Falling for Innocence: Episode 11
Sometimes seeing one’s own likeness can be an unpleasant wake-up call, but thankfully our hero is already well aware of the man he used to be. What matters for the battle ahead is the kind of man Min-ho and Joon-hee will choose to be, and one of them doesn’t have to become the other to do it. Putting up a strong face in front of those he cares for can be tiring too, so it’s a relief that Min-ho knows he needs to recharge his batteries before facing a new day.
SONG OF THE DAY
BoA (feat. Gaeko) – “Who Are You” [ Download ]
EPISODE 11 RECAP
After surprising everyone as the new face of Gold Partners, Joon-hee and Min-ho speak alone about the investment in Hermia’s New Product. If Hermia doesn’t deliver a sample of said product by next week, Gold Partners will demand early repayment of the entire debt.
Min-ho immediately counters that someone needs to deposit that money first, but Joon-hee cuts him off impatiently—the smallest financial flaw in Hermia can allow him to acquire a court order and the entire deal can go up in flames.
Joon-hee knows Min-ho liquidated all of his assets to help fund this project, but how will he repay Hermia’s owed bonds?
Hearing all this only reminds Min-ho of how much of an asshole he used to be, but that’s the whole point of Joon-hee’s performance—to show him that it was the position that made the man, not the other way around. Now that he’s the top dog, he’ll gladly throw back the same words Min-ho used to spit at him.
Still, Min-ho can’t help but be a little impressed at being on the receiving end of one of his old attacks. Asking Secretary Oh about the possible repercussions of breaking their contract early, he’s told that aside from the penalty fee, it’s only a matter of time until word gets out about Gold Partners’ involvement.
Aw, Min-ho is more worried about how this might affect the rest of the employees rather than himself, despite being two steps away from living on the streets. He tells Secretary Oh to keep quiet about this, especially from Soon-jung.
He’s none too happy to hear that Joon-hee was the one who kept the important folks happy in the past. But he does mostly keep things quiet around Soon-jung, assigning her busy work instead. Her suspicion radar pings, however, when one secretary notes that the Korea Food & Drug Administration — whom Joon-hee has courted before — has been quite the stickler lately.
It’s Joon-hee’s connections and knowledge of Hermia’s inner workings that currently give him the upper hand. He assures Ji-hyun that they’ll see Min-ho sulk like a child soon enough.
Joon-hee pays off an informant to keep an eye on Noh Hyungnim as well as dig into Kang Min-ho’s background… and find that one weak point that will ensure his downfall.
Worried about The Product and Min-ho’s health, Soon-jung finds him asleep in his office… or so she thinks because he startles her moments later. She feels bad that there’s so little she can do for him while he’s unable to sleep from the stress.
But Min-ho fixates his gaze on her, and recalling Dr. Jo’s words about the effect Soon-jung has on his health, he says there is something she can do…
… then places her hand on his cheek. This is his prescription meds, he says. He momentarily worries that her cold hand might be indicative of her poor health, but then says it feels nice.
Batting away her concern, Min-ho insists that nothing’s wrong and tells her to stay still so he can finish his dose.
It appears Noh Hyungnim isn’t the only one with a medical condition—his wife needs a kidney transplant but can’t afford the surgery. Ok-hyun drops by with a witness affidavit, and while the product tampering case will be closed soon with Joon-hee’s father’s death, Noh Hyungnim isn’t completely off the hook because he still faces gambling charges.
She tells him the same thing his wife does: to come to his senses and lead a decent life from now on.
The New Product production comes to an abrupt halt when one of their major suppliers suddenly pulls out. Soon-jung and Min-ho head over to speak with the headman, and when reason doesn’t work, Min-ho asks outright if this was Joon-hee’s doing. Was it a bribe or a threat?
A threat it seems, as an earlier conversation with Joon-hee shows that he pinned the supplier’s weakness. Screw the ten-year relationship with Hermia—if they continue to help Hermia, these documents will go public.
Bad news travels fast too, because Soon-jung receives an urgent phone call that Gold Partners is on their way regarding the halted production. Now Joon-hee’s the one boasting an entourage and swiveling his chair around with an air of arrogance when Min-ho finally arrives.
Min-ho throws the first stone though, asking if Joon-hee likes him or something since imitation is flattery. But Joon-hee has come armed and ready, citing that The Product has failed to make it past the KFDA and has halted production. He repeats Min-ho’s past insult that that means there’s a problem in leadership—why, Min-ho should’ve stuck with bond investments instead of playing business management.
A few snickers chafe him, but Min-ho retorts that the same can be said for him—what’s a lawyer doing playing CEO? “Were you tired of playing the underdog and wanna be the top dog now?”
If that remark digs under Joon-hee’s skin, we can’t tell because he brushes it off of his shoulder. Suspended production counts as a violation of their contract too, so now Min-ho has two weeks to either: a) pay the investment debt in full or b) hand over full authority of the New Product.
But that’s not where the Min-ho cosplay ends—Gold Partners wants to dispatch a representative director to protect their interests. And guess who that’s gonna be?
And if the sense of dejavu hasn’t been drilled in enough already, Joon-hee demands Soon-jung as his secretary. Um, if Joon-hee’s using the same methods Min-ho once did, shouldn’t Min-ho know how to beat him?
Anyhow, Min-ho refuses the demand—a leader is supposed to protect his employees. How can he possibly expect to protect the thousands under his wing if he’s unable to protect one? Joon-hee twists those words around immediately: Will Min-ho forsake the thousands for the one lady and still call himself a leader?
Soon-jung volunteers herself to work under Joon-hee, citing that following protocol is in the company’s best interest. Even though that puts an end to the stand-off, Min-ho is not happy about it.
It’s as if Joon-hee really has studied Min-ho all the way down to his mannerisms, and although Soon-jung follows Joon-hee for now, she warmly promises Min-ho that she’ll come back and they’ll talk.
Joon-hee wastes no time to rub the situation in Soon-jung’s face in his office, and for what it’s worth he states his motive pretty clearly: he won’t stand to see Soon-jung helping Min-ho and doesn’t care if she gets caught in the line of fire anymore.
She must think him a monster, and then blames her for all of this. Uh, o-kay crazypants. But Soon-jung remains steadfast and hands over her resignation—she’ll continue to help Min-ho where Joon-hee can’t find her. Speaking in banmal now, she’s willing to choose to quit her job than to work for him.
And because Joon-hee’s wearing his big boy villain pants now, he swears to make sure she regrets saying those words. It’ll be fun for him continuing to torture Min-ho while she stands by and watches Min-ho hit rock bottom.
But that means she must stay here to watch every excruciating moment of it, Joon-hee tells her. Needless to say, he rips up her resignation letter.
Soon-jung puts up a strong front with Min-ho, who can see right past her facade. This is his fight and her involvement only makes him feel even more like a fool, Min-ho says. Her apology brings him back to Earth, and Soon-jung says she didn’t want to be a burden for him.
She asks why he wasn’t honest with her about having a hard time lately because of Joon-hee. But it’s clear that he didn’t want to worry her either, and the best way Soon-jung can help is to do as she’s told.
For now, they’ll look into different suppliers, and once Soon-jung is gone, Min-ho whispers, “Why do you think yourself a burden? You’re a gift to my life.” Aw.
Hearing that a victim hit by a truck suffered injuries to the shin has Ok-hyun re-examine Dong-wook’s accident. She seeks out her forensic friend who confirms that theory—injury to the knees, like Dong-wook had, suggests the victim was hit by a passenger car.
Unable to secure new suppliers and no time to secure more loans, Director Yoon suggests that they can sell some luxury products they’ve kept aside at a discount and gain quick cash that way. Min-ho greenlights the idea, resolving to put out the immediate fire first.
Ok-hyun seeks out Min-ho at home to follow up on his hunch. I love that she rolls her eyes at the “there’s another person inside of me” line and puts up with Min-ho bogus psychic ability. Pfft, just look at that dorky high-five between Min-ho and Secretary Oh.
Obviously, Min-ho gets every personal detail wrong about her, but grabs her arm before she can hit him. He knows that Ok-hyun is Soon-jung’s friend, which means he has to win her favor first. So… does she wanna be friends? LOL.
Ok-hyun asks if Min-ho likes Soon-jung, then kicks him in disapproval when he nods. Jeez, woman—what does it take for you to see your friend be happy and move on then? But Min-ho spits out one vital clue before she storms out: the man she’s looking for wears a unique watch with a fish design.
Elsewhere, Joon-hee is enraged to hear that Noh Hyungnim has gone missing, unaware that he’s hiding just around the corner.
Soon-jung’s concern for Min-ho weighs heavy on her mind, and Secretary Oh’s face lights up when she shares that she’s worried about a pitiful guy. He asks who that might be, but another secretary cuts in with a personal story about how pathetic men only end in misery.
It’s kinda awesome that Secretary Oh’s been in on this girl time, so when he relays the info to Min-ho, joking that he’s got a rival, the latter is not pleased. And then he gives Min-ho the full body scan as if saying, Seriously, what does she see in you?
Director Yoon comes running in with bad news: their discounted luxury beauty cream is selling at an even lower price in the supermarkets, and there are rumors swirling that Hermia will soon go bankrupt (again). He believes this was Gold Partners aka Joon-hee’s doing.
So while Hermia is in an uproar, Joon-hee celebrates this failure. Their only chance to stay afloat now is the New Product’s success. Soon-jung comes to Min-ho with strong words of encouragement—she heard from her father about how Min-ho’s father would lay down his pride whenever there was a crisis.
This situation is nothing compared to what the company has faced in the past—in fact, this is the beginning. That’s enough for Min-ho to pick himself up and face the day.
Min-ho and Soon-jung get to work trying to find alternative suppliers, even thinking of turning to directly contact the farms which produce the raw materials. Hermia does have the production facilities to process these materials; however, it’ll take another couple of days.
When Ok-hyun saves Secretary Oh from a group of high school thugs, he hugs her in gratitude. He gets paid with a punch to the gut. Ha.
Ok-hyun finds it hard to believe Min-ho’s “gut feeling” about finding someone wearing a unique watch, but Secretary Oh finds himself drawn to her. He tries pulling that back-hug-roll-up-her-sleeves flirty move, only to hilariously fail.
Back in Joon-hee’s office, Ji-hyun points out that they failed to take into account the other person who knows Hermia just as much as Joon-hee does working for Min-ho: Soon-jung.
Seeing as they’ll have to wait for their contact for at least a few hours, Min-ho and Soon-jung take a walk around the gardens. It’s a nice break from their hectic schedules, and Min-ho notes that despite all the traveling he did, it was all about work.
He’s led a very boring life as someone who had colleagues but no friends, had no time to date, and sat in business meetings where there was no dialogue. She asks if he lived like because of his revenge, to which he said that was part of it, but more that he didn’t have a reason not to live like that.
Min-ho sticks a pretty flower on the pretty lady behind her ear and encourages her to smile. When she does, he laughs back, “You look like a crazy girl.” Hahaha—she tosses it immediately.
We hear what sounds like Soon-jung sometime in the future narrate, “Kang Min-ho, now that I think about it, I think that day was our first date.” As they walk through the gardens, Min-ho shares the hardships he faced in America (also, is anyone else thinking of Law of the City in New York?) and spend time playing cat’s cradle and other games.
“I hope that day was a restful one for you who never got to take a break in his entire life,” Soon-jung continues in voiceover. “How great would it have been if I’d known earlier that that break which felt like a gift was like a new record?”
It looks as if that conversation went well, and Soon-jung finishes, “If I had… I’d have been a source of strength for you by your side at least. Even after going through times where precious moments never lingers, why did I ruin it again?”
There’s a wistful and almost regretful tone to her voice, which makes me wonder what’s coming up ahead. When Min-ho discovers Soon-jung nodding off, he pulls over to the side of the road to lean in and simply watch her sleep. Adorbs.
“Don’t leave me and leave me behind,” he says before tapping her on the nose, then pretending to be asleep himself.
A sudden nosebleed interrupts Min-ho from walking Soon-jung home. She hits him upside the head so that he doesn’t cock his head back, then promptly attempts to stop the nosebleed. Remembering how Secretary Oh mentioned that Soon-jung’s having trouble discriminating between love and sympathy with that “pitiful man,” he asks, “Don’t I… look kind of pathetic?”
Soon-jung breaks into a knowing smile, amused by his behavior. At the foot of the staircase is intense Joon-hee, looking intensely at the two exchanging smiles.
On the day Min-ho and Soon-jung are set to sign a contract with the farm, they’re told that someone has spread false rumors about their fields. Which also means that supplying Hermia with raw goods is a no-go until this matter is settled.
That someone is Joon-hee of course, who was previously furious about Min-ho looking into raw materials. All he did was persuade an influential politician (through Ji-hyun’s connections) who was interested in agriculture. Now Min-ho should be out of options, Joon-hee says.
Joon-hee plays dumb when Min-ho confronts him about it later, but he bites the bait and plays the blame game anyway. All of this is Min-ho’s fault—he should’ve given up sooner, but now those around him are getting hurt in the cross-fire. He’ll make sure every single person who helps him meets misfortune.
Min-ho walks around Joon-hee, deducing that this must’ve been the face he once wore. Joon-hee doesn’t comprehend, so Min-ho spells it out for him: does Joon-hee know why Soon-jung won’t ever cross over onto his side?
“I escaped being a monster because of Soon-jung, but you… you’re becoming one because of her.” Min-ho states matter-of factly. “What woman would love a man… who’s becoming a monster of his own making?”
Joon-hee opts to take a rage-fueled drive, then meets with his informant who says all he could find on the virtually spotless Min-ho looked into the identity of his organ donor, and also met with the donor’s family not too long ago.
Min-ho smiles to see Soon-jung waiting for him outside his home. He was later than expected because he was out meeting with other farms in the countryside, but that didn’t go so well. The repayment date is fast approaching, and Min-ho says everything will work out, so she needn’t worry.
He acknowledges that both of them are pretty down in the dumps right now, but they have to pick themselves up. He stays optimistic about tomorrow, to which Soon-jung repeats Min-ho’s words that he doesn’t need to act so strong all the time—he can lean on her in his times of need, too.
She says she feels so sorry for him that it’s driving her insane. It takes a full minute for Min-ho to pick up on her choice of words, looking back at her with wide eyes. He asks if it’s true, if she really feels sorry for him and finds him pitiful.
Back at home, Joon-hee’s eyes grow wide when he looks inside the envelope regarding Min-ho’s organ donor… and sees Dong-wook’s photo and name on the documentation.
“So I’ve got a chance then,” Min-ho says, looking euphoric. She asks what he means by that, and Min-ho asks, “What you said just now… can I interpret that to mean that you like me a little?”
Aw, yes it does. What I love about Min-ho since his change isn’t only his adorkable antics, but just how much he’s becoming more of his father who was warm, compassionate, and cared about the livelihoods of each and every employee. He may have harbored a grudge against his father for many years because of that altruistic nature that led to his demise, but we can tell from Min-ho’s attitude and words with each passing episode that becoming a leader is much more than barking orders and waving around a power stick.
All of this is spurred by his feelings for Soon-jung of course, and the very reason why he bears all the burden himself. However much it’s masked with good intentions (i.e., not to worry Soo-jung), it’s still a stupid-good move, which is why I love that Soon-jung tells him how silly it is and that she’s as much of a shoulder to lean on for him as he was for her. I’m not too keen on the “do as you’re told” argument to get her to stay out of the war between Min-ho vs. Joon-hee, but he does have a point in saying that this a war between them… even though they’re playing business battles because of Soon-jung.
Which means there’s a shred of truth in Joon-hee’s argument when he blames Soon-jung for this. Damn it—don’t you hate it when your villains talk sense sometimes? Joon-hee has definitely taken the fast track in becoming the next evildoer in Innocence, and I find it rather humorous that instead of shaping himself to be a different kind of baddie — which would have been far more intriguing — he made himself into a walking and talking carbon copy of Past Min-ho.
His argument that he plans to talk and act like Min-ho once did is borderline laughable, since our hero is already aware of how much of an asshat he used to be prior to an imitation showing him in the flesh. Which then begs the question of why Joon-hee would choose this route in the first place—power? Status? Attention? Whatever the reason may be, I’m hoping that Min-ho will quickly learn from his real-life mirror image and figure out a way to best him.
So it worries me that Min-ho currently runs the risk of following in his uncle’s footsteps by putting out immediate fires caused by his enemy. But what’s markedly different between the late Chairman Kang and his nephew is that Min-ho has his drive to save the company rather than trying to save his own skin. Sometimes the hero has to be beat before he can get back up, but at least we can take heart in knowing that this is one guy who will keep fighting as long as his heart keeps beating to live.
- Falling for Innocence: Episode 10
- Falling for Innocence: Episode 9
- Falling for Innocence: Episode 8
- Falling for Innocence: Episode 7
- Falling for Innocence: Episode 6
- Falling for Innocence: Episode 5
- Falling for Innocence: Episode 4
- Falling for Innocence: Episode 3
- Falling for Innocence: Episode 2
- Falling for Innocence: Episode 1