Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 14
Gong Shim is finally breaking down some walls as Dan-tae loses the will to keep her at a distance. You can only fight what the heart wants for so long, and some things are worth waiting for, even if you’re not sure why you’re waiting.
Meanwhile, our two heroes are both getting closer and closer to the truths they’ve been searching for, but they’ll have to decide what to do with the secrets they uncover: expose them, or bury them even deeper.
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Gong Shim and Dan-tae ride back together after successfully completing the mural at the sashimi restaurant. Gong Shim can’t contain her smiles as she remembers waking up that morning to Dan-tae asleep in the corner of the room. She had managed to get him tucked into bed and spent a moment gazing down at him. She’d even held his hand briefly while he slept, though she’d quickly skedaddled when he stirred from her touch.
Dan-tae also thinks back on that morning, though from his point of view we see that he was actually awake when Gong Shim touched his hand. After she had left he’d smiled and clenched the hand she held.
Dan-tae and Gong Shim arrive back home and spend a moment teasing one another about their singing and dancing performances at the restaurant. Their playful antics are seen by Jun-su, who’s up on the rooftop looking down at them.
Gong Shim and Dan-tae part ways and he heads up to find Jun-su waiting outside his room. The boys head in but Dan-tae, realizing he doesn’t have anything to drink, leaves Jun-su alone while he runs down to his favorite convenience store to get refreshments.
Jun-su uses his absence to look at Dan-tae’s family pictures, recalling the night when Dan-tae’s dad arrived on the rooftop. He wonders why, if that was really Dan-tae’s father, there is a circled date on the calendar marked “Father, Hyuan Memorial Park” (where cremated ashes are stored).
By the time Dan-tae returns, Jun-su is sitting innocently on the floor. Jun-su casually inquires after his family, asking why Dan-tae lives alone and where his family is now. Dan-tae smoothly lies that his father lives overseas in the Philippines. Jun-su doesn’t say anything but Dan-tae notices him glancing at the calendar where his father’s memorial day is marked.
Jun-su cautiously asks about Dan-tae’s search for Jun-pyo; he wants to know if Dan-tae still thinks that whoever took his bag is really his cousin’s kidnapper. When Dan-tae confirms it, Jun-su subtly suggests that whoever sent the spam message to the board members could be related to the case, since the message mentioned the same gardens where the badge was found.
Dan-tae is looking pretty uncomfortable with all the dots that Jun-su is connecting and carefully says that he wouldn’t know since he isn’t a board member and thus never received the message. Both boys seem to be walking on eggshells as they “agree” that the text message must have had nothing to do with the missing badge.
The tension is broken when Jun-su accidentally spills his drink. He retreats to the bathroom to clean up and spies Dan-tae’s toothbrush. Thinking that he could use it to run a DNA test on him, he reaches towards it, but jerks his hand back when Dan-tae opens the door to hand him a towel.
Butterfly Tattoo Uncle and Jun-su’s mom meet to discuss who sent the note to her at the meeting place the other day, warning her to leave. Uncle speculates that maybe the blackmailer sent it because they thought the police were coming, but Jun-su’s mom still believes that Dan-tae had something to do with it.
Neither of them can figure it out and the stress is starting to wear on Jun-su’s mom. She wants to get rid of Dan-tae, regardless of whether or not he knows anything as his presence makes her nervous. Uncle promises that he’ll deal with Dan-tae soon.
In his room that night, Jun-su thinks over how Dan-tae had said he never received the spam message, yet he’d still known to be at the Yangpyeong Arboretum that day.
Dan-tae emerges from his room the next morning to find Gong Shim out watering her plants. She hurries over to greet him, wincing in pain and admitting that she probably painted too long the other day and now her upper body is sore.
After she leaves, Dan-tae heads down to the convenience store. He tells faithful Gu-nam that soon, Gong Shim will come downstairs holding her neck and looking for medicated patches. Dan-tae hands over a brown bag and instructs Gun-nam to give it to her without telling her who it’s from, saying it’s medicine for muscle pain.
On his way to work Dan-tae sees a poster for an art exhibit showing the works of French cartoonist Jean-Jacques Sempé. Remembering all of Gong Shim’s drawings, Dan-tae murmurs that she would love to see this exhibit.
In the meantime, our little artist does in fact head down to the convenience store in search of pain relief for her sore muscles. Gu-nam mutters that Dan-tae was right and immediately pulls out the brown bag he left for Gong Shim.
Gong Shim happily spills the contents out onto the counter, but her face falls as she realizes that all of the products are already used. Hah! Dan-tae totally just gave her all the supplies he had in his own medicine cabinet, didn’t he.
Gu-nam stutters out that someone left the stuff behind, but it’s supposed to be really good regardless. Slightly trepidatious, Gong Shim applies one of the salves and exclaims happily that it’s already helping. She grins and scoops up the rest of the products as Gu-nam sighs in relief.
It looks like Dan-tae is not the only one of Gong Shim’s admirers that noticed the art exhibit flyers. Jun-su sits at his desk and takes out a pair of tickets to the show, smiling as he thinks back to when Gong Shim signed her octopus drawing for him.
Jun-su calls Gong Shim during dinner with the family that night. Gong Mi listens in on her sister’s conversation as Jun-su asks if he can meet Gong Shim later since he has something he wants to give her (the art exhibit tickets). Unfortunately, Gong Shim has her part time job to go to so they agree to meet another time.
Soon after hanging up, Gong Mi corners Gong Shim in her room to ask her about Jun-su and why she’s still meeting him even after leaving Star Group. She tries to pry further into why Jun-su wanted to meet up with her, but Gong Shim has to leave for work and doesn’t go into detail.
Stationed at his secretary’s desk, Dan-tae gets a call from Grandma. The two use their super-quiet spy voices as Grandma tells Dan-tae to come over to the house. She’s kept everything the same since he was a little boy and wants him to come by to see if he remembers anything from his childhood there.
Dan-tae goes over to the house and, while looking around the yard, has a flashback from when he was boy. He remembers playing with a bunch of balloons and his mother lovingly picking him up, the two of them laughing together as the balloons were released into the sky.
The memory is so real that Dan-tae reflexively reaches out to try and catch the balloons when they float away, tears streaming down his face.
Dan-tae and Grandma have tea together and Dan-tae tells her about his memory, describing it in detail and eliciting happy tears from Grandma. She’s thankful that he was able to remember his mother’s smiling face and encourages him that soon he’ll remember the day he was kidnapped, too.
On his way out, Dan-tae meets President Seok’s mother and slaps on a smile, charming her right away. Jun-su’s mother joins the pair, though she looks like she would vaporize Dan-tae with her eyes if she could. Dan-tae informs them both that he’s working on a project for Grandma, so he’ll be around the house a lot.
The next day Dan-tae grins as he looks at the ticket to the art exhibit that he bought for Gong Shim. He leaves them with Gu-nam with the same instructions as the medicine bag, saying she’ll know whom it’s from.
Imagining her reactions to receiving the tickets, Dan-tae has an awesomely ridiculous day dream where a girly and aeygo-spouting version of Gong Shim thanks the too-cool-for-school Dan-tae for her gift. Not sure if I should laugh or face palm. Maybe a bit of both.
When Gong Shim returns from the market, Gu-nam gives her the tickets, saying that “someone” dropped them off. Gong Shim is thrilled and starts to ask who left them, then remembers how Jun-su had wanted to give her something the other night and assumes these were his doing.
Jun-su is busy doing some more
brooding thinking about when his bag went missing and how Uncle may have taken it.
Speaking of, Uncle takes Jun-su’s bag out of its hiding spot in his office. He riffles through it, finding Jun-su’s presentation for his new business idea, and scoffs that there’s more to Jun-su than he lets on.
A knock on the door has Uncle frantically shoving the bag into his trash can. He covers it with a newspaper just as Presidents Seok comes in to remind Uncle of their lunch plans. The two depart, leaving Jun-su’s bag in the garbage.
Jun-su runs into his father and uncle on their way to lunch. He declines their invitation to join them and watches as they leave, the happy smile dropping from his face. He goes straight to Uncle’s office and uses the opportunity to look for his lost bag. He pokes around but comes up empty-handed, not knowing the bag is in the trash can mere inches from his feet.
Dan-tae is brushing his teeth in the office bathroom when Jun-su comes in. He remarks that Jun-su doesn’t look well, but Jun-su counters that he’s fine, staring at Dan-tae’s toothbrush. The two walk back to Dan-tea’s desk together, and while Dan-tae jokes with him, Jun-su notes which drawer Dan-tae puts his toothbrush in.
Dan-tae is summoned by his friends on the cleaning staff. They’re all in a panic because one of them emptied Uncle’s trash can and didn’t notice Jun-su’s bag was in it until later; now they worry that the nice new bag was thrown away accidentally.
The janitors are nervous about confronting Uncle to return it, so they ask Dan-tae if he would mind. With a snap and a smile, he agrees.
Dan-tae takes Jun-su’s bag over to Uncle’s office, but on his way there he runs into non-other than Jun-su, who blanches to see his missing bag dangling from Dan-tae’s fingertips.
Dan-tae points out the bag, marveling how nice and new it is. Aiming for nonchalant, Jun-su agrees, all the while wondering if Dan-tae knows the truth and is just playing with him. Jun-su’s eyes widen when Dan-tae reveals that the bag was found in Uncle’s trash can and that he’s returning it.
Seeing the opportunity, Jun-su volunteers to return the bag for Dan-tae. Dan-tae agrees and hands the bag back to its original owner.
Uncle returns from lunch and panics when he finds the bag missing. He calls the building management, but just as he’s asking who cleaned his room, Jun-su arrives, missing bag in hand and a dark look on his face.
Jun-su immediately cuts through Uncle’s excuses by revealing that he was the one who sent the note to his mother at the arboretum, warning her to flee. He cautions Uncle that if he’d been a second later, then she would have been spotted by Dan-tae.
Jun-su lays it out for Uncle, how Dan-tae had been hired by Grandma to find Jun-pyo and that if Uncle and Jun-su’s mother had been caught at the garden, they’d have been labeled as kidnappers. Uncle is still reeling when Jun-su asks if he was in fact responsible for Jun-pyo’s kidnapping, threatening to go to the police if he doesn’t get an honest answer. After a moment, Uncle breathes, “Yes, you’re right.”
Uncle tells Jun-su the whole story: He fell into debt 26 years ago, and he never meant to hurt Jun-pyo. Uncle cries that he truly he truly meant to give him back safely after the family sent money, but the friend whom he entrusted with Jun-pyo (Dan-tae’s father) lost the boy.
Jun-su asks if his mother knew about everything, but Uncle says she only saw him take Jun-pyo and kept silent. Jun-su wants to know if Uncle truly doesn’t know what happened to Jun-pyo. Uncle asserts that he’s been trying to find the child for 26 years but still he has no idea.
Looking like the world is falling down around him, Jun-su decides to keep the secret. He promises that while he will never forgive the two of them, he will protect his mother. He makes Uncle swear to never tell his mom that he knows the truth.
Dan-tae visits Grandma again and goes through a box of his old toys that Grandma saved over the years. Sadly, nothing sparks a memory, but neither gives up hope. Grandma expresses a desire to visit Dan-tae’s father in hospital, wanting to thank the man who raised her grandson so well.
On his way out, Dan-tae runs into President Seok’s mother, who’s mumbling about a speeding ticket that Jun-su got near the Yangpyeong Arboretum. The name piques Dan-tae’s interest.
Dan-tae makes friends with President Seok’s mother by coming upon her as she plays a game on her phone and offering to play the real thing with her. She runs off to get the cards, and while she’s gone, Dan-tae sneaks a looks at the speeding ticket on Jun-su’s desk, confirming that he was at the Yangpyeong arboretum at the time of the meeting.
That evening Gong Shim and Jun-su meet at a café. Jun-su is just about to show her the tickets for the art exhibit when Gong Shim pulls out the tickets Dan-tae gave her, thanking Jun-su for the gift. Jun-su’s face falls, but he doesn’t correct her assumption.
Jun-su and Gong Shim attend the art show together and Gong Shim’s honest excitement finally gets a real smile out of Jun-su.
Afterward, they drive by and spot Dan-tae drinking by himself on a bench. Gong Shim wants the three of them to go hang out, but Jun-su stops her, realizing that the jig is up. He admits that the tickets weren’t actually from him, showing her the ones that he’d bought but hadn’t had a chance to give to her.
Jun-su confesses that he had really wanted to take Gong Shim to the show, so he went along with the lie. He tells her the tickets were most likely from Dan-tae and asks Gong Shim for the chance to speak with him alone to apologize.
Gong Shim leaves and Jun-su walks determinedly over to Dan-tae. He states point-blank that he just took Gong Shim to the art show. He’s honest and straightforward as he admits to Dan-tae that he let Gong Shim believe that Dan-tae’s tickets were from him and he lied because he was mad that Dan-tae beat him to asking her out.
Jun-su adds that he knows he was wrong, but doesn’t regret his actions since he has strong feelings for Gong Shim. Dan-tae takes it all in, then quietly excuses himself and leaves.
Gong Shim is waiting for Dan-tae as he walks home. She informs him that she went to the exhibit with Jun-su, but when Dan-tae replies with a simple “I heard,” she loses her temper. She’s upset that he never asked her to go with him in person, which is what led to this misunderstanding.
Gong Shim guesses that it was Dan-tae who left the pain medicine for her at the convenience store and doesn’t understand it. If he doesn’t like her, then he should stop doing these things and let her get over her feelings for him, since it’s hard for her to go back and forth.
Dan-tae finally can’t take anymore. Reaching out, he grabs her wrist and pulls her in and hugs her close. In a soft voice he says,
Dan-tae: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for making it hard for you. For not being able to say anything, I’m sorry. For only being able to do this much for you, I’m sorry, Gong Shim-sshi.”
Gong Shim melts at his words — as do we all.
The next morning Gong Shim waits for Dan-tae on his way to work. She runs up to him and says she’ll ask him just three things: Does he have an incurable illness? Did his first love return and that’s why he can’t accept her feelings? Or did he take out a bad loan and now has to sell body parts to pay it back? PFFT. It looks like someone’s been watching too many dramas.
Dan-tae answers all of her questions with a confused “Huh?” until finally he asks what the heck she’s talking about. Satisfied that it’s none of those, Gong Shim says she’s decided that even though he can’t tell her the reason why he won’t accept her feelings, as long as it isn’t one of those three, then she doesn’t mind waiting for him to sort it out.
Dan-tae starts to smile as Gong Shim warns him that even though she’ll wait, it doesn’t mean he’s won her over; she’s been curbing her personality a bit since she wanted him to like her, but that doesn’t mean she’s easy! Dan-tae grins and says he understands.
Cool and confident, Gong Shim bids Dan-tae farewell… then trips over her own feet and goes sprawling into a face-plant.
Dan-tae rushes to help her, but a mortified Gong Shim squeaks in dismay and runs away. Dan-tae watches her flee, a big, carefree smile on his face.
Dan-tae goes to the arboretum to pick up his father’s personal effects. As he waits in the office, he shows the staff members a picture of Jun-su, asking if they’ve ever seen him before.
None of the staff recognize him, until another gardener arrives: the man whom Jun-su paid to give the note to his mother. The man recognizes Jun-su right away, detailing how the young man had asked him to deliver a note to a woman at the bench, giving him a large tip for it.
Dan-tae thanks the man, but his face hardens as he realizes that Jun-su has been lying this whole time.
Meanwhile, Jun-su returns to Dan-tae’s desk and retrieves the toothbrush that he’d watched him deposit there. He takes the toothbrush to a lab and submits it under a false name for them to test against his grandmother’s DNA (which they have on file from previous tests).
Returning to the company, Jun-su waits for the elevator, deep in thought. The doors ping open to reveal Dan-tae already in the elevator. Jun-su looks up and the two men lock eyes.
Come on guys, no more angry stares — let’s hug it out… please?
Alright, so Jun-su did the exact opposite of what we were all hoping for: choosing to bury the truth to protect his mother instead of revealing everything. It’s disappointing, BUT I haven’t given up on him yet! Looking at it from his perspective, all Jun-su knows is that his mother and uncle knew about/planned his cousin’s kidnapping. If we take Uncle’s sob story at face value, then he never meant Jun-pyo any harm, he was desperate, and he created an impossible situation that he could not have anticipated where the boy was lost. It’s wrong and unforgivable, but right now, the truth would do more harm than keeping the lie.
Keep in mind that Jun-su still has no idea that his uncle assaulted Dan-tae’s father, or that the man has a shady personality that he hasn’t yet revealed to his nephew. If he were to tell everyone the truth now, Grandma would probably chuck his whole family out of the house (if not into prison), they’d lose everything and still have no idea where the long lost cousin was anyways. And remember, Jun-su believes the Dan-tae could be Jun-pyo, so if he were to find the “missing” cousin, then maybe the family’s tragedy could have a happy ending.
However, this is only my glass-half-full theory since, as we’ve been seeing more and more, Jun-su has a darker side hidden very well behind a smiling mask. It is more than a little likely that Jun-su suspects Dan-tae of knowing his own identity and has been slowly concocting some kind of revenge plot against Jun-su’s family this entire time. In this case, Jun-su will actively work harder to hide the truth. He may even turn a blind eye to anything that gets revealed later, all in an attempt to protect his family — specifically his mother as he is a true mama’s boy (nothing wrong with that, except when the mama is an elitist chaebol with a tendency to manipulate her son).
I believe it all comes down to finding out Jun-su’s true motivation in uncovering Dan-tae’s identity. Is he looking to find his long lost cousin and re-unite his family, or trying to determine a threat to this new secret he’s decided to keep? Honestly, it could go either way. Hopefully the friendship between the two cousins isn’t completely lost and Dan-tae can remind him of the puppy-eyed, kind hearted chaebol we loved so well.
Although, much as I really want Dan-tae and Jun-su to bring back the bromance, I do appreciate seeing that even though the boys are searching for the same truths, they’re on very different paths. Dan-tae had been heading in a rather dark direction, similar to the way that Jun-su is currently, until he revealed his identity to Grandma. Now, with someone to confide in and depend on, we’ve seen a return of the goofy Dan-tae. He still has his serious moments, but he doesn’t seem so hopeless, trying to do everything alone. Not only that, but he’s allowing Gong Shim closer and the positive affect she has on him is obvious. Sometimes all it takes is one person in your corner and suddenly, the weight of the world doesn’t seem as heavy.
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 13
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 12
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 11
- 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