My Ajusshi: Episode 10
Just when you think that things can’t get more intense for Dong-hoon and Ji-an, they do exactly that. The schemers are closing in on all sides, but they also have their own personal issues. Getting to know a person means also learning the bad things about them, and it’s not easy to accept that someone has lied to you.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Ji-an listens to Dong-hoon fighting with Kwang-il, screaming at him for beating up a girl. Kwang-il yells that it’s because Ji-an killed his father, but Dong-hoon retorts that he’d kill anyone who beat up his family, too. This rocks Ji-an to her core, and she sobs uncontrollably.
After a long fight, the men tumble down a flight of stairs and lie there, exhausted and gasping for breath. Kwang-il hauls himself up and starts to climb the stairs. Dong-hoon asks again how much Ji-an owes, but Kwang-il doesn’t answer.
When Dong-hoon’s brothers hear about the fight, they and the entire bar full of their friends go running to Dong-hoon’s defense. They even call Jae-chul, who brings along the soccer club. Another friend finds Dong-hoon first, bruised and bloody but ultimately okay.
Ki-hoon, Sang-hoon, and all the guys (and I do mean all of them) race to Dong-hoon’s aide, demanding to know where the jerk is that did this to him. Ki-hoon is so worked up that he just runs in circles, screaming that he’ll kill whoever hurt his brother. Dong-hoon fibs that he accidentally bumped into someone and got in a fight, but Sang-hoon knows he’s not like that (“You’re not Ki-hoon!” Ha, good point.)
The police show up and, knowing that Dong-hoon can’t afford to get in trouble while he’s up for a promotion, the guys shield Dong-hoon and pretend they’re warming up for a nighttime soccer game. It might have worked if the cop didn’t already know of them from their wives reporting them for drinking and driving after their games every week.
Eventually they all end up back at Jung-hee’s bar. Dong-hoon is reluctant to say what really happened, so he repeats the lie about bumping into someone who got offended, and he asks them not to go after the guy to teach him a lesson.
Things calm down and a few men leave for home. One guy spots Ji-an standing across the street from the bar, but when he puts out the “closed” sign, Ji-an leaves.
Inside, Dong-hoon laughs, saying that his body feels awake for the first time in a while. Jae-chul points out that he only has one serious injury but that he’ll bruise badly, advising him to avoid his mom for a while. Jung-hee is worried about how Yoon-hee will react, so the guys try to come up with a detailed story Dong-hoon can tell her so that she won’t be too upset.
One guy realizes that they already have a plausible story ready-made… soccer club. So when Dong-hoon limps home and Yoon-hee sees his injuries, he tells her that he and Ki-hoon collided in midair while going after a ball and got in a fight.
Yoon-hee starts crying and runs to her home office, but she’s really crying because Ji-an told her that Dong-hoon knows about her affair. She almost calls Joon-young, but she stops herself at the last second.
Ji-an is home with Grandma, listening to Dong-hoon struggle to undress with his sore hands. She remembers that he promised to pretend not to know anything, no matter what he heard about her, and that he’d gotten a promise from her to pretend the same thing.
Mom is angry at Ki-hoon when she hears the story about the brothers fighting while playing soccer, and she even fusses at Sang-hoon for not stopping them. At the office, Dong-hoon’s fib prompts his teammates to brag on their own soccer injuries.
He notices that Ji-an is late — she’s at the bank, withdrawing the money that Joon-young gave to her and transferring it to Kwang-il’s account. Kwang-il looks like he’s in even more pain than Dong-hoon, and he barely reacts when his partner informs him that Ji-an just paid them off in full.
At the end of the day, Deputy Kim invites Ji-an out with the team after work, but she turns him down. Aw, he looks genuinely disappointed that got rejected, hee. He tells Dong-hoon that he thought there might be fewer rumors if Ji-an grew closer to the team as a whole, and Dong-hoon advises him to keep trying, because she’d never say yes to anything the first time.
Ji-an noticed days ago that Dong-hoon has a pair of leather work slippers that have become badly worn. She’s been carrying around a gift bag since then, trying to give it to him, but she hasn’t had a chance since he’s been avoiding her. Tonight she waits along his route home, and when he approaches, she hands him the bag and tells him that her grandmother was accepted at the assisted living home.
She starts to go, but Dong-hoon stops her to ask how much money she owes Kwang-il. She tells him she paid it off today, inviting him to ask Kwang-il himself when he looks skeptical. He checks the bag and finds a new pair of work slippers inside.
On Grandma’s moving day, Dong-hoon is there to piggyback her down the steep stairs. He rides along in the taxi with Grandma and Ji-an, who both seem hopeful, but sad to be separated. The facility is very nice, though Ji-an learns that nobody there speaks sign language.
While she’s filling out paperwork, Dong-hoon goes shopping, buying Grandma snacks to keep in her room. As he stocks her shelf, she writes to him, “I think I can finally rest in peace when I close my eyes. I feel at ease now that someone as kind as you is by my Ji-an’s side.” She rests her forehead on the back of his hand in thanks, and later, Grandma reassures Ji-an with gentle touches that she’ll be okay.
Dong-hoon and Ji-an eventually leave, and as they walk down the road, Dong-hoon tells Ji-an that if Kwang-il torments her again, she should call him. He says there are over thirty guys in their neighborhood who all grew up together and went to the same school, who would come running to help her as soon as she calls.
He also advises Ji-an to live more comfortably from now on, and to get along with people at work. She wonders if anyone will want to be close to her once they find out she killed someone, since she’s already had people turn against her when they learned about her past.
Dong-hoon says that if she doesn’t consider the past to be important, than neither will others. Ji-an looks up at him as if that’s the most wondrous thing anyone has ever said to her. He tells Ji-an to live with the name she was given, because it’s a great name.
As they continue on, Ji-an asks Dong-hoon what his name means. He says it means nothing, other than that the Chinese characters mean “power” and “name.” He’s walking so quickly that Ji-an is practically running to keep up, and she asks if he’s walking fast because he’s embarrassed. He breaks into a run, Ji-an right behind, and they just barely catch their bus.
Yoon-hee and Joon-young meet up, both glaring at each other angrily. Yoon-hee asks if Dong-hoon is the one who found out they were communicating through a pay phone, and she yells at Joon-young for not telling her. She jumps up and storms out, Joon-young right behind.
She gets to the elevator before rounding on him and accusing him of beating up Dong-hoon. Frustrated, she takes the stairs, and Joon-young follows insisting that he had nothing to do with Dong-hoon’s injuries.
He reveals that Dong-hoon told Joon-young to break up with Yoon-hee, scared that she would leave him if she found out that he knew about the affair. Joon-young says that he broke up with her as promised, and begs her not to let on that she knows. She says she can’t do that, and when Joon-young repeats that that’s what Dong-hoon wants, she yells back, “No, that’s what you want!”
Yoon-hee accuses him of being happy when Dong-hoon asked that of him, but she swears that she won’t let him off the hook that easily, vowing to destroy him. She jumps in her car and peels off, but she soon pulls over to cry, wracked with guilt as she remembers all the times that Dong-hoon was kind to her even though he knew.
Chairman Jang’s health seems to be declining, and Joon-young and the senior directors gather around as he complains about the fuss they’re making. He admits that he has some decisions to make regarding the company, though he jokes that he shouldn’t worry about it since he’ll be dying soon anyway.
Joon-young loyally says that he built the company, and he’s the only one who can determine its future. He entreats Chairman Jang to rest and get better so he can come back and plan their future. Later, Executive Director Wang and the directors on his side laugh at Joon-young’s obvious ass-kissing as they wait for Dong-hoon to join them at a restaurant.
Joon-young goes back to the office and texts Ji-an from his burner phone, asking where Dong-hoon is. She replies that he went to eat and with whom, and he orders her to meet with him. He tells Ji-an to let him listen in on Dong-hoon’s lunch, paranoid that the directors have gotten together to plan something.
Sure enough, when Ji-an turns on her spy app, the directors are discussing how to make sure Dong-hoon passes the one-on-one interviews. They bring up things like his (supposed) soccer injury and his friendship with Ji-an, saying that the other side will use these things to discredit Dong-hoon. They decide to conduct some practice interviews, instructing Dong-hoon to say he’s going home early for a few days.
Executive Director Wang tells Dong-hoon that if he’s okay with the idea of not becoming a director, then he should stop now before they waste their time on someone who isn’t committed. He asks Dong-hoon’s true feelings about this, and Dong-hoon replies that he must become a director.
He says his mother is pushing him and his brother is worried about their mom’s funeral, and he wants to ease the burden his wife’s been carrying. He explains that he didn’t want to become a director at first, because he didn’t want to fight and compete, but now he realizes that he can’t stay in his comfort zone forever.
Executive Director Wang tells Dong-hoon that he forgot the most important reason he needs to become a director — Do Joon-young. But Dong-hoon says, “I don’t want to include that bastard in any part of my life. I’m wondering if I need to face off against him at all. I think it would be too generous of me to even make moves just for the same of bringing him down. I don’t want to concern myself at all with whether or not a bastard like him becomes a failure.”
Executive Director Wang actually agrees that Joon-young isn’t worth it. The directors scoff that Joon-young married rich and got a taste of the good life before being kicked out in less than a year, and as Joon-young listens in, he grows more and more furious.
Ji-an puts away her phone, and Joon-young asks how it’s going between her and Dong-hoon. She says they’ve only met twice, and Joon-young picks up that she must have been meeting up with Dong-hoon before he ordered it, making her confused.
She reminds Joon-young that she was framing Dong-hoon two months ago by kissing him, and that it almost got her fired, so it’s not that easy to make moves on him again. Joon-young gives her ten days, and she says she’ll do well. He demands some results in two days and storms out.
While the brothers clean Yu-ra’s building, Sang-hoon cheekily rings Yu-ra’s doorbell just to annoy Ki-hoon. Ki-hoon snaps that she’s busy filming a movie, and Sang-hoon sighs that she’s flying away too soon. Ki-hoon looks so upset he could cry.
They arrive back at their office to find Yoon-hee waiting to finally congratulate them on their business. She says that she thinks they’ll succeed this time, particularly Ki-hoon, who admits that he actually loves the work. Yoon-hee notices that Ki-hoon looks unmarked by his (supposed) fight with Dong-hoon, and the brothers quickly change the subject.
Deputy Kim again invites Ji-an out with the team after work. Dong-hoon says he can’t go but gives them his company card. He tells Ji-an to go with them, as he heads to Mom’s for dinner with Yoon-hee and his brothers.
That night, after Ki-hoon falls asleep, Sang-hoon pulls up a section of the floor and adds some money in a stash he’s hiding under there. He quickly covers it when Ki-hoon pops up to answer a call from Yu-ra, who wants to talk about how her movie shoot is going.
Ki-hoon decides to go to Yu-ra’s place to see her, but there’s a car blocking in the van, so he sets out on foot. But she tells him not to come because she’s shooting early in the morning, thanking him for offering since it makes her feel even more straightened out. Ki-hoon stomps back home and starts screaming out the license number of the car blocking him in, blaming them for ruining his evening, hee.
In the morning, Dong-hoon asks a team member if they got closer to Ji-an last night, only to find out that she left after one round. The guy whispers that Deputy Kim has a one-sided crush on someone at their company, but the lady has a boyfriend. Ji-an overhears Dong-hoon say that Deputy Kim is letting his imagination run wild, but that the emotions will disappear once he gets a smack upside the head.
While Kwang-il and his partner eat lunch, they’re joined by a former detective who has pictures of Kwang-il’s fight with Dong-hoon. He wants to know who Dong-hoon is and why he and Kwang-il fought, and he takes the information back to Joon-young that Dong-hoon was trying to pay off Ji-an’s debt. He even has photos of Dong-hoon piggybacking Ji-an’s grandmother, which Kwang-il also saw.
That evening, Ji-an meets with Joon-young again, and he shows her the pictures of Dong-hoon. Ji-an says that she’s been using her sad family situation to make Dong-hoon feel sorry for her, but Joon-young asks why she hasn’t mentioned that Dong-hoon tried to pay off her debt and got in a fight with her loan shark.
He accuses her of caring for Dong-hoon, but Ji-an retorts that this wouldn’t harm him, because people would praise him for helping out a needy girl. She points out that this is the way Joon-young’s opposition will spin their relationship. She says that Dong-hoon is a kind person, and that they’ve never called or texted each other, proving that there’s no inappropriate relationship.
She glances out the window and spots a shadowy figure that appears to be taking pictures. She warns Joon-young that someone is watching them, then she casually walks outside and takes off after the spy. She manages to trip him, making him drop his camera, which she hands over to Joon-young.
He flips through the photos, which not only contain pictures of tonight, but his recent meeting with Yoon-hee. Ji-an says that his enemies are watching and quips that he should work on a good cover story.
Joon-young heads home, seething, while Ji-an meets up with the “spy”… Ki-bum. Damn, I love this. She returns Ki-bum’s camera and tells him to use his cell phone going forward, and he asks her to let him know what she’s planning first.
Dong-hoon goes home, but when the elevator reaches his floor, he heads right back down again. He goes to his restaurant owner friend’s place, where they discuss cheating wives who stay and try to salvage the marriage. His friend says it’s only a matter of time before you get a divorce, and that you can’t understand what it’s like to picture your wife with another man until it happens to you.
Ji-an is watching Dong-hoon from across the street, and just as she’s about to join him, she sees the former detective sitting in his car nearby. She waits, and sees the detective follows Dong-hoon home. Ji-an follows the detective, eventually passing him to catch up to Dong-hoon.
She passes by Dong-hoon as well, but he calls out to her, asking why she’s ignoring him again. She stops, then turns back to him, and he asks why she’s angry. She tells Dong-hoon to slap her in the head just once: “You said that feelings like missing someone and longing for them will all be gone as soon as one gets hit on the head. I want to put an end to these emotions, so hit me, just once.”
Dong-hoon only stares at her in confusion, so she sighs heavily and says she feels pathetic for wondering why he doesn’t wear the slippers she gave him, and for hanging around late at night. Dong-hoon finally figures it out and tells Ji-an to go home.
She yells at him again to hit her, asking if he doesn’t actually want her to end her feelings. She asks defiantly if he likes her, but Dong-hoon just whirls on her and calls her a crazy bitch. Ji-an agrees that she’s crazy, begging him to hit her so she can come to her senses. When he doesn’t, she warns that she’ll think he likes her and tell everyone.
She screams at the top of her lungs, “Park Dong-hoon likes Lee Ji-an!” Dong-hoon slaps her hard enough to knock her to the ground, and she lies there for a moment before jumping up and running off. Dong-hoon watches her go, then walks away in the opposite direction.
Whoa, that was intense. I was not expecting such an honest confession from Ji-an, not at this point in the story. But it’s completely in-character for her to do it in the context of wanting to make her feelings stop, because they’re painful, as well as inconvenient to what she needs to do. She doesn’t enjoy feeling conflicted, or being forced to do things that could harm him, all the while wanting to keep from harming him. But at least she knows how she feels, while I think Dong-hoon has had too much going on to even think about whether he has feelings for Ji-an, so this snuck up on him. He obviously feels something, enough for him to lash out at her not two days after beating the crap out of Kwang-il for hitting a girl. This is definitely going to haunt him.
Of course, while I believe she was truthful about her feelings, it seems to me that Ji-an staged that whole confrontation so that Joon-young’s spy would get pictures of them fighting and Dong-hoon hitting Ji-an. She’s almost certainly trying to get out of her agreement with Joon-young, and this would be a good way to argue that she doesn’t want to be near Dong-hoon anymore. I love that the more we get to know Ji-an, the smarter she seems. She’s always one step ahead of everyone, and she thinks of every angle and makes sure that everything she does can be spun whichever way is most convenient. It was very smart of her never to call or text Dong-hoon, so that all of their meetings for drinks and dinner look like coincidences, just a kind man helping out a girl in a tough situation. I’m guessing she learned all of this while Kwang-il’s father was “making her do bad things,” and that Ki-bum was probably also there at the time, which is how they know each other and work so well together. It’s brilliant that she’s able to do all this without ever making a slip-up that could get her or Dong-hoon into trouble.
I didn’t fully understand why Dong-hoon was so loyal to his brothers even after Yoon-hee complained about it, because until now, Sang-hoon and Ki-hoon have seemed mostly useless. I get that they’re blood and all, but they didn’t really appear to offer much to Dong-hoon. But when they went running frantically through the streets after hearing that he was in a fight, even calling all the neighborhood guys to join them, I finally got it. These men all grew up together, and they know each other better than anyone in the world. They don’t just drink together and complain about their lives — they’re a family, a team. When one of them is threatened, they all take it personally, and they’re willing to fight for each other. I see now why Dong-hoon would rather spend time with these guys than his own wife, who hardly speaks to him and barely even tolerates his presence. It was sweet of Dong-hoon to offer their help to Ji-an if she ever needs it.
I’m not saying that Yoon-hee is at fault for her and Dong-hoon’s semi-estrangement, because clearly their situation came about over years of dissatisfaction and lack of communication. Yes, she had an affair, but that’s a symptom of their issues, not the cause of it. They’ve been unhappy in their marriage for years, and once she stopped living in a fantasy land, the affair only made Yoon-hee feel worse. She’s realizing that Dong-hoon cares for her more than she knew, the proof being that he ordered Joon-young not to tell her that he knows about the affair. He would rather deal with the pain all by himself than lose her.
What makes the political maneuverings so interesting for me is that both sides are pretty evenly matched. Obviously, one side is willing to play dirty, paying spies to get a leg up on the competition. The other side has its reasons for putting Dong-hoon in the director’s chair (to get the votes to get rid of Joon-young), but I like that even their scheming is honest. They need Dong-hoon, but he’s also truly the best candidate and genuinely deserves the promotion, and their plan to get rid of Joon-young is because he’s crooked. I even love that Dong-hoon knows exactly why they’ve chosen him, but that he’s finding his own reasons for wanting the position — to take care of his family. It’s a good feeling to root for Dong-hoon for all the right reasons.
- Premiere Watch: My Ajusshi, Let’s Watch the Sunset
- Lee Jia joins tvN’s My Ajusshi as Lee Seon-kyun’s wife
- My Ajusshi cast lineup secured with Lee Seon-kyun, IU headlining
- IU to romance Lee Seon-kyun for My Ajusshi?
- Lee Seon-kyun considers becoming My Ajusshi for tvN
- Signal PD and Oh Hae-young writer team up for tvN’s My Ajusshi