Beauty Inside: Episode 2
On the brink of discovery, Se-kye bends over backwards to keep her secret hidden from Do-jae, whose curiosity threatens to find her out. In contrast to the usual setbacks from his condition, Do-jae’s face-blindness yields sharper instincts to detect her secret. In Se-kye’s scurry to cover up her tracks, she suspects something unusual about Do-jae and tries to pinpoint his Achilles’ heel. Our leads are on a wild goose chase for each other’s weaknesses, which sounds like a fun and inadvertent way to fall in love.
EPISODE 2 RECAP
We witness the range of Se-kye’s once-a-month week-long transformation: people of all genders, ages, and regions of the world. Though she wanted to die at first, she eventually came to accept that these different faces were still her, and she wanted to live. In her various bodies, we see Se-kyes introducing herself as Han Se-kye.
On the airplane, Se-kye suddenly runs to the bathroom and experiences a transformation. Looking at the new face (Kim Sung-ryung) in the mirror, she wishes she could disappear. Do-jae breaks open the door and covers her with a blanket at her desperate request. As he covers her, she looks to him and wonders why his eyes didn’t quiver at her unfamiliar face.
Se-kye walks through the terminal under the blanket and endures curious gazes of passerby. Do-jae assures her that he has no interest in her circumstance, which seems to offend her. Regardless, he tells her to trust him as he guides her out of the terminal.
When manager Woo-mi spots covered Se-kye at the exit, she immediately takes her from Do-jae’s arms and sheepishly explains that Se-kye must be tired. As they run out of the terminal, Se-kye drops her name-engraved necklace, and Do-jae picks it up. Then, we see a stealthy paparazzi photographing them. In the van, Se-kye worries that her secret has been discovered, much to Woo-mi’s distress.
Secretary Jung tries to fool Do-jae by wearing sunglasses and a mask, but Do-jae recognizes him immediately by his shoes, which Secretary Jung took from Do-jae for his birthday. At Do-jae’s arrival, his employees rush to put on their nametags and blame his perfectionism for this strict policy. An employee runs in late without her nametag, but Do-jae correctly recognizes her without Secretary Jung’s help and even compliments her different hairstyle. Whew!
In his office, Do-jae pouts for Secretary Jung to help him with these unexpected run-ins, but Secretary Jung assures him that he can handle that much on his own. As Secretary Jung checks Do-jae’s memory of his fish, Do-jae wonders why Se-kye’s voice sounded strange and why she looked at him so fearfully. Secretary Jung cheekily suggests that Do-jae’s face must have incited fear. Haaa.
Secretary Jung tests him on the names of the last two fish, and Do-jae successfully names them before confirming that Se-kye has no children — a relief for their PR. Then, he looks to her unclaimed luggage and wonders what to do with it.
Airline representative Sa-ra receives the aiport paparazzi photos of Do-jae with Se-kye and seems pleased to have this dirt on her stepbrother. She assumes that he’s found a liking to the actress and schemes her next move.
Se-kye watches her debut film again with her dog, and her friends marvel at how her dog knows its owner regardless of the transformation. Eun-ho reminds her that he’s the one who feeds the dog, prompting Se-kye to pay him for the housework. Woo-mi scolds Eun-ho for ripping off money from Se-kye and orders him to fix the flickering light, but Se-kye tells him to save it for when she grows taller, meaning a taller body. Pfft.
Se-kye wonders why Do-jae hasn’t asked about her unbelievable transformation, and Woo-mi assures her that he probably didn’t believe his eyes. Speaking of the devil, Do-jae calls, and Se-kye freaks out with Woo-mi. They urge Eun-ho not to answer, but he confidently picks up the phone and informs Do-jae that Se-kye can’t answer because she’s showering. Aspiring priest Eun-ho has no idea what he just implied.
Do-jae pieces together the implication of a man answering Se-kye’s phone while he’s showering, and he mulls over her desperate plea from the plane. After washing up, he peers at himself in the mirror, almost like he’s trying to recognize himself.
Do-jae messages Se-kye about her luggage bag the next morning and threatens to throw it out if she doesn’t respond. She seems fine with that option until she remembers that the fan gift from the deaf girl is in her luggage. Woo-mi and Eun-ho don’t answer her calls, so she resorts to picking it up herself. In a meeting, Do-jae smiles at her message agreeing to meet him in his demanded thirty minutes, and his employees stare in surprise at his rare smile.
Accepting that her body will disappear in a week, Se-kye meets with Do-jae without much disguise. Despite the changed appearance, he correctly identifies her unfamiliar face as Se-kye at the café. She curiously asks if he knows her, and Do-jae apologizes after realizing that he must have misidentified Se-kye. But she quickly claims to be Se-kye’s household maid and takes the luggage from him.
A child bumps into Do-jae while running in the café, and she points in Se-kye’s general direction to identify her mother. Do-jae asks Se-kye if this is her child, and she defensively reminds him that she has no children. He recognizes her phrasing and looks at her suspiciously as the child finds her mother.
Do-jae then shows her the necklace, and Se-kye claims that it’s hers. When he asks again, she confirms this and grabs it from his hand. As she walks away with her luggage, Do-jae watches her curiously and seems to see Se-kye’s actual face. He seems convinced that she’s Se-kye and confirms her signature on the café receipt. Se-kye wonders how Do-jae could identify her when everyone else in her daily life is unable to recognize her.
Over drinks that night, Woo-mi calls Se-kye crazy for meeting Do-jae in person, and the pojangmacha ajumma scolds Woo-mi for using crass language to an elder. Se-kye explains her body transformation circumstance to the ajumma, and Eun-ho stuffs a cucumber in her mouth to stop “mom” from blabbering drunken nonsense.
Se-kye proves that people won’t believe her even if she tells the truth. Dispirited, she wishes she had one other person who would call her name despite her appearance. She knows it’s impossible, since her two best friends couldn’t even recognize her at first.
In Se-kye’s first transformation as an elderly woman (Son Sook), she tried to convince Woo-mi that she was Se-kye, but Woo-mi ran away from her. Se-kye sat in front of the door crying, and Woo-mi cracked open the door to find Se-kye back to her original body. When she came out to Eun-ho, Se-kye transformed into a man, and Eun-ho tried to jump out of the building to wake up from this dream.
Back at the pojangmacha, Se-kye wonders how she’ll survive without her friends, when Woo-mi becomes a bride and Eun-ho becomes a priest (a play on the word shinbu, which can mean both “bride” and “priest”). Sufficiently drunk, she tells Woo-mi to take the next day off and walks home alone.
Do-jae compares Se-kye’s signature on the café receipt and the contract, and he flips through his sketches to compare Se-kye with the woman he met that day. Based on their appearance, they can’t be the same person, but Do-jae knows that the woman he met that day was Se-kye. Dwelling on the necklace and her voice, Do-jae decides to investigate this himself.
As Se-kye nears her house, she thinks she’s drunkenly imagining Do-jae walking towards her. When she realizes he’s real, she backpedals and falls to the ground, dropping her phone in the process. Do-jae hands her his handkerchief for her scraped knee, and she runs to her door. Do-jae retrieves Se-kye’s phone from the ground and slyly slides it into his pocket. He follows her and says that he’s arranged to meet Se-kye, but when transformed Se-kye says that’s impossible, Do-jae offers to call Se-kye to verify the meeting. Se-kye panics when she can’t find her phone, and hurriedly ushers Do-jae into the house before he can make the call.
Do-jae notes how Se-kye’s dog runs to her, even though she’s not the owner. He offers to call Se-kye again, but she insists on calling Se-kye herself. Se-kye runs into her room to search for her phone, but she can’t find it anywhere and notices a weird sensation.
Do-jae follows the dog into Se-kye’s closet, where he finds a variety of clothes for men, women, and children. He picks out the dress that Se-kye had worn earlier, and Se-kye barks at him in the closet just as she transforms back into her original body. She’s surprised at her sudden transformation, and Do-jae recognizes her voice. He notes that she’s wearing the same clothes as the maid and gets right in her face to check her hair, the alcohol smell from her breath, and her necklace. After confirming these similarities, he demands to know who she is.
Se-kye doesn’t back down and asks why he identified a stranger as Se-kye while asking the real Se-kye who she is. She correctly deduces his face-blindness and challenges him to identify her in a photo. Exchanging tense glances, she asks if he has the confidence to believe her if she identified herself, and he remains silent.
The next morning, Secretary Jung scolds Do-jae for recklessly confronting Se-kye. Do-jae says that while it’s senseless and unreasonable, he thinks she’s another person while another person is her, but they’re the same person. Secretary Jung notes that it sounds like he’s talking about love — senseless, unreasonable, and focused on one person.
Do-jae attends his doctor’s appointment and shares that he’s been coping with his acquired face-blindness by training his mind to recognize people through other physical clues. He’s been using these methods for ten years, but he worries that his condition may be worsening based on his recent confusion with Se-kye. Noting that blind people can still love, the doctor advises Do-jae to trust his feelings if he can’t distinguish with his eyes.
As Do-jae walks through the company, a woman approaches him and catches his arm. Do-jae doesn’t recognize her, and Secretary Jung quickly rushes to his side to greet the vice president. Then, Do-jae greets his mother and comments on her changed hairstyle. To Do-jae’s dismay, his mother informs him about a blind date that afternoon.
While walking away, Do-jae’s mother calls Secretary Jung and tells him that Do-jae’s future lies in his hands. She asks him to support Do-jae well, since one mistake could be the end for him. No pressure, dude. He assures her before hanging up and tells Do-jae that it was just a work call.
Se-kye wakes up with a hangover and curses her drunken behavior. She answers the door to receive a package, and the delivery man excitedly asks for an autograph. Belatedly realizing her unrefined hungover appearance, she lies that she’s still getting over jetlag. After signing the delivery man’s vest, she asks him to keep her natural appearance a secret between them, and he eagerly agrees.
Eun-ho arrives at Se-kye’s house with a meal and calls her phone when she doesn’t answer the door. Do-jae answers, and he absurdly asks Eun-ho if he missed him so much to call him while he’s in the shower. Then, he confesses his love for him. Eun-ho is so confused.
Turns out, Do-jae confessed his love to ruin his blind date, and it works. The woman asks if he remembers her from their previous meeting, but of course, he doesn’t remember her. She considers his rejection a stance from Do-jae’s company and walks away in a huff.
Se-kye opens the door, but Eun-ho stands frozen in shock from the call. As she eats the hangover soup, Se-kye jokes that she wants to go to the sauna with Eun-ho next month if she transforms into a man. Eun-ho opposes this idea and tells her to call her lost phone to identify the man on the other end.
When Do-jae picks up, Se-kye introduces herself as the cellphone owner, and he identifies himself as the handkerchief owner. Se-kye immediately hangs up and asks Eun-ho if he’ll do anything for money, including theft. He reminds her that he’s Catholic, and she says that he can just pray for forgiveness. Ha, is that how that works? She needs her phone back because she recorded all her transformations on there, so she heads out with Eun-ho to track it down.
Unfortunately, Se-kye’s password is easy to crack (1004, commonly used because the pronunciation, chunsa, means “angel”), and Do-jae begins to pry. With Eun-ho at the wheel, Se-kye explains that she needs to know Do-jae’s weakness because he knows hers. By chance, they pull up next to Do-jae and chase the car to the company.
Se-kye exits the car in a disguise and tells Eun-ho that he can leave. She stops by the information desk to borrow an employee’s nametag and blends in with her white blouse. She steps onto the elevator with Do-jae and quietly stands next to him. He wonders why an info desk employee is headed to the design team, and Se-kye just smiles at him silently, knowing that he’ll recognize her voice.
When Do-jae steps off on his floor, Se-kye grabs his arm. He correctly identifies her as Se-kye and tells her to stop testing him. She releases her grip and looks defeated as the elevator doors close. We get a close-up of the ring on her finger, which may have given away her identity.
Do-jae catches his employees reading about the scandal based on the paparazzi photo from the airport. Secretary Jung reads aloud the entire article, which raises suspicions about Do-jae exclusively continuing Se-kye’s contract after the ceremony dash controversy. Do-jae denies the rumor and tells Secretary Jung to take care of the media.
Se-kye tries to catch a taxi on the street and takes off her mask in hopes that it’ll help. The news of the scandal breaks, and she overhears people gossiping about her. She turns around at the mention of her name, and people begin to recognize her. A crowd gathers to ask about the rumor, and Se-kye struggles to hide herself from unsolicited photos and attention.
As a crowd continues to grow, Do-jae approaches them and takes off his suit jacket. He squeezes through and shields her with his jacket. She looks up to him in surprise and silently follows as he escorts her away from the crowd.
Do-jae walks with her as the crowd follows them and says that he believes her. She says it makes no sense, and he admits, “It makes no sense, and I don’t have a reason, but in my eyes, you were always you.” Swoon. Like in the airport, Do-jae tells her to trust him and guides her under his jacket.
Although I’m not convinced that Do-jae recognizes Se-kye simply by her essence just yet, that last scene was super sweet. He said the exact words she wanted to hear, and I appreciate how gentle he is with Se-kye when she’s vulnerable. Even though Do-jae is starting to blur Se-kye’s face with her transformed body, I think it’s still deductive reasoning and Se-kye’s poor cover-ups that help him recognize her. Do-jae has mainly used other elements of people’s features, like hair or clothing, to identify them, so I wonder if that’s still the case with Se-kye. To me, the close-ups on Se-kye’s necklace and ring seem to indicate that Do-jae still depends on these items to identify her, so I’m curious to see how Do-jae will recognize her without these items later down the road.
I love the chemistry of these two leads, whether they’re in petty banter or intense rivalry. Their pride won’t let them miss a beat when trying to one-up each other, and that tension definitely built up to the brim in their confrontation in the closet. It’ll interesting to watch how these cameos (read: transformations) affects the chemistry. It’s too early to say, but I did find myself looking forward to Seo Hyun-jin’s return as Se-kye. This show depends on the chemistry of these two, so I hope we don’t lose Seo Hyun-jin too often. The main couple has too much untapped potential!
I was hoping to get more of the Sa-ra and Eun-ho development from this episode, but I guess that’s something to look forward to. They’ll surely be a fun unlikely pair, and I think Eun-ho’s delightfully dim character at odds with Sa-ra’s cold sophistication will be a source of hilarious hijinks. Apart from the romantic pairings, I’m enjoying the cute interactions between Do-jae and his secretary as well as among the trio of friends. These interactions shine light on Se-kye and Do-jae’s respective conditions and how they’ve coped with their obstacles thus far. But having our two strange individuals learn each other’s secret will surely throw a wrench in the works, and I can’t wait for more chaos to unfold.