What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim: Episode 15
Just because Young-joon and Mi-so are in love, doesn’t mean their struggles are over, because romance is tricky enough to navigate when you don’t also work together. And Young-joon still hasn’t achieved his goal of convincing Mi-so to marry him — he’s still trying to get an answer after four failed proposals. He’s going to have to make this last one count, but he’s all out of ideas, and this might be his last chance.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
After telling Young-joon that she’s decided to continue working for him, Mi-so takes him inside for ramyun. She says it’s always been her dream to spend the evening with her husband after work, and Young-joon tells her that he wants to be her husband and make that dream come true.
They don’t know that Mi-so’s father is in her bed under the covers, listening to Young-joon’s impromptu proposal. When Young-joon moves in to kiss Mi-so, Dad jumps up screaming at the top of his lungs: “I object!!”
Mi-so asks why Dad isn’t at the hospital, and he says that he was released but there’s no water at his house. He wants to talk to Young-joon man-to-man, and Young-joon looks back at Mi-so in desperation as he’s literally dragged outside.
Dad takes him to a pojangmacha, then tells him that he’s very disappointed in Young-joon’s unromantic proposal (he said he’d eat ramyun with her every day even if it filled his body with MSG). Young-joon says he only meant they should live simply and happily. Dad orders him to propose again, and not to skimp on the romance this time, warning Young-joon that he’ll be watching him carefully.
Dad starts pouring the drinks, and soon Young-joon is blearily thanking him for bringing Mi-so into the world. Young-joon impresses Dad with how much detail he knows about Mi-so, like that she loves mackerel but doesn’t eat it ever since she got a bone stuck in her throat, or that she no longer eats spicy food when she’s stressed. Ha, I’m dying at the way Young-joon’s eyes are blinking at different rates of speed.
When Young-joon reveals that he knows the details of Dad’s failed business and ill-advised personal loan, Dad slurs that his family is poorer than Young-joon imagined. Dad asks if Young-joon still likes Mi-so, and if he’s confident his feelings won’t change, and Young-joon reassures him that that will never happen. Dad yells that he passes and officially appoints Young-joon his son-in-law — if he proposes to Mi-so properly.
Mi-so worries when she can’t reach Young-joon by phone, so she goes out to wait in front of her building. She’s shocked to see Dad and Young-joon shuffling home arm-in-arm, crooning their love for each other. Mi-so overhears Dad say that he doesn’t care if Young-joon is rich as long as he treats her well, though it’s nice that he happens to be rich, hee.
She reels at the stench of alcohol accompanying them, but when she snaps at Dad for drinking at his age, Young-joon barks at her not to speak to his father-in-law that way. It’s a mistake, as she turns on him to retort that he’s got a meeting tomorrow.
Dad stage-whispers that Mi-so scares him sometimes, and Young-joon answers that she scares him all the time. They suffer a fit of giggles, then Dad says he’s going inside, leaving it to Mi-so to call a cab for his son-in-law.
Mi-so parks Young-joon on a bench and calls Yoo-shik to pick him up, then chastises him for drinking so much with his low alcohol tolerance. Barely conscious, Young-joon tells Mi-so sweetly that he loves her, melting her anger instantly.
He says that he was so happy when he saw her nine years ago, even though she didn’t recognize him, and that he thinks he’s loved her ever since then. Softly petting her hair, he adds with a smile that he will make her happy for the rest of her life, and that because of her, he’ll be happy for the rest of his life.
He says again that he loves her, then falls asleep and topples over onto her shoulder. Smiling, Mi-so hugs him and pats him while he sleeps.
Young-joon wakes in his own bed the next morning, mostly dressed and wondering what happened last night. He frantically hopes he didn’t embarrass himself in front of Mi-so’s father, but even his brilliant brain can’t remember much. He’s feeling pretty hung over and nauseated on the ride to work, and he begs his upset stomach not to ruin the dignified image he’s so carefully cultivated.
The office team look like sad little puppies when Mi-so arrives at work. They have a little ceremony to wish her goodbye, singing a song and giving her a plaque to show their appreciation for her years of hard work. Feeling terrible, Mi-so tells them that she’s not leaving after all, and they burst into excited screams and make her pinky swear that she’ll never quit again.
Ji-ah belatedly realizes that if Mi-so isn’t leaving, that might leave her without a job, since she was to be Mi-so’s replacement. Mi-so says that it’s because Ji-ah lightened her workload that she was able to get some of her own time back, so she doesn’t want anything to change. When reminded that Ji-ah and Se-ra defended her against gossiping coworkers, Mi-so invites the two ladies to dinner tonight.
Mi-so brings Young-joon some hangover soup, though she shoots eye-daggers at him for getting drunk in the first place. He wisely avoids eye contact, and meekly claims that he sometimes worries that his perfection might be intimidating to others. Mi-so accuses him of saying this just because he got so drunk, but he insists he got drunk on purpose to showcase his flaws, hee.
Mi-so reminds him that he’s a company owner, but he says that first, he’s a man who will soon be a husband, so it was only right that he obey his father-in-law-to-be. She asks curiously what they talked about, but Young-joon smirks that it’s a secret.
That doesn’t stop him from running to Yoo-shik to tell him that he has to propose to Mi-so. Yoo-shik says that all he has to do is rent a restaurant and buy fancy champagne, but Young-joon says he already did that once and failed.
Ditto for Yoo-shik’s idea of renting the amusement park, so Yoo-shik suggests he just fire off a proposal in an unguarded moment. Yep, already been done.
Young-joon asks Yoo-shik how he proposed to his wife, hoping for inspiration. Yoo-shik tells him that he staged a proposal under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but Young-joon doesn’t like that idea since the marriage didn’t last.
Still, it’s the best idea he’s got, so he tries to think of another romantic spot for a proposal. He decides on Las Vegas, and plans the whole trip himself.
While Se-ra is making copies, Cheol sends the copy machine a command to print “I love you.” Se-ra loudly announces that she’s going to the roof for fresh air, and Cheol escapes to follow her with an excuse that he’s calling his mother. They think they’re so sneaky, but the whole office knows they’re “secretly” dating, ha
They notice that Gwi-nam is the only one uninterested in the office scandal and ask if he’s dating anyone. Ji-ah looks dismayed when he says that he’s dating… his work. Of course.
Young-joon tells Mi-so to cancel his appointments next week, because he’s taking her to Vegas. She says firmly that there’s no way he can leave work now, plus it would only make the gossip about them worse. When she tells him she’s going out with the girls tonight, Young-joon gets huffy but says he doesn’t care, when he obviously cares very much that his proposal plans just got shot down.
Over drinks, Ji-ah and Se-ra push Mi-so for details about her relationship with Young-joon. They scream excitedly when she tells them that Young-joon fell in love first, then Mi-so changes the subject to ask about Se-ra’s hero. Se-ra simpers that they’ve gotten very physical, but Mi-so stops her to ask Ji-ah if she’s seeing anyone.
Ji-ah admits sadly that there’s someone she likes, but he’s only interested in working. Se-ra advises her to be more aggressive and make him notice her.
Young-joon turns to the internet for proposal ideas, but he deems the path-of-candles idea too childish, and the Love Actually-inspired proposals too wasteful of time and paper. He checks his phone for a message from Mi-so, and wonders what she’s up to.
The ladies are getting pretty drunk, though Mi-so tries her best to hold onto her composure. She staggers off to the restroom in a cloud of wobbly dignity, and when her phone rings with a call from Young-joon, Ji-ah and Se-ra decide to answer it. They scream at him that Mi-so is completely drunk so he needs to pick her up.
She’s soooo adorably happy to see him when he shows up, and invites him to join them. Se-ra decides that since he’s here as Mi-so’s boyfriend, they’ll just go ahead and call him by name, and the look on his face (and Mi-so’s!) is priceless.
They ask him what he likes about Mi-so, and he says she’s pretty. They steal his watch and wallet so he can’t leave, and Young-joon turns to Mi-so for help, but she’s laughing too hard to be of any assistance.
Se-ra asks Young-joon when they’re getting married, guessing that it will be the most romantic proposal ever. Young-joon looks cornered, but as Se-ra and Ji-ah start guessing at proposal tactics, he gets some ideas — until Mi-so cringes that renting a jet and a private island would be a waste of money.
Young-joon practically carries Mi-so home as she cheerfully admits she’s never been this drunk before. Then she decides she’s mad that in all the years she’s poured him drinks, he’s never offered her one and just made her drive him home. But she grins that she still likes him, and thanks him for picking her up.
He tells her to be impressed by his face instead, and she sighs that he’s toootally handsome, and a good singer, too. She bellows in his ear that when he sang her that lullaby, she was very moved and slept like a baby.
She wakes in the morning with the mother of all hangovers, and unfortunately she remembers a lot of her silly behavior last night. When she gets to work, Se-ra and Ji-ah run over, worried about the way they acted with Young-joon at the bar. LOL, they still have his wallet and watch.
They head upstairs to return his things, but he’s not as angry as they expect, although he does say he hopes never to see that again. He dismisses them and summons Mi-so by crooking a finger at her and smirking evilly. He keeps his “angry boss” face on as he tells her to sit and offers her some hangover soup.
Mi-so nervously gives him the same “I’m just too perfect” excuse he tried on her, but he just sneers and tells her not to do it again — but not because she’s his secretary, “Because you’re my woman.” He relaxes and admits he’s worried about her health, though he does say she’s awfully cute when she’s drunk. True, that.
Ji-ah heads to the break room to guzzle water, and Gwi-nam notes that she drank a lot last night. She asks how he knows, and he’s surprised that she forgot… something. He says he even has it on video, so she grabs his phone, and she’s horrified to see herself drunkenly begging him to date her.
Gwi-nam gallantly says that she was obviously joking because she drank so much, but Ji-ah groans that it wasn’t a joke. She bravely confesses to having feelings for him since he brought her those tomatoes and helped her glue her shredded notes, or maybe since he told her his sad life story.
She looks up at him hopefully, but he says they’ll talk later, making her think that he’s going to accept her confession since he could have just rejected her quickly.
When they do have time to talk, Gwi-nam says that Ji-ah is a nice person who keeps secrets, and has helped him a lot. But he says he can’t return her feelings because of his plan to work hard and buy a house, so he can’t afford to be distracted.
He adds that if she dated him, she’d have to give up a lot of the nice things she enjoys like her daily caramel macchiato. But when she says she’s be fine with that, Gwi-nam says that he doesn’t want to make her live like that.
Ji-ah retreats to the stairwell to cry a little, so she doesn’t know that Gwi-nam sits on that bench for a long time, sighing regretfully.
Young-joon’s dad finds his mom wearing an expensive face mask from France, claiming that it will make her look like she’s in her 20s again. He laughs, saying that she’d have to travel back forty years in time, and calls her greedy. Mom snaps that if she were greedy she’d never have married him.
Young-joon is back in Yoo-shik’s office, upset that he still hasn’t thought of a good proposal because he’s so stressed about it. He forbids Yoo-shik to even say the word “proposal” to him, so Yoo-shik has fun calling him a pro…fessional who like pro…baseball until Young-joon threatens to fire him.
Having heard the news through an employee, Mom calls Young-joon to the house to ask if it’s true that he’s dating Mi-so. He apologizes for not telling her sooner and says that he wants to marry Mi-so. Mom nods seriously, but when Young-joon reminds her that she likes Mi-so, she says that she’s worried because Sung-yeon likes her, too.
After so many years of hatred, and with their reconciliation so new, Mom is scared that jealousy over Mi-so could tear the brothers apart again. Young-joon hangs his head, but Sung-yeon, who was listening, tells Mom that she doesn’t need to worry. He explains that he was drawn to Mi-so because he thought they shared the kidnapping trauma, but that Mi-so was actually with Young-joon, so this is the natural conclusion.
Later, Sung-yeon tells Young-joon that he’s seeing a therapist, and that it’s really helping. He asks if Young-joon has proposed to Mi-so yet, guessing from Young-joon’s expression that he hasn’t. He warns him not to copy others or show off when he does it, but says to focus on Mi-so and what she likes, and what he wants to give her.
Young-joon gives it some thought that night, then calls Mi-so to ask her to come over right now. When she arrives (OMG that dress!), she finds a path of candles guiding her to a table full of caramels, then on to another table where a stuffed dog and mini Hardworking Cow sit beside a notepad that says, “Mi-so-yah, I prepared a classic proposal, because I am a classical man. Who prepared it? I did (he’s making a cow pun). I am willing to become childish for you. Come in, My Woman.”
An arrow points Mi-so inside, where Young-joon is playing piano in front of a beautiful water wall. When he sees her, he sings her a song about how she makes him feel: “My darling, come into my arms and close your eyes, and share a love dream with me.”
Mi-so is crying by the time his song is over (so am I, and so are you, admit it), and Young-joon says that if his lullaby made her sleep so well, then he plans to sing to her for the rest of his life. He says that he never asks anyone’s permission, but now he’s asking her permission, as politely and romantically as he can.
He kneels in front of her and holds out a music box with a ring inside, asking simply, “Will you marry me?” Mi-so nods, unable to speak. Young-joon stands to put the ring on her finger, then jokes that it only took five proposals to get an answer out of her, ha.
Mi-so reminds him that she proposed first, when she was five, making them both laugh. Young-joon looks at her like she’s the only important thing in his universe and tells her he loves her, and when Mi-so returns his love, he finally kisses her.
Some time later, Yoo-shik opens his front door to find Young-joon standing there, looking thunderous. Yoo-shik asks what Young-joon is doing here, and Young-joon says darkly, “Why do you think? Kim Mi-so… what’s wrong with her??” We cut to Mi-so, who says in frustration to both her family and Young-joon’s, “I can’t get married like this!”
Oh no, they can’t break up now! Actually, I can’t wait to see what goes wrong as Young-joon and Mi-so grow closer to getting married, because I have a feeling it’s going to be a blowout of epic proportions. I’m guessing here, but there are still a few power dynamic issues when it comes to Mi-so and Young-joon figuring out how their relationship works at the office, and an impending wedding is only going to make those issues stand out more. I’m betting Mi-so has something to put her foot down about, and Young-joon isn’t going to like it one bit. But he’ll give her what she wants in the end, because he’s a smart man who loves his lady, and ultimately he knows what’s good for him.
I think it was fair of Mi-so’s father to request that Young-joon give Mi-so a proposal that she deserves. Young-joon’s first (wait, I mean his fourth) proposal was sweet and definitely sincere, but even if he doesn’t know the details of their shared past, I think that Dad could sense that this is the only wedding Mi-so will ever get and wants it to be perfect and romantic for her. And since Young-joon has been known to pull out all the stops before to propose — several times now — it wasn’t too much to ask him to plan a grand proposal that would knock Mi-so off her feet. I mean, technically they’ve been promised since they were kids and pinky-swore on it, and that time it was Mi-so who did the proposing, so it was the least Young-joon could do to give her a fantastically memorable event that would blow her away.
I thought it was wonderful, and a nice tie-up to the brothers’ story, that it was Sung-yeon who inspired Young-joon to the perfect proposal. It makes sense, him being a romance author and all, that he would know that a woman wants a proposal tailored to her love and not just copying what everyone else does. The proposal was perfect, a mashup of cheesy internet proposals intertwined with Mi-so’s favorite things, like caramels and Hardworking Cow and Young-joon’s lovely singing voice. He certainly rose to the occasion, and Mi-so will never forget that moment.
Not that everyone is so happy… I feel so bad for Ji-ah getting rejected by Gwi-nam, though I have to give him credit for doing it kindly and explaining his reasons. I don’t really understand why they can’t date and she just use her own money to buy her own caramel macchiatos like she already does, but at least Gwi-nam was honest that he’s just not in that place in his life right now. But this is a rom-com, and he looked pretty dejected at having to turn her down, so I won’t be surprised if Gwi-nam caves at the prospect of losing Ji-ah for real. I don’t want him to give up his life plans, because it’s a good, responsible plan, but I can see them coming to a compromise if suddenly two incomes are involved.
I don’t want this drama to be over (I never want to see Park Seo-joon go), but I can’t wait for the finale, it’s going to be so fun. I hope we end with a wedding, but I’ll be happy if it ends just with Young-joon and Mi-so together as they should be, both at home and at work, and with everyone’s romances neatly tied up in bright sparkly rainbow-colored ribbons. This is a show that can pull that off without coming across as cheesy or unrealistic, so come on Show, give us what we want!