat!)

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@ Thursdaynexxt
Yup and yup. I like all the Baduk analogies. Makes me want to think of games I know and if I can apply anything from their strategies.

Really like all the slow growth and change in Geu Rae and he finds his feet, develops more self-esteem and looks out for others with greater confidence.

Oh Chief Oh! How I bled for him. He took it like a man, laughing it off and learning a thing or two about so-called friends and not jumping the gun in assuming we know others well. He did not seem bitter about it, thank goodness, and he did not take out his frustrations on others.

His son was cute! It's funny that although Chief Oh used earbuds/headphones to watch the video, those nearby were able to hear it and came to watch. I was a little aghast that the video ended with a kiddy fight - errr.... like father like son, ... like office like Kindergarten?

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What I find really beautiful is that sure, Geu Rae's encouraging others through his baduk strategies, which is all he knows, but in doing so, he's aware that he's also learning so many valuable life lessons (and making friends along the way, who aren't little black and white stones, yay!).

As other commenters have said, he opens himself up to all possibilities, and that's why people are drawn to him.

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When Chief Oh's son started barking, which sounded uncannily like his appa's, at his peers it had me grinning from ear to ear.

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Thank you, that was such an insightful recap. Your comments about the differences between Baek-ki and Geu-rae are just spot-on.

I love how Geu-rae's experience with baduk not only helps him to make wise decisions but also to be more open-minded about other people and their situations. On top of that, he still sees himself as an amateur baduk player, despite "playing" it everyday - he's always learning from others and he expresses no shame over that.

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I have to admit I was shocked how badly was Youngyi treated these past two episodes. Is this really normal in the (Korean) working environment???

Still love this show and everybody in it.
(every stone of baduk matters)

And thanks for the recap.

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In some places, it's not that bad. But in others, it's on point.

In any case, it's very difficult to find a workplace with absolutely no hint of sexism.

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Believe it or not things will actually get worse for Young-yi based on the E7 preview: http://youtu.be/0Nb5tWf7c9I?list=UU9w-h_ciMmX64TcLRcb1xPg

I read a comment at a board from someone who's read the web-toon that if the drama makers follow Young-yi's character closely as the original then "the shit will hit the fan" which had me both curious and scared for what that comment actually meant!! :/

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This here episode is when I fell in love with misaeng. It is like a slow getting to know you, figuring you out relationship which exploded into love at episode 6.

I love it when fantastical elements are incorporated into the stories and when I am able to see and hear the inner thoughts of characters. I just kind of realized that that seems to be a running thread in a lot of the dramas I end up loving! Monstar, FBRS, this. Am sure there are others I can't think of yet.

Thank you for the recap. Am so looking forward to the rest of the drama and the character's growth.

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Huh, I must be a Baek Ki then, since I love coming to work early and wandering around the office freely when it's at peace. It's not because it's like a drama but because I get to think and ease myself into the day. Doing that, it feels like I have control of the day.

I'm also similar to Baek Ki in the sense that I didn't really like Park Young Gu very much. It's not only because he's weak or tenderhearted. It's because he wants to please everybody and ends up achieving nothing. In the 2D1N Best Friends Special/ Struggling Friend Note, there was a quote: "A friend to everyone is a friend to no one" and Park Young Gu here is that friend. In the first (second?) episode of Misaeng, the lesson was: You don't work alone and it applies to Young Gu as well. But this guy doesn't produce results, and it's easy to think of how he is giving his other colleagues grief because then THEY cannot complete their tasks that depends on him doing his work! For some reason, I cannot understand him sympathizing with his client that much, because, dude, you work for One International, not its supplier! And honestly, the supplier's breach in contracts/ constant delays would have been swept under the rug if not for GeuRae's trick, seeing how meek he was in that Chairman's room. He needs an INTERN to do his job for him???

Therefore, I understand Baek Ki's disdain for Deputy Manager Park.

However, I wouldn't have skipped the subcontractor training trip though. There's always something to learn, even from the most unfortunate of circumstances (or people) and it's not like something is waiting for him back in the office. Why was he so eager to go back... And he just lost his chance to enter the meeting room with the big shots. That big learning opportunity! (Also, whether you like him or not, you don't dump your colleague like that.)

Lastly, I also agreed with BaeK Ki when he stated that new-comers have nothing to contribute yet. We have no experience, very limited knowledge, we have absolutely no know-how and we generally have no idea what's even going on sometimes. But Jang GeuRae showed that at least, we have brash innocence and new perspectives, that can be very helpful to a group of workers disillusioned by working experience.

So, Jang GeuRae, thank you, from a Baek Ki.

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@ Peeps
I am in total agreement with what you've said, where it pertains to the characters, motives or understanding them, although I am less like Baek Ki and maybe more like Young Gu. We cannot always take the easy way of letting the other party off, but we do need to find a diplomatic way of holding our ground. :)

Baek Ki's behaviour smacks of a certain arrogance that should not show up (at least not yet if it must show, or not ever if we are smart) in one who is just a week into the job. No matter how right he is cerebrally, he has yet to become wise. Finding out that his take on the situation was not entirely accurate and missing that opportunity to join in the meeting became in the end his greatest (maybe only?) learning point. What a pity, Baek Ki!

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I used to run a leadership program for new hires for a company that hired from some of the top universities in the country (I went to a state school myself) and you would be surprised how often I had to explain to these folks why it was a bad idea to ask the department's administrative support person to make their 1-10 pages of copies -- something that would taken them less than a minute to do themselves. Smart is indeed not a synonym for wise.

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It doesn't seem that Young Gu doesn't do anything. He's clearly sucessful...so much so that Chief Oh compliments him. And Cheif Oh's compliments are not given lightly. Young Gu's trouble is that he has way too much empathy for hsi opponent. And he is forgetting that in the long run it is all business. Even trust in business is about business. I remember as a young mom taking the side of another kid who had been in a fight with my son. Because the other kid --the neighborhood bully-- was friendless and a wounded soul. So should not have done that. Some things are not personal and should be seen with a cold eye..no matter how much you understand "the other."

It's interesting to contrast Baek Ki's mornings with Geu Rae's. Baek Ki believes the world is there for him to control. It's as if the street-washing is done for his own personal morning walk. He is very entitled ...especially in a smug way that makes him not show it. Geu Rae was always walking the other way in life...and has a deep gratitude for even the little things and the little people of life. I tend to think Baek ki is a sweetie but he is so darn repressed and I'm glad he has nothing to do at work. He wants to show off his skills, he wants to be successful. He really does not primarily want to be useful to others...and he will not be useful to others if he doesn't get something out of it. He seems to have a generous heart but he judges by appearance and by business strategies. Not always a good thing. He definitely has to grow in certain areas.

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There's also another major difference between GR and BK, that should produce interesting results soon.

GR did not sit back and wait to be given things to do. Even when he knew nothing. He watched and listened and, if nothing else, cleaned up.

BK is sitting around waiting to be given work.

On the first day of their internship, BK may have been far ahead of GR. But, GR is coming fast and furious right behind BK. And, if BK continues to wait, he will be overtaken and surpassed by GR.

All four horses were at the starting gate on day 1. BK is still at the starting gate. GR has already reached the first post. YY is struggling with a short rein, but is still moving. As for SY, he's out of the starting box and into the infield, then, to the grandstand, back on the track and back to the starting gate . . . and possibly back to the stables. LOL

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So true. Our Geu-Rae had to be a scrapper all his life. Our Seok-yul as well. When Chief Oh tried to dismiss him or ignore him Geu-Rae didn't accept that. I suspect that if anyone tried to fire Baek-ki, he would just accept it.

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On the nose! That was great!

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one thing abt geu rae is that this kid has no idle hands. he's always fo something even when there's nothing else for him to do. look at how he even help his mom to fold the clothes even when he's tired after working till morning. at the office, even though he got chewed so often, he swallowed his pride and remains calm.. he cleaned up their 'office', so the place is not as messy as before. he knows ppl think he's useless so he tried his best to be useful. quite the opposite of baek ki.. this is a 'useful' guy who suddenly becomes useless. sad.

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I luff this episode!!!

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A very good episode.

What makes the episode even more compelling is that the audience responses to the plot are designed to integrate with the responses by the characters too.

Some of us are more like BK intern or SY intern, and others are more like GR intern and still others might be more like YY intern. And we recognize why they act the way that they do, because we would have done the same thing.

What would I have done, which intern is more like me, how would I, now know what I know, have handled the situation, if I were in that man's or woman's shoes, would I have done things any differently (probably not).

MiSaeng is commentary not only on corporate life, but it is self-commentary and evaluation, because I'm not sure if I would have been any different from any of the characters, at one point or another, in my own career.

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I also like how sometimes, the characters say or address what we, as the audience, may be thinking about a particular situation or person.

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Chief Oh's mini me is too cute; this especially is dear to my heart since I watched it a day after Halloween. Pfft Spiderman, Captain America and Iron Man- you guys can't hold the candle vs woori humble, loyal Chief Oh ??? The kid is smart in picking the True Super Hero ???

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Amen!

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Chief Oh works through the mental and emotional conflicts of a situation openly, and while at times it may look like he will take the more advantageous and politically correct position, in the end he does what's right. Gue-Rae is so pure and loyal to put his trust in Chief Oh at all times. The thing about Gue-Rae is his calmness - it can be read as passive and naive, or more correctly can be seen as unwavering decisiveness and assurance. With Gue-Rae's calmness cheering him on, Young-gu was able to successfully maneuver through his situation. I love how the lessons Gue-Rae's learned in his early life come to play as he applies the principles to current workplace situations. I want to learn more about the people who had such influence on him.

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GR is definitely a calm bearing....although I think he has a very tense nervous center when he's in the world or when he feels unworthy. This feeling that the world is a strange place to him makes him more of a thinking strategist than Baek Ki who never had to fit in. Seok Yul also had to fight against the world in his own way as a kid so that means he is also good at finding advantages. So he's probably a great strategist as well. They're the guys no one really think much of but they will do great things. Anyways, calm though GR tends to be, I totally loved it when he got into that fight with Seok Yul. YES, calm sweet guys CAN and DO get into nasty fistfights on top of high-rise buildings.

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aargh. "GR HAS a calm bearing." <-- between my brain and my sticky keyboard this morning....ah me

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How funny, I was also just thinking that Geu Rae's a great "enabling influence" - he quietly listens and emphathises with people and helps people want to live up to a better standard, rather than take the easy or expected road. In a way, he helps to "amplify" their existing skills. It doesn't personally benefit him in any direct sense, but it's definitely a powerful skill to have, and certain people are slowly realising it!

As Growingbeautifully said at @10, I'm also curious to see how he will transform into the "no-holds-barred, spy-like" action man running through the streets of Cairo!

Re "YES, calm sweet guys CAN and DO get into nasty fistfights on top of high-rise buildings." - That reminds me that Geu Rae's doing some serious emotional repressing of his own - about his father's death, his mother's sickness, and how he had to give up any dream of a baduk career afterwards. When he gets asked what he's done with his life for the past 26 years, he completely denies that huge part of his life and all those achievements, and prefers to say he did "nothing"!

So Geu Rae is indeed a sweet guy, but I keep wondering when his backstory will come out into the open, and whether he's a ticking time bomb (which Baek Ki also called him, but in a different sense)!

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yeah...how did he end up in Cairo? I'm so suspicious of Exec Director that i wonder if the Cairo stuff was legit business or...Geu-Rae having to cover some tracks. Will see.

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cairo? i thought they were in Jordan.

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they are in Jordan, Kennedy Rose:) must've been a mistake.

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Sorry, was it Jordan? The Cairo mistake was mine then... the Hotel mentioned was Hotel Cairo!! LOL!

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yup, I thought it was Hotel Cairo too! We'll no doubt find out in a few episodes or so ...

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i saw a documentary/bts sort of stuff when they were filming in Jordan. It has no sub so i dont understand much, but I saw Mr.Oh there, together with GR in Jordan :D

"That reminds me that Geu Rae’s doing some serious emotional repressing of his own"

I totally forgot how scarred GR actually is, because he has been so positive and patient :( more reasons that he deserves a big hug from everyone!

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Ah, thanks for the clarification, @Anne!

Yes, I just want our puppy to get some loving attention (and not in a romantic way, necessarily)!

We still don't know what the connection with the Executive Director is - if it turns out that he's messing with our Geu Rae, then I will not. be. happy.

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AHHH IT'S HERE IT'S HERE IT'S HERE I kept checking every day for this recap just so I could gush about how much I LOVE THIS DRAMA AND SOMEONE COULD UNDERSTAND MY PAIN because a week is much too long of a wait to watch this.
There is literally nothing I don't love. I love Geu-Rae, Baek fi is a mystery, Young Yi I love because we need more strong female characters in drama land, Manager Oh is great (my heart broke for him in this episode) and just everything and everyone is amazing.
Also, I want to marry the scriptwriter and special effects manager and director and editing team because they are so perfect.
SOMEONE PLEASE REPLY SO WE CAN FANGIRL TOGETHER

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@happybyul: "I want to marry the scriptwriter and special effects manager and director and editing team because they are so perfect."

That's just too CUTE! +1!

I seriously can't stop commenting and come back for more of this drama, either!

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aww haha:D thanks:D
ME TOOOOOOOO

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hahaaaa - I totally feel like you about this show!

I keep re-watching episodes and whenever I do think about watching something else I change my mind at the laaaaast minute only to re-watch Misaeng!! Cannot wait for E7 tomorrow...

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RIGHT THOUGH?? The only things keeping me alive are Liar Game and Bad Guys, but once I finished ep 6, I felt like there was a hole in my heart that could only be filled next week:D
WE'RE ALMOST THERE THO THE NEXT EP COMES OUT TMMWWW

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Btw, there are prequels to each of our 4 interns... A background synopsis of each.... They are found in YT , under each person's name / Misaeng...very interesting but WARNING, don't watch it at night...alone...DO NOT .
Enjoy?

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it's scary??

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BK's one is...

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darn, I can't find a subbed version:(

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i totally understand you happybyul! i wanted to finish off the series i'm watching so i have been saving misaeng for some time. it became a 5 episode marathon! and right after the 6th, i got a withdrawal symptom! now am moping around, watching and rewatching the episodes.. googling up anything abt misaeng and even watching im siwan with his ze:a mates. sigh. i even have to force myself to watch pride n prejudice.. to think i was anticipating that show more than misaeng! aargh.

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YESS ME TOOO I had so much homework to do the day I started but one of my friends said it was amazing so I decided to start to procrastinate, thinking, "just one episode, it won't be that great".
Well, 6 and a half hours later, I was counting down the days until Friday.
I don't know what I'm going to do with myself when the show ends, it's become what I look forward to the most^^
I had to watch Liar Game and Bad Guys to make up for it but Misaeng...oh god.

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*giggles* this is one of those rare dramas that can make us moping around waiting for the next episode. i can't even recall what's the last drama that makes me feel this way. maybe broadchurch... not sure to. i thinki'll watch the attorney again.. just to fill up the hours to the next episode.. am curious. why is geu rae crying in E7? who dares to hurt our little duckling's feelings? huh? huh?

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I don't either! Maybe Marriage Not Dating, maybe I Can Hear Your Voice, but none of them made me actually heartbroken that I had to wait a week:D

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I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me but, this episode for me was a bit of a letdown. I felt that Young gyu's story was overstretched and CGIs, overused and underwhelming. But nonetheless, I am still so looking forward to the episodes this week! I hope this time, more focus will be given on Baek ki's character. I think it'll be very interesting and entertaining to see the world unfold in his eyes. Mostly, the story is told through Geu Rae's narration, his point of view and while it is heartfelt and sincere, I wonder what a day at the office feels like for someone imperfect and less ideal, say someone like Baek ki.

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For me, the part I connected the most was when Young-yi got told off by her superior in their meeting. I cried while watching that scene it just hit home so hard. I had a similar experience last month when my manager called me into his office and yelled at me. Unfortunately I wasn't as strong as Young-yi and I broke down in tears throughout the whole ordeal. It was an awful experience, where I was sitting down, and my manager basically who is this 180cm tall guy (while I'm like a 160cm female) was towering over me and yelling at me "DO YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR JOB?!". I admit we were both at fault with an issue, but I had previously tried to discuss it with him, yet he just brushed it aside saying that's not a problem. Until someone in the other departments started gossiping does he comes and yell at me, talking about making him look bad.

I felt like a child, which is worse because I only graduated from university last year so this was my first fulltime job. I cried the next few days whenever I thought of what happened, it was just plain awful. Just because you are my superior, does not give you the right to use your position to threaten me with my job. Not even my parents can talk to me like that, what gives you the right to yell at me? Of course alot of other things happened and eventually built up to this. Which is why I really admire Young-yi for staying strong.

I see so much of myself in Geu-rae, and Young-yi. When I first started the job, I was lost like Geu-rae in the beginning. It wasn't until six months later did I truly make some friends at the company. Young-yi's precision and immediate answer to everything that is expected of her, was so much like how I answered my work. Even Baek-ki's actions towards his poor treatment from his boss is something I've experienced too. I wish I had a friend like Seok-Yul, maybe I would've enjoyed my time alot more.

Luckily for me, before I had that meeting with my manager I had a job offer waiting. So a week after he yelled at me, I gave two weeks notice and handed in my resignation letter. It was the best feeling ever. Now I'm at a better place, but this experience is something you'll always remember.

Thanks for the recap odilettante, I'm sorry my post is so depressing this time, but I just couldn't help but share.

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I'm so glad you're in a different position. All the best to you dear.

But the sad thing is that he's probably yelling at someone else. The corporate office is no joke.

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And, do you know whose fault it is, if he's still yelling?

Here's what I posted on another site:

A lot depends on the responsible behavior of each team leader, supervisor, manager, department head, etc.
If no one has the guts to speak up, then this type of incident(s) continue. And, speaking up can mean laying your life on the line.

Once, I hauled two fighting supervisors into my office. After discussing and resolving the issues between them, I had a last word for them about the fighting. I told them that we all have, at least, two families. One that we're born into and one that we work in. While it is true that we don't have an option on the family to which we are born, we do have an option on the family with whom we work.

And, I believe that, in order to work productively, we should be happy with our work family. It is never beneficial to stay in a place where one is unhappy. So, I believe that people should go where one can be happy. AND, since this is my department, my happiness counts most here. (evil grin) (They never fought again and they knew not to negatively impact their work because I'm known for doing fair and extremely precise performance appraisals.)

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Thank you for sharing your (personal) story. I am sorry that your old unprofessional supervisor had to use verbal abuse on you . Congratulations on your new job. Please use the bad experience as a lesson learned- from now on, make sure you have WRITTEN( whether memo/ emails) in additional to any questions/ verbal discussion between you and your supervisor. This way there are hard evidence to back you up( " I had a question re: subject and I could not get a direct response from you. Please reply ") Don't dwell on the idiot ... it's the old company's loss... Just do your best in the new firm and enjoy your work .... HUGS

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Yea I learnt my lesson the hard way, one of my older friends told me the same thing. You must keep a written version of everything as hard evidence to back you up.

I believe it's experiences like these only make a person grow stronger.

Thanks Arhazivory and cingdoc!

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Absolutely keep a record. Just like the missing Bill of Lading? That would never have happened with me because I always note my actions on my calendar. Or, have a check-list that I check off, as the task is completed.

Or, you can try to have a fantastic memory. Just like in the BL situation, a supervisor lied and said he didn't receive some data from my unit. And, just like in Misaeng, he did this in front of my people and his people and his manager.

Unlike Manager Oh, I didn't get mad and get into a fight. I simply said, "Sure you did. You were talking on the phone with so-and-so, about such-and-such, when I handed it to you. You already had your jacket on to go to lunch." And, I simply walked away. Everyone walked away. No further discussion.

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I've been loving this show since E1 but this episode really resonated with me. I recently read Seth Godin's Linchpin which is all about if one is indispensable or irreplaceable to an organization/workplace and if not, how can one become indispensable. This episode highlighted the key differences between Baek-ki and Geu-rae: while the former formulates presumptuous opinions about a person at face value the latter is only too happy to learn every minute lesson from every co-worker, irrespective of the position that person may hold, he interacts with. When Young-gyu thanked Geu-rae and he teared up... I teared up with him. It's the fact that he valued what Young-gyu had to offer and in return he assisted him being his calm self and offering little nuggets at appropriate times makes him indispensable already.

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Long-time reader, first time commenting here.
This show is brilliant. I think the casting is spot on, is one of the reasons why the show seems so true to like. Im Shi-wan has a sadness in his eyes and fragility to himself just fits Geu-rae perfectly. Lee sung min is perfect as the chief. Iso think Kang Haneul character needs to be explored a lot more and cannot wait to see Baek Ki’s growth(I am biased here as I think Kang Haneul is a brilliant actor:)). Kang So-ra is a revelation, I did not like her in any of her previsous roles, this girl can act!
I have loved this show since ep 1 but ep 5 especially resonated with me. Being a working mom myself, the dialogue “We’re working hard for ourselves, but we seem to be suffering because of it.” was hitting the nail on the head. Everyday I regret not being able to spend more time with my son, but then go back to work convincing myself that my hard work is all for my son!

Thanks again for the recap!

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Welcome, KdramaloverDee!

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Opps..sorry for all the typo's!! Looks like the excitement of commenting, made me forget the basic principles of structuring a sentence and spellings!!!

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Welcome KdramaloverDee!

When my kids were young, I was chaffing at all the things I could not do and my husband said once, "those things I would probably still be able to do months or years later, but the kids' growing was happening all the time 'now'. Every 'now' would be different for the children and it would be a shame to miss too many 'nows'. The 'nows' would never return for me." I'm glad I took that to heart.

Yes this drama is wonderful in introducing us to what is 'real' to us and making us re-examine what we've taken for granted. Maybe giving us pause so that we might find solutions, in our demanding, imperfect world.

*Hearts and fighting!!* Here's to working parents everywhere!!

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you all should watch the preview of ep7....geurae crying, baek ki and young yi scene... plus sukyeol hanging out... oh no does geurae like young yi or

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you all should watch the preview of ep7....geurae crying, baek ki and young yi scene... plus sukyeol hanging out... oh no does geurae like young yi or will feel "betrayed" by her? :OOO will there be a love triangle? show will stay intense

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The angel wings (specially the mini wings lol) stars on gu rae's eyes, Team Sales 3 celebration dance and many more. OMG!!!!! I Just Love this show

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I want to say something sensible (I know I had things on my mind when I watched this episodes that I wanted to say, but at the moment I only remember that I'm still loving this drama through and though). Also, I've just come back from opening gala of the London Korean Film Festival – Kundo – Age of Rampant (with Kang Dong-won in attendance!!!)... and in the middle of watching the film, I was like.... "this face is familiar... this face is familiar... It's Mr. Oh! Mr. Oh! IT'S MR OH!"

Actually, the nasty executive director was in Kundo too!

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Chief Oh has been in all of my fav drama so far- Miss Korea, Misaeng( of course) & Kundo.... I love you, LSM, you're an actor's actor ???

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Drama and film

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I find it really interesting how so many people can see themselves in Young-gu's, or Young Yi, or even Baek Gi's or Geu Rae's shoes. I think that's why this webtoon (and now this drama!) are/are becoming so popular, because we can put ourselves into their sweaty slippers and know exactly how they feel.

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Hehe.... Maybe not THEIR sweaty slippers.... I love them but ... Yeah, no sharing of cooties ???

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Thank you for your wonderful recaps Odilettante!

I have watched many dramas and enjoy reading through dramabeans but I must say this is the first time I have commented on a drama...this drama moves me to comment.

Misaeng is the only drama ever where I am learning life lessons episode after episode. It is the only drama that I am not wanting romance.

The characters are not one-dimensional. For example, I love the way the show changed my thoughts of Seok-yul in one episode from a slacker/greaseball to someone who actually cared about his work...seeing his fear of public speaking and his blue collared background made him more human.

I suppose we do this in life, especially at the workplace - see one dimension of a person but then the layers begin to peel away or the person changes and becomes more palatable.

This show is amazing! Even the comments in these threads for this show is different - people are dropping deep statements and I am learning from them. I also like seeing a side of Korean life that I have not seen too much in other dramas--more reality.

I am feeling withdrawal symptoms already!!! I am thankful that a show of such caliber has been produced by TVN and hope that it inspires other thought provoking dramas in the future. It really is setting the bar high.

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Also, I have been in a position when I looked down on an employee like Baek-ki did...but afterwards, I learned a big lesson...because that person taught me a great deal.

I think it says a great deal that Geu-Rae, due to his humility and love of experiential learning, did not have to learn this lesson the hard way...he is open to everyone.

I just realized: Baek ki learned from books while Geu-Rae learned from experience. Baek-ki reads the message boards and articles in the morning. Geu-Rae reads people.

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"I just realized: Baek ki learned from books while Geu-Rae learned from experience. Baek-ki reads the message boards and articles in the morning. Geu-Rae reads people."

Beautiful!

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Thanks Odilettante for the recap.

Was anyone-else chanting 'Go Geu-rae! Go Geu-rae!' during the meeting with the other company?

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yes..me..(*blush*) can't help it. there's mr park who is so mild and there's geu rae, the 'clueless' kid. it's like sending two lambs into a den full of hungry lions. besides, i am totally very protective of geu rae.. hihihihi.

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From the comments I've gleaned that most if not all the viewers are very protective of Geu-rae!! Like @lilac (comment #29) I got super worried why Geu-rae is crying!! These protective feelings have transferred over to Im Shiwan as well, hahaaaaaa, although he's an oppa!

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