High Society: Episode 5
Love is in the air this hour as two romances come to bloom between our pairings. While the dynamics between the rich and poor come into play in each of their relationships, the result isn’t always what you’d expect. The contrast between these two couples is like night and day where one reminds you of the strange reality that is this world and the other is what dreams are made of.
And who can blame her for wanting to play with Loveshik puppy’s ears, after all. They’re just so floppy and adorable.
SONG OF THE DAY
Urban Zakapa – “둘 하나 둘 (Two One Two)” [ Download ]
EPISODE 5 RECAP
A kiss on the rooftop, followed by another. After Yoon-ha vows not to withhold secrets about herself anymore, Joon-ki takes her hand and draws her close. What he values is sincerity in a relationship, and a girlfriend whom he can reach. Relationship still on, then.
Joon-ki isn’t the type to dole out cheesy lines when they make dinner plans at his place for tonight. Having overheard the exchange, Joon-ki’s co-worker, Deputy Sung, smugly asks if he’s dating the part-timer, only to have his own weakness pointed out in return.
Chang-soo spends five seconds greeting Deputy Sung before approaching Ji-yi. Today’s brief tiff is about the produce, which Chang-soo wins with a swoon-worthy line. He smiles when she notes his absence, then asks if she missed him while he was gone. “Yes,” she admits. Their flirty banter is observed by Deputy Sung and Ji-yi’s boss.
Contrast that with Madam Min, who after her morning stiff drink heads straight to Lady Kim to return the mourning gifts sent to her. Enacting her new mantra of only showing humane treatment to those who deserve it, she orders Butler Hong to throw the dishes off the table.
Sending Mama Lee away so they can speak alone, Lady Kim keeps up a smile while pushing Madam Min’s buttons. Provoking an unbalanced mother about her son’s “death” is the wrong thing to do, since it earns her a hard slap across the face and getting her hair pulled.
Lady Kim spits back that Madam Min should seek professional help, but the latter is way past reason, even threatening to burn Lady Kim’s face with a soldering iron. Now that Madam Min has nothing left to protect, she has nothing to lose.
Slapping and cursing at Lady Kim again, Madam Min swears to return here every day to torture—Lady Kim better pray that Kyung-joon comes back alive. Madam Min relishes in this taste of violence, leaving a frightened Lady Kim sobbing in her wake.
Lady Kim pulls herself up by the bootstraps, contemplating how she once thought a chaebol’s wife and herself were on completely different levels, but now knows that all people are the same with their own vulnerabilities. She vows through tears that the gloves are off now.
Now for some cute: Ji-yi delivers some chicory to Chang-soo’s office per his earlier request. He teases that this means she likes him too, since she didn’t have to deliver them herself. She blames her feelings on him going out of his way to fix that broken streetlamp outside her place.
But Chang-soo replies that he barely lifted a finger—all it took was a simple phone call to the district office. She deflates. Rising from his seat, Chang-soo asks if she thinks every relationship must end in marriage for her, and when she shakes her head no, he counters, “So why can’t you go out with me?”
Dating and not getting married and dating with a strict rule of no marriage are two very different things, Ji-yi argues. But Chang-soo points out that they could date and she could realize that she doesn’t want to marry him. He’s given this a lot of thought, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t try dating. Lookatchu with your reverse psychology tactics.
Declaring that they’ve just agreed to see each other now, he asks her out to dinner, referring to himself as a guy who “wins” day or night (i.e., always gets his way). That complements Ji-yi’s tendency to always give in, and it’s only after he sends her on her way does Chang-soo break into a smile.
After discovering Yoon-ha’s name among the company shareholders, Ye-won doesn’t understand why or how her youngest sister bought those shares. When told that Kyung-joon may have bought them for her, she now believes Kyung-joon and Yoon-ha had formed an alliance behind her back.
She doesn’t feel at all threatened by the total 2.1 percent stake Yoon-ha has. That is, until she hears the rumored plans of Chairman Jang making Yoon-ha into an exec and giving her more shares. Sharing how her father had men who took care of all his unpleasant business, she hints to the secretary that that’s the kind of yes man she needs.
After dampening Yoon-ha’s mood by instructing her to come house, Ye-won sits down with her mother just after the latter instructs Butler Hong to “let the two of them compete until my death” and agreeing to accept whatever the result may be, even though we don’t know exactly what that means.
Ye-won sighs upon hearing that her mother has requested an investigation into Kyung-joon’s “death.” She can empathize as a fellow mother, understanding how devastating the idea of losing a child can be. She encourages her mother to lean on her, and Madam Min lets her daughter simply be there for her.
In the car, Yoon-ha shares how she told her family all sorts of excuses to keep her part-time job under wraps. Her brother was the only one who knew the truth, and she took extra measures to keep her wealthy background hidden.
Working part-time opened her eyes to a world beyond the one she had ever known, where one never had to worry about money. She’ll be an open book to any of his questions, but Joon-ki says they can take their time.
It turns out Deputy Sung has been tailing Joon-ki for Chang-soo’s hyung, who finds the idea of both Joon-ki and Chang-soo possibly dating a couple of part-timers amusing. He takes a keen interest in who his little brother is seeing. Oh no you don’t—you leave Ji-yi alone!
Speaking of whom, Chang-soo takes Ji-yi out shopping before their dinner date. She pouts at the shopping spree, but Chang-soo’s the one who wants the typical storybook romance where the rich guy and poor girl are dating.
Commence the quintessential makeover sequence, with Chang-soo judging each outfit she tries on. Buying a dress is only the beginning, and when asked if he must have money to burn, he nods.
Smiling at her new wardrobe, Ji-yi says he must’ve bought lots of gifts for women in the past. Sure, he replies, but it isn’t often he’s here in person to buy them those gifts. That makes Ji-yi feel extra special, but then she’s left to carry her own shopping bags.
Chang-soo takes her out to sushi, and I love how Ji-yi silently nudges him to pull out the chair for her like a gentleman. He introduces Ji-yi as his girlfriend to the chef, which aww. Despite the language barrier, Ji-yi is quick to deduce the chef’s compliment about how she’s the prettiest girl Chang-soo has ever brought. Hahaha.
She nearly cries at how good the food is, which Chang-soo finds absolutely endearing. A girl after my own heart, Ji-yi is.
Joon-ki and Yoon-ha’s date in his apartment is more low-key. He asks if she’s tired when she lets out another yawn. Sitting her down on his bed, Joon-ki insists that she rests her eyes while he prepares dinner. She struggles to keep her eyes open as Joon-ki lays her head on the pillow. She falls asleep within seconds.
Back at home, Ye-won reveals her intention of moving back in. Her marriage is in shambles and it’s her filial duty to serve her parents and put them at ease. At Butler Hong’s worries if Madam Min could deal with losing a son and her eldest daughter getting divorced, she says the best thing he can do is help her come to terms with reality.
After asking who is leading the investigation, she settles into the chair, as if cementing her place back home for good.
Once Chang-soo pulls up to her place, Ji-yi admits to have enjoyed her fairytale-like evening, but now it’s time to return to reality, and instructs him to return all the clothes tomorrow. She was curious about what it’d be like to feel like Cinderella for a few hours, only to realize she couldn’t help but constantly count pennies in her head.
Her shameless thoughts of how pricey that bag was or how she wants to eat that divine expensive food again make her despise herself. Turning to Chang-soo, she suggests that they break up. At his argument that they’ve been an item for less than twelve hours, she retorts that some celebrity marriages last for mere days.
Annoyed now, Chang-soo pulls her back to ask if she used him just so she could feel like a princess tonight. He hates that feeling of being used, and gets worked up when she brings up that damned streetlamp again.
He’s still miffed when she instructs him to bow his head a little, which is when Ji-yi pulls him in for a kiss. Needless to say, Chang-soo is taken aback, and Ji-yi confesses, “I’m starting to like you.”
“I wasn’t going to like you… but you’re too cute,” she pouts. Well ain’t that the truth. Spending time with him is like a dream, and she initially thought Chang-soo personally fixed that streetlamp for her. “Nothing in life may be free, but things in love are free.”
The more she likes Chang-soo, the more she hates the person she’s becoming, but Chang-soo couldn’t adore her any more than he does now. He pulls her back to say, “You’ve got this ability to make a guy feel a sense of responsibility” before swooping in for a proper kiss.
Yoon-ha stirs awake when Mama Lee calls to check in on her son. Joon-ki figures that every mother worries about their child eating proper meals, but Yoon-ha solemnly notes how her mother doesn’t fall into that category.
She’s had a restful nap thanks to him, though acknowledges that she’d be upset if someone had prematurely woke her from her sweet slumber. Hm, interesting choice of words there. She deflates at hearing that he’ll take her home after they eat, telling him she doesn’t want to go back home.
Joon-ki takes a beat before saying that’s fine and she can call home then. But Yoon-ha replies that no one at home cares enough anyway. “What if I say… I don’t ever want to go home?” Er, does she even know what those words sound like to a guy’s ears? Joon-ki registers the nuance and tells her not to go.
He gives her another chance to change her mind when he finds her a ball of nerves in the bathroom. But Yoon-ha hints that a lady needs a few essentials when sleeping over elsewhere which calls for some late-night shopping.
When Joon-ki shares how he once did the same with his college girlfriend at the time, Yoon-ha is oddly naive about talking about exes in one’s current relationship when she’s sorta-maybe knows what it means to sleep over at her boyfriend’s place. Slipping his hand into hers, he points to an outfit. Yoon-ha doesn’t care what she gets, as long as he likes it.
She’s mortified while trying to buy a bra when the saleswoman suggests that her boyfriend here must love that she has a busty chest. Thankfully Joon-ki plays dumb, and Yoon-ha insists on buying it herself since he should save his hard-earned money.
Following a gratuitous shower where Chang-soo happily recalls Ji-yi’s confession of her feelings, his mother bursts into his room to announce that she’s arranged another seon for him. Although he knows the potential date, he isn’t interested.
Even though his mother wants to see him married soon, she knows Chang-soo isn’t the type to bring home some poor girl to marry out of love. She warns him about all the golddiggers out there, but Chang-soo says there are decent girls out there too.
That prompts her to ask who exactly, but Chang-soo sidesteps the question. His mother is dead-set on her son marrying someone of equal social status—it’s bad enough that he’s such good friends with Joon-ki, who’s sure to feel less than sterling next to him.
Chang-soo defends his friend—Joon-ki could’ve worked at a better company, but stayed to help him out. His mother thinks that he’s done enough for Joon-ki by buying him an apartment and car, and simply advises to draw a clear boundary.
He changes the subject by asking after his own future at Yumin, noting that he’s been doing far better than Hyung ever since joining the company. His mother is already on it, and the way she switches topics again has him point out that she’s just like another girl he knows. Again he’s asked who that is and Chang-soo avoids answering.
At home, Ji-yi pulls her hair at the realization that she’s fallen head over heels for Chang-soo. She smiles when she receives a text from him moments later, impressed when he corrects her spelling. He gets antsy when she doesn’t reply right away, worried that she might be angry with him.
In truth, Ji-yi is holding back because she knows she’ll be the one who ends up hurt. Her finger hovers over deleting his number when a call comes through. It’s Chang-soo, whom she scolds for speaking in such a gentle, affectionate voice.
He gets annoyed at that, but she explains it’s only because she likes him and misses him already. “Why didn’t you just say so?” he beams. Next thing we know, he’s dressed and about to leave when his mother wonders where he’s headed off to when he usually doesn’t ever leave the house after he takes a shower. O rly.
Sitting down for some PPL dessert, Joon-ki asks why Yoon-ha’s never had a boyfriend before. He can tell by her actions alone, looking unconvinced by her defense that sure, she’s dated before, but it yunno, never lasted. Then she admits to always being on-guard because people act differently once they realize she’s a chaebol’s daughter and she hates that.
But Joon-ki believes that a person’s background still makes up an innate part of who someone is and greatly influences their life. Yoon-ha disagrees, arguing that she can change her background, but if she changes with it, then she wouldn’t be herself anymore.
Joon-ki drops the subject for now, and the two go out for a tandem bike ride by the river. Revealing that he and Chang-soo often race their bikes together, Joon-ki says Chang-soo enjoys bicycles because they require work versus an external power source.
Yoon-ha reveals having been on a seon with Chang-soo once, asking if that bothers him. Joon-ki encourages her to come clean now if she tends to obsess over guys. Her mind says no, but I’d bet her heart says otherwise.
Ji-yi plays coy when Chang-soo comes to visit her after all. Still, seeing him makes her happy, boasting of the nighttime view from her rooftop. She marvels at how large his hand is, which he then uses to cover her face with. He gets annoyed when she does the same, only to give in when she points out the double standard.
Asked if there’s a limit on kisses per day, Chang-soo can hardly believes this Ji-yi to be the same girl who didn’t want to date him. When she acts aloof about it, he kisses her. “I’ll do everything you ask of me. What else shall I do for you?” he asks. Stick a fork in me, I’m done.
Ji-yi wonders what it’d be like if they had been star-crossed lovers in the Joseon era. That spurs a random fantasy where they’re caught by his noblewoman mother. Ji-yi is sentenced to be punished, and when she cries in desperation… Young Master Chang-soo asks his mother to give him another woman then. “How can you take a toy away from me in such a cruel manner?” Ji-yi: “Heol. Daebak.”
It’s great how unamused Chang-soo is by this tale, but her point is that times have changed and they’re of equal status now. Chang-soo argues there’s still a difference, but she retorts that doesn’t mean one ranks higher than the other.
Chang-soo can’t get onboard with that perspective yet, and Ji-yi can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. He doesn’t budge, so Ji-yi wraps him in a back hug. She knows he’s a bad boy and she should be careful, but she likes him anyway.
That melts Chang-soo’s heart, and he finally gives in, remarking on how nice the view is up here. He draws back when she tries touching his ear, citing that he doesn’t like it. “Even if I touch it?” she asks, and he gives in again.
After sharing how he was the studious one while Chang-soo was the classically popular guy in high school, Joon-ki turns the question to her. When Yoon-ha says she loved Ji-yi’s frankness and transparency, he asks how two people can be close friends when one keeps secrets from the other. Speak for yourself, sir.
Yoon-ha plans on coming clean to her friend, whom she knows will understand in the end. She switches gears to ask what he had lied about to her back when she confessed she had done the same on the rooftop earlier today.
He’s surprised that she’d remember him saying that. What she hates most is being lied to, and Joon-ki replies that he merely said he lied too in order to comfort her. Upon hearing her future plans to pursue cosmetics once she moves out, Joon-ki wonders why she’d go back to start from square one when she’s been born with the upper hand in life.
She repeats that her background doesn’t define who she is. He says she’s saying that because she’s still trying to turn her dreams into reality. When she asks if he’s been successful at doing that then, he truthfully admits, “Not yet. I’m on my way of doing so.”
He’s in no position to talk if they’re both in the same boat, she smiles. However, this entire conversation has Joon-ki troubled.
Madam Min drunkenly stumbles over to Chairman Jang to rouse him from his slumber. She grabs at his hair, only to let out a maniacal laugh upon realizing that he has no hair to pull. Chairman Jang won’t stand for her drunk behavior, and Madam Min wonders aloud how the once warm and kind-hearted man turned into the cruel monster he is now.
“Has time made you this way?” she cries. She blames her wretched life on him, to which she’s told that her life was of her own making. He orders her out, and Madam Min stumbles out again, cackling.
We cut back to Joon-ki’s apartment, where he makes a fine post-shower exit. It’s not even my birthday and we get two shower scenes? Yum. He wipes off the steam in the mirror to stare back at his reflection.
Thinking back to Yoon-ha’s words of how a person ceases to be himself when one changes with his background and if he ever turned his dreams into reality, he narrates darkly, “Your reality is my dream. Just wait… I’ll get there.”
Again, High Society hands us morsels with Joon-ki’s cryptic narration, though I think we can all make the connection that he’s referring to Yoon-ha’s wealthy roots versus his more humble upbringing. What I want to know is what Joon-ki hopes to gain from achieving success and perhaps one day living an affluent lifestyle. We’re missing that piece of key motivation from his character—he’s been presented with the opportunity to advance (be it working at a more successful company or spying on his friend for his gain), but we’ve yet to see some overt actions towards that goal.
His pursuing a relationship with Yoon-ha could easily be that active step, even if we’ve yet to know his true intentions for dating her. Trying to figure Joon-ki out is both a tough and dangerous endeavor, since the source of his motivation could be many a thing. I’m willing to wait and let the writing teach us whatever that may be, and simply hope that his reasoning is solid. I’ve been feeling this sense of disconnect from Joon-ki and Yoon-ha so far in this series—that’s something you don’t want, especially when they’re supposed to be the ones supplying us viewers with the representative perspective about this dramaverse. When you’ve got a hero keeping his secrets close to the vest and a heroine who tries to balance her idealistic desires and her virtually unreal reality, sometimes deciphering their words is a trial.
Not all is lost of course, because I do enjoy how we learn tidbits of certain characters through others. One that comes to mind is Joon-ki’s mention of why Chang-soo prefers bicycles because one needs to exert work. It’s an interesting perspective that departs from other classic second-generation chaebols, who don’t ever appear to be working. Although I suppose Chang-soo’s too busy being Romeo right now to continue purusing that goal to overshadow his older brother at the company.
Perhaps it’s because Chang-soo’s much more of an open book that I enjoy following his storyline. There’s so much I want for him and so many things that I hope he learns over the course of his series. I already love that he would do practically anything for his best bud Joon-ki, and yet so naive to the idea that while a difference in socioeconomic status doesn’t bother him it could very well be a chip on Joon-ki’s shoulder. He seems to have a tougher time reconciling that idea when it comes to Ji-yi, though I suppose it’s because he lurves her in a different way. What can I say—my heart bleeds for the kid.
Speaking of which, I had a tough time going along with the idea that the jinx Yoon-ha put so much importance into the previous hour flew out the window the moment Joon-ki kissed her. She had made it sound like a critical lifelong affliction, which went poof! in this episode. Even stranger are her reasons for saying how she wants to separate herself from her rich background yet argues that trying to change oneself while changing their background means losing one’s identity. If that what she’s trying to say, that is. It feels like I’m constantly scratching my head when it comes to Yoon-ha because I want to follow her logic in having her make a name for herself, yet I can’t pinpoint where she puts her own identity in—herself? A career? Her boyfriend? Happiness? Love? Or all the above?
In any case, the sooner her dreams can become our reality, the sooner I can root for her and know what I’m cheering for her. Because sometimes it’s hard for us ordinary folk down here to understand her heart if her head is up in the clouds.