Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 2
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon takes a bit of a darker turn than most of us might have imagined for a second episode. I’ll be the first to admit that I was expecting a purely light and fluffy romcom, so this criminal undertone is a bit surprising. But then, every Superman needs a Lex Luthor, and Bong-soon is certainly strong enough to warrant her own uber villain… just as long as she has her plucky CEO sidekick there to bicker with her.
Episode 2: “A Criminal’s Mind”
After the tragic stabbing from the night before, detective Gook-doo finds his teammates watching an old TV show, “Chief Inspector.” Gook-doo’s superior explains that this is their team’s method of preparing for a new case, adding that they’ve been assigned to the murder from last night.
We catch up to where we left off in Min-hyuk’s office when his stalker calls, and Bong-soon listens in alarm as the creepy voice threatens her boss. Min-hyuk admits that this has been going on for two months, and asks her to do her job in protecting him.
Min-hyuk breaks the serious tone by declaring that he can’t possibly do work after this, then boards his hoverboard and zooms (rolls?) out of the office. Bong-soon hurries to catch up, muttering that the rumors about his work ethic are true.
In the building’s garage, Min-hyuk hands Bong-soon the car keys to start up the car. When Bong-soon wonders why, Min-hyuk answers, “You never know, there could be a bomb.” Then he casually strolls off to hide behind the nearest pillar. PFFT.
Giving her boss a little extra stink-eye, Bong-soon starts up the car (which does not explode), and climbs back out for Min-hyuk to drive. It’s his turn to glare when Bong-soon moves to sit in the backseat and he snaps that he isn’t a taxi. I swear, these two make glaring an Olympic sport.
Bong-soon’s mom and her friends gather at the family’s walnut shop again to discuss the upcoming neighborhood redevelopment plan. It seems like after the murder from last night, Mom is starting to think a redevelopment might be a good idea to make the neighborhood safer. The friends are interrupted when Gook-doo’s mom, Mi-hwa, stops by the bakery again.
This time Mom calls Mi-hwa over, asking her to sign their petition and subtly pushing that such an important writer would help their cause get noticed. Mi-hwa is undaunted and politely refuses. The three women stare after her when she leaves, and Mom sputters that she just can’t get along with that woman. Their rant is cut short by the arrival of NA KYUNG-SHIM (Park Bo-mi), who seems to be a family friend from Busan.
Min-hyuk heads to a mall with Bong-soon accompanying/guarding him. He uses the excuse of a potential stalker watching nearby to hold her hand, claiming that it shouldn’t be obvious that she’s his bodyguard. Sadly, it doesn’t last long since Bong-soon tugs her hand away.
Min-hyuk indulges in some serious retail therapy, and piles his selections higher and higher atop the tiny — but mighty — Bong-soon. She in turn stares to see that in just one afternoon, he spent her yearly salary. After loading Bong-soon up with all his purchases, Min-hyuk has an altruistic moment and promises to get her something too. Bong-soon is shyly happy, until she realizes that her “something” is just an ice cream cone. Oh, if looks could kill.
Post-shopping, the two head to a park where Min-hyuk impresses Bong-soon with his drone piloting skills. He grins adorably whenever she cheers at a trick. Cutie.
The drone isn’t just for show however, as Min-hyuk spies his stalker off in the distance. When the man hops on a motorcycle, the gamer CEO smartly uses the drone to follow him and capture a shot of the man’s license plate. Bong-soon adorably cheers him on.
Min-hyuk drives Bong-soon home, but when they pass by the busy crime scene from last night’s murder, the mood turns somber. Seeming to want to lift her spirits, he demands they get food together, so Bong-soon directs him to her family’s walnut shop.
At the shop, Mom laments with her friends over Bong-soon’s seemingly lackadaisical way of life, wishing that her daughter would just find a crazy man with lots of money… and in walks Bong-soon, followed by Min-hyuk, her somewhat crazy, very loaded, CEO boss.
Bong-soon gives a quick shake of her head to her dad at the counter, then pretends to be just a regular customer. She gives a shushing gesture to Mom as well, but that doesn’t seem necessary when Mom and all her friends are staring, gobsmacked, at the pretty, rich-looking Min-hyuk. To his credit, he only squirms a little.
The moment Bong-soon and Min-hyuk head out, Dad, Mom, and the ladies all sprint to the window and stare after the two, twittering about the expensive car and wondering if this is Bong-soon’s boyfriend.
After work, Bong-soon runs home to greet her friend, Kyung-shim. Clearly, she is close enough to know about Bong-soon’s secret strength, as the two of them bounce in happy greeting and the house shakes from Bong-soon’s mighty steps.
The two spend some girl-bonding time talking about Bong-soon’s new job. Kyung-shim is happy to hear of her employment, but she points out some strange online postings about her boss, noting how he prefers shopping and doesn’t like the company of women. Bong-soon guess that he hired a female bodyguard to avoid a scandal, and the two seem to think that Min-hyuk must be gay.
Dinner is a happy occasion that night, but the revelry hits a snag when Mom starts grilling Bong-soon about the gorgeous boss she brought to their shop. Calling it a divine gift from heaven, Mom instructs her daughter: “Go and marry that man.”
Bong-soon gripes at her mom to stop watching dramas, then shouts out, “He’s gay!” Wind literally whistles through the silence surrounding the table, until Mom shakes it off and says that’s okay.
Mom rants, “These days there aren’t any men without a flaw like that. It’s fine. It’s fine!” Wow, desperate times…?
Gook-doo returns to the crime scene that night, flashlight in hand, to look over the evidence again. He only stays a few minutes, not seeing the sketchy figure watching from a nearby rooftop.
Oh no. Later, a young woman gets off the bus on her way home. She soon clocks that she’s being followed, and it’s a tragic repeat of the other night, with the woman running frantically through the alleys from the man chasing her. She almost makes it to her front door, but he catches her, and then all we hear are her screams.
Gook-doo’s team scrambles to action when they hear of the assault, and thankfully, this time the victim didn’t die. The hospital manages to stabilize her, but the poor woman looks completely battered.
Bong-soon and Kyung-shim are at a PC room when one of Mom’s friends runs in with the news that there’s been another attack.
Gook-doo berates himself for missing the attacker by mere minutes, and tells his superior that the attacker must have known the neighborhood well to pick a spot without any CCTV coverage.
This time there was a witness to the crime, and it was his arrival that saved the victim. The young man gives a statement to the police, describing how he was on his way home saw a man brutally beating the victim. Luckily, the attacker ran away when he saw him.
The witness is unable to describe that attacker’s face, but he did note that the man had very large feet.
Bong-soon and Kyung-shim walk home that night, both outraged that someone would attack an innocent woman like that. Kyung-shim starts to say that Bong-soon should give those people a taste of her Herculean medicine, but Bong-soon worries that if she did that, there would be negative repercussions.
The two are interrupted when they notice a gang of high school kids bullying another student, and Bong-soon gives this long-suffering sigh. Oh the woes of having superpowers.
Bong-soon approaches the group to politely tell the youngsters to head home and let the other student leave. Predictably, the kids ignore her request, so Bong-soon tells the leader of the group to come forward, only to have one of the punks kick dirt at her. Nice.
Bong-soon kneels down to tie one of the kids’ shoelaces, fussing like a disappointed noona, “You’re so busy doing bad things that your shoelaces came all undone.” Except, she suddenly pulls the laces tight, causing the student to cry out as she forces his foot into the pavement.
The now-terrified punks back away, and Bong-soon rips the top fabric off of the boy’s shoes… then rips of the top off the other shoe as well, because she wouldn’t want his shoes to be uneven or anything.
Shaking a damaged shoe at the miscreants, Bong-soon beckons the bullied student forward. She programs her number into his phone and tells him to call her if these guys pick on him again. Turning back to the boys, she warns them that next time she catches them, it’ll be their feet, then their legs, then, “Well, what comes next?” She winks, and the boys all flinch away (grabbing their you-know-whats) while Bong-soon strolls off like the badass she is.
In light of the recent attacks, the police install more CCTVs around the neighborhood. Meanwhile, Min-hyuk succeeds in pulling his stalker’s motorcycle license plate number from the picture his drone took.
The results from the autopsy of the first victim are out, and Gook-doo’s team gathers to analyze the injuries. The seniors conclude that there must have been two different assailants, as the first victim was stabbed with a knife, but the second was beaten with bare hands.
Gook-doo reports to the hospital to stand guard over the second victim. He uses the chance to compare her injuries to the autopsy pictures, and realizes that it was actually just one attacker who was trying to subdue the women, not kill them.
Bong-soon also arrives at the hospital to visit Secretary Gong and his broken tailbone, which happened as a result of their chicken fight. On her way in, she bumps into a doctor with glasses and a face mask. She walks on, but the doctor stares after her.
Bong-soon’s visit with poor Secretary Gong goes about as well as you could hope, which is really not very well. The unfortunate secretary spends half the time flinching away with his healing derriere up in the air as Bong-soon tries to give him well-meaning advice for healing. She actually suggests a drink called “poop liquor,” made from excrement and alcohol (Ew.)
After leaving the wailing Secretary Gong, Bong-soon spies Gook-doo as he stands guard. Cue sparkling lights and shiny love beams once again. She makes her way over to talk to him, just as a certain creepy doctor with glasses and a facemask walks straight past Gook-doo into the victim’s room.
Gook-doo thinks nothing of it as the person is a doctor, and while he chats it up with Bong-soon outside, Creepy Doctor injects the patient with some neon yellow liquid. Yikes. Also, bad Gook-doo! Worst guarding ever.
Creepy Doctor leaves the room, and while Gook-doo notices him, he doesn’t seem to suspect anything. He asks Bong-soon to watch the door for him while he uses the bathroom, warning her not to let anyone other than a doctor or nurse inside.
Immediately after he leaves, the patient starts convulsing in her room. Just as Bong-soon looks in worriedly, Creepy Doctor comes back with a gurney and Bong-soon opens the door for him. He transfers the victim and calmly instructs Bong-soon to inform the officer (Gook-doo) that she’s being taken for surgery, then wheels her away.
Creepy Doctor covers the woman in a sheet, and of course walks right past the returning Gook-doo, who doesn’t recognize that it’s his victim.
Gook-doo arrives back at the now-empty room, and Bong-soon starts to tell him about the doctor, when the patient’s actual doctor arrives looking for his patient. Bong-soon confusedly ekes out that this doctor’s voice is different from the other masked doctor, and Gook-doo flashes back to the passing gurney. Turns out he did notice Creepy Doctor going by, and had noted the cut up feet sticking out from the covering.
Gook-doo sprints through the hospital, frantically searching for his lost victim while calling in to report the kidnapping. While he runs around, Creepy Doctor wheels the woman into a side room, transfers her to a wheelchair, and changes his clothes, all the while humming softly.
It’s a spine-tingling moment as we see Gook-doo desperately searching while the kidnapper’s humming echoes eerily.
Gook-doo manages to spot the kidnapper as he pushes his victim out the front door, but by the time he catches up, all he finds is the abandoned wheelchair by the underground parking garage.
Oh god. We cut over to an empty, underground prison straight out of a horror show, complete with dripping water, female mannequins, and a weird projected image of a hand tapping against a window. The kidnapper, now wearing a flesh colored head mask, carries the still unconscious woman down into his lair.
Back at the hosptial, Gook-doo escorts Bong-soon out. It’s clear that they both feel horrible about losing the woman, but Gook-doo doesn’t blame her, saying it was his own fault for leaving his post.
Bong-soon suddenly remembers when she bumped into Creepy Doctor in the hallway earlier, and then his voice when he wheeled the patient out. She tells Gook-doo that she heard the kidnappers voice, and assures him that she could recognize it if she heard it again.
Gook-doo is happy to have a lead and starts to head to the station, but he pauses to reassure Bong-soon that this wasn’t her fault.
This is getting disturbing. At the prison lair, the kidnapper has changed the woman into a wedding dress and proceeds to slooowly inject her with more of the yellow liquid. *shudder*
Gook-doo returns to face his understandably furious team leader, while the other cops are angry at the audacity of the criminal to steal the victim right out from under them. Gook-doo interrupts to request a civilian protection detail for Bong-soon, since the kidnapper has seen her face.
That night, Bong-soon stares out at the stars and remembers the patient when she started convulsing. Her twin brother, Bong-ki, joins her, and she laments, “Even if I have strength, I can’t do anything in these situations.” Still, she wonders if there is some way she could have helped the woman.
The next morning, Bong-soon is back at work, and Min-hyuk asks after the second attack that occurred in her neighborhood. She morosely admits the victim was kidnapped. This is news to him, and Min-hyuk watches the news report, getting strangely excited to hear about it.
Like a little kid with a puzzle, Min-hyuk calls it fascinating, marveling at the suspect’s brilliance. Bong-soon points out that a person being kidnapped shouldn’t be thrilling, but Min-hyuk argues that the mystery of it is still interesting, especially the question of why they killed one victim, but kept the other alive.
Bong-soon gets drawn in as Min-hyuk does an alarmingly accurate analysis of the criminal. He deduces that he had wanted to capture the victim alive, and only used the knife when the first woman resisted, otherwise he’d have stabbed her in more fatal spots to begin with.
When Bong-soon remarks that he understands a criminal’s mind very well, he tells her that as a child, his dream was to be… a criminal.
They’re interrupted when Bong-soon gets a call from Gook-doo, who informs her that he’s assigned a protection detail for her, overriding her protests. Wait, are we getting a bodyguard for the bodyguard? Oh, I hope so.
When she hangs up, Min-hyuk guesses she has a crush on this cop. Bong-soon is shocked that he figured it out, but Min-hyuk scoffs that it’s pretty clear, calling her a very transparent person. He does compliment her taste, since Gook-doo is very good-looking, then he interrupts her to say that Gook-doo is “totally my type.” Pah!
Bong-soon tries to point out that Min-hyuk hates cops, but he waves it away. “I like the pretty cops,” he says, and wiggles his eyebrows. This is awesome.
Min-hyuk’s flirting(?) drops pretty fast when Bong-soon tells him about her new protective duty. Cut to Bong-soon standing at attention with a solemn cop standing at attention behind her, and Min-hyuk staring aghast at both of them.
Min-hyuk pulls the officer aside (calling him “Mr. Cop”) and tries to explain that Bong-soon doesn’t need protection since she’s REALLY strong. He even tries to egg him into chicken fighting with her, but Mr. Cop proves smarter than Secretary Gong and stoically maintains his post.
Frustrated, Min-hyuk goes for a drive with Bong-soon in the front seat, Mr. Cop in the back. When Mr. Cop says that he’ll be guarding Bong-soon until he receives different orders, Min-hyuk goes off on a mini rant about why he doesn’t like the police: (1) they’re slow, (2) they backstab you, (3) they do senseless things, and (4) no matter how much you warn them, they don’t listen. All the while, Bong-soon opens and closes her mouth, silently mocking his tirade. Hah.
Returning to the prison lair, the masked kidnapper (let’s go with Masked Man since he’s not dressed as a doctor anymore) meticulously washes his victim, who’s handcuffed to the bed. The woman wakes up in the middle of his ministrations and immediately starts screaming. Masked Man talks to her sweetly at first, saying he went through so much to get her back and calling her his first bride, but he grows frustrated when she continues to cry out for help.
He rages that he saved her when she was hurt, and the woman subsides into terrified whimpers. Masked Man turns sickeningly sweet again, assuring her that her husband’s right here. After forcing her to smile, he takes a sick Polaroid photo and hangs it on a wall full of empty picture frames… for future brides, maybe?
Min-hyuk attends a seminar, his bodyguard and her bodyguard both standing, well, guard. Bong-soon scans the audience for the stalker, and notices a sketchy guy lingering outside the auditorium. After the seminar, both Min-hyuk and Mr. Cop go to the restroom while Bong-soon waits outside.
Bong-soon quickly wanders off when she sees the sketchy guy from before, not noticing the man who slips into the restroom. Min-hyuk exits first and calls out to Bong-soon when she isn’t outside. Thankfully, she runs over quick, describing the sketchy guy she say earlier.
Min-hyuk scoffs at that, saying that the truly bad people look completely ordina–… but then he stops to see that Mr. Cop hasn’t come out yet, and runs back in the restroom just as the man from before comes tearing out. Min-hyuk and Bong-soon find Mr. Cop on the floor, stabbed in the gut. Min-hyuk snaps at Bong-soon to call an ambulance while he applies pressure.
At the hospital (again), Min-hyuk worries that things have gotten more serious: He never expected the stalker to resort to this kind of violence. He tells Bong-soon to resign, but she refuses flat out, “It’s my job to put my client’s life above my own. Don’t fire me. I’ll protect you.” Aww.
Bong-soon asks if there’s anyone he could think of that would want to hurt him, but unfortunately there’s a long list, including even his family members.
Min-hyuk confides that he and his two brothers all have different mothers, and that his family is a mess. To avoid them, he renounced his inheritance and started his own company, AinSoft, but his success just further convinced his father that he should leave the family business to Min-hyuk. From then on, he became “Public Enemy #1.”
Bong-soon swears that no matter who the stalker is, “I am definitely going to catch them.” Min-hyuk appears moved by her earnest promise, but they’re interrupted when the doctor informs them that Mr. Cop will be fine. (Yay!)
We cut to a room where a pretty young woman is practicing cello. This is JO HEE-JI (Seol In-ah), Gook-doo’s girlfriend, and the two meet at a café. Gook-doo arrives late, and has completely forgotten it’s their 100 day anniversary. This seems normal though, and Hee-ji takes it in stride, saying that he must have been busy.
After the hospital, Min-hyuk drives Bong-soon home. He gives her a soft look and proposes, “Stay with me tonight. I’ll protect you, and you will protect me again.” Oof. It’s a nice moment, until Min-hyuk ruins it by telling her to lower her expectations, since she seems to be getting excited. Pfft.
This devolves into a bicker fight, with Bong-soon insisting that there’s no reason for her to go to his house, and Min-hyuk grouchily pointing out that she should try flirting with him more and that spending a night with him is an amazing opportunity. Hah! So then, she should get excited?
Grasping at straws, Min-hyuk cites her contract, which states that she’s supposed to do whatever’s necessary to protect the client no matter what. He even adds a meek, “I’m scared,” but to no avail.
At the café, Gook-doo is still on his date when he gets the call that Bong-soon’s bodyguard detail was stabbed on the job.
Back in the car, Min-hyuk uses the argument that her staying with him will make Gook-doo jealous, and this does seem to catch her attention. He adds a final, “I don’t want to be alone,” and Bong-soon finally caves… after insisting he pay her double since this is overtime. Girl has priorities.
The two arrive at Min-hyuk’s house, where Bong-soon gets a call from Gook-doo asking where she is.
Min-hyuk and Bong-soon share pot ramyun, and hilariously he can barely swallow it without burning his mouth, while she calmly slurps it down. (Bit of a gender swap.) Bong-soon sees the leftover walnut pie and admits that it’s her family’s bakery, leading Min-hyuk to get huffy that she used him to boost her family’s sales.
He teases her about them eating ramyun at night (a common Korean pickup line, “Want to have some ramyun with me?”), but the references goes completely over the innocent Bong-soon’s head.
Their late-night, not-naughty ramyun session is interrupted by the doorbell, and in storms a righteous Gook-doo, who glares daggers at Min-hyuk. Oh boy.
Gook-doo immediately demands to know whose house this is, and Min-hyuk nonchalantly steps up to say that Bong-soon will be staying here tonight, so he has nothing to worry about.
Unsurprisingly, Gook-doo isn’t having it and tells Bong-soon that they’re leaving, calling her crazy for recklessly staying at a man’s house. Gook-doo grabs Bong-soon’s wrist to pull her out the door, but Min-hyuk quickly grabs her other wrist and tugs her back, telling Gook-doo to let go.
Gook-doo slowly turns back and laser glares at Min-hyuk, demanding to know what he’s doing. Min-hyuk answers simply, “I need this girl right now.” Bong-soon stares back and forth between them as Gook-doo repeatedly states that he’s going to take her home, and Min-hyuk replies that he won’t allow it. They step closer and closer, both hands holding Bong-soon’s wrists, as Min-hyuk gives a final, “I said, no.”
Oh, boys. I understand the testosterone show, but why do they always have to grab the wrist? I guess it’s some comfort that with this girl, she isn’t going anywhere she doesn’t want to go, no matter how hard you pull.
So, this episode was a bit lighter on the “light and fluffy” aspect than I was expecting (and clearly everyone sucks at guard duty), but I’m still really liking this show. The problem that’s rising from the darker tone is that there’s a dichotomy going on to the point where I feel like there are two independent shows playing at once: the cute and fluffy Bong-soon and Min-hyuk, and the creepy kidnapper and Gook-doo. Each one is interesting, and I’d say I’m almost equally invested in both, but they haven’t yet meshed into one show. It’s still way too early to judge, and right now I’m just enjoying the ride, but I can’t deny that it’s a bit jarring when the solemn tone of the kidnapper clashes with the lightheartedness of the CEO/Bodyguard relationship.
It’s also confusing because there are two different criminals to watch: the slightly bad stalker, and the really bad kidnapper. I’m worried that they’re too ambitious in adding such a strong subplot, since they have two solid storylines going on, and – judging from past dramas — this means that one will eventually get forfeited to complete the other. Especially since this is a sixteen episode drama: Eight weeks goes by real fast when you have two criminals to catch, a love triangle to complete, and a supernatural ability to figure out. I really hope they can find a way to complete each storyline, because it’d be a shame if the plot of one was sacrificed to just provide filler for the other.
But all that aside, this really is shaping up to be an interesting show, if for nothing else than to watch Bong-soon be badass and Min-hyuk to be an unabashed lover of strong women. These two have an undeniable chemistry, and I’m glad we’re already getting a few quiet moments between them. I loved when Bong-soon told Min-hyuk that she’d protect him, both because it was the first time she seemed to care about him as a person, and because it was the first time she truly seemed to want to protect someone.
I had been worrying that working as a personal bodyguard for monetary gain would fall within the “abusing power” category and that Bong-soon would end up with leprosy or month-long diarrhea. But if she decides to protect someone simply because it’s right, and she cares that evil doesn’t succeed, I can’t imagine her family’s curse will have a problem with that.
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