Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 3
Beautiful Gong Shim continues to entertain as our heroine starts the next chapter of her life, joining the workforce with enthusiasm and blunt honesty. It’s an uphill battle though, in world completely different from what she’s used to. Gong Shim’s lucky to have one or two friends there to support her, but her biggest obstacles may come from her own flesh and blood.
Thankfully she’s got Dan-tae on her side to realize when she needs a shoulder to cry on, and when she just needs a drink.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Gong Shim, Dan-tae, and Jun-su are all smiles and laughter as they toast to Gong Shim’s new position, but their revelry is interrupted by the arrival of Dan-tae’s father.
Father and son relocate to a restaurant, where Dad can’t quite meet his eye. Dan-tae asks why his father has come now after not wanting to see his son for five years. Dad admits that he missed him, but was too ashamed to come sooner. Dan-tae sweetly answers if he’s sorry, then just don’t leave again. His father finally looks up and they share a small smile.
Back on the rooftop, Gong Shim returns from the convenience store with ice cream. She briefly goes starry-eyed when she sees that Jun-su is fixing her favorite chair for her. Gong Shim marvels at Jun-su’s carpentry skills and he confides that he’s been taking carpentry classes to learn how to make furniture. When Gong Shim muses that she’d like to learn, Jun-su invites her to join his class… until he remembers that there’s no room for new students.
Jun-su mentions that they’ll see each other at work now, though Gong Shim is quick to reassure him that, as an executive director, he should feel free to pretend he doesn’t know her or even treat her poorly. Jun-su looks confused asks why should he do that when Gong Shim is his friend. *Sigh*
Jun-su encourages Gong Shim to treat him not as someone of rank, but as a sunbae, and to come to him if she is having trouble. The stars are definitely back in Gong Shim’s eyes as she wonders how anyone can be so perfect.
Gong Shim runs down to tell her family that she was not only hired, but she’s now secretary to the Star Group president! Gong Shim’s mom actually hugs her, while Gong Mi looks confused that her sister snagged such a high position. Dad straight-up faints.
Gong Shim goes back up to the rooftop to share the exciting news with the plants from the housewarmings she didn’t get invited to. She imagines herself in a wedding dress, sitting in a carriage with Jun-su. They drive by her old friends and Jun-su calls out to them, “Don’t even think about coming to our housewarming,” then snuggles with the blushing Gong Shim.
Gong Shim grins at the daydream, till she realizes what she’s doing and starts whacking own head, calling herself crazy, which is when Dan-tae chirps up from behind to ask if she’s fantasizing about something embarrassing.
Dan-tae correctly guesses that she was thinking about Jun-su. Putting two and two together with the wig curling and daydreaming, he figures out that she’s got a crush on the chaebol.
Gong Shim vehemently denies it, but Dan-tae says it’s obvious and Jun-su has probably noticed as well. Gong Shim asks with dismay if it’s really that noticeable.
Gong Shim forbids Dan-tae from revealing her crush to Jun-su and even offers to treat him better if he’ll keep the secret. He immediately takes advantage of that, suggesting that she return part of his rent when he moves out, because he intends to find a place where he can live with his father soon.
Gong Shim sputters that no landlord would do that, but Dan-tae has to merely mention Jun-su to make Gong Shim cave to his request. In return, she says he’s better “zip it” about her crush.
Dan-tae pretends to see Jun-su behind Gong Shim, making her spin around smiling…to no one. Dan-tae laughs himself silly while Gong Shim grimaces.
The next day, Gong Shim heads into work where she’s shown around by a pretty secretary who is clearly unhappy with the new hire. Jun-su’s mother and father (President Seok) arrive and bring her into the office for a chat.
The president looks downright pained with Gong Shim’s appearance, while his wife is happy now that she’s taken away his eye candy. When he leaves, his wife takes the opportunity to give Gong Shim the rundown of her job responsibilities: Don’t talk about their family affairs outside the office, and report any of the president’s affairs directly to Jun-su’s mom.
Dan-tae’s father follows a written address to Jun-su’s family home, but gets scared off when Grandma comes out. He runs off just as Dan-tae comes sprinting up to play Grandma’s chauffeur for the day.
At the temple, Grandma finishes her bows and comes down to the car in a good mood, but Dan-tae stops her with a serious face. He hesitantly admits that while parking the car, he got a tiiiiny scratch on it, stepping back to reveal a giant scrape along the entire length of the car. Yeesh.
Grandma is understandably mad, yelling at him for being irresponsible. Dan-tae promises to pay for it, but she just complains at his carelessness, wanting to leave. He stops her again, asking if he could use the restroom before they go as it’s an emergency.
Fed up, Grandma grumps at him to be quick and gets in the car while Dan-tae waddles off, clutching his rear.
Grandma sits stewing in the car when an older woman taps on her window. She asks after Dan-tae and when Grandma replies that he’s gone to the bathroom, she tries to give Grandma a bag filled with fresh produce, claiming that she knows it’s not enough, but it’s all she has.
The woman reveals that she is the one who scratched the car, not Dan-tae. In a brief flashback, we see Dan-tae was talking on his phone when the grandma came down the hill, pushing a heavy cart. She’d lost control and it had crashed into the car.
Dan-tae freaked out about the damage, but seeing the distress the grandma was in, he told her to just run away and he’d deal with it.
At work, Gong Shim greets an executive director cheerfully, but freezes when she realizes that this is the man she’d called an “old dog” during her interview. The president comes out in the hall and the man asks if Gong Shim is really his new secretary. At the president’s confirmation, the man muses that his wife must have been really mad about his affairs.
Gong Shim offers to prepare tea (cha) for their meeting, and the president tells her to have the cha ready in 20 minutes. With her eye on the clock, she boils water and waits to get the timing down.
After convincing her boss to let her take over the company’s Star Group account, Gong Mi prepares to meet with Jun-su. She assumes that she’ll be dealing with him as a director of the company, but sours to see that her meeting is with another Star Group representative, who is most definitely not Jun-su. Gong Mi requests to deal directly with Jun-su, but the representative scoffs that the director is far too busy to deal with this kind of thing.
Speak of the devil, Jun-su spies Gong Shim in the hallway and stops to ask her about her first day, asking if she got through okay. She confesses making a mistake: When she’d prepared tea for the president, she hadn’t realized he’d meant he wanted the other cha (car).
Jun-su bursts out laughing, and Gong Shim joins him… which is when Gong Mi comes around the corner and sees the two laughing together. At their happy camaraderie, Gong Mi stares in shock. Gong Shim catches sight of her sister, but Gong Mi uses the now-familiar “pretend you don’t recognize me” face and walks away before Jun-su spots her.
Jun-su’s father heads into Grandma’s office (she’s the chairwoman of Star Group), but is told by her secretary that she has a guest inside: the driver Ahn Dan-tae. He finds this curious.
Using the stairs on his way out, Dan-tae comes upon Gong Shim getting harassed by two other secretaries in the stairwell. The women are angry that someone with her background and looks got the prized president’s secretary position.
Gong Shim doesn’t understand what she did wrong and the women twist the knife, telling her she was hired simply because she’s ugly and the president’s wife wanted to stop her husband’s affairs. Dan-tae looks on as Gong Shim tries and fails to hold back tears.
Gong Shim leaves the stairwell to find Dan-tae waiting by the elevators, and their familiar banter is witnessed by President Seok. He quizzes Gong Shim about Dan-tae, listening intently when she catalogs everything she knows about him: how he eats convenience store food for every meal, wears capri pants a lot, has an annoying way of talking, and oh, is also a lawyer.
President Seok assigns Gong Shim the task of finding out everything she can about Dan-tae, claiming it’s a test of her abilities.
Gong Shim starts by calling Dan-tae, and actually plugs her nose to raise her voice to aegyo level, although the strange pitch freaks Dan-tae out. Gong Shim drops the fake voice and asks if he has time tonight to have a drink with her. Remembering the bullying he overheard Dan-tae’s face softens and he says he can make time, thinking she might want company.
Cut to the pair downing soju beer bombs while Gong Shim not-so-subtly grills him about his life. Dan-tae takes a bathroom break and Gong Shim uses the opportunity to mix more drinks, filling Dan-tae’s glass with nearly all soju while her own is mostly beer.
But when the server asks Gong Shim to move tables to make room, the glasses get switched. She doesn’t notice, and watches gleefully as Dan-tae downs his glass in one shot. Then she takes a sip of hers and realizes there was a switch-up, but has to down the whole glass.
Dan-tae finishes and quips that the drink seemed a bit weak… and Gong Shim face-plants onto the table.
Soon, a very intoxicated Gong Shim is pouring out her heart to Dan-tae, calling him Ahn Dan-taxi. She laments that her sister is better in everything as she’s the pretty one that everyone likes. She tells Dan-tae that her biggest mistake in life is being ugly.
Dan-tae’s face fills with pity as she tells him that when she was younger, her favorite game was hide-and-seek, because that was the only time her parents cared where she was. Gong Shim got really good as hiding so that people would keep looking for her, making her feel missed.
Outside, Dan-tae tries to persuade Gong Shim to go home, but she just wants more alcohol. She compromises by asking him to play one game of hide-and-seek with her. Exasperated, Dan-tae agrees and Gong Shim lets out this adorable squeal as she runs away to hide.
Turns out Gong Shim wasn’t lying: She is REALLY good at hiding. Dan-tae finally finds her hiding in a trash heap, a plastic bag covering her head. Gong Shim crows about how well she hid, even getting him to take a picture of her in her hiding spot.
Dan-tae just stares as her with this look, asking how she could choose to hide in garbage. Gong Shim waves his concern off, saying that he took too long to find her. She tells him to try again and sprints away, shrieking with laughter.
Dan-tae finally finds Gong Shim in yet another bin, curled up and asleep. He sighs.
Dan-tae piggybacks Gong Shim home, smiling when she talks to him like he’s her taxi driver. Half-asleep, she asks if he’s ever heard of someone getting hired because they were ugly. Muttering that she has pride too, she admits that being hired for her bad looks hurts, but she couldn’t even say anything.
The next day, a severely hung-over Gong Shim tries to get ready for work in her room/Gong Mi’s closet while her sister berates her for drinking so much. Gong Mi tries to pry for details about Jun-su, but Gong Shim flatly says that she can’t divulge any details about Jun-su or his family.
Just then, Gong Shim gets a text from Jun-su, which Gong Mi notes with interest. Jun-su tells Gong Shim about a spot that recently opened up in his woodworking class and encourages her to register today. Gong Shim can’t hide her happy grin.
The second Gong Shim leaves the room, Gong Mi descends on her phone, reading Jun-su’s text and getting a crafty look in her eyes.
Dan-tae happily slurps down his most recent convenience store food purchase as Gong Shim passes by. She implores him to forget everything that happened last night, and Dan-tae asks if that means he should delete these pictures…
Gong Shim remembers the photos of her in the garbage heap, while he teases her about how he naturally wouldn’t send them to Jun-su or anything. He texts them to her, but when she doesn’t get them, he looks at the message and realizes he’d accidentally sent the message to Jun-su.
Gong Shim grabs his phone, panicking as she sees that Jun-su not only received the picture, but has already replied with a whole lot of “hahahas.” Dan-tae tries to quietly sneak away, but Gong Shim grabs his hair yet, screaming that they can just die together.
At the office, Gong Shim has to report that she has nothing to report on Dan-tae. Jun-su’s dad gives her two days to find out everything about him, or else he’ll start to reevaluate her position.
At lunchtime Gong Shim heads out to register for the woodworking class when Gong Mi calls her, practically ordering Gong Shim to go home and pick up her seal stamp and bring it to Gong Mi’s office. She lies that she’s in a meeting with a client and needs it, then hangs up on her sister’s protests.
Gong Shim rushes home to look for her sister’s stamp, only to get another call from Gong Mi that she just “found” her stamp in her office. Frustrated, Gong Shim rushes over to the class to register, but the teacher informs her that somebody claimed the last spot.
Dan-tae and Jun-su share a lunch break together and Dan-tae asks if Jun-su would consider deleting the picture he sent him of Gong Shim. Jun-su seems more curious about how she ended up in the trash in the first place, laughing that it must have been fun.
Jun-su mentions that he’ll be meeting Gong Shim later, which gets Dan-tae’s attention. Jun-su tells him about the furniture class, and while Dan-tae smiles back, it seems rather forced.
That evening at the workshop, Jun-su is expecting Gong Shim to take the empty work bench, only to have the teacher introduce a different new student: Gong Mi.
Gong Shim heads to Dan-tae’s law office, which is empty, and jumps when an office window is suddenly shattered by a rock. The door bursts open, and a bunch of gangsters barge into the office.
The men start trashing the place while the leader demands Gong Shim tell him where Dan-tae is. In spite of her fear, Gong Shim manages to stand up and whimper that he shouldn’t be doing this.
The thug raises a pipe to hit her, but his arm is grabbed from behind by Dan-tae, who calmly tells him to apologize for the vandalism, and for scaring Gong Shim. When the man refuses, Dan-tae asks his trademark question: “Do you want to go by the law or by fist?”
The group relocates to the alley, and Gong Shim watches in horror as Dan-tae faces the five men by himself. She needn’t worry, though, as Dan-tae’s super senses kick in and he easily dodges hits and deals blows.
After dispatching the gangsters, Dan-tae bounds up to Gong Shim, asking if she’s okay and giving her a gentle smile. The cops arrive to take care of the gangsters, and Dan-tae heads off to take care of matters at the station.
While Gong Shim helps the office manager (and Dan-tae’s aunt) clean up the mess, Aunt reveals that Dan-tae is actually an ex-convict. When he was in high school, Dan-tae got into a fight with some other kids, one of whom was a chairman’s son. He ended up getting unfairly sent to jail because he didn’t have enough money or power to pay for a good lawyer.
Gong Shim guesses that he became a lawyer to help those like himself. The manager says that more than that—he does it out of guilt because his mother passed away while he was in jail. Dan-tae is trying to ease the guilt of not being with her by helping others in need.
Dan-tae returns from the station just as Gong Shim and the office manager are leaving. The manager tells Dan-tae to take Gong Shim home since they live in the same house.
On the walk home, Dan-tae notices that Gong-shim has a cut on her wrist and goes into angry mother hen mode, yelling at her for not telling him she was hurt. He grabs her hand and starts pulling her along, presumably to treat the cut.
Gong Shim digs her feet in, dragging him back toward her. She surprises him by reaching up with both hands to hold his face, tilting his head this way and that. She moves his bangs aside to reveal a tiny scratch on his forehead.
She starts freaking out that he’s bleeding… until she realizes how close they. Flustered, she drops her hands and hurriedly steps back. The two stare at each other, neither sure what just happened.
Oooh, I love it! I was wondering when the show was gonna step it up between our two leads and this week it delivered.
The chemistry between Namgoong and Minah is just incredible. Whether it’s playful banter, hair-pulling, or piggybacking, these two are delivering some major feels all around. I’ll admit I was hesitant to root for their characters as I thought the interactions between Gong Shim and Jun-su was pure puppy-love magic, but this episode turned it around completely. Don’t get me wrong, Jun-su is cute, and he and Gong Shim definitely have a spark of their own that makes you feel warm and cuddly, but I think Dan-tae really GETS her. He sees right through the façade she puts on, to the girl underneath who just wants to be seen, only to be ignored again and again.
I really like how Dan-tae seems to know intuitively what Gong Shim needs, like getting the Boss’s Wife to apologize to her. I was so impressed with how he carefully and diligently uncovered the whole situation and then found a solution that suited everyone, Gong Shim especially. And then again this week, Gong Shim hadn’t called him out to talk about her problems at work, but that turned out to be exactly what she needed.
The hide-and-seek game, which started out so light and fluffy, turned into a really powerful scene when Dan-tae found Gong Shim hiding in the trash. His stunned and almost — but not quite — pitying expression just about killed me. He couldn’t believe that Gong Shim was so okay with hiding in the trash, like she’d completely accepted the idea that she belonged in the garbage. It’s amazing because I don’t think she even realizes that she has such a low opinion of herself, but Dan-tae does. And his face when he finds her in the trash yet again? Ah, the feels.
I’m going to have to try really hard to make sure this doesn’t devolve into a rant, but I can’t talk about this episode without bringing up Gong Mi’s character.
To be honest, I was making up excuses for Gong Mi during the first two episodes. I felt bad for what she went through at work, and I cut her some slack given that she was the breadwinner for the entire family. Plus, her parents haven’t helped much in their unanimous support of their eldest daughter over their youngest. But after this episode, I have officially cut her loose. I was able to explain away everything except her pursuit of Jun-su.
I really don’t understand it: She’s had a single glimpse of the guy and that’s enough for her to sabotage her sister’s relationship to steal him for herself. Because that is exactly what this is. For her to try and take that away after everything she’s already taken from Gong Shim… it just isn’t human. How she could care so little for her own sister’s happiness is beyond me. It’s like she didn’t even consider it. Gong Mi knows she’s taking advantage of her sister, but either she just doesn’t care, or she’s so used to pushing Gong Shim aside that it’s now expected. She saw what she wanted and assumed that, because her sister doesn’t matter, she could go ahead and take it.
Okay, so I ranted a little bit.
It may be only Episode 3, but already this show has me completely invested in its characters, and that would not be possible without the outstanding cast. I have to officially take back every hesitant thought I had about Namgoong playing a romantic lead. In my defense, his performances in past shows always seemed like he never really got the whole facial emoting thing down, but obviously he’s figured it out since. Maybe he just had to play a couple villains before he could be the hero.
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 2
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 1
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- Casting complete for cheery weekend romance Beast’s Beauty
- Beast’s Beauty: Baek Jin-hee out, Girl’s Day’s Minah in?
- Ha Suk-jin in contention to join Beast’s Beauty
- Namgoong Min lands lead role in Beast’s Beauty for SBS
- Girl Who Sees Smells team heads to SBS weekends with new idol drama