Perfect Wife: Episode 13
Jae-bok is determined to discover the truth about Eun-hee and why her obsession with Jung-hee is so intense that she’s willing to lie, cheat, and manipulate anyone she can in order to get him. Jae-bok’s in for some more surprises as she digs into Eun-hee’s past, and even though the facts still don’t add up just right, what emerges is a picture of a deeply disturbed woman whose motives go back much further than Jae-bok ever imagined.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Just moments after Jae-bok discovers Eun-hee’s obsessive wall of photos of Jung-hee, Bong-gu calls to tell her that Eun-hee and Jung-hee are about to begin their engagement ceremony. She rushes to the location and stops them just before they enter the venue.
Jung-hee looks shocked to see her, but Eun-hee cheerfully asks how she found out. Jae-bok ignores Eun-hee, earnestly telling Jung-hee that he can’t do this without seeing something important first, and when he does, he won’t be able to go through with this engagement.
Eun-hee clamps her hands on Jung-hee’s arm and drops the friendly mask, but Jae-bok snaps at her to shut it. She turns her attention back to Jung-hee and asks him to listen to her, as the mother of their children. If he still wants to get engaged to Eun-hee after that, she says that she won’t stand in their way.
Worried, Jung-hee asks Eun-hee to delay their engagement. In private, Jae-bok tells him what she found in Eun-hee’s secret room. She asks him to look for himself, but he goes with Eun-hee and tells Jae-bok he’ll talk to her more at the house.
When Eun-hee asks about Jae-bok’s objection, Jung-hee fibs that she’s worried that this engagement is too soon for the kids. Eun-hee seems to accept that answer, but she sends a pointed look to Hyung-sun, who nods and leaves.
Meanwhile, Jae-bok tells Bong-gu what she found in the secret room, confirming that Eun-hee has been stalking Jung-hee for years. Bong-gu is worried Eun-hee might get there first and dispose of the pictures, so Jae-bok rushes home.
Hyung-sun arrives first, but when she gets to the third floor, she finds Won-jae and all the kids hanging out outside the secret room. Hae-wook is drawing, and Che-ri and Jin-wook are playing music, which Won-jae claims are all forms of therapy. Heh.
Jae-bok shows up just then and tells Hyung-sun that she has a guest. They find Jung-hee’s mother downstairs demanding answers, and Hyung-sun is forced to go with her and explain.
Jung-hee apologizes as Eun-hee drives in stony silence, explaining that he feels uncomfortable keeping their engagement a secret, particularly from the kids. Still not speaking to him, Eun-hee speeds down a side road, and when Jung-hee’s phone rings, she plucks it from his hand and tosses it out the window. To calm her down, Jung-hee talks about his dreams and how he needs her help to realize them.
She finally turns to look at him, but with her eyes off the road, their car is nearly hit head-on by a truck. Jung-hee turns the wheel just in time and they skid off the road. Eun-hee barely reacts to the near accident, she just asks in a scarily calm voice if Jung-hee really wants to live happily with her. He nods yes, and Eun-hee hugs him tearfully while he looks unsettled.
While trying to reach Jung-hee, Jae-bok fills Won-jae in on the wall of photos in the secret room. Won-jae’s professional opinion is that Eun-hee is sick and should be hospitalized.
Eun-hee insists on getting engaged right there by the side of the road. Jung-hee goes along with it, and they place the rings on each other’s fingers, Eun-hee’s I’ll love you forever, even after I’m dead sounding more like a threat than a joyful promise. She doesn’t seem to notice that Jung-hee doesn’t return the sentiment.
Eun-hee can’t wait to announce to Jae-bok that they’re engaged and blurts it out the moment they arrive home. Jung-hee asks after the kids, and Jae-bok says that Hae-wook was asking for him. As he steps past her to climb the stairs, she secretly slips a note into his hand.
Eun-hee starts to go up to the third floor, and Jae-bok is surprised when, before she can stop her, Jung-hee’s mother steps into her path and asks to speak to her. Eun-hee tries again, and his mother stops her again… interesting.
Once alone, Jung-hee reads the note from Jae-bok, which says to go to the secret room immediately. He does, and looks surprised to see fabric draped everywhere, all stitched with the initials “K&H.” When he looks toward the alcove holding Eun-hee’s wall of photos of him, he looks even more shocked, though we don’t see what he sees.
Jung-hee’s mother takes Eun-hee into her bedroom and spends a long time exclaiming over Eun-hee’s fine things. It really seems like she’s stalling for time. She hands Eun-hee a long list of Jung-hee’s family members, all of whom will be expecting wedding presents. HAHA, Eun-hee’s face.
Jae-bok finds Jung-hee and asks if he gets it now. She says that Eun-hee has been stalking him for years and years with her mother’s help, and that they’re working to snag him in their web. But Jung-hee just calls her paranoid, and she asks how he can say that after seeing those pictures.
Jung-hee says he didn’t see any pictures, so Jae-bok drags him back to the room to show him. But the board, which was previously covered in fifteen years’ worth of photos of Jung-hee and their family, is now completely empty. Jae-bok tells him what she saw here before, but Jung-hee thinks she must have been seeing things.
Downstairs, Eun-hee is forced to listen while Jung-hee’s mom goes into excruciating detail about each and every family member (I genuinely feel sorry for Eun-hee right now). Finally, Eun-hee can’t stand it anymore, and she jumps up and runs upstairs.
She finds Jae-bok and Jung-hee in the secret room arguing over whether Jae-bok really saw anything. Jae-bok starts to ask her where the photos went, then realizes it’s a futile question because she won’t get a straight answer.
Eun-hee is confused about the pictures too, so she goes to ask Hyung-sun if she took them down, but Hyung-sun says she couldn’t even get into the room. The only other person in the house was Jung-hee’s mother, so it’s a mystery as to who took the photos down.
That night, Jae-bok tries to convince herself that what happens to Jung-hee is no longer her concern. At the same time, Eun-hee stands in her secret room, wondering who has her precious pictures of Jung-hee.
She finds Jung-hee sleeping in a chair in the music room she made for him. He’s having a dream in which he remembers a car accident and a curly-haired woman blocking him from hitting the windshield with her arm. When he wakes, for a moment he sees Eun-hee as that curly-haired woman, and he screams in fear.
Eun-hee grabs a monogrammed handkerchief to wipe his forehead, but he flinches from her touch. The initials on the handkerchief trigger a memory of someone handing him a similarly stitched handkerchief when he was younger. He tells Eun-hee that it seems familiar, but she says it’s probably a false memory.
Jung-hee muses that all of this feels like a dream, and if it is, he doesn’t want to wake up. Eun-hee softens as she says that it’s not a dream, but if it is, she’ll make sure he never wakes. She hugs his head to her breast as she sighs, “Forever,” and Jung-hee’s expression goes from adoring to scared.
At work the next day, Jae-bok tells Bong-gu about the disappearing photographs. She pouts that Jung-hee thinks she’s crazy now, then remembers something else. She gives Bong-gu one of the pictures of Eun-hee’s bruised face, which Eun-hee had claimed was Kyung-woo’s doing, and she asks Bong-gu to have it analyzed to see if the bruises are real.
They both go on the offensive when Sam-kyu interrupts them again, having discovered that he was paid by Eun-hee to plan the engagement party. Bong-gu punches him hard in the mouth, and Sam-kyu swears that Eun-hee just said it was an event and that he didn’t know what it was for.
Jung-hee stares out his office window as he thinks about Eun-hee’s secret room. As it turns out, he did see the photos covering the wall and was deeply disturbed. He knows who Eun-hee is now, and he chants her real name in a voice filled with hatred: Moon Eun-kyung.
We see a moment from his memory, of Eun-hee bleeding from the mouth and collapsing, as her voice echoes, “Say you’ll love only me, forever!” He recalls her watching him all the time in college, and he tells himself that he has to overcome this.
He calls Eun-hee, and though it takes him a moment to find his voice, he successfully plays the dutiful, adoring fiance. He thanks her for giving him strength and promises to succeed and become a man whom everyone fears and envies.
Eun-hee likes hearing that, and though she frowns when he continues that he’s going to be a father his children can be proud of, she says she’ll help him. Jung-hee vows again to do well and succeed — but while his voice stays cheerful, his expression goes black.
Jin-wook and Che-ri go to the house to study, but Che-ri is distracted by Eun-hee’s open bedroom door. She goes in for a look and finds Eun-hee’s precious jar of chocolates, the ones Jung-hee gave her. Che-ri pops one chocolate in her mouth and pockets a few more before Jin-wook pulls her out of the room.
Eun-hee arrives home from her jog, gives the kids’ shoes a petulant stomp, then goes to her room. She notices the missing chocolates right away, then catches Che-ri on the stairs in the act of stuffing a chocolate in her mouth. Che-ri doesn’t even look sorry when Eun-hee asks if she stole the chocolate from her room, and Eun-hee grabs her and demands to know where the rest are.
Che-ri points at her mouth, indicating that this was the last one. Eun-hee orders her to spit it out, and when Che-ri refuses, she shakes the little girl hard. Jae-bok comes home with Won-jae and Hye-ran, and it takes two of them to pry the furious Eun-hee off of Che-ri.
They finally get them apart, but then Che-ri’s eyes roll back and she gasps for air. Won-jae screams in panic as Hye-ran starts to call for help, but Che-ri is suddenly perfectly fine. She tells Eun-hee that with the way she was shaking her, she really could have choked.
Jae-bok and her friends turn on Eun-hee, yelling at her for shaking a child. Jin-wook tattles that Che-ri took Eun-hee’s chocolates, so they take her upstairs before realizingspoti that Won-jae left again.
Jae-bok finds Eun-hee in tears over the half-empty jar, and Eun-hee confesses that it was a gift from Jung-hee. Jae-bok doesn’t understand why she got so upset, so Eun-hee snarls that this is why Jae-bok isn’t qualified to be Jung-hee’s wife. Jae-bok says that Eun-hee’s idea of a wife is skewed if she thinks a good wife would nearly kill a child over some chocolate.
Won-jae comes back with two huge shopping bags full of chocolates, which she tosses at Eun-hee’s feet. She gets ready to take Che-ri home, but Che-ri stops Eun-hee (I love that she calls her “Get-Lost Lady”) to ask if her front gate code is a date.
The friends agree that it sounds like a date (020321, which could be March 21, 2002), and Jae-bok asks if it has anything to do with Jung-hee. Eun-hee says it’s just a random code she’s been using for years, then tells them all to leave.
Jae-bok thinks that if the number is a date from 2002, then it was before she and Jung-hee met. In the library, she finds a college yearbook, and next to Jung-hee’s photo is a picture of Jung-hee’s band playing onstage. The date on the picture: March 21, 2002. Bingo.
Eun-hee pulls a keepsake box out of her closet, and inside are pictures, letters, and other items, all relating to Jung-hee. She still has a flyer from the concert in 2002, and she thinks about that day when Jung-hee stole her heart.
In the hopes of learning more about Eun-hee’s past, Jae-bok has Hye-ran set up a meeting with Mrs. Park. Mrs. Park is more than willing to dish, and she tells them that Hyung-sun seduced a chairman when she was young. Rumor says that they only slept together twice, but that those two times produced a daughter, then a son.
She reveals that the daughter had psychological problems and was institutionalized several times. Mrs. Park says that she had her face redone so that she almost didn’t recognize her when she saw her again recently.
Bong-gu is also there, and he asks if the daughter ever dated anyone. Mrs. Park has gossip about that too — she did date a man who almost died because of her. Guessing that that man might be Jung-hee, Bong-gu and Jae-bok exchange worried looks.
At work, Jung-hee is making the most of his new position. He throws Boss Jo’s reports back in his face, echoing his old supervisor’s words to “beg on your knees, and turn those zeroes into numbers!”
Boss Jo turns to go, in tears, but Jung-hee stops him. He asks if it’s true that he and Na-mi dated, and Boss Jo nods fearfully. Jung-hee screams that he’s a liar and barely stops himself before throwing his computer at the sniveling man.
After their talk with Mrs. Park, Jae-bok is sure that the man Eun-hee almost killed was Jung-hee. Bong-gu wonders if he really doesn’t remember her, or if he’s just pretending not to. Jae-bok asks if he had that picture of Eun-hee analyzed, and Bong-gu triumphantly sing-songs that he did.
Unfortunately, Sam-kyu is reporting to Eun-hee about the picture analysis, along with everything else. He quickly hangs up when Bong-gu and Jae-bok get back to the office, and he tells them that the analyst said the picture is real. Bong-gu looks suspicious though, and pulls Sam-kyu into the hall.
He tells Sam-kyu that he likes him a lot, and that he’s thankful for Sam-kyu’s mother taking care of him when he was alone in the world. But he holds up the photo of Eun-hee and says what they both know: It’s a fake.
Sam-kyu crumbles, asking if Jae-bok knew before he lied to her, though he already knows that she did. Bong-gu asks if Eun-hee is paying him, and Sam-kyu can’t lie to him anymore.
Na-mi is still working at the SJ Construction office, and she peeks in to watch while Jung-hee gives a big presentation. She’s heard from Bong-gu that Jung-hee got engaged to Eun-hee, and she ignores Jung-hee at work as if they’ve never known each other.
Frustrated, Jung-hee drags Na-mi into the stairwell and asks if she’s dating Brian. He warns that Brian will just use her, then grabs her and demands to know who hired her to seduce him. She breaks away, refusing to tell him anything.
Eun-hee meets up with Brian, who isn’t pleased to hear about her engagement. She reminds him that he says he just wants her happiness, then stops his objections with a backhug. Brian remembers that she used to hug him to protect him from their mother’s blows, and Eun-hee sighs that at least they survived.
Jung-hee looks frustrated to see Bong-gu in the SJ Construction building, and Bong-gu tells him that he may be running the legal department soon, so he’s here doing some work for them. He asks Jung-hee if he really doesn’t remember Moon Eun-kyung, but Jung-hee just asks what Bong-gu and Jae-bok are up to.
Jung-hee says that he thinks Bong-gu is only pretending to help Jae-bok, and when Bong-gu’s expression remains carefully neutral, Jung-hee asks if he likes Jae-bok. Bong-gu just asks which one Jung-hee thinks is the truth.
Later, Bong-gu meets Jae-bok in the park, where she sighs dejectedly that she’s lived the best she knew how, so she doesn’t understand why this is all happening to her. Bong-gu assures her that she didn’t do anything wrong, adding that she still has him as he gently wipes away her tears.
The next day, Bong-gu and Jae-bok go to see Won-jae, who’s unearthed some information about Moon Eun-kyung. She found an old article about Jung-hee’s band written by Moon Eun-kyung, complete with a picture, and they decide that even with her plastic surgery, it looks too much like Eun-hee not to be her.
Furthermore, Won-jae found someone who went to school with Eun-kyung, a woman named Ji-eun. She tells them that Eun-kyung only went to school for one semester, and that she was really into a guy named Gu Jung-hee, and none of them let on that they know him. Jae-bok asks if Eun-kyung and Jung-hee dated, and Ji-eun chuckles that in fact, Jung-hee rejected Eun-kyung, so she began stalking him.
Jae-bok goes to see Jung-hee’s mother, who says that she knows nothing about her son being stalked. Jae-bok recalls the rich girl that his mom used to brag liked Jung-hee — she asks if that was Eun-kyung, and his mom looks very guilty and refuses to say any more.
Jae-bok asks Jung-hee to meet her at Eun-hee’s house, but it’s Bong-gu who shows up first, worried about her confronting Eun-hee. He offers to stay close by in case she needs him, thinking that Jung-hee isn’t on her side anymore now that he’s engaged to Eun-hee. But Bong-gu says with a smile that he’s always on her side. Awww, I just luff him.
When Eun-hee arrives home later, Jae-bok says that they need to talk and calls her Moon Eun-kyung. Instead of denying it, Eun-hee just says that she changed her name a long time ago. Jae-bok retorts that she may have changed her name, but she’s still the same person.
She lays out exactly what she knows of Eun-hee — that her name was Moon Eun-kyung before Chairman Lee accepted her as his child, and that she went to Sehyun University for one semester, where she fell for Jung-hee. Jae-bok says that Jung-hee doesn’t recognize her after she changed her hair and face, but she wonders what he’ll do when he discovers she’s his stalker.
Eun-hee looks terrified by the end of Jae-bok’s speech, and Jae-bok continues that she refuses to let her children’s father be led into danger. Eun-hee gasps that he can’t know the truth, but Jae-bok pleads with Eun-hee to be honest and finally let it all go.
Jung-hee arrives home and heads upstairs to find Jae-bok. When Eun-hee hears his voice she grabs Jae-bok and yanks her into a bedroom, locking the door behind her. Desperate and frightened, she tells Jae-bok that she’s sorry for everything, and offers to do anything if she promises not to tell Jung-hee.
Jae-bok is unmoved, and starts to leave the room. Eun-hee shoves her back and falls at her feet, and when Jae-bok calls out to Jung-hee, Eun-hee grabs her legs. Sobbing and pleading, Eun-hee pitifully begs for Jae-bok to help her.
I continue to be impressed by Jae-bok’s complete lack of fear in confronting Eun-hee about her behavior, even as it’s becoming clear that Eun-hee isn’t mentally healthy. Avoidance isn’t just something we’re used to seeing in dramas — it’s very common in real life, to hope that a situation will resolve itself without having to say anything, and to fear approaching the person that we have a conflict with. Going directly to that person to ask them what their problem is, or to request an explanation or demand an apology is hard, but Jae-bok never hesitates. In fact, she’s growing braver as the show goes on, because when she first started noticing things weren’t quite right, she was much more willing to overlook them or hope she was just seeing things.
Now, she just marches right to Eun-hee and firmly confronts her, always fairly and with a willingness to listen to Eun-hee’s side, but never letting her off the hook for her bad behavior. I still think that the key to Eun-hee getting better, if the show decides to go that way, may be Jae-bok and her ability to be understanding. Even after everything Eun-hee has done, she still shows worry and compassion for her. I could see Jae-bok being willing to help Eun-hee get better, so long as Eun-hee stops manipulating her and her family.
I’m still concerned about Bong-gu, though now I do believe that his care for Jae-bok is real, and that he’s “helping” Eun-hee in order to get an inside look at what she’s planning. He’s showing that he’s becoming a better man in a lot of little ways, like when he ignored calls from his past sugar mama, or the way he risked losing a longtime friend in Sam-kyu to uncover the truth. I just worry that Bong-gu may get in over his head with Eun-hee and put himself in danger, which will only make this whole thing harder on Jae-bok. But I think it’s clear now that he’s agreed to work with with Eun-hee for the right reasons, because the way he looks at Jae-bok when nobody else is looking just says it all — he definitely feels something more than friendship for her, though I think he knows it will probably never come to anything. I dread watching Bong-gu get in too deep with Eun-hee because I don’t want to see him lose himself in the process. I don’t know if I could stand to watch that happen.
So I guess Eun-hee and Jung-hee didn’t really date in school? I’d assumed they had, but I really should have known better than to take Eun-hee’s memories as truth, not to mention this show’s habit of turning what we know back around on us. It’s very probable that the lovey-dovey scenes we saw between them all happened in her diseased mind, and that the reality is much more sinister. Based on Jung-hee’s reaction to remembering her, I’m thinking now that they definitely knew each other well enough to at least have a few conversations, and for him to have gotten into her car at least once. But beyond that, the truth of their connection is still a mystery.
I’m very glad to see some spirit out of Jung-hee, finally. I’m hoping that this is Jung-hee’s moment, when he finally realizes that his life is the way it is entirely because of his own actions (or really, inactions), and that he’s the only one who can change things. I had a feeling he’d seen Eun-hee’s wall of photos, and I really want it to be a turning point for him (and not just because it would be a shameful waste of Yoon Sang-hyun’s abilities to have him play a weak little manchild who never grows up). I want to see what it is about Jung-hee that’s caused at least three women to fall in love with him, one to the point of psychotic obsession, because there’s got to be something. My guess is that when things happened between him and Eun-hee before, he also lost some core of himself, which is why he seems like such an empty person now. I want to see him be the man he apparently was when he was younger, the man that Eun-hee and Jae-bok both fell for, and do something about this woman who is ruining his and his family’s life.
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