Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 2
Cute and funny is what this show is shaping up to be so far, even though our heroine rarely gets perceived as such. All everyone sees is an unremarkable face, but luckily for her, there seem to be two men who see beyond that and are drawn to her genuine nature, her conviction, and her strong point of view. She may use a bike bell to ward people away, but I have a feeling these men will be staying around and helping her out because a good heart shines brighter than beauty.
EPISODE 2 RECAP
Gong Shim arrives outside Guh Reum (means “walking” in Korean) Law Firm to take her case to someone other than her sister, but is disappointed to find that Dan-tae is the lawyer who works there.
Dan-tae asks if she’s a stalker since she seems to be popping up everywhere he happens to be. Gong Shim is convinced he’s a pervert, but asks if he’s really a lawyer just to be sure…only to have flubbed the word “lawyer” by melding it with the word, “pervert.” Oops, Freudian slip!
While explaining that she just happened to be in the area, Dan-tae spots bird excrement falling from the sky in slow motion, moments away from hitting her head and quickly pulls her to safety. She’s flustered by his sudden move, but begrudgingly agrees to continue the conversation inside his office since he’s pro bono and she’s broke.
Meanwhile, Gong Mi is at the gas station directing her sister’s supervisor to delete the CCTV footage of the scuffle. He’s hesitant to do so sans Gong Shim’s approval, but Gong Mi identifiers herself as her sister and falsely informs him that the two parties have already settled. When Gong Mi learns that her sister still has a copy of the footage, however, she’s none too pleased.
Gong Shim gives Dan-tae the 411 on what happened and expresses her desire to sue the woman who attacked her. His joking face grows serious as he watches the CCTV footage of her beating, but Gong Shim leaves right away when her sister calls.
At a café, Gong Mi warns that if Gong Shim sues her boss’s wife, she’ll have to resign and will no longer be able to practice law in Korea. No work equals no money to keep the family afloat. Gong Shim says she’ll provide for the family somehow, but this isn’t the answer Gong Mi wants.
Gong Mi drops to her knees and unleashes the tears. She implores Gong Shim to consider how hard she worked to become a lawyer and to think of her parents who need her help. She acknowledges that she’s being reprehensible and apologizes profusely for being a pathetic sister.
Next thing we know, Gong Mi deletes the footage from her sister’s phone and thanks her for not going forward with the lawsuit. Gong Shim clarifies that this doesn’t mean she forgives the woman who attacked her, and her sister sympathetically agrees.
Outside the café, Gong Mi calls her boss and assures him that everything’s been taken care of; the victim dropped all charges. Her boss is relieved by the update.
Gong Shim wonders if she did the right thing and concludes that everyone’s better off because of her decision. Plus, it wouldn’t be the first time she sacrificed herself for the sake of her family.
The next day, Gong Shim realizes that she left her bike bell in the rooftop room accidentally. Dan-tae catches her unlocking his door and asks if she’s breaking and entering now, and Gong Shim replies that she technically didn’t enter yet. She doesn’t get why he hasn’t changed the passcode, and he says it’s his to do whatever he wants with it.
When asked why she left her consultation with him so abruptly, she informs him that she no longer plans to sue. Surprised, Dan-tae asks if she settled instead. Gong Shim retorts that settling means forgiving that woman—she’d never settle. Dan-tae insists that suing is the best course of action, but she maintains that she has no plans to press charges anymore. End of discussion. And besides, she already deleted the footage.
Gong Shim apologizes for trying to get into his place while he was out. Her plan was to quickly retrieve her bell and leave, but since that didn’t work out, she asks Dan-tae to get it for her.
That evening, Dan-tae stops by the gas station where Gong Shim was assaulted. He asks the supervisor why Gong Shim dropped charges, showing a selfie of the two of them to prove that they’re friends. The supervisor says he already deleted the footage when her sister was here since she had told him they had settled.
This is news to Dan-tae since he knows Gong Shim didn’t settle, and he heads to a nearby convenience store to further investigate. He not-so-subtly leans over the counter to take a peek at the CCTV monitor, and the cashier correctly guesses that he’s looking for a camera that faces the gas station. A female lawyer inquired about the same thing earlier. Unfortunately, none of the cameras point to the gas station.
Gong Shim arrives at the gas station, and her supervisor informs her that a man stopped by and wondered why she wasn’t suing. He confirms that the man was wearing flip-flops and capri pants, and Gong Shim wonders why Dan-tae is poking around. So when Dan-tae leaves the convenience store, popsicle in hand, he’s greeted by Gong Shim angrily stomping toward him to ask why he’s going around asking about her incident. She orders him to stop meddling in her affairs, and after she storms off, he mimics her outrage, heh.
Gong Mi is at a bar with her boss and other male colleagues. He suggests she appear on a TV program and start making media appearances, so she can be their newest star attorney. Gong Mi is pleasantly surprised, and everyone raises a glass to her.
Gong Shim drinks with her best friend Gu-nam, ignoring his advice to go home. Gu-nam is the first to notice a man staring at them from the convenience store, and Gong Shim turns to see Dan-tae staring, armed with a creepy smile and friendly wave.
She reminds Gu-nam that the creeper is the perverted lawyer he introduced her to. Declaring her appetite ruined, Gong Shim gets up and heads home, which is right above the store, and trudges up the steps to…Uh-oh. Is she heading back to Dan-tae’s place again? I hope he changed his passcode!
Gu-nam introduces himself to Dan-tae as the friend who recommended him to Gong Shim. Dan-tae asks him why Gong Shim suddenly gave up on pressing charges, and Gu-nam replies that although she really wanted to sue the woman who attacked her, that woman turned out to be her sister’s boss’s wife. Gong Shim gave up for her sister’s sake.
Dan-tae returns home, and much to his dismay, sleeping inside is Gong Shim. Again. He tries to wake her up, but she doesn’t budge, so he yanks off her wig… only to unveil her feet! HAHA. He goes to the other end and pulls the covers, revealing Gong Shim sound asleep and clutching a giant scrubbing brush and a bar of soap.
He gingerly takes the brush from her and sees a line of toothpaste on the bristles, gagging at the thought of brushing teeth with that. He cringes again to see the bar of soap she’s clutching, which has a corner distinctly bitten off. Yuck.
That’s enough grossness for Dan-tae so he peels out of his home, shrieking that he can’t take it anymore. He finally decides to change his passcode, and randomly punches a long series of numbers, knowing that the code can be up to twenty digits. He’s proud of his “smart” move, but can’t seem to recall what the new passcode is, heh.
A bit later later, Gong Shim bursts out of the room, chiding herself for ending up here again. Dan-tae’s relieved to finally be able to sleep in his own home, and surprisingly, he remembers the super long passcode and enters with ease. Dan-tae has the same recurring dream that night. He’s transported to the past, and he reaches out to a boy, bawling for his mother. But as soon as he extends his hand, the boy vanishes. Dan-tae wakes up in a panic and wonders who the boy is and why he always appears.
At the Seok household, Jun-su’s mom bemoans the lack of a proper birthday breakfast for her son. Jun-su reassures her that he’s fine without it, but she’s still resentful, especially when Grandma bitterly reminds them that she lost both Jun-pyo and his mother on this day. There’s nothing worth celebrating, and she plans on going on her annual trip to the temple to pray for Jun-pyo to come back.
Grandma admonishes Jun-su’s mother for celebrating her son’s birthday with a bazaar. Jun-su’s mom corrects her and explains that she’s holding a charity bazaar to aid the poor; it’s not a celebration. Grandma tells Jun-su to mourn for his missing cousin and to refrain from joy today, and that’s the last straw for Jun-su’s mom. She snaps and yells at grandmother that it’s not Jun-su’s fault that Jun-pyo went missing.
Grandma retorts that Jun-su’s mom wouldn’t even be in this house if it weren’t for Jun-pyo’s disappearance. Jun-su’s mom shouts that she’s tired of the constant Jun-pyo talk and urges Grandma to move on and consider him dead because it’s been nearly 30 years since his disappearance. However, Grandma is adamant that Jun-pyo is still alive somewhere.
Dan-tae waits outside to be Grandma’s driver today, and she seems to take an immediate liking to him.
Gong Mi is surprised to learn that her boss’s wife wants to attend a fancy charity bazaar with her. Her boss explains that it’s his wife’s way of expressing gratitude, and while’s it’s a good opportunity for her, Gong Mi laments that she’s not dressed formally enough. Pssh.
Meanwhile, Gong Shim is working on her Italian in her sister’s second room/closet, which is where she sleeps now. Mom steps in to grab some clothes for Gong Mi and orders Gong Shim to drop it off with her sister.
Gong Mi waits impatiently for her mom to drop off clothes, but freaks out upon hearing that Gong Shim’s on her way—she can’t run into the boss’s wife, after what she did to cover up their relationship. Gong Mi tries to rush out and stop her sister before she arrives, but the boss’s wife is early and Gong Mi can only frantically text her sister to act as if they’re not related and to hide.
Gong Shim arrives and doesn’t register Gong Mi’s frantic motions for her to get lost. She does see the woman who attacked her approaching, though, and hides behind a beam in the nick of time. Then she watches her unni smile and greet her attacker, and her gaze turns hurt and angry.
At the bus stop, Gong Shim muses that she pities her sister who, despite being a hotshot, still has to fawn over people like that woman.
Boss’s Wife explains that to Gong Mi that they’re going to an exclusive bazaar held by the madam of Star Group. Only the crème de la crème will be there, and the apron Gong Mi is holding is her invitation to the event; attendees must wear it to gain admission. Gong Mi thanks her for the invite and beams.
Jun-su and his mother (the madam of Star Group) cordially greet the guests, and he attracts admiring glances from Boss’s Wife and her daughter, who has unexpectedly joined her after hearing Jun-su would be here. So Boss’s Wife claims the apron for her daughter instead, and Gong Mi pulls it off and hands it over, feeling distinctly like an outsider now.
Jun-su’s grandmother is driven back to her house, and she thanks Dan-tae for the ride. She can’t help but stare as Dan-tae walks away. Something about him causes her to linger.
Gong Shim looks glum as she walks home and gets recognized by Jun-su, who stops her to say hello. It takes a bit of prodding for her to recall him, just as Dan-tae appears and wraps his arm around his new pal. He holds a hand to his forehead to mimic Gong Shim’s curtain bangs and comments that she’s unforgettable because of her style.
Gong Shim doesn’t appreciate his remark, but Jun-su sweetly says he likes her hairstyle. The compliment takes her aback, and Dan-tae suggests that she doesn’t take it too seriously, but Jun-su genuinely means it, and insists that she really does look cute with her hair like that.
Gong Shim excuses herself, feeling self-conscious, though a smile creeps up on her face. As Jun-su and Dan-tae play basketball, Jun-su tries to pay him for driving his grandmother. Dan-tae politely declines, suggesting that Jun-su buy him a drink next time.
Jun-su asks if it was difficult driving his picky grandmother, but Dan-tae replies that it wasn’t at all because she shared fascinating stories of her life during the Korean War. Jun-su is surprised to hear she divulged all that, and it gives him pause.
Jun-su offers Dan-tae a job working for his family rather than driving people around at night, and doesn’t believe Dan-tae when he says he has a job as a lawyer. He keeps insisting until Dan-tae shows him his business card, and then Jun-su is mortified at his faux pas. Dan-tae doesn’t take offense and explains that he doesn’t make enough money as a lawyer so he moonlights as a designated driver.
Jun-su still feels bad about his misunderstanding, and Dan-tae says he’ll invite him over to his “penthouse” some day. They resume their game, and Dan-tae shoots and scores. But when he does, he’s reminded of the CCTV footage he saw on Gong Shim’s phone. He realizes there was a snack truck across from the scene of the assault.
Dan-tae heads to the snack truck near the gas station and converses with the owner, who explains that he’s only here in the evenings to sell snacks to the students who study nearby. This confirms that the truck was present during Gong Shim’s incident.
Gong Shim sees Dan-tae there and is annoyed again at his meddling, warning him to cut it out.
Walking home that night, Gong Shim notices green leaves fluttering to the ground from above, looks up, and sees Dan-tae mindlessly plucking away at her plant and dropping the leaves.
She dashes up the steps, fuming, and demands to know why he’s ruining her plant. Dan-tae thinks she’s overreacting and explains that he tends to pluck at stuff or tear paper while he focuses on something. Gong Shim screams that she also has a habit of pulling people’s hairs when she’s angry, and lunges at him.
He yelps in pain while they dance around the rooftop during their kerfuffle. He says her plant will grow back, and she retorts that his hair will grow back too, haha. Eventually, he’s able to wrestle out of her vice-like grip. She bellows that he’s a pervert before storming off.
Back at the mansion, Jun-su’s mom informs Grandma that she’ll be overseeing the hire of her husband’s new secretary, since he had an affair with the previous one.
Gong Shim has an interview for a temporary retail job, and tries on her sister’s clothes. Gong Mi is unimpressed by the sound of the job and the way her sister looks in her clothes, so she suggests that Gong Shim wear her own clothes to appear “practical” rather than “impressive.” Gong Shim hopes that acquiring a job will make the hair grow back in her bald spot.
Gong Shim fervently prepares for her interview at a cafe and memorizes the following: “With the determination to sell sand in the desert and ice in the North Pole…with passion, with all my passion, I will work with kindness and sincerity.”
Boss’s Wife finds Dan-tae waiting by her car, and gets huffy at his suggestion that she apologize to Gong Shim. She’s confident he doesn’t have any evidence to support his claim, until he mentions that there was a snack truck across from the gas station that night. Her face drops as he takes out his phone.
Interviews are underway for the Star Group President’s secretary role, and pretty candidates who impress the president are a definite “no” for his wife.
After oversleeping at the café, Gong Shim rushes to her interview. Luckily, she runs into Jun-su in the lobby, who arranges for her to use the executive elevator to get to her interview faster and wishes her good luck.
But…she enters the room where Jun-su’s parents are wrapping up interviews for the secretary role. Not realizing the mix-up, she launches into her passionate spiel about how she can sell anything, which confounds the panel.
Jun-su’s father and his colleague make fun of her dowdy appearance, jeering that she doesn’t even have a nice smile to sell as a secretary. Jun-su’s mother, however, looks intrigued by her.
Gong Shim finally realizes she’s in the wrong place, interviewing for the wrong position, and apologizes. But one last jeering comment makes her stop to give the men a piece of her mind.
Gong Shim: “Is it fun to make fun of the way people look? Is a secretary a gisaeng from the Joseon era who has to sell her smile? How long are you going to remain stuck in the past? That’s why old men like you get called ‘old dogs!’”
You tell ‘em, Gong Shim! She advises them to get their act together before leaving.
Later that day, her supervisor from the gas station calls her and tells her to come to the station. When she arrives, the woman who attacked her is there, here to apologize.
Gong Shim’s not convinced by the apology so the woman says it even louder, bows in remorse, and even starts (fake?) crying. Eventually, Gong Shim finds it in her heart to excuse her. The woman reports back to Dan-tae that she apologized to Gong Shim, and Dan-tae commends her. He also deletes the CCTV footage taken from the snack truck’s black box, and reassures her that the original files have also been erased.
That evening, Dan-tae returns to his rooftop with a grill and some sausages. He notices that Gong Shim is in a lighter mood and he smiles, knowing that he had a part in it. He tells Gong Shim that Jun-su is coming over, but that he forgot to purchase vegetables.
He asks Gong Shim if she has any, and uses that as a reason to invite her to dinner as well. She’s hesitant to join, but remembers that Jun-su liked her hair, so she sprints downstairs to grab some vegetables from her house. She also curls her hair.
Jun-su arrives for dinner and asks Gong Shim how her interview at his company went. Dan-tae quips that she probably failed, and Gong Shim acknowledges that she definitely did. But Jun-su thinks she probably did just fine and decides to find out the results.
While he’s on the phone, Dan-tae pokes fun at Gong Shim for her crush on Jun-su; he points out that she put some effort into curling her wig for him, and Gong Shim warns Dan-tae to zip it!
Jun-su congratulates Gong Shim for passing her interview and scoring the Star Group president’s secretary job. She’s shocked by his news, along with the fact that the president is Jun-su’s father.
Dan-tae reluctantly admits that he’s impressed and gives her a thumbs-up. The guys raise their beer cans to toast her success, and Gong Shim still reels from the unexpected good news.
Just then, Dan-tae looks up and sees a middle-aged man arrive, with a grim expression on his face. Dan-tae stands, surprised to see his father.
The arrival of Dan-tae’s father could only mean we’ll learn more about Dan-tae’s past. So far, all signs point to Dan-tae being long-lost Jun-pyo, and I’m looking forward to his backstory.
I’m really liking the bromance between Dan-tae and Jun-su! Even though the show will probably tear them apart with a birth secret, I’ll enjoy their friendship until then. Jun-su appears to be the chaebol son who didn’t turn out to be a spoiled and entitled brat. He genuinely values his newfound friendship with Dan-tae, and they get along really well, on and off the basketball court. I also love the way he treats Gong Shim, like a person who exists and has feelings. And he finds her cute!
I love how despite Gong Shim’s repeated objections, Dan-tae went ahead and figured out a way for her to get some closure on the terrible gas station incident. He confronted the awful woman who attacked her and low-key threatened her with evidence, which pushed her to face Gong Shim and apologize for what she did. Now, I’m not sure how genuine that apology was, since the theatricality of it seemed to increase over time, but there’s still value to it. Gong Shim deserves an apology at the very least, and Dan-tae made it happen. And he didn’t even tell Gong Shim that he was behind it!
He did way more for Gong Shim than her sister, Gong Mi will ever do. The way Gong Mi fretted about her outfit to the charity bazaar showed how little she cares for her sister. She was excited about the prospect of attending a swanky event with her boss’s wife, the very woman who threw trash at her sister’s face and mercilessly beat her up. Misguided priorities, much?
She’s so embarrassed by Gong Shim, that she didn’t even want her to come to her office. I understand why she wanted Gong Shim to hide when the boss’s wife was around, but before she even knew the wife arrived early, her panic upon learning that Gong Shim was on her way was totally unwarranted. Gong Shim agreed to drop charges in order to protect her older sister, and Gong Mi is ashamed of her?
The contrast between Gong Mi and Gong Shim is rather stark. Gong Mi is self-serving and manipulative, while Gong Shim is caring, honest, and agenda-less. The scene in which Gong Shim expressed pity that her sister had to kiss up to her boss’s wife illustrated this perfectly. She felt bad watching her sister do that. I doubt Gong Mi felt bad for pushing her sister to drop charges. She may have effectively conveyed that during her tearful plea, but only as a way to convince Gong Shim.
The comedic moments in this episode were downright hilarious, especially when Dan-tae finds Gong Shim asleep in his home again. Gong Shim’s feet underneath the wig totally caught me by surprise. I only wish I knew what happened after she ate that much soap because I doubt anyone would be fine from consuming it. Even little moments like Dan-tae lovingly clutching his sweet potato or acting like the world ended when he dropped it made me laugh.
It’s interesting to see Nam Goong-min’s facial expressions in a different light because I’m so used to interpreting his smiles as menacing, and his deadpan faces as the calm before rage. However, props to him for fully committing to his nice guy role because he’s convincing and endearing as Dan-tae. I do worry about Dan-tae’s junk food diet though, but if he gets that much joy from cheap food, then who am I to judge? Also, I wonder what the deal is with his superhuman ability to perceive movements in slow motion. How did that ability come about?
I hadn’t seen any of Minah’s previous acting work, but I’m pleasantly surprised by her portrayal of Gong Shim—her emotions and actions seem nuanced and appear to be coming from a place of authenticity.
This episode was solid, and the show is definitely on the right track. Here’s to more humor, cute, and heart!
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