Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 4
Thankfully, we’re starting to get a stronger dose of the light and fluffy instead the dark and creepy. Our masked kidnapper is still lurking in the background, but there’s less of an urge to watch this drama whilst hugging a pillow and telling yourself that monsters don’t exist. But don’t worry, Bong-soon still has plenty of baddies to deal with, both of her own making, and those out to harm her dashing — and sometimes frustrating — CEO.
EPISODE 4: “Her Identity”
After kidnapping his third victim, the Masked Man disposes of any evidence with alarming ease, destroying both the car and license plate at a scrap yard before carrying the stolen woman away.
That same night, Min-hyuk finds himself sitting on the couch that Bong-soon slept on. Smiling to himself, he remembers how she easily dragged the full-grown motorcyclist to the rooftop. He decides that this level of strength is far beyond normal.
Said abnormal girl is currently busy designing a video game character based on herself, when Gook-doo calls her to check if she staying with her boss again. Bong-soon confirms she’s at her own home, and Gook-doo immediately starts
nagging advising her “as a friend” to behave more maturely (i.e. don’t stay overnight at a man’s house).
Bong-soon pouts but meekly agrees, until Gook-doo asks her to pass on his thanks to her brother for helping Hee-ji (Gook-doo’s girlfriend) at the hospital. This proves to be too much for Bong-soon, and she tells Gook-doo to say it himself. “I also know how to get upset and mad. I have a heart and that heart can get hurt as well.”
Gook-doo is stunned by her outburst but not entirely clueless, since he answers back that the two of them are just friends, and he’s just saying this for her sake. But Bong-soon’s on a roll now and yells that she knows they’re only friends before hanging up. Still mad, she thinks that this was the first time she ever hung up on Gook-doo and how it’s not just her strength but her own emotions that are getting harder to control.
With an impeccable sense of timing, Min-hyuk chooses that moment to call his bodyguard and pepper her with questions about her strength, wanting to know exactly how strong she is. Bong-soon makes a valiant effort to rein in her temper and keep things professional until Min-hyuk adds, “By chance, are you a man?”
Temper be damned, Bong-soon yells back, “Why? If I were a man, would you want to go out with me?” (Hah!) Min-hyuk remains implacably curious, saying it makes no sense for her to be that strong. He even asks if she could break a boulder with her head, but that proves to be too much. Roaring into the phone, Bong-soon warns, “You’ll find out if you try hitting your head against mine tomorrow. See if your skull breaks or not!” She hangs up, and both Min-hyuk and Bong-soon call the other crazy.
Just then, there’s a knock on Bong-soon’s bedroom door. In strolls Gook-doo, wearing his uniform and a sweet smile as he holds out his hand to her. Bong-soon gazes beatifically at her at crush and shyly reaches out to hold his hand, but just before their fingers touch, her hand is slapped away by… Min-hyuk!?
Oh. My. Gawd! Dressed in woman’s clothing and wearing a wig, a pretty Min-hyuk steps between the two. He glares at Bong-soon, then turns sexy eyes on Gook-doo. Pulling the utterly confused Gook-doo in close, Min-hyuk spins them around and slooowly slides his hands down to Gook-doo’s backside. Omo!
Giving a coquettish smile, Min-hyuk flips up the back of Gook-soo’s jacket and grabs his butt! He even gives it an extra squeeze (who can blame him?) as he tosses a territorial look at Bong-soon. She in turn gives an almighty, “Nooooo…” and flails herself awake. Mortified, Bong-soon spends a few moments tossing in her bed, ranting at her “dirty dream.”
Back in the real world, Gook-doo listens as his superior gives a pretty speech about using clues from his beloved TV show to help solve their current case. It would be fairly impressive, except his impassioned findings are soundly debunked when the solemn Gook-doo points out the TV victims and the kidnapper’s victims have nothing in common. Sorry, Sherlock.
At the walnut shop, Mom holds court with her ladies. The three are arguing because one of the women has a family connection in a company that builds shopping complexes, the very company that is fighting for the land slated to the redevelopment project. In light of this, the woman asks the others to withdraw their support of the redevelopment — and in return, she’ll use her connections to get them deals in the new shopping mall. Mom likes this idea, but maintains that they need to consult an expert.
Heh, cut to all three ladies visiting a shaman. The man doesn’t seem very legit, and amidst the waving of mystical bells and spiritual feathers, he tells the women that if they fight against the redevelopment project in favor of a shopping mall, the owner of the redevelopment will not stand for it. He advises them to “feed money to the head” (bribe the head of the development) and promises that in three years, they’ll get back four times the amount.
Mom and her ladies are ecstatic about the news, and Mom uses the chance to also ask the shaman about her daughter’s chances with her CEO. Sliding some more money across the table, she adds that she wants the two to sleep together first, since that’s the best way to speed along a relationship. Oy.
Bong-soon goes to Min-hyuk’s to start her work day, only to learn that the first thing he has scheduled is “Privacy,” which is his scheduled time to do nothing at all. While Bong-soon mutters about his easy lifestyle, Min-hyuk instructs her to make him breakfast.
When she reminds him that she’s his bodyguard, not his wife, he starts guilt-tripping her with stories of woe about his poor injured toe as he calls himself a victim. It works, and she wanders to the kitchen. She starts to take out the chopstick she bayonetted into the counter, but Min-hyuk yells at her to leave it. Heh, a souvenir, perhaps?
Bong-soon crushes some apples for fresh squeezed juice easily with her bare hands (looking like she wishes the apples were her boss’s head), but he grouches that he wants a full breakfast. She tries to give him the old “apple a day” adage, but Min-hyuk throws a mini tantrum, demanding food.
In the meantime, the shaman is telling Mom that her daughter has some very, very strong (hur) luck and will definitely marry well. Mom delicately asks if it’s ok that the man is gay, and the shaman hems and haws that, “Someone is probably going to live their life getting hit.” Mom awkwardly mutters that she doesn’t think it’ll be her daughter receiving any beatings. Pfft.
The three women leave the shaman, talking about his prediction that the redevelopment will have support from police and maybe even gangsters. Mom is more concerned about her potential son-in-law being gay, comparing him to a bright red apple that she can’t pick.
Min-hyuk finds a breakfast prepared for him and stares at the home-cooked spread, remarking that Bong-soon made the same food his mom used to cook. He slowly eats, clearly holding back tears at the familiar taste.
While her boss eats, Bong-soon waits in the car. She calls her friend, Kyung-shim, and rants about how “this person” keeps making ridiculous requests of her. She adds that he has even given her a walkie-talkie for communication, which suddenly comes to life as Min-hyuk orders her back inside.
Bong-soon heads into the gaming dungeon, only to find her face playing on all the monitors – there was a camera in the car and Min-hyuk recorded her rant against him. Hehe. Although, invasion of privacy, much?
With a Cheshire smile, Min-hyuk informs Bong-soon that she violated her contract terms to not slander her boss. He accuses her of calling him a bad name, and the two devolve into a bicker fight over whether or not “this person” is a slanderous thing to call someone. (In Korean, the phrase implies a strong lack of respect.) He half-chases her around the room until she reminds him of his toe, so he starts limping on purpose. Smooth.
Bong-soon continues to hold to her argument that “this person” can refer to anybody, so Min-hyuk angrily drops the subject and tells her to just stick to their schedule for the day. Then he makes her help support him as he “limps” out.
It seems revenge is a dish best served on wheels, as the day’s schedule consists of Min-hyuk rolling along on his hover board with Bong-soon running along behind him. When she falls behind, he rolls back and asks how “this person” could be so slow. She glares at his grin when he asks if she has a problem being called that. Both pretty and petty, I see.
Bong-soon collapses on the ground, refusing to go further. Suddenly, something hits the drone that Min-hyuk is flying overhead. He pinpoints the noise to a rooftop where a black-clad shooter starts firing metal pellets at him. Min-hyuk immediately grabs Bong-soon and they both take cover behind a tree as the shooter fires off more rounds.
The attacker gets off a final shot that grazes Min-hyuk’s arm, drawing blood and knocking him to the ground. Bong-soon rushes to her unconscious boss’s side. Seeing the shooter flee, the petite woman gathers the much larger man into her arms and effortlessly bridal-carries him away. The best part is that the theme song “I will Always Love You” from the classic movie Bodyguard plays as Bong-soon rescues her CEO damsel.
Min-hyuk comes to as she’s running off with him and gazes up at her as she runs in slow motion, the setting sun behind her. Hah, soon as she looks down at him though, he fakes unconsciousness again. Clearly, someone enjoys being carried.
Sadly, Min-hyuk’s princess moment is ruined when his Prince Charming dumps him into the car, slamming his head against the door in the process. She promises to take him to a doctor, but he snarls back, “What kind? Orthopedics? General? Neurologist?” as he motions to his fractured toe, grazed arm, and bumped head, respectively. His injuries do seem to be piling up.
Bong-soon is still freaking out about his bleeding arm, but Min-hyuk tells her to just take him home since his head feels like it’s splitting open. She calmly states that in her experience, skulls don’t break that easily… then she stomps on the gas and Min-hyuk’s head whips back against the seat, making him cry out all over again.
The two return to Min-hyuk Mansion, and Bong-soon dresses his wounds. There’s a charged moment when he gazes down at her as she gently blows air on his injury. He looks away when she glances up, but they both seem to notice the closeness.
Fishing for a topic, Min-hyuk brings up her strength again, noting the ease with which she carried him away. He’s starting to realize that she isn’t just abnormally strong, but supernaturally strong. Bong-soon looks nervous, until Min-hyuk asks: Is she perhaps… an alien?
Min-hyuk loses his joking façade when he gets a phone call from his stalker. The voice takes responsibility for the shooting, and warns him not to accept his father’s company, or else his AinSoft software will be released to the public. Min-hyuk isn’t cowed, but he seems worried after the stalker hangs up.
Bog-soon notices the change in her boss and offers to stay and help him, but Min-yuk tells her to go home, saying there are some things he needs to figure out himself. She leaves, muttering that he wanted them to stay together before.
Min-hyuk retreats to his closet, staring at the picture of
Bong-soon his mystery girl. He thinks back to the day he left home, when he’d refused to accept his brothers’ torment any longer and decided to live life the way he wanted.
Bong-soon visits her dad at the walnut shop. He notes her depressed face and immediately asks if she got fired again. (Heh.) Dad sends her home to accept a walnut delivery, but seeing her hangdog expression, he calls her back.
Beckoning her close, he starts pulling out money from multiple hidden stashes in his apron, shirt cuff, hat, and even the toaster oven. Hah! Mom must be really thorough in her shakedowns if he’s resorting to such lengths. He tells Bong-soon to buy herself a pretty outfit, and Bong-soon stares up happily at her father. They hug, and it’s a sweet father-daughter moment.
On what feels like a side note, Hee-ji meets with Bong-soon’s brother, Bong-ki, to thank him for his help at the hospital. The two make small chat about Gook-doo, both acting very much like they’re on a date.
Bong-soon buys herself a new outfit, then gets a call from the high school gang kids that she sent out to gather trash. She meets with the kiddos and the whole group falls to their knees, asking their “Noonim” to be their leader. Awesome.
Boss Tak (the leader of the gang that Bong-soon put in the hospital) and his second in command, Jaws, visit the family walnut shop. It looks like they’re doing background research on Bong-soon as they order a few walnut pies and scope out the store.
Mom and her friends arrive as well (all three glaring at Boss Tak and Jaws for sitting at their usual table), and there’s a strange moment when Boss Tak doesn’t understand how to eat a slice of his pie. Mom has to explain that he needs to cut it first, and it actually takes a few tries. All brawn, no brains?
Bong-soon listens as her new kiddo followers pledge her their allegiance, not really knowing what to do with them. A stray soccer ball knocks into her legs, and while her wannabe underlings get up to fight the player who kicked it, Bong-soon simply turns to the ball and kicks it back. Except, her light kick catapults the ball into the stratosphere, reaffirming her new followers’ faith.
She walks away in slow motion as the kiddos all fall to their knees behind her, calling out their love for their Noonim.
Walking away from the kids, Bong-soon stops by the school and remembers when she attended it. It was during this time that she caused a number of mistakes with her strength and started trying to hide her abilities.
That desire was compounded when Gook-doo passed by her one day, saying he preferred fragile girls that he could protect. (Is he looking at her?)
Bong-soon thinks that she never cared much about studying. Still in flashback, Mom had taken her daughter to a temple and prayed for her to get into a university — any university. Instead, Bong-soon had asked the statue of Buddha, “You can do whatever you like about the college thing. But please, let me become In Gook-doo’s girlfriend.”
Bong-soon had put all her heart into the prayer, but when Gook-doo started dating the prettiest girl in school, Bong-soon had been crushed and lost her faith. The next time her mother took her to the temple, she had just glared at the uncaring figure.
After she left, a monk nearly had a heart attack to find the giant Buddha statue completely turned around so his back was facing out. Bong-soon walked away, narrating, “He was the one who’d turned his back on me first.” Pah! She’s almost as petty at Min-hyuk.
Returning to the present, Kyung-shim and Bong-soon are in her room when Gook-doo calls Bong-soon outside. He plays her a voice recording of the husband of the second victim, but she says that the voice isn’t the same as the kidnapper from the hospital. Upset, Bong-soon matters, “We need to catch them,” but Gook-doo tells her to leave it to him, adding, “There’s a lot of bad guys that bother fragile girls like you.” If only you knew.
Bong-soon asks after Hee-ji, and Gook-doo answers that she’s out of the city for a concert. He heads off, but Bong-soon calls after him to be careful, saying that she’s worried about him – as a friend. Aw, he gives her an understanding smile before leaving.
Bong-soon returns home in a funk and asks Kyung-shim to go out to a movie together. Bong-ki returns home and Bong-soon confirms with her brother that he met with Hee-ji earlier, grouching at the girl for lying to Gook-doo about not being in Seoul. Kyung-shim invites Bong-ki to go out with them.
Min-hyuk makes a call to the one brother he does trust: his middle brother, Dong-suk. He reveals that he’s been getting threats, and Dong-suk seems genuinely surprised and worried. Min-hyuk shares that he thinks it’s one of his other brothers threatening him, believing him to still be the weak child they tormented. He swears that if he catches them, he’ll kill them.
We flash back to when Min-hyuk was seven and his two nasty brothers locked him in the closet before Dong-suk rescued him.
Min-hyuk texts Bong-soon to chat and immediately invites himself out to watch the movie with Bong-soon, Kyung-shim, and Bong-ki, even offering to pay. As Bong-soon, her friend, and her brother head to the theater, Boss Tak and Jaws follow behind.
The group goes to see the X-Men movie Logan, but hilariously, Bong-soon sobs (loudly) through all the action scenes, probably relating with the super strong characters. She narrates that superhero movies are the saddest.
Afterwards, Kyung-shim and Bong-ki try to gloss over Bong-soon’s strange behavior as the befuddled Min-hyuk can’t figure out why she cried. To cover it up, Kyung-shim proposes they go to a club. Min-hyuk jumps on the idea, offering to pay again.
At the club, Kyung-shim is liberal with the alcohol, and Bong-soon gets drunk quickly. She and Kyung-shim head to the dance floor as Min-hyuk stares after her, worried that she’s had a lot to drink. He quickly flips from worried to starry-eyed as he watches Bong-soon dance, smiling softy to see her having fun. Boy’s got it bad.
Bong-soon decides to get her own dance pole, but when she grabs onto it, she accidentally pulls the pole out of the ceiling and floor. She then proceeds to spin around with the pole, not understanding in her drunken state why everyone is staring as they try to duck away from the swinging metal.
The next morning, a very hungover Bong-soon wakes up in her own bed, but gets whacked repeatedly by her mother for her antics last night. She groggily starts to remember what happened when Min-hyuk brought her home and flinches in horror.
Min-hyuk had helped the inebriated Bong-soon inside, then suffered through all manner of abuse, whether from Bong-soon pinching his cheeks as she called him no good, to her whisper-yelling to her mother that Min-hyuk is gay (right in front of him).
Finally, Bong-soon got right up in his face and threatened that Min-hyuk better stop flirting with her Gook-doo. “If you touch Gook-doo’s butt, I will make your butt disappear from your body.” HAHAH! Throughout all of this, Mom and Bong-ki stared at their daughter/sister as she thoroughly humiliated herself in front of her boss.
In the present, Mom tells Bong-soon to forget marrying her boss and instead just settle with keeping her job – if she can. Bong-soon slumps down in embarrassment.
Meanwhile, Gook-doo rushes to his superior with a report of another missing woman (our third victim) who fits the kidnapper’s MO. The other half of the team returns with even better news: The footprint from the crime scene comes from a one of a kind designer shoe, so they should be able to narrow down the owner.
Oh, man. We return to the dungeon prison when Masked Man’s newest victim wakes up strapped to the same bed the first woman was tied to. He drugs her to stop her screaming and tenderly caresses her as she passes out. He calls her his second bride, saying that he likes skinny girls, so she’ll only be getting one meal a day in order to fit into her wedding dress.
Even worse is that the “first bride” watches all this, helplessly chained up in one of the cells, not ten feet away. Later, the second bride screams from her own prison cell as the first bride furtively eats a scant meal.
Bong-soon engages in self-flagellating via tooth brushing as she thinks over her options for dealing with last night’s fallout: (1) Bring Min-hyuk a diagnosis from a psychiatrist stating that she occasionally goes crazy due to a mental condition, (2) admit everything in a cool manner, or (3) say that Min-hyuk was drunk too, so he couldn’t have remembered things clearly.
Kyung-shim joins her and asks if Bong-soon is sure that her boss is gay. This just gives Bong-soon another option: (4) Introduce Min-hyuk to a handsome man. Pfft.
Min-hyuk also gets ready at his place, laughing to himself as he remembers Bong-soon from last night.
Min-hyuk calls Bong-soon, who groans to see the call. She answers the phone sweetly at first, then devolves into begging him to give her one more chance. She’s completely thrown, however, when Min-hyuk doesn’t even mention last night and just calmly reminds her to come into work today. He even – almost tenderly – tells her to take her time getting in and eat a good breakfast. Bong-soon nods slowly, unable to believe her good fortune.
The two hang up, and Bong-soon practically dances around her room, smiling at her phone and deciding that her boss isn’t so bad after all. Min-hyuk also grins at his phone, calling Bong-soon “extremely cute.” He remembers her disappearing butt threat and sighs, “So original. And melodramatic. She’s sexy.” Rawr!
Kyung-shim tells Bong-soon that she doesn’t think Min-hyuk is actually gay, but Bong-soon is on cloud nine and waves it off. “Is that even important? A person’s character is important.” Pah!
Bong-soon happily heads off to work, but along the way, she bumps into a stranger. The man apologizes quickly and walks off, but she stops. Her mind goes back to when she bumped into the kidnapper at the hospital and he’d apologized – the same way that stranger had apologized. Bong-soon stands frozen in the street as she realizes that the voices are the same, which means she just passed the kidnapper.
How cute are Bong-soon and Min-hyuk?! I don’t think either of them are really at the warm and mushy feeling stage yet, but their relationship is moving so smoothly and organically that it’s beautiful to watch. Not to mention squeal at. I especially enjoy watching Min-hyuk slowly falling for the mighty pipsqueak that is the awesome Bong-soon. He obviously finds her attractive (given his many “sexy” comments), but I don’t believe that’s what really drew him in. This episode highlighted that she is first and foremost a mystery to him, and he loves solving puzzles. He hired her because she fascinated him, not because he fell in love at first sight. I was really happy to learn that, because otherwise there’d be nowhere for him to go in the relationship if he loved her from the beginning. Now, we get to watch as he slowly softens towards her through the little things, like her cooking reminding him of his mother, or just watching her dance so freely. She’s becoming less of a source of entertainment and more of a person to him.
Admittedly, I’m also really curious as to what Min-hyuk is doing with the whole gay thing. We obviously know that he likes women given his slow gazes at Bong-soon, though at this point, he could totally be bi given all the innuendo he’s throwing out there at Gook-doo. (Hawt.) He’s been called gay to his face and hasn’t bothered correcting anyone, so either it’s partially right, or he’s just having fun with the assumption. It could also be that he likes the idea that people can’t figure him out and just enjoys being a mystery. If you think about his life growing up, he lost his mother, had brothers that hated him and one brother that protected him, had a gangster father that doesn’t seem to care, and multiple stepmothers who are more inclined to drink than play parent. Then on top of that, he left home young, became a CEO of a large company, and spends most of his down time alone in a dungeon game room. It makes total sense that he’s a bit…eccentric. I’d be more surprised if he did have normal interactions with people after all that.
The show still hasn’t quite meshed the dark kidnapping moments with the lighter romcom, but the transitioning between the two halves of the show is getting better. In spite of the tonal dichotomy, I’m really enjoying both storylines. The Masked Man is getting creepier with each bride, to the point where I find myself flinching away from the screen whenever he shows up. It is strange though – and I’m wondering at my own sanity — I didn’t truly hate him until he told his “second bride” to lose weight to fit into her wedding dress. Apparently, in my mind, being a psycho killer/kidnapper is one thing, but ordering them to keep off the weight is a whole other kind of cruel. (There are some things you just don’t say to a girl, you big meanie!)
I’m a little worried about the sheer number of villains in this show, since they’re getting harder to keep track of. I know there are some theories that the Masked Man and Min-hyuk’s stalker are one and the same, and while that would make things easier, I’m not sure I agree with it. These have been completely different crimes thus far, and the motivations are also totally separate: one is for political reasons, the other is based on some kind of twisted bride polygamy fetish. I’m far from an expert and this is just my view so far, but being both a BB gun shooting stalker and a psycho masked kidnapper is a whole other level of multitasking that doesn’t seem possible.
I do really like how the show is turning some of the bad guys into backup for Bong-soon. The high school punks have now pretty much bound themselves to her for life, and I think Boss Tak and Jaw aren’t too far from falling for her as well. I’m hoping for a storyline where the kiddos and gangsters end up joining Bong-soon and Min-hyuk so that they can all bring down the big bad guy(s) together. Team Do Bong-soon, fighting!
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- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 2
- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 1
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