Perfect Wife: Episode 7
My favorite thing about this show is how, every time a mystery is solved, it only leads us to even more (and much scarier) questions. Each episode challenges our understanding of the truth, and the story just grows twistier and more fascinating as more secrets are uncovered. The best mysteries give their audiences an outcome even more exciting than they’d imagined, and right now, it feels as though Perfect Wife is turning out to be one of those mysteries.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Jae-bok sits Eun-hee down to confront her about her manipulating the truth and for not disclosing that she and Kyung-woo divorced three years ago. But she forgets all about that when Kyung-woo himself walks into the house, and they see each other for the first time in many years.
Cool as a cucumber, Eun-hee tells Kyung-woo that Jae-bok lives in the upstairs apartment. She leaves the room to let them catch up, but she doesn’t go far. She pretends to be cleaning the fish tank and listens in as Kyung-woo tells Jae-bok that she’s still beautiful.
Steeling herself against his smooth lines, Jae-bok asks why he contacted her secretly as Blue Rose. After a long pause, Kyung-woo says that it was just a coincidence. He claims that he didn’t realize who she was until after they’d been chatting a while.
He tells Jae-bok that he suggested this house to her because he wanted to help her, and that he didn’t reveal who he was because he was afraid her pride wouldn’t let her accept. Hearing that makes Eun-hee scoff to herself behind the fish tank. Kyung-woo then tells Jae-bok that he only rarely comes here, and he didn’t think they’d run into each other.
He notices Eun-hee listening in, and adds that he’s always felt indebted to Jae-bok. But before he can say why, Jung-hee arrives home. Jung-hee is all Oh, you’re Jae-bok’s first love, but Kyung-woo says they were just lovers. Well, that’s awkward.
Eun-hee wheels herself back into the room just as Jin-wook gets home from school. He’s got a new bruise on his face that he refuses to explain, and Kyung-woo calls him handsome. Deok-boon comments that Jin-wook looks so much like Kyung-woo that they could be father and son, which horrifies Jae-bok.
She hustles Jin-wook upstairs to avoid his questions about Kyung-woo, leaving her old boyfriend and her husband alone together. Jung-hee tries to be friendly, but when Kyung-woo eyes his ratty old sweatpants, he also hurries upstairs – but not before noticing Kyung-woo gazing up after Jae-bok with a longing expression on his face.
Jae-bok snaps at Jung-hee as soon as he gets upstairs, so he asks if she’s embarrassed of him. Although Jae-bok swears they were never physically intimate, Jung-hee accusingly says that Jin-wook really does look a lot like Kyung-woo, then immediately regrets it.
Angry, Kyung-woo barges into Eun-hee’s bedroom, where she sneers at him and holds out an envelope. He smacks it away and tells her that enough is enough, then leaves when Deok-boon enters the room. She opens the envelope to find a check, and she asks Eun-hee when she’ll stop doing this.
Deok-boon stomps to her own room, growling that Kyung-woo will do anything for Eun-hee’s money. She answers a call from a blocked number, but the person on the other end doesn’t say a word. All we see is a hotel room where the occupant has been holed up for a while (judging by the empty soju bottles and takeout food containers), along with someone standing with their back to the room.
Whatever Eun-hee’s reason for bringing Jae-bok and Kyung-woo together again, she’s definitely thrilled with the results. She flits around her craft room humming happily and laughing to herself. She then grabs a handful of her and Kyung-woo’s wedding photos before ripping them to pieces and flinging them into the air to rain down like confetti.
Jae-bok finds Hae-wook sitting in her room looking upset, and the little girl asks her mom if a person can jump when their leg is hurt. She’s thinking about how she saw Eun-hee skipping on the stairs in her cast, but she gets scared and refuses to say anything else.
Bong-gu’s friend Sam-kyu calls Jae-bok, pretending that there were a bunch of applicants for the position she applied to before telling her that she got the job. Ha, I love how Bong-gu listens in with a face on like he toootally doesn’t care. Sam-kyu asks if Jae-bok can start tonight, and Bong-gu does a little fist-pump when she agrees.
Jae-bok’s friend Won-jae is in the middle of a lecture when she notices that two of her students are canoodling right there in class, which is particularly funny as her lecture topic is the human libido. She loses her temper when the students ignore her and yells at them to get a room. Thank goodness her screechy rant is only in her head, and in reality, she calmly works the couple’s inability to keep their hands off each other into her lecture about sexuality.
Hye-ran decides to move back into her own place, roping Sam-kyu into acting as her bodyguard. He cheekily asks if her passcode is the same – did they date before? Hye-ran freaks out when she sees her ex’s wife and daughters leaving the building, their arms suspiciously full of paint cans.
She makes Sam-kyu enter her apartment first (ha, he leers when her passcode is indeed the same), and she screams when she finds her walls painted with insults and threats.
Jae-bok and Jung-hee argue over whether to send the kids to his mom or to Won-jae while Jae-bok works that evening. Jung-hee thinks that his mother watching them often will help his side in the upcoming custody battle, which is exactly why Jae-bok doesn’t want them going there.
On their way out, they run into Eun-hee, who’s on her feet now, and she chirps to Hae-wook that she must have been shocked to see her walking earlier. Jung-hee takes the kids to the car so that Jae-bok can talk to Eun-hee alone.
She confronts Eun-hee about events that no longer feel like coincidences, such as Kyung-woo supposedly leaving just before she moved in, then showing up again right when Jae-bok learned of their divorce. Eun-hee titters that she can explain everything, but Jae-bok says that she feels like Eun-hee is up to something.
In the car, Hae-wook swears that Eun-hee wasn’t just walking when she saw her — she was jumping. Jae-bok thinks that can’t be true, but she looks unsettled.
Jung-hee runs into Kyung-woo that evening on his way to work, and Kyung-woo asks about Jin-wook’s age. He doesn’t say anything else, but it’s enough to make Jung-hee nervous.
Awww, Bong-gu is still driving around with the two tangerines that Na-mi left on his car’s dashboard, though they’re looking wrinkled and sad by now. He’s eaten up with curiosity, wondering what the countdowns in Na-mi’s diary mean.
Though he grumbles when he finds Jae-bok waiting for him in a trench coat and huge sunglasses (they’re going on a stakeout), he obviously finds her adorable. He points out their client, a man who suspects that his wife is having an affair, standing on the sidewalk outside a lounge club.
Jae-bok couldn’t possibly look more obvious as she strikes what she thinks is a casual pose, making Bong-gu grin at her again. He waves her into his car, where they watch for a signal from their client.
Bong-gu asks how the divorce is going, but when Jae-bok barks at him for even knowing about it, he says that he just guessed. He tells her to think of the kids, but Jae-bok says she’s not willing to put up with bad treatment for any reason. She tells Bong-gu to mind his own business, which has him making childish faces at her, and she snaps that his shoelaces are untied again. HA, they’re so petty, I love it.
Their client waves at them, and they spot a woman entering the club with a man. They head into the lounge club — looking very slo-mo badass, I must say — and begin peeking into the private rooms. But instead of the client’s wife, Bong-gu sees Jung-hee in one of the rooms being pawed at by several ajummas.
Bong-gu hurries Jae-bok away from the room, and though she pauses for a moment when she hears a singing voice that sounds familiar, she lets him rush her out. He sends her to a nearby cafe with the client and goes back inside.
Jung-hee valiantly tries to avoid the ajummas’ advances, and when one actually forces a glass of alcohol down his throat, his struggles make them both slip on the wet floor, where he falls on top of her. Then another woman yanks Jung-hee up, causing his guitar to hit her in the face, giving her a bloody nose.
Bong-gu bursts into the room just as the women go after Jung-hee. They slip out the door and run from their pursuers, with Bong-gu keeping hold of Jung-hee in a hilarious wrist-grab.
They manage to escape and end up outside a convenience store slapping pain patches on each other’s bruises. Bong-gu fusses at Jung-hee for working in such a place, but Jung-hee says that a father can’t afford to have pride when he has to provide for his children. Bong-gu asks if that’s why he cheated. Good point.
Talk turns to Na-mi, and Jung-hee realizes that when Na-mi first joined his office, she started coming onto him right away. Bong-gu notices that that’s the same time the countdown in her diary began.
With all the younger, single men who were working there, Bong-gu wonders why Na-mi would pursue an older married man like Jung-hee. He informs Jung-hee that Na-mi never dated poor men, but Jung-hee rejects the idea that she approached him for any reason other than love.
He heads back to the lounge club, telling Bong-gu that he has to do it to support his kids. Jae-bok doesn’t go home as Bong-gu said, but goes back to the club, curious if the voice she heard earlier was indeed her husband. She sees him singing and leaves before he can spot her.
Jung-hee is very drunk by the time he gets home, and Eun-hee finds him stumbling into the house. She fusses over some cuts on his face, insisting on patching them up for him. It makes Jung-hee nervous to have Eun-hee so close, especially once he realizes that their position puts her breasts right in his face.
Upstairs, Jae-bok has another nightmare about Na-mi attacking her, but this time, Jae-bok gains the upper hand before waking. When she goes to the kitchen for a drink, she hears voices, so she creeps down to Eun-hee’s kitchen, expecting to see her and Jung-hee together.
Instead, Jae-bok finds Eun-hee alone, making a snack. Taking advantage of the moment, Jae-bok asks again if Eun-hee planned all of this with the house and Kyung-woo, but Eun-hee insists that she didn’t.
Just as Jae-bok seems about to believe Eun-hee’s innocence, she realizes that Eun-hee’s toast is burning. She grabs the heavy pan, burning her hand and dropping it to the floor. It looks as though the heavy pan is going to land on Eun-hee’s injured foot, but Eun-hee takes a nimble leap backward, despite her cast.
Jae-bok stares at her, realizing that Eun-hee’s been faking her injury. She says angrily that this is why she thinks Eun-hee is making things up, and she demands to know why Eun-hee lied that she was still married to Kyung-woo.
Eun-hee refuses to answer, asking why Jae-bok can’t just trust her word. She turns on the waterworks, sniffling that she lied about being injured to keep Jae-bok from leaving. But Jae-bok doesn’t buy it — she tells Eun-hee that if this is how she shows she cares, then she can’t trust her.
Jae-bok finds Jung-hee sleeping on the couch and tells him that she understands that he’ll do anything for their kids. But she says that singing in a nasty bar is like selling his soul. Jung-hee opens his eyes when she mentions the bar, and Jae-bok adds that she wants him to always be proud of himself in front of the children.
After she goes, Jung-hee looks guiltily at an empty glass on the table, remembering how Eun-hee gave it to him and let her hand linger a bit too long on his.
Locked away in her craft room, Eun-hee looks through an old photo album full of pictures of Jung-hee back in college, singing on stage. She thinks back to his big concert, the one where he met Jae-bok for the first time — and we see that Eun-hee was also there, cheering him on just as ardently as the other girls.
But when Eun-hee reached up her hand to touch him, Jung-hee never even saw her. He’d skimmed right past her to Jae-bok, and Eun-hee had watched as Jung-hee took the rose and stared intently into Jae-bok’s eyes.
Deok-boon is still up, also obsessing over a photo of a boy about Jin-wook’s age that she calls Brian. We hear his voice calling her Mom, wishing for her to forget the dark times and live in the light.
We’re shown that on the night Na-mi fell (was pushed?) down the stairs and sustained her fatal injury, it was Deok-boon who was there with her. Deok-boon shakes and cries, asking herself why she did it, crying out, “I’m sorry, Brian!”
But then she’s eerily calm again as she admonishes herself not to be weak. In a voice devoid of emotion, Deok-boon says, “I’m sorry Brian, but Mom has no choice. The game has already begun.” A creepy, not-quite-sane grin spreads over her face.
Jae-bok notices Bong-gu’s banged-up face the next morning at work, and comments sarcastically that it’s a coincidence that Jung-hee came home with similar injuries. She eyeballs Bong-gu’s breakfast, mentioning that working moms don’t have time to eat in the mornings, and Bong-gu shifts in his seat uncomfortably.
A bit later, Sam-kyu sends Jae-bok to the cafeteria to “pick up a package,” but instead she finds Bong-gu eating again. He says that he ordered too much and tells her to sit and eat, which she does. She orders more to take up to Sam-kyu, snapping that Bong-gu is selfish not to think of it himself, which makes Bong-gu upset because she totally missed the point of his gesture.
Hye-ran is surprised when she sees Eun-hee working out at her gym, and after sizing Eun-hee’s figure up, she concludes that Eun-hee spent a lot of money to look that good. Eun-hee asks how things are going with Jae-bok’s divorce, and since Hye-ran has no filter, she reveals that Jae-bok is ready to split, but Jung-hee is clinging onto her.
Eun-hee expresses surprise that Jung-hee would do that, especially since he’s the one who had an affair. Hye-ran says with a laugh that the affair was all Na-mi’s fault for coming on so strong. She goes on and on about how much Jung-hee loved Jae-bok when they first met, and Eun-hee grows so tense that she squeezes her water bottle until water shoots out like a geyser.
After thinking about Jae-bok’s wish that he be proud in front of his children, Jung-hee quits the job at the club and goes back to construction work. He tells Jae-bok that night and pleads with her to reconsider the divorce, promising to be faithful and swearing he won’t be happy without her.
Eun-hee was eavesdropping on their conversation, and she runs to her room to call Kyung-woo. She offers him a building that she owns if he’ll do something for her in return.
The next day, Kyung-woo shows up at Jung-hee’s job site unannounced. He pulls Jung-hee aside to request that they do a DNA test on Jin-wook, saying that he believes Jin-wook may be his son.
Jung-hee goes home after work to find Jin-wook with yet another scrape on his face, which Jin-wook says is all Jung-hee’s fault. He’s been getting into fights at school with a kid who makes fun of his incompetent father, and he calls Jung-hee an embarrassment.
Jung-hee blows up at him and tells him to go live with his rich father if he hates him so much. Jin-wook thankfully misunderstands, saying that he wishes he actually had another dad. He dodges Jung-hee’s raised hand and stomps off to his room.
Having seen just the tail end of their argument, Jae-bok asks what that was all about. Jung-hee turns his fury on her, accusing her of passing off another man’s child as his.
Stunned, Jae-bok stares at Jung-hee. Then she says that it’s true that Kyung-woo is Jin-wook’s father and asks for her divorce. Jung-hee begs her to deny it, but Hae-wook’s scared cries send him rushing to comfort her before he gets an answer. Jae-bok runs downstairs looking for Eun-hee, demanding to know where Kyung-woo is right now.
Bong-gu calls Jae-bok as she’s driving to find Kyung-woo, reminding her that she’s late for their job tonight. She says she’ll meet up with him soon, but he asks where she’s going now.
Jae-bok finds Kyung-woo leaving his hotel and insists that they talk, but he says he has a plane to catch and blows her off. Her car won’t start when she tries to follow him, but luckily, Bong-gu pulls up just then in his ostentatious sports car. Jae-bok leaps behind the wheel, and Bong-gu barely manages to get in the passenger seat before she peels out.
She races after Kyung-woo’s car, Bong-gu screaming in fear beside her. She cuts in front of Kyung-woo at a roundabout before jumping out of Bong-gu’s car to throw herself on Kyung-woo’s hood.
Kyung-woo comes out to talk, and Jae-bok asks him why he’s trying to destroy her family. Kyung-woo argues that it was already destroyed and that he truly believes Jin-wook may be his child. Bong-gu’s facial expressions are priceless as he takes this in from the sidelines, heh.
Jae-bok looks at Kyung-woo as if he’s lost his ever-lovin’ mind, then asks incredulously how he could stoop this low. Kyung-woo just tells her that she’s been mistaken about him, and that he’s always been this kind of person.
He turns to go, but Bong-gu stops him and says he should finish his conversation. Jae-bok grabs Kyung-woo’s arm and asks what he’s still hiding, but he removes her hand. He holds it for a moment, caressing it gently, then leaves.
Jae-bok’s eyes fill with tears as she remembers Jung-hee telling her that love doesn’t last forever. When Bong-gu asks if she’s okay, she snaps at him to leave her alone, but he doesn’t go.
Instead, Bong-gu reaches up to wipe away her tears, and she roughly pushes his hand away. He tells her to cry, just for today, and takes her in his arms. Jae-bok sobs on his shoulder, while Bong-gu looks like he’d do anything to take her pain away.
I just love Bong-gu so much — he’s such a good friend to Jae-bok, whether she wants him to be or not. Actually, maybe that’s why I like him so much, because he knows on some level that Jae-bok needs him, so he sticks around even when she pushes him away. Her refusals to accept his friendly overtures (for now I’m seeing them as simply friendly) never hurt his feelings or put him off, since he just bounces right back and is there for her when she needs someone most. Bong-gu is a truly odd creature and I doubt he’s doing any of this consciously, but that’s okay, because either way, he’s exactly what Jae-bok needs when she needs it.
So now we’re learning that Eun-hee’s obsession with Jae-bok didn’t begin with Kyung-woo and his lingering feelings for his ex-girlfriend, but actually started way back when Jae-bok and Jung-hee first met. Could this all really be about Jung-hee, and not Kyung-woo at all? Has Eun-hee shaped her entire adult life around getting back at Jae-bok for some imagined personal slight, maybe even going so far as to marry Jae-bok’s ex-boyfriend just to possess something that Jae-bok once wanted? I want to say that she couldn’t possibly be that unhinged… but the more we see of Eun-hee, the more I think she’s absolutely that unhinged, and probably worse.
With this new information about Eun-hee possibly feeling as though Jae-bok stole Jung-hee from her, Kyung-woo’s place in the plans no longer fits quite as well, and his own behavior (taking money from Eun-hee in the past, yet refusing it now) is unpredictable enough to make me wonder just how much he’s involved in Eun-hee’s machinations. I’d assumed he was either fully innocent or fully in on it, but now I wonder if he’s just someone she pays when she needs someone to help further her plans, like his asking for a paternity test on Jin-wook. Not that I believe for an instant that Jin-wook could be Kyung-woo’s son, not with Jae-bok’s repeated insistence that they never slept together. I think she just told Jung-hee that it’s true in order to get her divorce, and probably more to hurt him like he’d hurt her with the accusation. Now, I do think that Eun-hee probably paid Kyung-woo to contact Jae-bok as Blue Rose, though I wonder why nothing else happened for three years while they were just chatting online. Whatever is going on, I think we’ve still only just barely scratched the surface.
I’m also extremely intrigued by Deok-boon and her involvement in Eun-hee’s plans. She and Eun-hee can barely tolerate one another, yet Deok-boon seems almost more emotionally invested in the scheme than Eun-hee, what with the way she flies off the handle at the slightest provocation. But if she hates Eun-hee so much, then why does she get so upset when things don’t go as expected? It’s becoming obvious that Deok-boon isn’t entirely mentally stable, and I’m beginning to find her more frightening than Eun-hee. Eun-hee is cold and calculating, but as far as we know, she hasn’t directly physically harmed anyone. But we know that Deok-boon has violent outbursts where she lashes out and hurts people, and that she was at least in some way involved in Na-mi’s death. She’s also watched Jae-bok’s son Jin-wook while he slept at least once that we’ve seen, and now that we know that she has, or possibly had, a son, I’m scared for Jin-wook to be in the same house with her.
Thank goodness our Jae-bok is a worldly, intelligent lady, and she knows that something is terribly wrong with Eun-hee’s supposed friendship. I was worried that she would give Eun-hee the benefit of the doubt and allow her to get further along in her schemes than she has, but Jae-bok proved me wrong. I love that she’s not only aware enough to know that Eun-hee is up to no good, but brave enough to call her on it, forcefully and repeatedly. Even if Eun-hee refuses to answer Jae-bok’s questions, at the very least she knows now that Jae-bok and her family are not easy targets. Jae-bok’s family may be on shaky ground right now, but she’s a mama bear that isn’t going to let anyone hurt what’s hers, and she’ll do whatever she has to do to protect her cubs.
But whatever is happening and whatever Eun-hee’s end game is, the speculation and theories are just so much fun, even when they turn out to be wrong. In fact, being proven wrong nearly every week is a big reason I love the show so much, because it’s no fun being able to guess exactly where a drama is taking us. I fall in love with this show more every time it proves one of my theories to be way off, because it just shows that Perfect Wife is far more than your average enjoyable, but predictable, drama. It’s been a long time since a show kept me on my toes this way, leaving me unsure at any given moment which way it was going to take me, and I’m having a blast even though I still have no clue what’s happening. The journey is so spine-tingling, and the potential truths so frightening, that I’m in no hurry to find out the answers. I’m perfectly happy to sit back and let the show mess with my mind.