The Man Living in Our House: Episode 4
Na-ri is surrounded by people who want something from her, and they’re all urging her to trust them. But what’s a girl to do when her gut feeling seemingly changes its mind every few minutes? It’s difficult enough to make decisions when everyone wants a piece of her, and getting the shock of her life isn’t going to make things any easier.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
The very drunk Nan-gil topples forward into Na-ri’s arms, snuggling his chin into her neck. He mutters, “Hong Na-ri, trust me,” then smiles the cutest little smile while she wonders what he means by that.
Nan-gil wakes instantly when headlights suddenly aim at them. He shoves Na-ri out of the way, then falls in the road himself, but the car stops before hitting anyone. Nan-gil gives Na-ri a cheery little OK sign, and Deok-bong jumps out of the car to see what happened.
Na-ri yells at Deok-bong for driving recklessly, as she and Nan-gil get up. Nan-gil rushes to Na-ri to see if she’s okay, and he stumbles to the house when she shoves him away.
Deok-bong realizes they’re both drunk, and Na-ri says it’s her mother’s memorial day. She goes into super-formal mode and gestures him on his way, and Deok-bong wonders if she looks so cute because she’s drunk. He tells her that he’s going to Seoul to file a complaint as her attorney, then grumbles to himself when she doesn’t even respond.
Nan-gil splashes water on his face in a futile attempt to sober up, then orders Na-ri to stop before she goes inside. He says that he hates drinking because it makes him stupid, and accuses her of bringing Dong-jin here to get him drunk.
He tells her not to act like she’s fine after breaking up with Dong-jin after so many years. He says not to just be angry, but to comfort herself, and find peace. When Na-ri asks if she’s supposed to do all that then forgive Dong-jin, Nan-gil angrily barks that he’ll never let that happen, hee.
Na-ri says that he was acting all friendly with Dong-jin before, but Nan-gil says that from now on, he hates that rat. He’s so adorably adamant that Na-ri can’t help but smile, and encouraged, Nan-gil says Dong-jin also has a weird smile and eats loudly.
Na-ri barely manages not to laugh, but she turns away and reminds herself not to trust Nan-gil. But he continues to yell insults (“He doesn’t finish his shots, and his shoulders are uneven!”), and Na-ri is thoroughly entertained.
Until Nan-gil mentions Yeo-joo, and she whirls around to level a death glare at him. He knows he’s in trouble and tries to slink off, and Na-ri says that he sure did notice Yeo-joo just fine, for someone who was supposed to be too drunk to walk.
Cornered, Nan-gil does the only thing he can to get out of the conversation — he tosses his cookies. Once inside, he flops onto his bed, not even loosening his tie before dropping off to sleep.
Dong-jin ends up in the backseat floorboard by the time Yeo-joo drives his car back to Seoul, and he refuses to wake up. Taking advantage of the situation, Yeo-joo slides his phone out of his pocket and checks his texts, and finds a conversation with his mother where Dong-jin tells her that the wedding plans are going fine.
Annoyed, Yeo-joo goes into Dong-jin’s photos and deletes every one of Na-ri before putting his phone back in his pocket. She leaves him snoring in the floorboard of his car.
Dressed in a black hoodie, Deok-bong’s sister Deok-shim hops over the fence and lets herself into the restaurant. She covers up the sleeping Nan-gil, and slides a pillow under his head. He rouses just a bit, but in his drunken haze, he sees Na-ri’s face instead of Deok-shim’s.
Meanwhile, Na-ri uses the impression she made of the warehouse key to cut a new key out of a piece of metal. That’s badass. She goes into the office for a second, then heads to the warehouse. The key actually works, so she lets herself in.
Deok-shim sees her and follows, watching as Na-ri goes down the stairs. Deok-shim slams the door shut and locks it, declaring that “the war has started.” Na-ri hollers to be let out, and when nobody opens the door, she assumes it was Nan-gil who locked her in.
Nan-gil wakes in the morning, still fully dressed and with a wicked hangover. His phone tells him that there were two attempts to log onto his computer last night, and he sighs to see Na-ri’s face on camera again.
He gets some water at the restaurant, and suddenly, embarrassing images from last night start to come back to him. Horrified, he goes out to water the plants as an excuse to check out the house, waffling over whether to wake Na-ri.
He decides to take up some water, but Na-ri isn’t in her room. Nan-gil worries that he did something wrong and ran her off.
Na-ri is in the warehouse, shivering on the concrete floor. She wakes in a fury and screams his name, and luckily he hears her as he’s walking back to the office. She orders him to let her out, and when he does, she angrily asks why he locked her in.
As Na-ri screams that she could have died in there, Nan-gil slowly understands that she was locked in, and thinks he did it. He brandishes the key at her, and when he notices the soot on it (from the impression she took), it dawns on him that she got him drunk to get the key.
They realize at the same time that if he didn’t lock her in, someone else must have, and they both freeze. Nan-gil asks if she came to the office last night, and Na-ri says no. Spooky. Outside the gate, unseen by them both, Deok-shim saunters past and gives the house a triumphant little grin.
Na-ri and Nan-gil find a shoeprint outside the warehouse door that’s too small to be either of theirs. Na-ri says it must be from a woman’s foot, and Nan-gil turns his head to find her face very close to his. Na-ri jumps back then runs off, and Nan-gil grins to himself.
Dong-jin wakes, still in the floor of his car, and manages to drag himself up to his apartment to find Yeo-joo waiting there. She pouts that she drove him home but couldn’t get him upstairs herself, and says that nothing happened between them, in a voice that clearly implies that something did.
Before she goes, she tells him that she stopped “Na-ri’s brother” from killing him, and that he needs to get his car fixed. She pretends modesty when he asks what happened, and refuses to say anything more.
He follows her out and grabs her wrist, making her cry out in pain dramatically, and sees a bandage there. She refuses to say a word and turns to go, smiling triumphantly to herself.
Na-ri is cranky when she gets out of the shower, but she goes with Nan-gil to visit Mom at her tree. He clucks at her when she sneezes, asking why she went into the warehouse, and she says there are too many secrets in her house.
She looks at Nan-gil for a long moment, then thanks him for being with her for Mom’s memorial. She says that a year is long enough to honor her mother’s memory and he can go live his own life now because he’s young, but he reminds her that he’s staying until the tree he planted at the lake grows tall.
Na-ri asks what his deal is, and he cryptically says that a farmer uses a shovel to plow and plant the earth, not to hit someone with. He says that’s why he became her stepdad, but Na-ri has no idea what he’s talking about. Nan-gil says not to search his room or anywhere else anymore, because she won’t find anything.
Na-ri says that maybe she already found a clue in the warehouse, and Nan-gil mutters that she’s bluffing. But Na-ri says she had plenty of time and nothing else to do, and Nan-gil suddenly looks nervous. Na-ri takes back her statement that she’s never coming back — it’s her house, and she’ll visit any time she likes.
Nan-gil gives that about three seconds of thought, then runs back to the warehouse. He looks around frantically, but his sous chef Young-gyu calls out that they’re out of dough at the restaurant.
On the bus back to the city, Na-ri watches Hong Mandoo’s commercials online, noticing that Nan-gil isn’t in any of them. She does find him in a photo, looking mighty handsome in his chef’s uniform, then tries to knock that thought out of her head.
In a therapy session, Deok-bong’s therapist asks if he’s interested in men, and his response is to ask if his father directed him to say that. Deok-bong plays along and says he’s been investigating one particular man for months, saying that he wants to know everything about the guy. He mentions the guy’s daughter, but his session time is up, and he leaves his therapist more confused than ever.
Deok-bong calls Na-ri as she’s getting ready for work, and tells her to come out with her signature stamp for the legal complaint he’s filing. Na-ri goes to her desk and picks up a handkerchief with Nan-gil’s name embroidered on it — this must be what she found in the warehouse. She remembers being a child and watching her mother struggle with the old hand-cranked sewing machine to make it.
In the warehouse, Nan-gil covers that same sewing machine with a cloth, then finds a children’s book underneath it. Curiously, it has both Na-ri’s and Nan-gil’s names written on the cover in childlike handwriting, and he wonders how it got here. He opens a small case and starts frantically going through the toys in it, but he’s startled to look up and see Uncle standing next to him.
Nan-gil growls that he told Uncle never to come back here, but Uncle says worriedly, “They found out my sister died. They sent Na-ri the documents.” By Nan-gil’s reaction, this is very bad news.
Deok-bong finds Na-ri at the airport and asks if she brought her stamp. She keeps her professional smile plastered on, and says that she wants to think a bit more before filing a complaint. She drags him away when her fellow flight attendants (including Yeo-joo) approach, and they analyze his expensive clothing jealously.
Deok-bong tries to get Na-ri to sign the documents he brought, but a call from Nan-gil distracts her and she walks off. Nan-gil nervously asks if she’s received any documents or strange visitors, then has a coughing fit when Na-ri asks if he’s in the warehouse (he is).
Na-ri says that she always used to call her mother before flights, and Mom would wish her good luck. Nan-gil awkwardly wishes her a good flight, saying that he’s never been on a plane, “But… fighting!” So cute.
Deok-bong startles Na-ri by peering over her shoulder, musing that one drunken evening has made her and Nan-gil family. He says that Nan-gil will definitely sell the land to him, since making money is what con men do, but Na-ri loyally says that he won’t sell.
As Deok-bong leaves, Yeo-joo walks past him and shoots him her very best come-hither glance. He definitely notices, though it’s hard to tell if he finds her attractive, or confusing.
Nan-gil goes to the house to find Uncle gulping down makgeolli, and he tells Uncle not to ask any questions. He doesn’t fall for Uncle’s obvious attempts at gossip, and gives Uncle an envelope of money, telling him to go. Uncle says that Na-ri must not remember Nan-gil, but Nan-gil shuts him up with a glare.
Nan-gil goes back to straighten up the warehouse, and recalls Na-ri saying that Mom’s voice was good luck. He makes a call to a man, CEO BAE, and tells him not to drag Na-ri into this. CEO Bae says that Nan-gil won’t see him unless he drags Na-ri into it, pinpointing her as Nan-gil’s weakness.
CEO Bae tells Nan-gil not to address him so formally — after all, he used to be Nan-gil’s father. We see that CEO Bae heads a company called Dada Finance, and there are pictures of him and a young, unhappy-looking Nan-gil on his desk.
On their flight, Yeo-joo snarks that she won’t tell Dong-jin that Na-ri was at the airport with another man. Na-ri takes the wind out of her sails by telling her that Dong-jin and Deok-bong already met at her house. Yeo-joo snipes back that her “brother” must be upset over all the men she meets at her house, and Na-ri snaps at her. Yeo-joo smiles, figuring that Nan-gil is Na-ri’s weak point.
Nan-gil finds Deok-shim sitting on a bench in town, and takes her to the used bike store to get her bike back. The store owner claims that he didn’t know it was stolen, but gives the bike up when Nan-gil threatens to have the police inspect his store.
He escorts Deok-shim most of the way home, and though she never says a word, she looks at Nan-gil like he’s her hero. He finds Deok-bong waiting at his place, contract in hand, offering him half the amount he offered him for the land previously. (Deok-shim completely ignores her brother and just rides past.)
Deok-bong shows Nan-gil his trump card — the background information on Nan-gil. He tells Nan-gil that he hasn’t told Na-ri what he’s learned yet, but Nan-gil is more concerned about whether Na-ri knows that it’s Deok-bong who’s trying to make him sell the land.
Deok-bong says that she knows, though he admits that Na-ri doesn’t think Nan-gil will sell. Deok-bong tells Nan-gil that his father makes the whole family see a therapist so that he has something on them when they screw up, informing Nan-gil that families aren’t the beautiful things he thinks they are.
Nan-gil calmly says that he won’t sell, because he doesn’t want to let his daughter down. He asserts that family is like that.
Deok-bong doesn’t argue, but repeats that he still has to buy the land, so the three of them should come to some kind of an agreement. Nan-gil stands and says he has a new catchphrase: “I have to knead dough.” He tells Deok-bong placidly that he should view his father’s stance as being concerned about his family’s well-being.
In private, Nan-gil looks at the information Deok-bong handed to him, which includes a document listing him as being abandoned at birth. He opens a text from Na-ri of three pictures taken from the window of the airplane, explaining that she’s sending them since he’s never been on a plane. She says she always texted her mom when she landed, too, and he answers, “I have to knead dough.”
Deok-bong asks Deok-shim if she’s been following Nan-gil, guessing that’s why she asked for a bike in the first place, but she says that Oppa knows nothing about her. Deok-bong agrees that they aren’t that close, and asks if she’s going to go to therapy. Deok-shim blows her stack and screams at him to get out of her room, and he grumbles that she definitely needs therapy.
Na-ri’s sunbae mentions that some papers were delivered for her. Na-ri heads to her office, and two shady-looking men follow her.
Deok-bong asks Secretary Kwon if she knows of Hope Orphanage, but she just gives him her thousand-yard stare when he says that’s where Nan-gil grew up. She slips out when he gets a call from Na-ri, and it’s cute how adorably nervous he is before answering.
Na-ri wants to know if he filed the complaint, assuming that the papers delivered to her were from the courthouse. He says it wouldn’t happen that fast, and she hilariously hangs up on him, again. This gag never gets old.
Na-ri is surprised by her friend RAN-SOOK, who runs at her in the airport. Ran-sook is loud and seemingly has no filter, and she’s heard everything from Dong-jin. She hollers that she’s going to follow Na-ri to her house and kill that con artist.
Na-ri reminds Ran-sook that she’s at work, and says that Nan-gil isn’t a con artist. Ran-sook drags her out anyway, while the two shady men trail after them. Na-ri goes to the office and is handed a stack of papers, which turn out to be from CEO Bae’s attorney.
Nan-gil gets a call from a man at Dada Finance, and just the sound of the guy’s voice is enough to panic him. He hangs up and calls Na-ri, but her phone is busy so he grabs a taxi to Seoul.
Ran-sook is a nervous wreck over the documents, thinking this is part of Nan-gil’s con. Na-ri finally answers Nan-gil’s call, and snaps at him that she’s with a friend. She says the documents put a lien on her salary, though Nan-gil assures her that it’s an empty threat.
Na-ri can’t take that chance, but Nan-gil says that he’ll go to the Dada Finance office in her place. Na-ri says she’ll see him there and hangs up, while Ran-sook shrieks at her for using jondae with a crook.
Na-ri makes Ran-sook lend her her clothes, in order to look frumpier. Nan-gil calls again as she’s approaching the Dada Finance building, but a burly security guard collects her and she doesn’t get to answer.
She’s led to CEO Bae’s empty office, and left to sit there alone. CEO Bae watches her on the CCTV camera, while Nan-gil frantically texts her that he’s on his way, and not to speak, or listen to them, or sign anything.
The scary-looking guy who called Nan-gil enters the room with an older man, and leans down to leer at Na-ri before sitting. Okay, he creeps me right out. The older man introduces himself as Lawyer Kim, and Na-ri gets another text from Nan-gil saying not to even make eye contact.
She stares at a random point in the corner while the men speak to her, only looking down to read the texts from Nan-gil. She ignores Lawyer Kim when he gives her a document to read, so McCreepy tells her that years ago, her father borrowed money from Dada Finance.
Mention of her father gets Na-ri’s attention, but she tells them to talk to Nan-gil when he gets here. McCreepy says that it’s Na-ri they want to talk with, and Lawyer Kim says that the first time her father borrowed money was fifteen years ago.
Na-ri is shocked to realize they mean her real father, not Nan-gil, and Lawyer Kim explains that her father borrowed a lot of money, using her mother’s land as collateral. When he disappeared, her mother became responsible, and now that she’s dead, the debt falls to Na-ri. Lawyer Kim says that all Na-ri has to do is hand over her mother’s land.
Nan-gil finally arrives, and he only stops for one nervous moment before storming into the building. The security guard tries to stop him, but Nan-gil holds up a USB drive and says to give it to CEO Bae.
It works, and Nan-gil gains entry into the room where Na-ri is being held. He’s just in time to stop her from signing anything, but he fusses at her for ignoring her father’s instructions and reading the document.
McCreepy laughs at Nan-gil for calling himself Na-ri’s father, but Nan-gil ignores him and says the documents are fake. He helps Na-ri stand, glancing ominously at McCreepy when she stumbles, but McCreepy swears they only talked with her.
Nan-gil helps Na-ri to the hallway then turns back around, but she grabs his arm nervously. He gives her a little smile and tells her to count to three, and goes back into the room. He gets in McCreepy’s face and says that he doesn’t ask for favors, so when he does, it’s serious.
He asks McCreepy not to touch Na-ri, making it clear that this is a threat. “If you mess with me, it will be a repeat of that day.” McCreepy looks genuinely frightened.
Nan-gil goes back to Na-ri and takes her hand, leading her out of the building. He asks if she’s fearless or stupid, and she says she’s never been called stupid, and gets scared easily. She asks him to explain everything, and he notices that she’s gripping his hand tightly and shaking.
But the moment they step outside, Nan-gil goes pale and his vision begins to swim. He tries to leave, telling her not to come here again, but Na-ri isn’t about to leave it at that. She wants to know why there’s such a huge debt, and why it’s her responsibility.
She says it was her father’s debt, and Nan-gil yells that he’s her father now, so they can’t do anything to her. He starts to feel worse and tries to walk away, but Na-ri follows him and demands that he tell her if this debt is why he became her father.
Nan-gil just looks at her blankly, swaying on his feet, and Na-ri finally realizes he’s unwell. Ran-sook sees them and runs at Nan-gil, ready to attack him, but before she even reaches them, he topples to the ground with a thud.
Na-ri leans over him, begging him to wake up. Nan-gil just looks at her through unseeing eyes.
Okay, what’s going on with Nan-gil’s fainting spells? He’d better not be sick, Show, or you and I will have words. Very strong, very rude words. I actually think he’s got some sort of anxiety issue, because I notice that both times we’ve seen Nan-gil have one of these episodes, he’s been in the city. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is part of why the “Legendary Go Nan-gil” retired to the country to make mandoo, and ended up marrying Na-ri’s mother.
Not to mention, his newly-revealed reasons for desiring a normal family so badly. Even as an infant, being abandoned would have lifelong repercussions, especially if he was adopted/taken in by a shady character like CEO Bae. It’s no wonder that Nan-gil longs for a family, even an unconventional one, and that he lights up like a Christmas tree when Na-ri acknowledges their relationship in any way. His idea of family is so twisted from his own past, yet his desire for a true family bond with someone so achingly normal, my heart just hurts for him. I’m starting to think his catchphrase, “I have to knead dough,” is shorthand for, “I’m emotionally overwhelmed and need to step back a bit.”
I think it’s clear now that Nan-gil and Na-ri knew each other as children — if her dream about his name being familiar didn’t clue us in, the book with both of their names on the cover clinches it. Every time we get a new clue, my whole theory on Nan-gil changes, and now I’m sure that he remembers Na-ri from some time in the past, especially since it sounds as if the orphanage he grew up in is close to where Na-ri grew up. I still think that Nan-gil married Mom to help her protect her land and the restaurant (though whom he’s protecting her from is growing murkier the more we learn), but now I’m pretty sure that there’s a personal component in there for Nan-gil as well. At the very least, he has a personal stake in making sure Na-ri gets her inheritance, and it also explains why he’s so concerned about her health and safety, if he feels some sort of lingering attachment to her from their childhood.
It definitely feels as though Na-ri is beginning to find herself attracted to Nan-gil, given the way she reacts whenever he gets close to her. The drunken hug was a good example, as was their closeness while inspecting the shoe-prints. In both cases, Nan-gil was perfectly comfortable being that close to her, while Na-ri seemed jumpy and nervous. She definitely finds him physically attractive (she’s not blind, after all), but it feels like she’s beginning to feel emotionally close to him as well. Little things like asking him to say something encouraging before her flight, and defending him to Yeo-joo, speak to her growing attachment to the handsome enigma.
I haven’t mentioned Deok-bong yet, mostly because I just can’t figure him out at all. That’s not a bad thing — I think he’s adorably awkward and I love how he’s so hapless in the face of pretty much every woman in his life. His budding attraction to Na-ri is cute because he seems to have no clue what it is, like he’s feeling feelings for the first time in his life. But I also worry about his motives, because aside from the fact that he reminds me of Dorothy’s Scarecrow in an expensive suit, the truth is that he wants that land, and he’ll do just about anything to get it. He’s not afraid to sneak around gathering secret information, or to use that information to attempt to blackmail Nan-gil. I’m worried about what will happen when Deok-bong turns his focus on Na-ri, and his feelings for her clash with his professional ambition.
And I think Na-ri is just as confused by both men — I’m getting a little whiplash, the way she switches loyalties between Nan-gil and Deok-bong so quickly. I like her character a lot, but I do wish we were more privy to what she’s thinking so that we could follow her lightning-fast changes of heart. Nan-gil is just as much of an mystery, but in his case it’s written into his character to be cagey and elusive. In Na-ri’s case, it’s confusing how she’s so honest with those around her, yet we have no idea what causes her to decide to trust either Nan-gil or Deok-bong at any given moment. If I have any complaints about the show, it’s that I just wish Na-ri’s reasons for trust were a bit easier to understand.
But all in all, I love the way the mystery is unfolding, and how it’s looking more and more like Nan-gil’s main concern is and always has been protecting Na-ri. I have a feeling that this was everyone’s goal from the very beginning, but I’m also very afraid that we’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg.
- The Man Living in Our House: Episode 3
- The Man Living in Our House: Episode 2
- The Man Living in Our House: Episode 1
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