Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 7
Feelings grow for our lovable heroine, who’s just so lovable that she can make the rivalry between our two boys fizzle into bromance. To the rest of the world, Gong Shim may just seem like an ordinary girl without any notable skills, but she’s got plenty of charm to share and underappreciated skills up her sleeve. Hence, our boys are falling hard.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Dan-tae takes Gong Shim’s wrist and drags her to the stairwell with his serious face on. He starts with an apology for assuming that she lied to him. Gong Shim challenges him by asking why the “lie” angered him so much in the first place, and he explains that it bothered him.
Gong Shim tells him not to bother paying attention to her, but he insists that she not make him concerned. She pushes back and asks why, but Dan-tae doesn’t quite know either. He just asks her to do as told. Gong Shim seems taken aback by dead-serious Dan-tae, but she rebels and says that she won’t do as told.
Their stairwell conversation is interrupted by another conversation below by Gong Shim’s gossipy colleagues, who continue to hate on Gong Shim. Dan-tae forces Gong Shim out of the stairwell and heads downstairs to confront the rude ladies.
He introduces himself as Grandma’s personal lawyer and threatens to charge them for defamation. He gives them the option to sincerely apologize to Gong Shim in person, and they’re cowed into following his orders. From above, Gong Shim watches this interaction and smiles to herself. Adorable.
Jun-su’s mother arrives at the restaurant to thank her son’s lifesaver, and is impressed by Gong Mi’s looks and profession. Mom tells Jun-su that they should go to the company to meet with his father, and Gong Mi feigns confusion. Mom clarifies that they’re Star Group, humbly bragging that the company belongs to Jun-su. Gong Mi acts surprised.
Before Gong Mi leaves in a cab, Jun-su runs after her to give her first aid supplies for her injured arm. She smiles with gratitude.
Dan-tae waits for Gong Shim with a bag, breaking into a smile when he see her approaching. Gong Shim stops in her tracks when she spots him, wondering why she feels so uncomfortable around him, acting avoidant. But he insists that he’s got something good for her, and shows her the contents of the bag: a whole variety of wigs.
Dan-tae explains that he received them from his clients who worked at a wig factory. Gong Shim admires the quality of the wigs, and Dan-tae is pleased with her reaction. She tries one on and asks for his opinion, and he looks at her star-struck. “It’s really pretty, exactly my style.”
Gong Shim stresses about her stress-induced bald spot and wonders when she’ll live without stress. Dan-tae tries on a blonde wig and tells her that there’s no world without stress — people just relieve stress as it comes. Gong Shim marvels at how expensive the wigs must have been, and Dan-tae generously offers them all to her.
Gong Shim tries on more wigs, and Dan-tae insists she wear the first wig tomorrow. She firmly tells him that she’s going to do what she wants, not as she’s told. Yes girl, you tell him.
As she leaves, Gong Shim thanks Dan-tae for ordering her rude colleagues to apologize to her. With that, she picks the last wig off of Dan-tae’s head and leaves. Dan-tae looks so proud of himself.
The next morning, Dan-tae sits at the convenience store table with a name compatibility test (the kind of puzzles kids do when they like someone), but denies it when Gu-nam catches him in the act, scoffing that he’s too old for that. Gu-nam jokes that the tests are actually accurate, and Dan-tae laughs happily at the idea. Hee, what a child.
Gong Shim comes down with a new wig — his suggestion — and Dan-tae goes slack-jawed, his heart beating faster as she appears glowing to his eyes. With his love-struck face, he tells her that she looks pretty and to make lots of money at work.
Jun-su’s mother tells Jun-su that she disapproves of Gong Shim because she’s seducing him. Jun-su denies this, but his mom shows him photos of them together at the movies, on the streets, and at the park. Mom tells him that she’s going to have her fired right away. Jun-su expresses disappointment in his mother for going to such an extreme and ]warns her not to lash out on innocent Gong Shim.
At work, Jun-su meets with Gong Shim at the rooftop. He looks serious, but when he tells her that he got scolded by his mother, Gong Shim cracks up. He treats it like a big deal, since it does involve heavy consequences, but Gong Shim assures him that it’s no biggie, and that gets scolded by her mother all the time. As an expert in getting scolded, she advises him to act in defiance and be comfortable with it.
Just in time, Jun-su’s mother calls, and Gong Shim tells him not to answer. He’ll get scolded again eventually, but until then, it’s best to just remain comfortable. Gong Shim asks why he was scolded, but Jun-su decides that it doesn’t matter, preferring to learn defiance from Gong Shim. She assures him that it’s super easy.
Gong Shim takes Jun-su to the Insadong district, where visitors dress up in traditional hanboks. Jun-su tries to resist, but Gong Shim tells him to embrace the experience to forget about his scolding. They change into the hanboks, but Jun-su looks so uncomfortable, keeping his head down and repeatedly trying to escape.
On the street, a foreign couple asks Gong Shim in English to take a picture with them. Not understanding, Gong Shim signals “No,” as in “No English,” although they persist in asking for a picture. When Jun-su clarifies what they want, Gong Shim is totally game. They take pictures with the couple, and Gong Shim sends them off, “Bye! Be happy!”
Jun-su realizes that his phone is missing and panics because he has an important business call that afternoon. Gong Shim calls his phone, and the taxi driver picks up. He tells them to hurry and pick up the phone before the next shift, so they run to his location wearing the hanboks. That turns heads and causes some delightful confusion.
They arrive just in time for Jun-su to take his call, and when she hears he needs to complete the transaction online, thankfully Gong Shim knows a nearby café that lends out laptops. So off they go, running in their hanboks again.
At the café, Jun-su works while Gong Shim gets them drinks (I love that the music has an added traditional instrument to the normal sound). The customers are amused and snap pictures of the two. He finishes up his work, and Gong Shim offers to leave if Jun-su’s uncomfortable with the attention they’re drawing, but Jun-su suddenly seems very comfortable.
He tells Gong Shim that unlike her, he’d never made people laugh. Gong Shim assumes it’s because she’s dumb, but Jun-su assures her that she has a talent for making things enjoyable. He thanks her struts out of the café with Gong Shim, fully embracing their outfits.
Dan-tae answers a call from his father’s friend, who is looking for his aunt. When Aunt returns to the office, Dan-tae passes along the message about a big tree in Yangpeong and the ajusshi who wants to know if it can be cut down. At the mention of the tree, Aunt drops her glass of water; she claims that it just slipped, but the call has clearly shaken her.
While walking down the street, Dan-tae stops by a man selling plants and thinks of replacing Gong Shim’s plant, which he’d shredded accidentally. The man doesn’t have it, but Dan-tae likes the sunflower plant and asks the man for seeds, which the man gives to him for free.
In Yangpeong, Dan-tae meets with his father’s friend who and explains that his father had taken care of a particular tree for the past 25 years. Now that he’s sold the land, he wanted to ask Dan-tae’s father if he wanted to move it.
Dan-tae checks out the tree, and from afar, his father approaches as well, but spots Dan-tae first and makes a run for it. Dan-tae catches a glimpse and chases after him, but his father escapes in a taxi and Dan-tae tries to convince himself that it couldn’t have been him, since Dad’s in the Philippines.
Jun-su tries to win a toy for Gong Shim from the claw machine, but fails even after multiple attempts. Gong Shim steps in and successfully grabs a toy in one go, then gives the toy to Jun-su in celebration of his defiance.
Dan-tae comes home to a flooded room, and all his belongings are drenched from a broken water pipe. He’s overwhelmed by the sudden flood and calls Gong Shim for help.
When Gong Shim picks up, she tells Dan-tae to call a professional since she wouldn’t be any help in the situation. He tells her that the home owner is responsible for facility concerns, but Gong Shim calmly responds that she’ll check it out later.
When Gong Shim hangs up, she tells Jun-su that this is how to act in defiance. Jun-su seems amused that she would use this situation as an example for him and double-checks if she needs to head back home. Gong Shim acts nonchalant about the situation, saying that Dan-tae can call an expert.
In the taxi, Jun-su raves about the steak at this restaurant, but Gong Shim isn’t fully listening. She cuts him off with an apology and decides that she needs to head to the home to deal with the flood, and Jun-su looks disappointed but agrees. She reminds him to stay strong with his defiance and runs off.
Gong Mi eats a meal with Jun-su’s mother, and since Jun-su doesn’t pick up mother’s calls, it ends up being just the two of them. In the car ride home, Jun-su’s mother opens the gift from Gong Mi and reads the card, which paints her as a humble person, since she’s returning the money envelope that Jun-su’s mother had slipped her last time in gratitude. She’s added a scarf as a gift, and Jun-su’s mother looks pleased.
Gong Shim arrives at the scene of the flood, and though Dan-tae still looks bitter that she refused to come in the first place, they get to work cleaning it up together. While Dan-tae mops the floor, Gong Shim fixes the pipe, much to his amazement. She explains that she worked part-time for a facilities repair shop during her third entrance exam preparation.
Gong Shim spots the band-aid that she put on his forehead on the mirror and asks him why he saved it. Dan-tae looks guilty but quickly covers it up by insisting that he threw it away there since he had no trash can nearby.
Then, Gong Shim finds the name compatibility test, but Dan-tae snatches it out of her hand before she can figure out why her name is on the paper. She’s convinced that it’s profanity about her, but Dan-tae fights her for it, determined not to let her see it. Dan-tae ultimately wins by stuffing the paper in his mouth and swallowing it. Ew.
Outside, Gong Shim fans herself while Dan-tae does his laundry. He convinces her that doing laundry will cool her down, so she steps in to help and seems pleasantly surprised. While stepping on the laundry together, Gong Shim loses her balance and begins to fall back. Dan-tae reaches out to push her back up, and they end up in a hug. They’re both shocked and stand there for a moment before awkwardly parting.
Suddenly, Dan-tae is really hot and starts to sprinkle water on Gong Shim. Forcing a smile, she splashes back, and then of course, they get in a big water fight with the hose. That quickly replaces their initial awkwardness with their normal fun childish ways.
Jun-su arrives on the rooftop, only to find Gong Shim and Dan-tae doing the laundry together. He hesitates to interrupt, but Dan-tae greets him first. Jun-su explains that he knew about the flood because he’d been with Gong Shim earlier, learning about defiance.
The master of defiance, Dan-tae, sits his two pupils down and tells them of the ultimate act of defiance: staying out all night. The two look at each other in awe, and Dan-tae proposes that they all go camping that night, since he can’t sleep in his wet house anyway. Jun-su excitedly agrees, but Gong Shim says that she needs her parents’ permission. She calls her mother about being late, but Mom tells her to do whatever. And so they’re all in for camping.
At the camp site, Dan-tae cooks and feeds Gong Shim the meat fresh off the grill, but she spits it right out because it’s too hot. Jun-su, who was looking at them with envy, takes the opportunity and cools the meat before feeding it to her. The rivalry is apparent, as Dan-tae and Jun-su argue over Gong Shim favoring one of them over the other.
Then, Gong Shim takes off her earphones and comments on how nice it is to listen to music outside. The boys realize that she hasn’t heard a word they’ve said and laugh off their rivalry in good spirits.
As the boys watch Gong Shim play with a dog nearby, Jun-su comments that the dog is cute and that he never had one because his mother disapproved. Dan-tae tells him that’s his charm — he’s rich, but also kind. Jun-su says that he’s decided not be so obedient anymore and says that he’s changed a lot since meeting Dan-tae.
Dan-tae and Jun-su retrieve Gong Shim’s ID when they return their equipment and laugh at her nervous face in the picture. Jun-su notices that her birthday is tomorrow, and that it’s almost midnight. Jun-su says that he needs to make a quick stop in his car, and Dan-tae borrows a cup from the rental table.
Jun-su surprises Gong Shim with a happy birthday and a bunny toy, which he won after going back to the claw machine. She thanks him and says that it’s the first time she’s received a doll as a gift. Next up is Dan-tae, who presents her with a cup of dirt, which is another first for Gong Shim. He says that there are seeds planted in the dirt but leaves the plant a mystery. Despite Gong Shim’s protests, they sing happy birthday for her.
The next day, Grandma’s secretary announces Dan-tae’s arrival as she’s wrapping up a meeting with President Seok and Butterfly Tattoo Uncle. Suspicious of Dan-tae’s investigation with Grandma, Uncle leaves his phone on the side of his chair the record the conversation.
In Grandma’s office, Dan-tae gives her a sketch of Jun-pyo’s projected face at his current age. She asks for updates, but Dan-tae doesn’t have any. He explains that he made special arrangements for the expedited sketch and tells Grandma not to rush — she could get exhausted before she even finds him. He then asks about the butterfly tattoo, but she’s got nothing. All she’s got is a picture of young Jun-pyo from the day of Jun-su’s birthday celebration, and Dan-tae looks at the picture trying to figure out the meaning of the butterfly.
After Dan-tae leaves, Uncle returns to Grandma’s office to retrieve his phone. Grandma doesn’t seem too fond of Uncle but doesn’t suspect anything from him. Sly sly uncle.
Jun-su’s mother summons Gong Shim to her office with a report of Jun-su’s spending yesterday. She reads off his spending in Insadong and at a camp site, then asks if Gong Shim was with him. Although Gong Shim tries to explain the specific circumstances as innocent, Jun-su’s mother is incensed to have her suspicions confirmed and demands that Gong Shim resign from her position.
Before Jun-su’s mother leaves, Gong Shim challenges her abuse of wealth and power. Gong Shim knows that it’s easy for her to fire people who bother her, and understands that she probably wouldn’t last long in this job anyway: “But know this one thing. For the person who fires another, it may just seem like cutting a long fingernail. But for the one who gets fired, it wrings that person’s heart.”
In simple terms, she advises Jun-su’s mother not to live like this and to cut the arrogance. “We’re all the same humans who eat and poop. We’re people.” That leaves Jun-su’s mother flabbergasted.
Gong Shim packs up her things with a tear in her eye, leaving behind her employee badge. Outside, she watches her fellow employees sadly and curses the good weather, then gets a call from Mom about coming home early for her birthday dinner. She makes up an excuse that she’s busy, hangs up, and turns off her phone.
Jun-su barges into the office and accuses his mother for wrongfully dismissing Gong Shim. Mom shamelessly insists that Gong Shim left her position because the secretary job didn’t suit her, but Jun-su can read past Mom’s lies. He’s very disappointed and storms out. At Gong Shim’s desk, he finds her employee ID and takes it with him.
He calls and messages her, full of worry, but because he has a presentation in five minutes, he can’t continue looking for her. Jun-su calls Dan-tae and requests that he search for Gong Shim, telling him the situation.
Dan-tae searches the park and the bus stop while Jun-su keeps staring at his phone during the presentation. Gong Shim wanders on a bridge, mindlessly swings on the park exercise equipment, and finally ends up on the rooftop to water her plants. Dan-tae arrives home and looks extremely glad to see her there. She notices that he’s overly friendly in his greeting, but Dan-tae doesn’t reveal what he knows.
Then Gong Shim accusingly asks about the dirt cup he gave her, which he promised would sprout today. Nothing has bloomed, though, and she starts to get more emotional as she says, “I work a hundred times, a thousand times harder to water my plants. But why isn’t there a sprout?”
Dan-tae doesn’t know how to respond, and Gong Shim continues, saying that there’s something wrong with the seeds — that the seeds must be destined to stay buried in the dirt without a chance to bloom. “It’s just like me. No matter how much I struggle, it’s no use.”
She can’t hold back her tears, and Dan-tae looks at her with sympathy and pulls her into comforting hug, letting her cry on his shoulder as he begins to tear up himself.
Aww, how sad and cute. It was heartbreaking to hear Gong Shim make that analogy between her and her plant because it was an honest and vulnerable confession of her self-perception. She really does try hard to be her best, and though she’s maybe not fit to be the best secretary, she’s doing her absolute best to flourish in her job. And how great is it that Dan-tae is there to be her supportive shoulder to lean on. Though he’s often adorably dense when it comes to dealing with Gong Shim romantically, he knows exactly what she needs and wants — to be treated with dignity. It’s strange to have concurrent sadness and cuteness, but this show is full of strange juxtapositions, and I love it.
While Gong Shim may appear to be a fumbling mess, she knows how to value herself. It’s just bad luck that she got fired on her birthday, but what an exit. I wish I had the audacity to do that one day — to call out someone for their unfair treatment or bigotry. Her forthright response to Jun-su’s mom was such an admirable way to make her point about the subjectivity of hierarchy. It was a cold splash of reality for Jun-su’s mom to check herself, and while I don’t think Gong Shim’s message really hit home for her, I know that Gong Shim was dropping these truths for herself. Sure, she may be mediocre at work, but that doesn’t entitle anyone to take orders from anyone.
I love that Gong Shim is stubborn in asserting that she doesn’t take orders from anyone, not even poor love-struck Dan-tae. He’s stupidly in love with our girl, but I enjoy the oversight from them both. It’s almost like watching dumb and dumber, except it’s much more endearing to watch them run around in circles trying to figure out what this strange feeling of attraction is. Dan-tae seems more aware of his racing heart, and it’s pretty obvious that he likes her waaaay more than he can handle. His crush is so unconventional yet fitting for Gong Shim. Like with those wigs — perfect.
But the bag of wigs reminded me that Gong Shim’s wig is just another defense mechanism for her. I actually really enjoy the look on her now, but it’s still a way for her to hide from her real self. She claims that it’s just to cover up her bald spot, but I think it could be another symbol of insecurity and self-doubt that Gong Shim always carries with her. Gong Shim can stand up for herself, and I believe that she values herself. Clearly she can, based on how candid she was with Jun-su’s mom. But when everyone around her has always demoralized her for her looks and lack of talent, she’s always had to fight for her own self-worth. Maybe she’s the jack of all trades and master of none, but she surely will find something that makes her come alive, throw away her wig, and be comfortable in her own hair.
- 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
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