Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 11
It takes courage to open up your heart to someone, and it takes strength to be vulnerable, even when you think the feelings are mutual. You’re putting yourself on the line, laying yourself bare before the person you care about, not knowing how he/she will take your words. And it’s a frightening moment, because you never know if the outcome will resemble a romantic dream or a harsh reality check. An open heart risks getting broken, but love wouldn’t be love if it came with assurances.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
Gong Shim lovingly prepares an extensive breakfast spread and waits for the rice to finish cooking. She then carries the food up to the rooftop and calls out to Dan-tae. He opens the door and is pleasantly surprised by the meal delivery.
She blissfully watches as he digs in, and when he’s all finished, she replies that she’d be willing to indulge him like this for 100 more years. Dan-tae’s shocked by her admission, and Gong Shim begins to fan herself, feeling flushed.
He urges her to remove her wig when she’s with him, but she’s reluctant so he tugs it off himself. She feels exposed and embarrassed, revealing her bald spot to him, but she realizes that it’s disappeared! They celebrate her hair growth and jump around holding hands until she blurts out, “I love you.” Dan-tae slowly moves in for a kiss. Okay, she must be dreaming.
‘Twas just a dream. Gong Shim’s startled awake by her talking rice cooker, and her puckered lips are left hanging. She brings a tray of food up to Dan-tae’s place, for real this time, but he’s not there.
Dan-tae examines the Star Group pin he found in his father’s hand and inserts it in an envelope with a note. He hands it off to a former client and instructs him to deliver it to Star Group in an hour. Such were the events of the morning, leading up to the chairwoman, president, and Uncle witnessing Dan-tae driving around the floor-polishing machine down below.
Chairwoman Grandma receives the envelope (without sender) containing the executive pin and is dismayed that someone lost it; the note reads that it was found at the arboretum. She glances at the lapels of president and Uncle and finds both of them without it.
Uncle pales, silently realizing it belongs to him. She chides them for their negligence and orders Dan-tae to figure out who it belongs to.
Dan-tae surveys the occupants of the men’s room and after getting all up in their business and taking in the stink, he checks off their names in his notebook since they all wore the pin. He sinisterly warns them all not to lend their pins to other people, or else, but slaps on a mischievous grin to show that he was just messing with them.
President Seok’s up next for inspection, and Dan-tae find that he’s not wearing it. President Seok is surprised to see it missing, and maintains that he had it on earlier in the day when he was in meetings.
He decides to search for his pin at the kiddie playground where he was on a swing earlier and at the dog cafe where he had some puppy fun. Haha, some “meetings” alright! He’s thrilled to find his pin in a dog bowl at the cafe, and thanks Judy, the golden retriever for her help.
Jun-su’s next on Dan-tae’s checklist, but he’s not in his office. Dan-tae proceeds to Uncle next, and takes note of the pin on his lapel. Uncle asks Dan-tae about his progress, and Dan-tae reports that he only needs to check on two more people: Jun-su and an executive, who’s in China for business.
A flashback reveals Uncle asking that executive to borrow his pin just before he left for his trip. Of course. The executive returns tomorrow, and Uncle is worried about sustaining this lie.
On her way home, Gong Shim is intrigued by an ad for an octopus character drawing contest. That evening, her parents leave to attend a funeral and are set to return the next day, which leaves Gong Shim home alone. She’s working on her octopus drawing when the lights start to flicker before going out.
Utterly spooked, she wades through the dark and bumps into furniture, attempting to locate the fuse box with only the light from her cell phone. Dan-tae returns from work and overhears frantic wailing from Gong Shim’s abode. He pounds on her door, sensing she may be in danger, and Gong Shim lets him in.
She asks if he knows how to get the power back on, but he replies that electricity has nothing to do with his liberal arts major, heh. He tries to find the fuse box, but doesn’t get very far because he screams the minute he sees Gong Shim’s ghostly visage lit by her cell phone. They both holler and startle each other, heh.
Dan-tae accidently bumps into her, but catches catches her from falling. They share a brief, intimate moment before the bickering voices of Gong Shim’s parents shatter it. She quickly hides Dan-tae in a room, just before her parents enter. Dad flips the power back on. Turns out they returned early because there was no funeral to speak of; the 97-year-old man in question has yet to die.
Dan-tae’s stuck hiding in Gong Shim’s room, and he can’t leave until her parents are asleep. He’s incredulous that he’s hiding when he’s done nothing wrong, but Gong Shim says her parents might ask them what they were doing in the dark.
She assures him that they’ll turn in soon, but he detects the aroma of pork wafting through the room and hunger strikes. Her parents are grilling pork belly and enjoying their leisurely, late dinner. The smell of grilled meat and sounds of her parents savoring it are killing poor, trapped Dan-tae.
Gong Shim brings him a lettuce wrap after explaining to her parents that she wanted to eat in private. Dan-tae’s grateful for the bite, but suggests that she bring him two using her two hands. He also adds that she should double the lettuce, be generous with the meat, and throw in the works, raw garlic and bean paste, haha.
She prepares the lettuce wraps per his instructions, and her parents are surprised that she’s adding raw garlic since she normally doesn’t eat it. She explains that she’s been feeling lethargic lately hence the inclusion of garlic and quickly gets up with two lettuce wraps in each hand to “eat in private” again.
Her parents ask her to invite Dan-tae over, not knowing he’s present, and Gong Shim says he’s busy. Dan-tae overhears this and basically feels like the world is ending because the hunger. Is. Real. Gong Shim arrives with the food, but Dan-tae’s had enough. He wants to be liberated and eat out in the open. He’ll explain everything to her parents, but Gong Shim says it’s too late for that.
Dan-tae tries to get past Gong Shim and leave, but her mother opens the door looking for her daughter. Luckily, the two slide behind the door just in time, and Dad receives word that the 97-year-old man just passed away. This distracts Mom, and Gong Shim and Dan-tae are back in the clear.
She tells Dan-tae to sit tight for just a bit longer. Her constant back-and-forth will only get them caught. Dan-tae looks through Gong Shim’s drawings and is pleased to see that they’re all of him, but the last one brings him to a halt. She wrote next to it, “Should I tell him I like him?”
He puts away the drawings when Gong Shim returns. She apologizes and states that he can finally leave since they’re asleep now in order to catch an early train for tomorrow’s funeral.
Back on the rooftop, Dan-tae reflects on the moment he told Gong Shim to leave for Jeju. She had angrily shoved him for flip-flopping and not stopping her from leaving. Meanwhile, in her bedroom, Gong Shim smiles at the memory of Dan-tae holding her close in the dark.
The next day, Gong Shim waits outside the convenience store to catch Dan-tae on his way to work. Dan-tae sees this from above, but he doesn’t look all that pleased. She cheerfully tags along as he walks to work and asks him a bunch of questions. But he responds with curt, one-word answers.
Dan-tae reports his findings to the chairwoman, president and Uncle. Jun-su and the executive who flew to China are still unaccounted for. Uncle remains uneasy, knowing the executive returns from his trip today. Jun-su’s back, and Mom and Uncle stop by.
Uncle grins when he notices Jun-su’s pin on his jacket. Uh oh. Mom was hoping Jun-su could join her lunch with Gong Mi, but he has to leave for a seminar, so it’ll just be the two ladies lunching. Jun-su heads to his car and is about to step inside when he receives a call from Uncle. UGH NO. Uncle “can’t find a document” so Jun-su leaves to go find it for him.
Dan-tae examines the profile of the executive who hasn’t been accounted for, but doesn’t find any link to his father. He confronts the executive about it, who divulges that Uncle had asked to borrow his pin.
In uncanny timing, Uncle appears. Dan-tae asks if the pin on his lapel belongs to the executive, and Uncle takes out another pin from his pocket and returns it to the executive. He explains that he had left his pin at home one day, and needed to borrow someone else’s.
A flashback reveals that Uncle swiped his nephew’s jacket and bag from the car while Jun-su was tending to his request. He also disabled the CCTVs in order to steal without getting caught. On the way to the seminar, Jun-su stops for coffee, and it’s only then that he realizes his bag and jacket are missing from the backseat. But he reckons it was stolen while he grabbed a drink because the windows were left open.
Gong Shim finishes up her octopus drawing and tucks it into a large envelope. She beams, thinking of Dan-tae’s encouragement to continue her art. A call from Jun-su comes in, and she’s alarmed to hear that his belongings were stolen.
She agrees to meet and help him out. Jun-su apologizes to her for the short notice, but admits that he’s been trying to become independent from Star Group; he doesn’t like hearing how privileged he is. He’s been preparing his own business in secret, which is why he couldn’t ask his colleagues for help.
He’s due to present his proposal with potential investors, but lost all his documents when his bag was filched. His employees think he’s at a hotel for a seminar, but that was just a front. Gong Shim understands his predicament and gets right to work.
The two work together to prepare and assemble his presentation deck. He thanks her for saving him in a bind, and he rushes out for his presentation. Gong Shim’s all tuckered out, but suddenly remembers that she has to submit her octopus drawing. She dashes to the restaurant and submits her drawing, but is surprised to learn that 100 other creatives applied.
Jun-su’s mom remarks to Gong Mi that every meal and shopping trip she’s had with her has been such a pleasure. As they’re heading out in Jun-su’s mom’s car, a man bumps into the vehicle and cries out in pain, clutching his arm. Jun-su’s mom panics as the man complains of various ailments, but Gong Mi senses something amiss.
She stops Jun-su’s mom from handing money over and declares that the car’s blackbox captured him intentionally jumping in front of a slow-moving vehicle. He threatens to call the authorities, but Gong Mi hands him her business card and details his transgression, along with the penalties he’ll face if convicted. Suddenly, the man feels fine and flees.
Jun-su’s mom and her mother-in-law are in love with Gong Mi after she skillfully handled that sticky situation. They ask if she has a boyfriend, and upon hearing that she’s single, Jun-su’s mom suggests dating her son. Gong Mi modestly replies that it’s not really up to her to decide, which Jun-su’s mom correctly interprets as a “yes” so long as Jun-su’s also interested.
Jun-su calls Gong Shim and shares that the investors decided to fund his idea. He says it’s all thanks to her help, and expresses that he’d like to help her find a full-time job. But she declines his offer and says his support is more than enough. She wants to acquire a job on her own like Jun-su just did.
Dan-tae and his aunt stand outside the hospital room where his father still remains unconscious. Dan-tae wonders if he’ll ever wake up, and laments that he has so much he needs to discuss with him.
Dan-tae enters the convenience store, and Gu-nam says he looks fatigued. Dan-tae answers that he can think of one thing that can make him feel better, but Gu-nam apologetically admits that he’s all out of his beloved lunch sets. Dan-tae trudges up the steps empty handed and finds Gong Shim waiting for him on the rooftop with two sets of his favorite lunch laid out on the table.
She asks him when he started liking these and also what other things he has an affinity for. He rattles off a bunch of his favorite foods, but stops abruptly. He wonders why she’s being so inquisitive, and she replies that she’s just curious.
She notices he’s been wearing white shirts a lot recently and wonders if it’s to impress girls. He nixes her suspicion, which causes her to smile. She then launches into a series of questions about his family, asking who he resembles, and states that his mother must be beautiful. This catches him off guard and prompts him to turn in early, cutting their diner short.
Dan-tae thinks back to Gong Shim’s drawing, her question of whether or not he’s more like his mother or father, and other painful memories of his false identity. They seem to cause him much grief, but he’s unable to do anything about it.
The next day, Dan-tae updates the chairwoman. None of the executives have ordered a new badge, and the only one unaccounted for is Jun-su because he was at a seminar. Jun-su arrives and explains that he lost it on his way to yesterday’s seminar at a hotel. He brought the jacket that had the pin on it, but it was stolen along with his bag, which is how his pin went missing.
Dan-tae mulls over Jun-su’s statement and wonders if someone had followed him to steal his bag. He calls up the hotel at which Jun-su had purportedly attended a seminar, but the concierge states that there wasn’t a Star Group seminar yesterday, nor did a man named Jun-su book a room there. Dan-tae wonders what’s going on. Oy.
A crowd is gathered outside the octopus restaurant for contest results, and Gong Shim pushes through to the front with her eyes covered. She peeks through her fingers and is amazed to discover that she won first place! She’s positively ecstatic, and the crowd applauds her achievement.
Dan-tae vitis Jun-su at the office and asks about the seminar. He inquires as to how it could’ve gone well without all his materials, and Jun-su’s noticeably vague and a little elusive with his answers and demeanor. Jun-su cuts the questioning short, claiming he’s busy, and Dan-tae suggests they grab a beer after work tonight.
Dan-tae’s left with numerous unanswered questions. He wonders why Jun-su is lying to him, and whether or not he lied about losing his pin, too, but a call from Gong Shim interrupts his train of thought.
She excitedly asks when he’ll be coming home tonight. Dan-tae tells her he’s busy tonight, but she urges him to call even if he gets home late. She wants to show him her contest win and is dejected to hear he’s unavailable, and wonders why he’s so down these days.
That night, she hears his footsteps and rushes to see him, first-place banner in hand. She proudly holds it up for him, and he’s genuinely impressed and happy for her. He gives her two big thumbs up.
Her eyes brim with tears, and she reveals that she never won first place for anything she’s done on her own. She discloses that she’s really happy, but she starts to cry. She thanks Dan-tae for giving her the strength and courage to do it, and insists that he’s always been that person giving her strength.
Cut to Jun-su, who’s arrived and is witnessing all this from afar, looking absolutely crushed. Meanwhile, Gong Shim continues expressing her gratitude to Dan-tae.
Gong Shim: “You’re the one who called me ‘pretty,’ the one who became my first fan after seeing my drawing and rooted for me. Whenever I was having a hard time, you’re the one who stood by my side and watched over me. It was always you, Dan-tae… I want to be that kind of person for you, too.”
Dan-tae struggles to come up with an appropriate response, and Gong Shim adds more: “Remember last time you said you liked being able to see me, whenever, wherever you want? It’s like that for me, too. I keep thinking of you… I like you, Ahn Dan-tae.”
There’s a long beat of silence before Dan-tae exhales and apologizes: “I can’t accept your heart, Gong Shim. So please put away those feelings. I’m really sorry.” Gong Shim doesn’t understand and asks what he meant by his earnest statements from last time.
Dan-tae answers that last time, the situation was different. Gong Shim is utterly devastated and walks away, tears silently trickling down her face. Dan-tae appears remorseful and confused, and Jun-su calls out to him as they stand face to face.
Oof. That was one heartbreaking rejection. Gong Shim drew from the strength Dan-tae gave her to continue her artistic passion and realize her potential, and she won — literally and figuratively! But the inner strength she summoned to pour out her heart for him resulted in a crushing loss. And it hurt to see that because her confession was perfect in how honest and sincere it was. It truly came from the heart. She was being brave, unmistakably clear in how she felt, and yet Dan-tae couldn’t accept her feelings and asked her to do away with them.
I don’t think Dan-tae is an outright asshole for rejecting her the way he did, but I think it came across that way. He struggled to find the right words to respond to her confession, and he obviously couldn’t bring himself to explain that the situation now (which wasn’t the case then) is such that the rug had been pulled out from under him, and his entire existence has turned into a giant question mark. How could he possibly explain to her that he’s not who he thought he was and is not in the right mindset because of it, in that tender moment? Perhaps he could’ve, and Gong Shim wouldn’t have been so crushed, but it’s hard to conceive of an articulate and well-meaning response when he’s on the spot like that.
Dan-tae distinctly regrets the way he responded, judging from his “what-have-I-done” body language and facial expression. He was honest, too, but didn’t offer much reasoning or explanation, so in Gong Shim’s eyes, merely saying that the situation has changed could be interpreted as, “I changed my mind. I no longer feel the way I did before,” which undoubtedly is painful to hear. Dan-tae’s been in an understandably weird funk following the birth secret revelation, and I feel for him, but it’s a pity that he doesn’t see the perfect confidant/friend/partner-in-crime in front of him: Gong Shim. She’s opened up to him before, and that’s how they grew close. He needs to realize that his relationship with her is symbiotic. He can open up to her, too, and the both of them will be better for it.
Gong Shim senses his drop in spirit lately, but whenever she asks if he’s okay, he merely ascribes it to fatigue. She’s given him so many chances to vent — her crush on him is making her more curious! — but he, for one reason or another, has decided to carry this huge burden on his own and it’s clearly taking a toll on his mental well-being. I hope this isn’t the start of noble idiocy because Dan-tae has been anything but an idiot so far. He’s smart, reasonable, and doesn’t jump to conclusions. All the times he’s acted like an idiot were to throw people off or make Gong Shim laugh. It was always intentional idiocy, and I have faith that he has it within himself to open up to Gong Shim. If her cute doodles were able to lift his mood, imagine what she could do in person, as a trustworthy friend who’s more than capable of being there for Dan-tae when he needs a shoulder to cry on. Gong Shim specifically said that she wanted to be this kind of person for him. Now it’s up to him to accept the help he’s been offered. But… he broke her heart the minute she opened it up for him. He’ll need to make it up to her with a heaping dose of apology and honesty.
Gong Shim wasn’t the only one with her heart broken. Poor Jun-su’s got shattered, too. If I were to guess, I’d wager he didn’t stay on the rooftop long enough to hear Dan-tae’s rejection, but hearing Gong Shim’s feelings for Dan-tae was more than enough to drive the stake through his heart. He’s been nothing but sweet to Gong Shim, but it’s hard to beat the guy who lives directly above her and has seen every side to her. Jun-su’s one-sided crush on Gong Shim was bearable probably because he believed he still had a chance with her, after she learned to love herself. Moreover, he didn’t know of another man who was after her heart. But now that Dan-tae’s entered the picture/triangle, everything changes. Dan-tae is his close friend, and pretty soon, he’s going to find out that he’s Jun-pyo. I sense a major doozy, and I’m itching to find out what Jun-su says to Dan-tae in his confrontation.
The end of this episode was an unhappy one, but there were some really great moments of levity throughout. Gong Shim’s first-place win for drawing an adorable octopus, Dan-tae and Gong Shim freaking out in the dark (I may or may not have replayed the scene just to see Namgoong Min’s petrified face one more time), Dan-tae cooped up in Gong Shim’s room while a feast is taking place without him outside, President Seok’s amazing “meetings,” and that fantasy dream sequence opening. All that cute from the beginning definitely heightened the impact of the emotional ending, and I had no idea Gong Shim was going to confess to him after showing him her contest win.
Butterfly Tattoo Uncle is a tricky, tricky man. The timing of the Star Group pin mystery and Jun-su’s independent endeavors is not a good combination, and I have a feeling Uncle has a lot more duplicity up his sleeve, now that he’s got Jun-su’s bag full of secret documents. It makes sense for Dan-tae to suspect Jun-su now, even if his inkling is based on misunderstanding and false information. I wonder if this marks a turning point/end to their friendship, and if that’s the case I am so bummed. No more bromance? No more trio fun? That’s no fun.
Fun time may be over for now, but Show, let’s try and rekindle the bromance and the romance, shall we? Two bursting lettuce wraps in exchange for the three of them to remain best of friends. Pretty please, with a garlic clove on top?
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 10
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 9
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 8
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 7
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 6
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 5
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 4
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 3
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 2
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 1