Radiant Office: Episode 6
We’ve got characters growing by leaps and bounds in this episode, giving us insight into the kind of people they are outside of the office. But personal growth doesn’t always lead to happy things — sometimes it can mean coming to the realization that some unhappy changes need to happen. As a couple of unlikely relationships spark, one is finally ready to move on, hopefully for the betterment of those involved.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Woo-jin screams like a ninny when Ho-won crawls out of his closet looking like something out of a horror movie before he demands to know what she’s doing in his house. She tells him that she’s his new part-time housekeeper, asking him to please put some clothes on. Hee.
Once they’re both calm, Ho-won explains that she didn’t know this was Woo-jin’s home until moments before he arrived, and pointedly murmurs that she wishes she had a better job so she wouldn’t have to clean houses. Woo-jin huffs that she sounds like she’s blaming him for her being in this situation, and she points out that he did fire her.
Since she has nothing to lose by being honest, Ho-won ridicules Woo-jin’s previous statement that the hiring process should be fair. She says that nothing in her life is fair, finding that fact unfair in itself.
Changing the subject, Woo-jin shows Ho-won the picture of Hyun and asks if he helped her get the job at Hauline. Ho-won says that he’s just a doctor she knows, which dispels Woo-jin’s theory that Hyun is a headhunter.
Once she finally gets out of the building, Ho-won breaks into a huge smile as she thinks of something and happy-dances up and down the street. Woo-jin watches her from his balcony, wondering why she took the blame for Ji-na’s mistake and let herself be fired before grinning at Ho-won’s antics.
Aww, Ho-won was dancing because Woo-jin gave her her job back at Hauline. Ki-taek and Kang-ho are glad to see her when she shows up the next day, though Woo-jin ignores her, as usual.
He pulls Ji-na into his office to ask her why she let someone else take the blame for her error. He calls her irresponsible and asks how he can trust her now, and she can only stammer a pathetic excuse. Woo-jin says that he didn’t ask Ho-won why she accepted the blame, and puts Ji-na on warning — she can’t make any more mistakes.
Ho-won doesn’t tell Kang-ho and Ki-taek about cleaning Woo-jin’s house, just that he called her and said to return to work. She accepts congratulations from Yong-jae, Suk-kyung, and Gu-dong, while again, Woo-jin barely acknowledges her.
Ji-na approaches Ho-won to apologize about the order miscommunication and to ask why Ho-won took the blame for her. Ho-won says that she saw the photo of Ji-na in Ki-taek’s wallet, so Ji-na deduces that if Ho-won hadn’t covered for her, Ki-taek was going to. Ji-na accuses Ho-won of dating Ki-taek, but Ho-won says that she just owes him a few favors.
Yong-jae brings in the guys to tell them all that there’s a mandatory volunteer activity this weekend for the employees. Of course, he can’t go because his grandmother is sick, but Ji-na sarcastically exclaims that he must have so many grandmothers, and what a coincidence that they always get sick when there’s a company function.
Jae-min, the new permanent hire, asks Ho-won if she regrets coming back so soon instead of being able to skip the activity, but she says she’s glad to contribute. Jae-min leaves them with a smug “fighting,” and Ki-taek asks Kang-ho to do something about the kid, since he was Jae-min’s sunbae in school.
Later, Ho-won lights up when Hyun saunters into the office, here to see Woo-jin about the volunteer work. There’s an awkward beat when Manager Park enters the room and stares to see Hyun there, but Hyun smooths the moment by saying that Manager Park is his patient. Ki-taek and Kang-ho also come in, but Hyun doesn’t betray that he recognizes them.
Woo-jin explains the volunteer event to Hyun, which involves Hauline donating furniture to public facilities in undeveloped regions. Hyun is here to arrange for his hospital to provide medical services to those same areas. Gu-dong watches Hyun closely, but Hyun doesn’t give away that he’s anything other than what he appears to be.
Ho-won is happy to hear that Hyun will be going with them this weekend. Hyun says that he heard about Ho-won’s firing and that he’d been trying to think of a way to help, but she cutely says she made it back on her own. Hyun tells her to come to him next time she’s in a bind.
Later, Manager Park calls Hyun, who says that Woo-jin approached him first. He asks if Manager Park thinks this is only about the volunteer work and decides that they’d better not be seen together for a while.
Woo-jin tells Gu-dong that he went to Hyun’s office first because he was curious about him. Hyun had told Woo-jin that he heard a lot about him, because he and Ho-won are close. When asked, he agrees that he and Ho-won first spoke when she delivered his furniture, but that they actually met before that in an emergency room. He’d said that Ho-won doesn’t remember their first meeting and asked Woo-jin not to tell her.
Woo-jin admits to Gu-dong that the volunteer invitation was an excuse to learn more about Hyun, but now he’s even more intrigued, because he feels as though Hyun talks in riddles. Gu-dong says that he’ll look into Hyun further. When he’s alone, Woo-jin watches Ho-won through his blinds, wondering why she would have been in the emergency room.
Yong-jae introduces Ho-won to Mrs. Jo, the woman in charge of Hauline employee insurance. He leaves them alone, instructing Ho-won to learn how the insurance works before explaining it to the others. Mrs. Jo informs Ho-won of how much it costs to be sick without insurance, urging her to get covered while she’s young and healthy.
To demonstrate what she means, she shows Ho-won clips of an old drama in which a young man (Hey look, it’s Yang Dong-geun in Ruler of Your Own World), though Mrs. Jo acts like she knew the character of Bok-soo personally and sold him insurance. In Mrs. Jo’s version of the story, her insurance saved his life, and he married his rich girlfriend, had two kids, and became a prosecutor (HA, a nod to his character in Missing 9, perhaps?).
Mrs. Jo explains that as long as three months pass after signing the papers and before diagnosis, all of the patient’s medical bills are paid if they get a serious illness. That night, Ho-won asks Hyo-ri if she has insurance, but Hyo-ri thinks it’s better to save that money. Ho-won puts a lot of thought into it and decides to think a bit longer.
On the day of the retreat, everyone is given screaming pink parkas to wear, and they whine about giving up their weekend for this. They gather outside the building for a group picture, Woo-jin showing up last with a jacket over his parka. Ho-won is told to move to the middle because she’s small, and Woo-jin surprises her by pulling her close to him.
Ho-won is last on the bus, and to her dismay, she finds that all the seats have been taken except for the one beside Woo-jin. Ouch, even Woo-jin looks around to see if there’s anywhere else for her to sit. She cringes away from him like she might burst into flame if they touch, heh.
When Woo-jin closes his eyes during the drive, Ho-won takes the chance to study his face. She even reaches over to touch his jacket, yanking her hand back when he suddenly asks if she’s ever been in the emergency room. Ho-won fibs that she hasn’t, so Woo-jin asks if she’s had many housekeeping jobs. Ho-won admits that she’s had a few, but most potential clients think she’s too young, which has Woo-jin giving her an interesting look.
Feeling brave, Ho-won asks about the screen in his house with his giant picture on it. Woo-jin adorably stammers that it was a goodbye gift from his previous coworkers, and that he just hasn’t removed it yet because he can’t get the curtains he wants. Ho-won just grins and says it’s a good picture of him, which knocks Woo-jin right off his guard.
A while later, the bus swerves wildly when a car cuts into its path, throwing the unbelted passengers out of their seats. Ki-taek struggles to get to where Ji-na is stuck in the aisle and throws himself over her, while Woo-jin shields Ho-won with an outstretched arm.
The injured are rushed to the hospital, where Woo-jin beelines straight to Ho-won, who hit her head on the seat in front of her. Of course it’s to fuss at her for not wearing her seat belt, but he’s obviously concerned, and grows even more so when she suffers a small dizzy spell.
He tells Ho-won to stay and have some tests run, but she can’t afford to have her illness discovered, so she says she’s fine. Woo-jin turns around to look when Yong-jae kicks up a dramatic fuss about his sore ribs, and when he turns back, Ho-won is gone.
She leaves the hospital and heads for the bus station, but her phone battery dies, leaving her with no money and no way to call anyone to pick her up. She asks several other passengers for bus fare with no luck, then turns to see Woo-jin right behind her. He tuts at her for running off without any money and tells her to come with him.
Back at the hospital, Kang-ho worries over Ki-taek, who was mildly injured in the accident. Ki-taek finds Ji-na being treated for a gash on her leg, and she thanks him for saving her from a worse injury.
Woo-jin takes Ho-won for something to eat, then asks if she’s upset to have her weekend ruined by an accident during a work outing. Ho-won says that actually, when the bus was swerving like that, she felt like she could breathe again. She says that spring is hard for job seekers, because during employee recruitment season at the first of the year, all that rejection can make you feel lost.
She admits that every March, she promises herself that she’ll go see the cherry blossoms if she gets a job. She says pensively that this could be her last spring, though Woo-jin takes her words as idle musings.
He takes her back to the station and buys her a ticket back to Seoul, explaining that he’s got something to do before heading back. He starts to leave, then turns back and calls to Ho-won, and next thing they know, they’re walking together among the cherry blossoms.
Woo-jin enjoys watching Ho-won marvel at the flowers, and soon they find themselves approaching the small house where Woo-jin’s father lives. Woo-jin’s dad brings them some food and sympathizes with Ho-won that it must be hard working with Woo-jin. Woo-jin is stiff around his father, but they don’t seem to have a bad relationship, just a bit distant.
When Ho-won tries the food, she chokes up a bit, reminded of how her father would make food for her like this every day when she got home from school. Woo-jin’s father reveals that Woo-jin’s mother died when he was young, so he always cooked for his son, too.
Woo-jin sits to do the dishes and tells Ho-won to go look at the flowers some more. Ho-won says that she feels guilty for having fun while he works, but he says this isn’t work, and here, the dishes are his job. Ho-won giggles at his rubber slippers, then again when Woo-jin brags that he looks good in anything.
She goes back out to take pictures of the blossoms, and Woo-jin’s dad jokes that his son must be awful to work for. Ho-won says that Woo-jin is always right, but Dad says that’s his problem — he’s always right, which is annoying to people.
Ho-won comments on how different Woo-jin and his dad are, and Dad says that Woo-jin has always been successful, but he’s also been through a lot of hardship. He tells Ho-won that Woo-jin put himself through school by working many part-time jobs, and that he feels uneasy around his son because he hasn’t done anything for him.
A bit later, Woo-jin joins Ho-won as she’s talking to the flowers. He tells her to pick some, but she says that will only shorten their already short lives.
As they ride the bus back to Seoul that night, Ho-won tells Woo-jin that she was wrong for thinking he was born privileged. She sees that his eyes are closed, so she turns her face to the window, and Woo-jin opens his eyes.
Back in the city, Woo-jin tells Ho-won to take the day off tomorrow if she doesn’t feel well. He offers her money for a cab, but she says they can share one, since she lives near him. When they get to his building, Ho-won thanks him for showing her the blossoms today, and Woo-jin offers to walk her home.
HAHA, he’s not much of a protector, nearly jumping out of his socks when a cat meows nearby. Ho-won can’t resist teasing him, and soon they’re at her gate. Ho-won grows serious and promises Woo-jin that she’ll work a lot harder from now on. He watches her walk up to her apartment, smiling to himself.
Ho-won decides that she’s not going to give up and tears up the insurance paperwork. At his place, Woo-jin looks at one of the plants Ho-won repotted, befuddled by Ho-won and the way she seems to smile and cry all at the same time.
Ho-won goes in to work the next morning and learns that Ji-na, Yong-jae, and Jae-min are taking the day off to recover. Suk-kyung comes in despite her injured arm, and Kang-ho is impressed with her determination.
Suk-kyung has a meeting with CEO Han and Manager Park, where CEO Han compliments her on her work ethic. They discuss the upcoming launch of a new product, and Suk-kyung grows curious when the two men talk like they have something secret planned.
Woo-jin and his team meet in his office, also to discuss the product launch. Gu-dong asks Woo-jin when he got back to Seoul yesterday, and Ho-won tenses up, but Woo-jin just says that he came straight back and rested.
In the cafeteria during lunch, Ki-taek comments that Ho-won seems different today. They’re surprised when Gu-dong and Woo-jin join them, then Ho-won freezes up when Woo-jin sits down next to her. Woo-jin acts like he always does, but Ho-won can feel her heart pound at having him so near.
Kang-ho brings some reports to Suk-kyung’s desk, along with a drink and a sandwich. Awww, he noticed that she was having trouble eating with her hurt arm, so he brought her something easy to eat. Suk-kyung seems genuinely touched, and even accepts his offer to help with her typing.
A huge box is delivered to the office for Ho-won, which she opens to find a lovely new business suit inside. There’s a letter from her brother Ho-jae, saying that he knew if he sent money, she’d only send it back. He tells her not to worry about him and her mom and expresses how proud he is of her. Ho-won can’t stop herself from bursting into tears, too moved to even answer her phone when Ho-jae calls her.
Ho-won changes her mind about signing up for insurance, knowing that if/when she dies, her family will receive a large payout. She meets with Mrs. Jo and signs the paperwork, determined to make sure her family is taken care of when she’s gone.
Ki-taek waits outside Ji-na’s building for her after work, but he’s dismayed to see Jae-min giving her a ride home from their hospital stay. He approaches Ji-na after Jae-min leaves, saying that he just wanted to make sure she was okay since she wasn’t at work.
She says she’s fine and asks after him, then Ki-taek turns to go. He stops and comes back, and takes his photo of Ji-na out of his wallet. He hands it to her, his voice hitching as he says that he thinks it’s time to give it back. He says goodbye, addressing her by her work title, and as he walks away, he bursts into heartbroken tears.
While browsing in a bookstore, Woo-jin overhears a couple of girls discussing a new book about three people who all ended up in the emergency room after trying to kill themselves on the same night, then were all hired by the same company. He checks out the book, and sees Hyun listed as the author.
Ho-won arrives home that night to find Woo-jin waiting at her gate, and he immediately gripes at her for getting home so late. He says that he needs to know something important, and asks if she tried to kill herself because of him. Ho-won sighs heavily, takes a breath as if to answer his question, then collapses to the ground, unconscious.
I really liked how this episode took some time away from the office to show us a little more about the characters themselves. Surprisingly, though it seems to have come on fast, I actually think Woo-jin and Ho-won’s increased personal interest feels very natural. They’ve been hyperaware of each other for some time now, though not for very fun reasons, but they say that love and hate are just two sides of the same coin. When you’re watching someone as closely as these two have been watching each other, even if it’s to guard yourself against them, you’re bound to see some good things among the bad. Woo-jin has learned that Ho-won possesses a lot of tenacity, and the ability to do a very good, thorough job when her task is something she’s comfortable with. And Ho-won has witnessed Woo-jin’s home, which reflects that he’s not nearly the perfectionist he presents himself to be at work.
So it’s no wonder that they’ve started to become drawn to each other, and when caught in a dangerous situation far from both of their regular surroundings, it makes sense that they both dropped their guard a little. In particular, Ho-won got to see a softer side of Woo-jin and learned that he’s a lot more like her than she thought. People bond when they feel a connection with another person, so I’m not surprised that Ho-won is now feeling some very non-work-related feelings for Woo-jin.
I’m also a bit excited for Kang-ho and whatever may be blooming between him and Suk-kyung. He’s also seeing her as a person outside of her work persona, and as he starts to view her as less of a supervisor and more of a woman, it makes total sense that he might develop some warm emotions towards her. It may not go anywhere, but if nothing else, it will be healthy for Kang-ho to experience some positive feelings towards a woman, since it seems like his only experience with women at this point is with his domineering, overbearing mother. Even if this thing with Suk-kyung never goes beyond a crush, or even just admiration, Kang-ho needs to see that there’s more to life to aspire to than just landing a good job.
But it’s Ki-taek who really twisted my heart into knots in this episode, and I’m very proud of him for finally letting Ji-na go. At first I thought he mostly liked her for her looks, because goodness knows her personality leaves a lot to be desired. But it’s becoming clear that Ki-taek’s feelings for Ji-na are much more meaningful than her surface appearance — somehow, he sees something in her that has him deeply in love. Ki-taek even quit studying for the civil service exam for her, then when she asked him not to interview at her company, he honored that wish. Yes, he took the job when it was offered anyway, but as he said, he needed to do something. He’s done a pretty good job of keeping a respectful distance from Ji-na and not pressuring her to get back together after the night he tried to overdose.
But true love is setting someone free when they ask for their freedom, so even though I know that it broke his sweet little heart, it was a final gesture of love when Ki-taek gave Ji-na her photo back and walked away. A couple of weeks ago I would have said he’s well rid of her, but we’ve seen small flashes of regret from Ji-na when she looks at Ki-taek, and I think that she’s starting to realize what she threw away. I hope that she regrets breaking up with Ki-taek and asks him to get back together, but I also hope that he makes her really, really work for it. He deserves better than the person Ji-na is now, and she has a long way to go before she deserves someone like Ki-taek.