Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 5
Sometimes, life can give you troubles from carrying a drunken neighbor home. But that same neighbor may just be the person to help you blow your nose, keep your wig from sliding off, or tie some utilitarian pigtails. All that and more cute shenanigans hint at some growing feelings in our leads, and it’s as equally mortifying as it is endearing. In addition to the budding love/hate relationship, we get a look into Dan-tae’s past and his potential role in discovering his unknown secrets.
EPISODE 5 RECAP
Clutching her sore back, Gong Shim worries that the restaurant will be too extravagant for their wallets, but Dan-tae insists that he can afford it, jokingly adding that he’ll eat ramen for the next two months. Jun-su pulls up to the restaurant in his car, and Gong Mi’s eyes widen with recognition of the two waddling into the same restaurant.
Once seated, Gong Shim looks through the menu with disbelief. There’s no way they can afford a single dish, so she fakes an intensely painful stomach ache, and Dan-tae falls for the act. Gong Shim now clutching her back and her stomach, they walk out of the restaurant in a hurry. Gong Mi watches them leave with a sigh of relief and jumps in surprise when Jun-su arrives.
Gong Shim drops the act once they’re out of sight of the restaurant, and a worried Dan-tae looks betrayed. She explains that there was no way he could have afforded anything on the menu, and Dan-tae laughs. He grabs her arm and suggests they go back, but Gong Shim yells in pain again. Thinking she’s joking, Dan-tae teases her about crying wolf again, but this time it’s real. She reminds him why she’s in pain in the first place, and Dan-tae obediently assists her on their walk.
At the restaurant, Jun-su and Gong Mi make small talk about her appearance on TV. She introduces herself as a lawyer and gives him her business card. Jun-su doesn’t have any business cards and vaguely explains that he works at a nearby company while operating a restaurant. The manager of the restaurant comes by to greet him, but Jun-su slyly shoos him away.
Gong Mi emphasizes that they’ll split the bill and apologizes for her forward approach. She compares it to running the 100-meter dash and confesses that she thought a lot about him after he drove her home that rainy night. Jun-su partially reciprocates the feelings but compares his approach to a marathon. Gong Mi seems hopeful at his positive response, but Jun-su clarifies that he just wants to be friends. She accepts the rejection and agrees to their new friendship.
Dan-tae continues to copy Gong Shim’s granny pose, and Gong Shim yells at him for making her this way. She thinks back to piggybacking blackout drunk Dan-tae on her back and gets even angrier. Then, she clumsily trips on her own feet and begins to fall quickly to the ground, face first. Dan-tae uses his super-slow vision and super-fast reflexes to catch her just before she hits the ground. He proudly tells her that she would have broken her nose without him, and she sarcastically thanks him.
Gong Shim tries to buckle her shoes but cringes when she bends her back. Dan-tae bends down to buckle her shoes while she tries to remain disgruntled. When he comes back up, he tells her that jokbal (pig’s feet) is the best for her recovery, though he only says so because a jokbal house is right behind them. Gong Shim figures that Dan-tae would have been a fraud if he wasn’t a lawyer, and they head inside.
Dan-tae gives Gong Shim the royal treatment since he’s indebted to her, and Gong Shim seems a little uncomfortable to be treated so nicely. When Gong Shim chokes on water, Dan-tae replaces her sliding wig and runs to her side to help her blow her nose. As she digs in, Dan-tae also notices that her hair keeps getting into her food, so he gets rubber bands to tie her hair in pigtails.
He looks at her new pigtail look with endearment and comments that Jun-su would have liked to see this. Gong Shim turns serious and requests that he not reference Juns-su in the future. Dan-tae looks thrown off by her terse request but complies.
At home, Gong Mi thinks back to Jun-su’s rejection. Looks like she isn’t as cool with it as she let it seem.
The next morning, Gong Shim marches off to work and ignores Dan-tae’s distractions because she’s late. He follows her because he’s going to her company again for the car accident settlement and explains that he made a huuuuge scratch on the side of Grandma’s car. Gong Shim gasps at his accident and realizes that she’s been distracted again. She runs off in fear of being late.
While running to catch the bus, Gong Shim trips over her feet and falls flat on her face. The bus halts at the stop and the passengers laugh at the scene. Embarrassed by her fall, Gong Shim stays on the ground and urges the bus to go on. Then suddenly, she’s lifted off the ground, hands and feet in the air as if she’s superman. Unfortunately for her, Dan-tae has come to the rescue and lifts her up. He revels in the applause for a bit before pushing her onto the bus.
Gong Shim is absolutely mortified and runs off the bus as soon as he gets on. She catches a taxi, and Dan-tae is right behind her to board the taxi with her. He wonders why she ran off the bus, and he proudly reenacts his savior moment with his fingers. Gong Shim looks at him brimming with anger and explains that she ran off the bus because she was so embarrassed. Dan-tae looks sheepish realizing that it’s all his fault again.
At the company, Dan-tae tells Gong Shim to have a good day at work and admits that he’s here two hours early for his appointment. She shakes her head and advises him to come to his senses. Dan-tae imitates her nagging once she walks away and notices her cold greeting to Jun-su. He thinks back to her drunken pity party, when she told him about overhearing Jun-su admit to being nice to her out of pity.
Gong Mi finds herself being targeted for evidence fabrication, since her partner on a case, Choi sunbae, admits it to the boss. Choi sunbae insists that they fabricated the evidence together, and she hands the boss a letter of resignation. Gong Mi refuses to accept this, but her boss demands a letter of resignation from her as well. Never mind that, she’s fired.
Outside the office, Gong Mi asks Choi sunbae why she would sabotage their jobs. Choi sunbae reminds her that she would do anything to bring down Gong Mi (because Gong Mi took her case), even if was at her own expense. She has no worries, since she can establish her own private firm, but what about Gong Mi? Choi sunbae spitefully offers her a position at her new firm, if Gong Mi’s looking for a new job.
Jun-su invites Grandma to their restaurant opening, but she refuses to go to his restaurant. He insists that it’s for the company, since they’re using the company’s products in creating the menu, but she flatly rejects his invitation. She assumes that he’s just like the rest of his family, greedy for money. Jun-su looks hurt by Grandma’s harsh words but accepts the rejection stoically.
Dan-tae overhears the conversation as he’s waiting for his appointment with Grandma. So when Jun-su exits her office, they exchange an awkward silent greeting.
Dan-tae’s here to respond to Grandma’s request to search for Jun-pyo. He has to decline the case because he’s not well-equipped with the knowledge or experience for such a search. Grandma sighs that she’s done everything and tells us about the day Jun-pyo disappeared.
Flashback to Jun-su’s first birthday celebration. When Little Jun-pyo and his mother arrived at the venue, and they were lukewarmly greeted by Jun-su’s mom. Jun-pyo ran off to the balloon man while the mothers chatted. Jun-su’s mother expressed disappointment about Grandma and Grandpa’s absence at the celebration, but Jun-pyo’s mom consoled her to not take their actions to heart.
Jun-su’s mom returned to greet her guests, and Jun-pyo’s mom looked around for her son, only to realize that he had gone missing. At home, Grandma received a mysterious phone call asking for a hundred million Won to get her grandson back.
Frantically calling out for her little boy, Jun-pyo’s mom ran through the streets with Jun-su’s mom at her tail. She spotted Jun-pyo walking off with an unknown man and recklessly ran across the street towards him, blind to the truck that was quickly gaining on her. With the same slow-motion vision as Dan-tae, Jun-pyo watched his mother slowly get hit by the truck and hit the ground. Jun-su’s mom ran away while Jun-pyo fainted at this sight, and the kidnapper carried him away. Fatally injured, Jun-pyo’s mother struggled to say her son’s name and of the butterfly tattoo on the kidnapper’s arm before she fell unconscious.
Back in the present, Grandma pleads to Dan-tae that he reconsider. She’s had years of experience working with people and knows when she’s got a good person in her midst. She ask that he think it over again but keep her search for Jun-pyo a secret, and Dan-tae agrees to do so.
Dan-tae sneaks into Jun-su’s office and startles him before they sit down for conversation. Dan-tae asks if Gong Shim has been ignoring him lately and if Jun-su ever told Gong Shim that he treats her well because he feels bad for her. Jun-su claims that he never said that to her, but then he remembers his conversation with his mother and realizes that she must have overheard the conversation. They realize that it’s all a misunderstanding, and Jun-su wants to find Gong Shim quickly to clear it up.
On that note, Dan-tae has another question for Jun-su: What does he think of Gong Shim? Jun-su says that she’s cute and puts him in a good mood. Then he asks Dan-tae that same question, and Dan-tae says that she’s like a misbehaving younger sister to him. Let’s see about that, boys.
It’s Jun-su turn to speak, and they go to the rooftop to talk privately. Jun-su asks if Dan-tae overheard his conversation with Grandma earlier, and Dan-tae nods. Jun-su explains that he’s never had a good relationship with Grandma because she believes that he caused Jun-pyo’s disappearance. He hopes that Jun-pyo will come back alive for Grandma’s sake and for his sake, so that he can gain his hyung and be on better terms with Grandma. Dan-tae listens and puts a consoling hand on Jun-su’s shoulder.
Gong Shim heads to the attic to water her plants, and Dan-tae asks what she’s doing there at this hour, suddenly speaking in satoori. They have a full-on conversation, until Dan-tae turns around to reveal an earpiece — he was having a conversation with someone else on the phone. Gong Shim realizes that she’s been talking to herself this whole time, which gives Dan-tae another fit of laughter. He advises her: “Don’t believe everything you see, nor everything you hear.” He clarifies that people may take words to heart, when the person saying them may not fully mean it.
Gong Shim thinks that he’s speaking nonsense and adds another to the list of alternative jobs for him: Fraud and now Sham Creator. Though he may not make perfect sense, she admits that his piece of advice settles some of her inner conflicts. As she walks away, he smiles and says that he’s able to settle those conflicts because he knows them.
Second Grandma (Jun-su’s grandfather’s second wife) tells Jun-su’s mom to push Jun-su to get married, since a pretty wife and babies are obviously the way to hyungnim Grandma’s heart. Jun-su’s mom promises to try to convince her son, but she doesn’t look too convinced by this plan.
Gong Mi arrives on set for her TV appearance, but the PD tells her that she’s been replaced. They were given an order from the higher-ups, and they are continuing the show without her. Next, Gong Mi seeks out a sunbae to help her find a position at her firm. But the sunbae can’t help her because Gong Mi’s been blacklisted for her supposed sketchy business with evidence fabrication, and her pleas of innocence aren’t enough to get her hired anywhere.
Helplessly rejected, Gong Mi stands in front of the courthouse but quickly turns around at the sight of Dan-tae, who’s just won a case for his client. He suggests they go out for naengmyeon and spots Gong Mi as he walks by but doesn’t acknowledge her. Naengmyeon is more important.
Mother Gong heads to her Miss Korea alumnae group, ready to network to find Gong Mi a husband. She’s welcomed by all the ladies, but the attention quickly shifts when Jun-su’s mom enters the room. There still seems to be a rivalry between the Mother Gong, Miss Korea Jin, and Jun-su’s mom, Popularity Award. But it seems like Jun-su’s mom won their stare-down this time, as she tucks in the tag on Mother Gong’s dress.
These returnaholic ways are a regular habit of Mom’s — so regular that she’s been blacklisted at the department store. We see Dad struggling to persuade the department store worker to take the dress back, forcing himself to cry over his wife “sick at the hospital.” Mom signals Dad to cry louder, and he does as told.
At home, Mom and Dad cook to the recording of Gong Mi’s TV appearance, having memorized every part of the debate. They both know Gong Mi’s part by heart, and it’s so cute. Gong Mi comes out of her room and turns off the recording.
Mom vows to get back at Popularity Award with Gong Mi’s emerging fame as a lawyer, and that only makes Gong Mi more at loss. Mom asks Gong Mi to prepare a couple autographs for her friends who’ve been asking, but Gong Mi yells at her mom and walks away. Dad offers to forge the signatures for her, and Mom cutely accepts.
When Jun-su sees Gong Shim working at his father’s office, he makes it a priority to clear their misunderstanding. He clarifies that he was appeasing his mother by agreeing to everything she said, even when he didn’t believe everything she insisted upon. He apologizes, and Gong Shim smiles as if she wasn’t affected at all.
Back to their friendly relationship, Jun-su offers to help Gong Shim with her work. To appeal to President Seok, he gives her a couple pointers, and she wonders if he’s a real angel. Gong Shim delivers her report to President Seok with bigger font for his old tired eyes and prepares a drink to ease the heavy alcohol effects for his meeting later that night. He seems impressed and gives her two free movie tickets to go with her boyfrie– er, her friend.
Gong Shim thanks Jun-su for the tips and shows him her movie ticket reward. He envies her, since he’s been wanting to see the show, and Gong Shim jumps at the opportunity to watch a movie with him. She even thanks him for wanting to go with her. Aw.
As President Seok leaves the office, he tells Gong Shim to keep up her good work and gets a pat on the shoulder. Her proud moment is shattered by the sudden appearance of Dan-tae, who comments on her acknowledgement from the president. She shows off her free movie passes, and Dan-tae is mesmerized, like “oooh, I want.” He pouts that he’s busy, and Gong Shim says that fortunate, since she’s seeing the movie with Jun-su. He pinches her shirt with his fingers as if he’s pleading to watch this movie, but Gong Shim frees herself from his hold. Oh, is that jealousy I sense?
Dan-tae meets with Grandma and updates her on his progress in tracking down information on Jun-pyo. Grandma looks happy that Dan-tae is taking on this case and affirms that Jun-pyo is alive. She shows him the necklace she received in the mail and reveals that she was waiting for its sender that day in the park.
At home, Dan-tae calls his aunt to ask if Dad made it to the Philippines safely. Aunt lies that he did, though we see Dad eavesdropping on the phone call around the corner. When Aunt returns to the hospital room, she finds an empty bed with a note from Dad telling her that he’ll be heading to the Philippines and not to worry. Frazzled at the sudden disappearance, Aunt runs out of the room to look for him.
Gong Shim and Jun-su watch the movie, and Gong Shim is bursting with excitement. Meanwhile, Dan-tae paces on his attic, wondering about their movie date. He imagines a very intimate date, with the two feeding each other and cuddling. And so we find Dan-tae chocking a plant to death with his jealous face, and it’s just too funny.
Worried about the date, Dan-tae repeatedly calls Gong Shim, and she uncomfortably glances at her ringing phone, trying to ignore the calls. Eventually, Gong Shim steps out of the theater to take the call and asks Dan-tae why he called. He explains that he called because she didn’t pick up and then realizes that he actually had no reason to call. He quickly makes up a fake reason that he was having problems with the boiler, and Gong Shim seethes with anger that he would call her for a boiler problem on a hot day.
Gong Shim hangs up and returns to the theater, but Dan-tae calls again, this time on a video call. After some thought, Dan-tae came up with a — in his mind — a better reason to call. He asks Gong Shim to keep her phone held at the screen so that he can watch a free movie with them. HA. Gong Shim yells at him for wanting to get arrested and hangs up.
After the movie, Jun-su wants to treat Gong Shim to dinner, since she provided the movie tickets, but he’s tight on time for his restaurant opening meeting. He offers to buy her dumplings for her four-person family, and Gong Shim asks for a separate order, clearly for Dan-tae. She even pays for it herself, and Jun-su notices.
At the convenience store, Dan-tae makes a face on his triangular kimbap that looks exactly like Gong Shim. Gu-nam comments that it looks like Gong Shim, but Dan-tae denies it. He seems more irked by Gu-nam and shoos him away before returning to work on his Gong Shim kimbap.
Gong Shim enters the convenience store, and Dan-tae quickly covers up the kimbap. She offers him dumplings, since all he eats is convenience store food. When she tries to take away the kimbap, Dan-tae tries to stop her and stuffs it into his mouth. Gong Shim takes his actions as an impolite rejection of the dumplings she got him and storms off in rage.
Dan-tae trails after her, trying to explain with his full mouth, but Gong Shim doesn’t want to hear his excuses. On her way up the stairs, Gong Shim loses balance and starts to topple over until Dan-tae catches her and pushes her upright.
But in the act, Dan-tae gets pushed backwards and rolls down the stairs. He’s clearly hurt his arm but pretends that he’s okay when Gong Shim comes rushing to his side. He tells her to go home, and once she’s out of sight, he cringes in pain.
The next morning, Gong Shim waters her attic plants and sees the cast on Dan-tae’s arm. Shocked at his injury, Gong Shim approaches him and asks if cast was from his fall the night before. With a serious look on his face, Dan-tae says he has something to tell her.
Slowly, Dan-tae walks towards Gong Shim as she walks backwards until she hits the wall. He slams his cast against the wall and gets close. “From now on, I don’t want you to be close with any other man.” Then he leans in closer as Gong Shim squirms uncomfortably.
Awww yay, he confessed! It’s refreshing to have such a short period of denial and angst, but such things I wouldn’t expect from Dan-tae anyway. He’s just a little boy now and always, and all he wants to do is play with Gong Shim. Why deny himself the joys of being with his playmate? Gong Shim may be oblivious to her feelings now, but there’s got to be something if she’s answering Dan-tae’s calls (begrudgingly, but still) while on a date with another guy. And then paying for Dan-tae’s dumplings. Girl, you like him just as much.
This show is so precious and so full of inexplicably enjoyable moments. It can’t be the plot because that thing is dry as hell, but somehow our characters (not all, but most) are able to keep this show watchable. I can’t get enough of our eccentric couple, Gong Shim and Dan-tae, who are out of this world. They seem like animated characters, with their exaggerated facial expressions and simple minds. It’s extremely entertaining to watch them bounce off of each other, bickering over the pettiest things yet always approaching each other with the best intentions. Honestly, the humor can feel a bit lowbrow at times (Catch the falling girl! Catch the sliding wig!), but I find myself laughing all the same.
But as much as I adore Gong Shim and Dan-tae, they alone can’t cover up the flaws of this show. There is nothing really driving this show plot-wise other than the search for Jun-pyo, who is definitely Dan-tae. It’s only a matter of time and how Dan-tae finds out, but it’ll happen eventually. Dan-tae’s side of the story has more makjang tendencies, and I’m not interested in dipping my toes in that territory. In the meantime, we’ve got nothing substantial. So when we need conflict, the only thing Gong Shim can get mad at is the triangular kimbap to stir the pot and be a cute little plot device.
While I do appreciate aspects of Gong Mi’s character — her assertiveness in confessing her feelings to Jun-su, whether or not they were driving by her ambition; her responsibility and burden to be the breadwinner for her family — she definitely isn’t the most trustworthy of characters. The true content of her character is determined by how she accomplishes these things and her motives, which don’t seem to be innocent most of the time. I’m really ambivalent about Gong Mi’s character, and more disapproving when it comes to her actress. Seo Hyo-rim isn’t really doing it for me as Gong Mi. Maybe she’s doing a good job in making me detest the character, but I think she’s just kind of meh at acting. It could be relative, though. Her expressionless awkward acting and robotic delivery juxtaposed with Minah’s Gong Shim just doesn’t compare.
This show shines with Gong Shim as our central character. It’s gratifying to watch her insecurities slowly getting replaced with confidence, and thankfully, she’s got two fanboys by her side to help. It’ll be interesting to see how Gong Shim deals with the difference in who she’s set her eyes on and who she’s set her heart on. More accurately, it’ll be a beautifully awkward discovery by Gong Shim with plenty of tripping over her own feet and inciting the most animated jealousy. While alcohol has definitely been a great facilitator thus far, there’s nothing like jealousy to spark some feelings and action.
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 4
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 3
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 2
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 1
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