Radiant Office: Episode 11
Forget about romance — who knew that these two would end up having such an adorable friendship? After Woo-jin’s original inability to offer advice without also being extremely offensive, I never would have guessed that he’d turn out to be such a comforting and supporting presence to Ho-won. But he is, and it’s all due to her influence and positive outlook as she teaches him how to relate to people. The way they’re opening up to each other is just so sweet, I can’t get enough of them.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
Ho-won, Ki-taek, and Kang-ho arrive at work to see employees watching a television show in the lobby, and they realize that the author being interviewed is Hyun. He talks about his book, which highlights three patients who ended up in his emergency room after trying to commit suicide on the same night. He says they coincidentally showed up to interview at his father’s company, so he decided to hire them.
Hyun arrives with reporters and and unashamedly outs Ho-won and her friends as the subjects of his book. They’re too stunned to speak, so the reporter suggests that they pose for a photo with Hyun. They do, looking completely miserable, then Hyun moves on. Ho-won follows Hyun to confront him, but he casually brushes her off with a promise to talk to her later, asking Woo-jin to explain everything to her instead.
Betrayed, Ho-won asks Woo-jin if he knew about this. He leads the friends upstairs, where they file through the office with bowed heads as the other employees watch with pity in their eyes. Ji-na in particular stares at Ki-taek, having just learned that he tried to kill himself after their breakup.
Woo-jin explains that Hyun saw them on the day of their interview and got them their jobs. Ho-won asks why he didn’t tell them he knew about this, but he says that he didn’t feel there was a good reason. He reassures Ki-taek that he only found out recently before adding that what happens next is up to them.
The others leave, but Ho-won hangs back. She says accusingly that if Woo-jin had told her about this sooner, she wouldn’t have made a fool out of herself. She tells him truthfully that she’s angry with Hyun, but that she’s also angry with him.
The trio go outside to talk this through, ashamed that the whole company knows that they were hired through Hyun. It’s Kang-ho who puts the clues together and guesses that Hyun was the doctor who said that one of them was terminally ill. He wonders why Hyun never said anything to Ho-won in all the time they spent together, either about the illness or about getting them their jobs.
CEO Han comments suspiciously that Manager Park never mentioned knowing the chairman’s son, but Manager Park insists that his true loyalty is to CEO Han. CEO Han doesn’t believe him for one second, though he admits to himself that Park is more cunning than he thought.
Suk-kyung joins them, and Manager Park is impressed with how easily she lies to CEO Han, saying that she doesn’t really know Hyun. Manager Park suggests they use Hyun’s philanthropy to improve Hauline’s image, but CEO Han thinks the timing of the news of Hyun’s identity is awfully convenient.
Woo-jin and Gu-dong discus the exact same issue in Woo-jin’s office — Hyun suddenly showing up just after Chairman Seo’s collapse is a clear indication that he wants to take over. Woo-jin is reminded of Hyun’s request to help him take his father’s place.
Gu-dong reveals that Hyun’s older brother gave up his inheritance, which means that Hyun, as Chairman Seo’s legal guardian, is now in a position to make decisions about Hauline. Gu-dong thinks that company politics are about to change drastically.
They’re interrupted by Hyun himself, so Gu-dong leaves, muttering that he sees why Chairman Seo feels his younger son isn’t suitable to take over Hauline. Hyun asks Woo-jin why Ho-won, Ki-taek, and Kang-ho aren’t in the office, and Woo-jin defends that they needed some time to clear their heads after their shock this morning. Hyun argues that he needed to make an impact in order to counter his father’s in keeping him away from Hauline.
Woo-jin sarcastically asks why such an important person as Hyun has time to grace him with his presence, which makes Hyun repeat that this is why he wants Woo-jin on his side: his blunt honesty. He vows that he won’t give up until Woo-jin agrees, but Woo-jin tells him that his loyalty is to the company, now and in the future.
He makes his position crystal clear that he will never let Hyun put him in his pocket and use him. Hyun accepts this answer for now, saying that he knows what he needs to do next.
Hyun takes Manager Park and Suk-kyung to dinner that evening, and he muses that it’s time for there to be some strong leadership at Hauline. He says that the company’s finances are a shambles since his father’s collapse, insinuating that he plans to step up and lead the company himself.
Hyun mentions Hauline’s lack of competent female employees to Suk-kyung. He tells her that he respects and values her work, and that he plans to watch her closely and mete out rewards and punishments as needed. Whoa, that sounds so good on the surface, yet the chill in his voice gives it the tone of a threat.
Manager Park asks Hyun what position he plans to take in the company, but Hyun says he’s not sure before asking him to prepare an appropriate place for him. Both Manager Park and Suk-kyung say that that won’t be easy, so Hyun says that all they need to do is remove someone else.
At the office, Suk-kyung witnesses Yong-jae making snide comments that Kang-ho doesn’t think he should have to work hard because he got his job through a connection. Later, she brings Kang-ho a coffee and praises him on a project he finished, thanking him for making her job easier. She leaves him fighting back grateful tears.
As Ho-won runs an errand for Woo-jin, she thinks of all the time she’s spent with Hyun when he seemed so friendly. She remembers revealing her biggest secrets over spicy ddukbokki, and guesses that the thing he refused to tell her was that he’s been lying to her.
She even recalls the night that Hyun asked her not to change her mind about him being a good person if he hurts her in the future. A man accidentally bumps Ho-won and apologizes, and that loosens something inside her. She yells to nobody that people even apologize to a stranger, then decides to confront Hyun directly.
He meets her at a coffee shop where Ho-won wastes no time asking why he did what he did. When she just get a vague non-answer, Ho-won points out that Hyun had many opportunities to tell her the truth, but he just says that the timing was never right.
Ho-won complains that the Hyun she thought she knew was kind, so Hyun leans close to give her some advice: Kind people usually have an ulterior motive. He says that the only kind thing he’s done was to get her, Ki-taek, and Kang-ho their jobs and tells her to consider his revealing the truth a fair price.
Looking smug and superior, Hyun offers to take everything back if Ho-won doesn’t like his terms. At first, Ho-won looks shamed by Hyun’s words, but then she says that she really thought she was terminally ill. Hyun is confused, so she tells him how they overheard him discussing a sick patient and thought he meant her.
She says that she’d felt as if she’d traded her life for her job, which made the job that much more precious. She tells Hyun that while he may be seen as a hero for hiring three suicidal patients, she’s lost both the way she felt about that job and the amazing doctor she knew.
Ho-won heads back to the office, and when she arrives, she finds Woo-jin waiting for her. He fusses at her like he always does, but now she knows that it’s his way of showing concern for her, and she bursts into tears.
Woo-jin takes her to the river and asks if she’s still mad at him. She says that she’s not mad, she’s just embarrassed because she insisted to him that they were all hired because they deserved it. With a smile, Woo-jin praises her for realizing her mistakes right away, ha.
Ho-won muses that she’s not as happy now as when she thought she was dying, because now she knows why she was hired and feels like she’s done something wrong. She asks Woo-jin what she should do, but he doesn’t have an easy answer for her.
Ji-na takes Ki-taek aside to tell him that people will forget about this soon enough. She says that he should think of the job as a karmic reward for working hard, and she even urges him to get closer to Hyun and take advantage of knowing the chairman’s son.
Hyun visits his father, who’s still in a coma, to give him his doctor’s lab coat. He says that he only wore it to make his father proud, adding that every day since his father left his mother and didn’t take him with him, he’s been trying to make his father see him. He vows to show Chairman Seo that he can be as good as him.
Yong-jae is still swaggering around the office making nasty comments about how the temps got their jobs. Ho-won and Ki-taek say that they didn’t know, and when Yong-jae is all Of course you wouldn’t admit it, Ji-na tells him to shut it.
He saunters off to the break room, pulls out his phone, and flips through Ho-won’s social media page for clues as to how she met Hyun. He finds nothing, so he moves on to Ki-taek’s page, where he runs across a photo of Ki-taek and Ji-na looking very cozy together. Uh-oh.
Woo-jin requests that CEO Han decide which of the three temps to offer a permanent position, but CEO Han no longer thinks they’re qualified based on how they got the jobs. Manager Park gently reminds CEO Han that Hyun still backs them, and he even suggests they hire on all three.
Ho-won, Ki-taek, and Kang-ho are roped into picking up Manager Park’s dog from the vet, and they laugh that the wrinkly little thing’s name is Jung-tae, which is CEO Han’s name. The vet hilariously congratulates the dog on having three secretaries, ha.
They’re running late because they have to take the dog to Manager Park, so they try to hurry to his office without being caught. Unfortunately, they run into CEO Han and Woo-jin in the hallway and get yelled at for bringing a dog to work.
CEO Han asks how he’s supposed to give these people a permanent job, his anger at Hyun spilling out at the three people Hyun hired. Then he sees his own name on the dog’s tags and demands to know whose dog it is.
Manager Park is called to CEO Han’s office to find his boss holding his dog and asking which Jung-tae he came to see. HAHA, whoops. Manager Park stammers that he named his dog after CEO Han as a compliment, but the boss ain’t buying it. He coos at the dog (which looks completely blissed out from all the petting, hee) and calls Manager Park a jerk.
A bit later, Woo-jin catches Manager Park sending Yong-jae to take the dog home, and he fusses at him for not taking care of his own pet. He criticizes Manager Park for giving his employees his personal errands after swearing up and down that he hired them for their talent and passion.
Manager Park defends himself, saying that when the boss’s son tells you to do something, you do it without question. But Woo-jin argues that he should keep his personal and work lives separate.
Manager Park cuts the conversation short, then turns back to add that he’s changed his mind about hiring all three temps permanently. He says that now he thinks it’s better to fire them all when their contracts are up, though he’s really just taking his anger and embarrassment out on them.
Manager Park walks right into Ho-won, Kang-ho, and Ki-taek in the break room, and he asks them if they’re dumb or just thoughtless. Ho-won argues that they didn’t mean to get caught, but Manager Park thinks they should have said the dog belonged to them. He tells them that once their contracts are over, they’re gone.
Gu-dong informs Woo-jin that the kerfuffle with the auditing department was because Manager Park tried to frame him. Woo-jin decides that he’s had enough mistreatment from Manager Park, so he hatches a plan to reveal Manager Park’s wrongdoings.
Ki-taek is really down while they work at the store that night, and he tells Ho-won and Kang-ho that he thinks he should quit. Ho-won says that she’ll quit too, and Kang-ho quickly agrees that they may as well, since they’re fired after their contracts end anyhow.
Woo-jin comes to take them to dinner, but none of the three have much appetite. Ki-taek tells Woo-jin that they’ve decided to quit, but Woo-jin grows angry and says that if they don’t value themselves and their work more highly, then neither will anyone else.
The boys are despondent, saying that it will be hard to stay at Hauline another month knowing that people are talking about them when they won’t be hired anyway. Woo-jin tells them that what others say isn’t as important as what they say to others. He urges them to eat, joking that whoever eats the least has to pay, so they all dig in despite their tears.
Over their own dinner, Yong-jae gleefully peppers Ji-na with questions about her boyfriend. He says that he knows who her boyfriend is as he makes Ki-taek’s name into a stupid poem, then says that he should have guessed by the way Ki-taek always defends Ji-na. He promises to keep it a secret, then uses the information to extort Ji-na into paying for his dinner. What a dirtbag.
As Woo-jin walks Ho-won home, she says that she thinks Hyun is right about nothing in life being free. Woo-jin argues that everyone gives up their pride for things they want, even himself. Ho-won tells him that the thing she feels the worst about is that by getting this job through Hyun, someone more deserving didn’t get it.
They stop at a park and sit on the swings, where Ho-won expresses her shame that she’s always railing at the unfairness of the world, but in reality she took a job from someone else. And what’s worse, she says that even after finding out, she hesitated to give up that job.
But she agrees that she traded her pride for the job, so she’s decided to work hard to regain that pride. Woo-jin says that he likes her attitude and that she’s qualified for the job, earning a sunny smile from Ho-won as a reward. Before she goes home, Ho-won asks Woo-jin exactly how he found out about them, but we don’t hear his answer.
Ji-na asks Ki-taek to meet her at a cafe, and as she waits for him, she thinks of all the kind, thoughtful things he’s done for her even after their breakup. When he arrives, Ji-na asks why he doesn’t hate her when she’s only ever been mean to him. She sighs when Ki-taek puts all the blame onto himself, saying that he always does that.
Ki-taek explains that since he came to Hauline, he’s realized how hard her work life is. Ji-na blurts out that she wants to get back together, and Ki-taek’s mouth falls open. Ji-na continues that it doesn’t matter what other people say as long as he’s confident about himself, and Ki-taek confesses that he’s been thinking of quitting.
When he says that he’s not sure he deserves to work at Hauline, Ji-na tells him that she believes he’s got more strength than he thinks. She says that he can do anything once he makes up his mind, which makes Ki-taek smile for the first time all day.
Neither Ki-taek nor Kang-ho can fall asleep that night, unsure of whether to quit or stay. Kang-ho says sadly that either way, they won’t be hired on permanently. He admits that he hasn’t called his mother much since he moved out and that she doesn’t want to hear from him, but Ki-taek tells him to call her anyway.
They discuss Kang-ho’s original plans to move back home if he got the permanent job, and Ki-taek admits that if he moves out, he won’t be able to afford this place with its nice windows by himself. Kang-ho is surprised that apartments without windows even exist, so Ki-taek tells him how some people live without them to save money.
They realize that both of their lives have improved since moving here. But Ki-taek realizes that even if he kept this salary, he could never afford to marry Ji-na and provide for her, though he keeps it to himself.
Ho-won sits up late flipping through Hyun’s book and thinking about Woo-jin’s answer to her question. He’d said that he knew Hyun met her at a hospital, so he’d recognized her when he read Hyun’s book. Growing angry, Ho-won vows to show Hyun that even a mouse can bite a cat when it’s cornered.
She meets with Hyun the next day and hands him an envelope which contains enough money to cover the hospital bills he paid for all three of them. With a smile, Ho-won parrots Hyun’s words that nothing is for free, adding that now she doesn’t owe him a thing.
She denies being angry, explaining that she’s only following his example of making moves that won’t cause her a loss. Steeling herself, she tells Hyun that she’s thinking about suing him for defamation of character and violation of medical law. Oh, now it’s on.
The thing that I love most about Ho-won is that, while she makes a lot of mistakes and trusts people too much, she never makes the same mistake twice and she always learns something from the experience. So now that she knows Hyun’s true colors, she’s ready to meet him on his own playing field, weighing everything tit for tat to get back what’s hers. I’ve been wondering when someone would nail Hyun for his breach of confidentiality, so I’m glad that Ho-won has the guts to hold him responsible for how he’s harmed her and her friends (medical confidentiality is very different in Korea, but he could still be privately sued for revealing their identities without their permission). I can’t wait to see Ho-won use the skills she’s learned at the job Hyun got for her in order to take him down.
I’m still confused as to why Hyun is so interested in Hauline. One of the very first things we ever heard him say was that he had no intention of going into business or taking over his father’s company. But then he got involved with who they hired, started showing up randomly, closed the hospital that he opened only weeks prior, and began aggressively campaigning to inherit the business. Everything that’s happened, particularly between him and Ho-won, would make so much more sense if we knew why Hyun suddenly wants Hauline, and what made him change his mind. And while I’m wishing for explanations, I’d love to know why Chairman Seo doesn’t think Hyun is capable of running Hauline — he’s smart enough to become a doctor, and capable enough that he opened his own hospital. What makes furniture sales so much more important that in his father’s eyes, Hyun couldn’t possibly handle it? He’s a jerk, of course, but being a jerk doesn’t make a person incompetent.
I do finally understand why Hyun got Ho-won, Ki-taek, and Kang-ho their jobs at Hauline in the first place — because he needed that boost of publicity that he could reveal at just the right time to help facilitate his takeover of Hauline. But I don’t understand, if this is his true personality that we’re seeing now, why did he spent so much time with Ho-won in the meantime pretending to be a nice guy? He even sought her out regularly, seemingly for no other reason than that he liked her company. He says that he had an ulterior motive, but if spending time with the recipients of his “generosity” was part of his plan, then why did he only single out Ho-won? I want to know what he got out of spending extra time with her.
I’m so proud of Woo-jin and how far he’s come in his dedication to the company. In the past he would give up at the slightest hint of any opposition, but no matter how difficult things get at Hauline, and no matter how much Hyun threatens him, he’s decided to sit tight to the bitter end. Not only is he much more determined to stick things out no matter how bad they get, but now he’s the one cheering Ho-won, Ki-taek, and Kang-ho not to give up. He’s always felt that a person should advocate for themselves before they can expect anyone else to believe in them, and he even made Ho-won stand in a corner to prove how badly she wanted a job. But before, he said those things condescendingly, already expecting that she didn’t have what it takes. Now he’s the one who believes in Ho-won and her friends the most, even when they’re struggling to believe in themselves.
The show hasn’t made a big deal of it, but I think that seeing Ho-won fight so hard for her job has had such an impact on Woo-jin, even though she’s only in a temporary position doing grunt work. She’s shown him that having a job isn’t something to be taken lightly or thrown away casually, but that there are people who would do anything to have even the humblest of careers. Woo-jin is learning that the value in his job isn’t in whether it meets a list of arbitrary criteria and never causes him a moment of discomfort, but in facing the difficulties and making that job something he can be proud of through hard work, loyalty, and dedication.
- Radiant Office: Episode 1
- Go Ah-sung livens up the company meeting in Radiant Office posters
- Detectives, spies, liars, and new hires in poster parade for spring dramas
- Butting heads with the boss in Radiant Office
- Battling for survival at the workplace in Radiant Office
- Everyone’s desperate to work in MBC’s Radiant Office
- Go Ah-sung’s part-time blues in Radiant Office
- MBC’s Radiant Office fills its rank and file employees
- Ha Suk-jin considers a romance with Go Ah-sung in Radiant Office
- Go Ah-sung in talks to headline new MBC office drama