Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 9
Love isn’t easy when you’re a pint-sized superhero trying to live a quiet life. Bong-soon finally settles the score with Boss Tak as the investigation on Do-bong’s most nefarious criminal ramps up. But despite the chaos around her, it’s Min-hyuk who sends her into disarray. Gook-doo makes two crucial discoveries and in both he finally recognizes that the clues have been around him all along.
Episode 9: “Life-risking Love”
Boss Tak and his boys ready themselves to rumble: They start off three at a time but Bong-soon quickly overpowers the first team without breaking a sweat. The second wave sets off and Bong-soon thinks back to Min-hyuk’s advice during their training sessions, where he had told her to look her opponent in the eyes in order to anticipate their movements.
She pulls over her pink hood and puts his words into action, dodging punches and knocking out thugs in quick succession. More men race out, but things are clearly not going as planned as Jaws screams out for his boys to take Bong-soon down.
Min-hyuk arrives first to the warehouse and he hurries in to see Bong-soon jumping around and kicking ass like a deadly spider-monkey.
Bong-soon catches her breath after a round, and for Min-hyuk, her silhouette mirrors the hooded girl from his recurring dream. This time the hood falls away, and Min-hyuk is able to confirm at last that Bong-soon was the one who saved him on the bus that day.
Gook-doo enters shortly after and tries to make sense of the scene before him. The last remaining guys approach Bong-soon, but they’re smart enough to immediately plead for their lives.
They grab onto Bong-soon’s arms as they beg, and she lifts them all at once before launching them across the room. Gook-doo looks like his brain is ready to explode, while Min-hyuk watches on with a mixture of awe and pride.
Bong-soon prepares to finish off the last man standing, Boss Tak. She stares him down as he trembles, but then Kwang-bok emerges from his hiding place behind her. He sneaks up on Bong-soon with a knife in hand.
Min-hyuk and Gook-doo spot Kwang-bok at the same time and sprint forward to stop him. Min-hyuk gets to Bong-soon first, and he jumps in front of her just in time to shield her from the blade. It pierces him instead. Gook-doo follows up with a powerful kick, knocking Kwang-bok into the ground where he punches him over and over.
Min-hyuk slumps over as Bong-soon cradles him in her arms. She sobs as she holds him and puts her hand on his bleeding wound. He puts his hand over hers and shudders from the pain, but his first words are to ask if she’s okay, and then slowly he fades.
A distraught Bong-soon accompanies Min-hyuk to the hospital where the ER doctor determines that Min-hyuk’s wound isn’t that deep and he should be fine, but they’ll run some tests to be sure. Bong-soon hovers over Min-hyuk frantically, as Gook-doo takes notice of her reaction.
She remains at Min-hyuk’s bedside while he sleeps, and cutely prays for him to wake up, promising that she will do whatever he says if he does. He comes to and upon seeing her, the first thing he says is, “It’s a relief that I got stabbed instead of you. And that you didn’t get hurt…” Then his tone suddenly turns light and he adds, “…is what you were thinking, right?”
He starts complaining and asks why he’s in the bed when she’s the bodyguard, haha. He groans in pain with every little movement, causing Bong-soon to fret each time. After throwing a tantrum over the scar he’ll have to live with, he looks over to her and asks seriously if she’s unharmed. His concern lasts about two seconds before he starts freaking out that the surgeons may have accidentally removed one of his organs, because it feels like something’s missing.
Secretary Gong comes in and begins sobbing once he sees Min-hyuk lying in the bed. But Min-hyuk cuts him off to tell him to save his tears until it’s clear that he won’t die of surgery-related complications first, and then he can cry all he wants.
Eventually, he orders Bong-soon to go and get something to eat since she hasn’t had anything all day. When she protests, he tells her, “Do you think I will get better if you starve?” LOL. He assures her that she can take good care of him when she gets back.
As he sends her off, he slowly becomes delirious, alleging that he’s hearing things and in a feeble voice, he asks her to come back quickly to his side, then pretends to pass out. Once she leaves, his eyes pop open and he tells Secretary Gong that he’s A-okay because his wound isn’t that deep, and basically that Secretary Gong can go now.
He orders his secretary (doing his best Yi Soon-shin impersonation), not to tell any of his employees that he was stabbed. (Admiral Yi Sun-shin’s famous last words were to a similar effect. He had instructed his men not to announce his death and weaken his soldiers’ morale after he was fatally shot during the height of the Battle of Noryang.)
Gook-doo sits alone in the lobby and thinks back to that day in high school where he had knowingly told his friend the kind of women he was interested in, in hopes that Bong-soon would overhear and take the hint.
Right before he walked passed Bong-soon he told his friend that he wasn’t interested in the popular girl that liked him. He had said specifically (but we hadn’t heard) that he doesn’t like tall girls. He added the bit that we heard before about liking girls that are like flowers and need protection, as Bong-soon snapped off the water spigot. He thought it was strange how the water began spraying all over the place, but dismissed the thought.
Later, he recalled seeing the night patrol officer swearing to a repairman that a “tiny girl” bent one of the metal high bars. The repairman accused the man of being drunk, and Gook-doo thought nothing of it at the time.
In another instance, their class participated in a tug-of-war, and at first Bong-soon stood on the sidelines as a cheerleader. But after the class lost the first round, she stepped in and lightly tugged at the rope from the back, resulting in their victory. Gook-doo congratulated his classmates, then turned around and noticed Bong-soon sneaking back to the sidelines trying not to be caught.
Thinking of all the evidence, everything suddenly makes sense to Gook-doo now. He agonizes over the truth he had been too blind to see.
Meanwhile, Min-hyuk ruminates over his own revelation (Bong-soon = mysterious hooded dream girl). Gook-doo walks in at that moment and asks if Min-hyuk knew about Bong-soon’s secret, and if that was the reason he had hired Bong-soon as his bodyguard.
Min-hyuk tells Gook-doo that Bong-soon does not want him knowing about her powers, and hopes that Gook-doo can continue to act like he doesn’t know. But Gook-doo can’t unlearn the truth, and starts to ask Min-hyuk why he would take a knife for Bong-soon. As he says his question, he seems to also figure out the answer.
Min-hyuk throws Gook-doo’s unfinished question right back at him, and his eyes lock onto Gook-doo with a resolute glare. Kiii! Shots fired, right at my heart.
Bong-ki finds Gook-doo sulking outside Min-hyuk’s room, and Gook-doo reveals that he knows everything now. Bong-ki apologies for keeping him in the dark about his sister, then begs Gook-doo to help cover up the fact that Bong-soon used her powers, or even has powers, since the hospital is overflowing with Bong-soon’s victims and it’ll be hard to keep everything under wraps.
Gook-doo can’t really see the big picture, and swears that he’ll see to it that Kwang-bok is put behind bars for attempting to stab Bong-soon (but not for actually stabbing Min-hyuk?). Bong-ki argues that Min-hyuk also doesn’t want to complicate things and since he’s the victim in this situation, he hopes Gook-doo can follow Min-hyuk’s wishes.
Mom, Dad, and Kyung-shim rush through the hospital in search of Bong-soon. Once they learn that it was Min-hyuk and not Bong-soon who was hurt, they fight to be the first ones through the door.
Min-hyuk is overwhelmed to receive his new visitors, and Mom immediately becomes adamant that they should repay him for his act of kindness. Min-hyuk tries to insist that he’s fine, but then Mom solemnly offers Bong-soon as payment. This is so wrong, so then why am I laughing so much?
In the Dungeon of Doom, the brides put their heads together when their “groom” is away. Bride #1 suggests that they scream for help at the same time and hopefully someone might hear them. Their screams can be heard above ground at the junkyard, where the Bride Collector watches his captives from his many monitors with a smirk.
He heads immediately down to his dungeon and the women begin panicking to have been caught in the act. He enters Bride #1’s cell and says that he shouldn’t have been so nice to them before violently beating her with a metal pipe.
Down at the police station, the mother of Bride #3 cries to Gook-doo’s team leader, but he apologizes and tells her that he’s been removed from the case. She heartbreakingly says that she wants to go in her daughter’s place, and voices her theory that the person to kidnap her daughter was someone she knew.
Gook-doo listens to the exchange and remembers Bong-soon’s description of the kidnapper’s aroma, and his mind goes back to the junkyard.
Dad criticizes Mom for treating Bong-soon like cattle, and asks if she’s lost her marbles. Mom fires back that in a dream scenario Min-hyuk would take both Bong-soon and Dad off her hands, but doubts that Dad is of any value.
Kyung-shim swoons at Min-hyuk’s act of selflessness, and Mom concurs, then immediately gets pissed off as she remembers that some bastard was aiming for her daughter. Dad joins in her ire and starts cursing raring to fight.
Back in Min-hyuk’s room, a nurse redresses his wound and is impressed that Min-hyuk is coping with his injury well. Min-hyuk confirms his lack of pain, and is only interested in when he’ll be able to remove his stitches. The nurse is then taken aback when suddenly Min-hyuk begins crying out in agony, immediately upon Bong-soon’s return, ha.
Hee-ji drops by the hospital and tells Bong-ki about Gook-doo’s one-sided crush, and how dissatisfied she was during their relationship, which in retrospect she attributes to the feelings Gook-doo didn’t know he had for someone else. She confesses to doubting if they were actually in love. But with Bong-ki, she says, her feelings are so clear.
Bong-ki reiterates his stance that he’s Gook-doo’s friend and says they need time, but he doesn’t refuse her outright. She pushes back that timing is important and if they miss theirs, then one of them might start dating someone else.
She requests five dates, and if after those dates he still doesn’t want to be with her, then they can give up without any regrets. Bong-ki looks agreeable to the setup and says that as the guy he should be the one to say those kinds of things.
Boss Tak visits the hospital again, which is now filled with all of his men. He asks where Kwang-bok is and Jaws accidentally points out Hyun-dong, whose face is wrapped entirely in bandages, so Boss Tak starts hitting him and scolding him for using a weapon when he had instructed them not to.
Jaws stops Boss Tak and redirects him to the real Kwang-bok, who has even more bandages than Hyun-dong and is basically in a full-body cast.
However, before Boss Tak can hit the real Kwang-bok, Mom barges in and demands to see the scum who went after her child. She recognizes Boss Tak, then makes the same mistake as Boss Tak and starts beating up Hyun-dong.
Boss Tak sends Mom after a bedridden and mummy-like Kwang-bok, but he’s so injured that even Mom realizes that there’s nowhere left to punch him.
Boss Tak tries to assume responsibility by apologizing, but words aren’t enough for Mom and she demands that Boss Tak take Kwang-bok’s beating in his stead. She raises her arm, but just as she’s about to make him into a punching bag, Chairman Ahn swoops in and steals her thunder by tackling Boss Tak to the ground.
Following the smackdown, Chairman Ahn visits his son, who requests that his father not make a big deal out of the situation since Kwang-bok wasn’t actually trying to stab him. Chairman Ahn asks why he would get stabbed in someone else’s place like a fool, and Min-hyuk replies that he isn’t afraid of knife wounds because he’s had more painful experiences than this.
Chairman Ahn reels at his ungrateful attitude when he took Min-hyuk in and raised him, and at that, Min-hyuk spitefully hisses back that he isn’t his father’s real son, but a beggar who rolled in off the street. He asks why his father didn’t abandon him like he abandoned Mom. Chairman Ahn says that he told him never to speak of his mother, and Min-hyuk tells his father to leave because he doesn’t need him or his company.
Bong-soon stands outside Min-hyuk’s room and listens to the entire exchange. Min-hyuk’s stepmother comes by and Bong-soon overhears her talking on the phone about Min-hyuk, stating that he isn’t that injured and has always been a loner, so he’ll be fine by himself.
Chairman Ahn comes out of the room kicking and screaming, and the stepmom starts acting like she’s suddenly so concerned about Min-hyuk’s welfare. Bong-soon looks back into the room where Min-hyuk is alone and sees him throwing things in a fit of frustration, then leaning back to stop his tears.
Gook-doo follows his suspicions back to the junkyard and is shocked to see the Bride Collector, whom he recognizes as the witness from the first woman’s murder. As a witness he had cleverly provided fake details of the suspect in order to throw the cops off his scent, and specifically pointed out the criminal’s abnormally large feet.
Looks like Gook-doo is wearing his smartypants today, so he asks the Bride Collector to examine his engine, while he uses the opportunity to take a look around. Gook-doo peers inside an unlocked door that leads to the underground warehouse where the women are hidden deep inside, but the Bride Collector grabs a crowbar and starts heading that way…
The Bride Collector calls out to Gook-doo before he can investigate further and tells him that his car looks fine and that they are closing for the day, so Gook-doo is forced to leave. But he’s onto him now.
Gook-doo hurries back to the station to tell his team that he believes the reason that the criminal committed his crimes in the same place twice at first is because he wanted to leave fake footprints and create confusion. Gook-doo tells his team that the witness (whose name is KIM JANG-HYUN) is also the owner of the junkyard and suddenly the clues begin clicking together.
Bong-soon loiters around in Min-hyuk’s room as he continues to brood over his dysfunctional family. He tries to dismiss Bong-soon for the day, but she points out that he always hides when he’s feeling blue. She adds that they already pinky-swore that he wouldn’t do that anymore. She tells him that they should stay together, and this time he doesn’t argue with her.
She asks if he’s hungry and he admits it, but when she asks what he wants, he says he wants the food he had at her house. So Bong-soon deploys Mom, who cheerily packs some banchan for her future son-in-law.
Bong-soon sweetly dabs Min-hyuk’s face and hands, cleaning him in some kind of quasi-sponge bath. She finally asks him why he shielded her from the knife. He smiles and says that she had the same expression on her face when they first met at the police station as she does now, and orders her not to look at another man in the same way.
With his suspicions confirmed, he then tells her to fess up and admit that she’s the same girl who saved him years ago on the bus. We flash back to that day, where Bong-soon was on the other side of the road and saw the bus beelining for the mother and daughter. She sprang into action and grabbed onto the speeding bus with all her strength, ruining a pair of shoes in the process. Then she quietly snuck away.
In the present, she tells Min-hyuk that that incident was the first time she used her powers to help other people, when all her life she was always hiding her strength.
Min-hyuk can’t believe it was really her, because he always thought that girl was an angel sent from his mother. He explains that he had ditched his night class to go visit his mother’s grave that day, but then Bong-soon cuts him off at the mention of cutting class, figuring out that if he was still in high school then, he’s either the same age as her or younger.
She’s angry that he acted like he was her oppa, and so Min-hyuk has to utilize his patient status and begins groaning in pain to distract her. Bong-soon, who hasn’t figured out his deceit, offers to call the nurse. But he commands that she just sit beside him and finish wiping him down, then smiles to himself when she isn’t looking.
Meanwhile, it’s night in Do-bong and the Bride Collector strikes again, snatching up his fourth bride.
Mom and Dad arrive at the hospital with dinner, and Min-hyuk salivates as Bong-soon preps their family’s super special bibimbap. Bong-soon serves Min-hyuk his first bite of the day, but right before he can get a nibble, Bong-ki bursts in to stop them since Min-hyuk isn’t allowed to eat on account of his big boo-boo.
The entire Do family gathers around to stuff their faces while Min-hyuk watches on, famished. Tortured by their full bellies, or rather his empty one, Min-hyuk tries to send everyone home for the night, including Bong-soon.
He explains that it’s been a long day for Bong-soon as well and she should rest, so Mom volunteers herself to stay by Min-hyuk’s side. Mom announces proudly that she is extremely adept at caring for patients, and that Min-hyuk has “no idea how many people I’ve hurt and put into the hospital.” Haha, oh god.
Min-hyuk tries to refuse on the grounds of sheer terror and the fact that he would be more comfortable alone, but nearly loses his nerve when Mom gives him a menacing look. Thankfully, Bong-soon and Dad know how to contain Mom’s brand of torment and ushers her quickly away.
A very badly beaten Boss Tak slips into Min-hyuk’s room when the Do family is gone. Min-hyuk turns serious upon seeing the gangster and tells him threateningly that had Bong-soon been the one injured today, Boss Tak would already be dead.
Boss Tak tries to give Min-hyuk a box of juice as an apology and a get-well present, but Min-hyuk flat out refuses his conciliatory gift. He asks again where Min-hyuk found such a rare and talented person like Bong-soon, and Min-hyuk shouts at him to get lost, hee.
In the hall, Boss Tak runs into Bong-soon after sending her parents off. He offers her the juice (which she also rejects) then tries to explain that Kwang-bok wasn’t acting under his orders and what he did was dirty. Boss Tak acknowledges their defeat against Bong-soon and they both agree to keep things between themselves as it would ruin both their reputations.
Boss Tak emphatically agrees that if word gets out about her super strength then it would ruin her chances at marriage. Bong-soon stops him right there and barks that that’s not the reason, rather that she wants to live quietly. He practically begs her to join his team, and she snaps at him to “live kindly.”
Bong-soon surprises Min-hyuk by returning to his room, and after she convinces him that he’s stuck with her, he suddenly asks for a bath. Omo! Min-hyuk clarifies that he only meant washing his hair, but he clocks her weird reaction and accuses her of being disappointed.
A little later, Bong-soon towel-dries Min-hyuk’s hair, and when she pulls away, he holds her hand in place to stop her, then looks deeply into her eyes. They stare at each for a long moment as the pieces of their long day fall together, until Bong-soon closes her eyes and clenches her fist, readying herself. Omg, omg, omg.
He studies her for a beat, and starts leaning forward, but he looks conflicted and then tells her to go to bed. SHE CLOSED HER EYES! What’s wrong with you!? I’m so mad.
She’s confused by his reaction, but recovers without visible embarrassment, then settles into the couch and immediately closes her eyes. Min-hyuk glances over at her and whispers to himself in amazement that he’s found his mystery girl, then closes his eyes as well.
Having only been pretending to be asleep, Bong-soon opens her eyes a moment later and watches Min-hyuk as she thinks back to when he was stabbed, and his emotional clash with his father.
Min-hyuk struggles to find sleep, and his eyes open once more as his gaze finds Bong-soon’s like a magnet. They remain in the silence as they observe one another, unable to take that missing step forward. But why? I don’t understand. It’s KISSxKISS=KISS2. This is simple math, people.
Elsewhere, Unit 3 learns of the Bride Collector’s fourth victim, but the problem now is that since they were removed from the case they can’t act in an official police capacity. Interestingly, one of the detectives says that Jang-hyun hadn’t left the junkyard at the time the latest kidnapping took place, confounding the team.
At a PC-bang, Bong-soon’s crew tries to edit Bong-soon’s face out of the video they are planning to post online. Jaws finds the video in the morning and is mortified when the faces of his men are clear as day.
Two of Gook-doo’s teammates stakeout at the junkyard, and Jang-hyun watches them on his monitors. He looks down at Gook-doo’s resume in his hands and a photo of Hee-ji. Ruh roh. The detectives follow after Jang-hyun when he sets off on the road, but he’s well aware that they are following and loses them easily.
He’s on his way to do his own bit of staking-out on his new target: Hee-ji. We see how he previously planted a bug in her purse after staging a collision with her, then listens to a conversation she has with her mother.
Secretary Gong helps Min-hyuk prepare in the morning and he asks about Bong-soon’s transfer to the game development department on tomorrow’s agenda. Min-hyuk revises her transfer date to until after he is discharged from the hospital, but when Secretary Gong asks when that will be, he acts like he’ll live at the hospital forever and ever.
Bong-soon joins Min-hyuk, and Gook-doo arrives shortly thereafter to report the fourth woman’s disappearance. Gook-doo asks for Bong-soon to come down to the station to verify some information and she agrees right away. Min-hyuk, on the other hand, isn’t keen on the idea and blurts out, “I don’t want you to get hurt! It’s okay if I get hurt, but I really hate you getting hurt.”
Determined, she tells Min-hyuk that she’ll be back and takes her leave. When she’s out of the room, Gook-doo growls to Min-hyuk that he’ll be the one to keep Bong-soon safe and stomps off as Min-hyuk shouts after him.
As she and Gook-doo walk out of the hospital, Bong-soon brings up her strength and he acts like it isn’t a big deal, and says that she should have something she’s good at too.
He gets a thoughtful look on his face as he says, “Our timing has always been off.” He adds that he isn’t the least bit grateful to Min-hyuk even though he got stabbed in her place, and wonders why.
Bong-soon tries to change the topic by bringing up the case again, and Gook-doo is certain that the same man is responsible. But now that his team can’t investigate the case officially, Gook-doo wants Bong-soon to see if she can identify Jang-hyun as the Bride Collector.
At the police station, Bong-soon listens to Jang-hyun’s testimony and confirms that it’s the same voice. Right at that moment, another detective comes in to tell Gook-doo that the culprit has been apprehended, but it isn’t Jang-hyun. Alarmed, Bong-soon argues that Jang-hyun is the guy they want!
I swear this show is secretly a medical drama because of the inordinate amount of time we spend in the hospital. But if the hospital is the only place that we can get these kind of charged romantic moments, then I don’t care where we are as long as it isn’t in the Dungeon of Doom.
Regarding the kiss that wasn’t, for a second, Min-hyuk looked like he was totally going to kiss her and then he changed his mind! It’s clear that Min-hyuk’s created this larger than life image of Bong-soon in his head, and sees her as one of the heroic female characters from his games. It’s consistent with the first thought he had after their not-kiss, which was to marvel at the fact that the angel who saved his life, and maybe even changed his life, is Bong-soon. And for him that was a truly surreal and fantastical moment that has clearly sustained him until now. So maybe he feels protective over that memory since he cherishes it so much.
For him, his feelings for Bong-soon maybe don’t necessarily differ from the same kind of adoration he has for strong female heroines, and has more to do with his view of himself, rather than Bong-soon. Maybe he doesn’t exactly see himself as a hero, or a leading character. Maybe to him he’s just a lonely boy hiding in a closet, and being with Bong-soon conflicts with the image he has of himself. He might think that he is somehow undeserving of a stable, loving relationship, as evidenced by the way he lashed out at his dad. But what do I know? I know nothing, but I want answers because I don’t know if my heart can take another fake out.
It’s clear that a shift has occurred in Bong-soon and she has never really been the type of person to question what she feels. She just dives in and hopes for the best. I really hope they aren’t dragging this out for some stupid reason, but I’m so all-in with this loveline that I’ll cheer them on from the sidelines as they work their problems out.
You know, Gook-doo is really the poster child for the phrase “too little, too late.” Both in his love life and in his work, and he seems to know that about himself, especially in his relationship with Bong-soon. That moment they had at the end when he was trying to tell her that he’s loved her all along, but never realized it, but Bong-soon was clearly on a different page than him—that scene made me so sad.
Overall, I’m impressed that Gook-doo handled Bong-soon’s secret with such maturity and it was nice to see how he realized the signs were there for him all along. I also appreciate that the ideal woman he painted aloud to her in high school was based around her, and when she proved to be far from that image, nothing changed about the way he felt about her. Because to him, Bong-soon has always been Bong-soon and not a mysterious hooded dream girl. So maybe at least he’s figured that part out, whereas Min-hyuk still needs to.