Beauty Inside: Episode 6
The transformation hijinks are in full swing, and it’s everything that we needed to build the romance. You wouldn’t think that a cameo of the opposite sex could be this compatible, but it’s absolutely fitting for the dynamics of our fake couple in denial. As they begin to realize how special their everyday interactions can be, our leads form an undeniable connection with someone they never imagined they’d cross paths with.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Se-kye recalls how her transformations hurt her relationships — with a friend, disappointed that Se-kye didn’t attend her wedding, and with her mother, offended that Se-kye didn’t come to the hospital for her surgery. Se-kye narrates, “I felt victimized ever since these symptoms arose, but I couldn’t cry every time. Ten years was a long time, and misunderstandings were my long-time companion.”
We learn that Se-kye actually attended her friend’s wedding as an ahjussi and also went to the hospital for her mother’s surgery as an older woman, peeling fruit for her mother at her side.
As a transformed man, Se-kye used the men’s bathroom, but she exited the stall transformed back to her original body, shocking the men at the urinals. She thought she was used to these situations, but this was her first time experiencing this — the fiasco with Do-jae’s mother.
After Do-jae and not-so-Se-kye (Kim Min-seok) escort Do-jae’s mother to the hospital, Do-jae tells Se-kye to wait at his house. He checks the necklace and believes Se-kye for now, but he’s not done confirming her identity. They tell each other not to run away, though Se-kye looks more concerned about scaring off Do-jae.
In her hospital bed, Do-jae’s mother asks how old not-so-Se-kye is, but Do-jae isn’t sure because they’d just met. Mother is appalled that her son would sleep with someone he barely knows and spirals into her own assumptions about her son’s sexual orientation.
Do-jae’s stepfather Professor Kang enters with a bouquet of flowers, and Mother tries to tell him that her son is gay. Do-jae says that he has no prejudices and clarifies that he’s not gay, but Mother doesn’t believe him.
When Professor Kang hands Mother the bouquet of flowers, she immediately brightens up, but Professor Kang explains that the flowers have a sad meaning of unattainable love. That reminds Mother that she’s sad, and she screams in denial.
Gramps runs inside the hospital room, and he offers to do anything for his daughter. Mother says that she wants Se-kye, and Gramps interprets that as her daughter wanting the world (Se-kye’s name also means “world”). This nonsense keeps getting better.
Do-jae receives a call from Secretary Jung and pretends that he has an urgent matter at work. He excuses himself as a courtesy to his mother and himself.
Woo-mi drops her phone while trying to pick up a call, and not-so-Se-kye catches it before it hits the ground. She looks at him with interest and rejects the call from Se-kye right in front of her/him to try to cast him into her company. He says that he’ll call his mom to ask, and Woo-mi complains about Se-kye calling again. He tells “mom” to pick up, and Woo-mi finally realizes he’s Se-kye.
Se-kye grabs a beer from Woo-mi’s fridge to cope with making Do-jae’s mother faint, but Woo-mi snatches the beer away from the kid because he’s too young. Se-kye admits that she slept at Do-jae’s house last night, and Woo-mi unexpectedly embraces her proudly. Her baby’s all grown up!
Woo-mi asks if Do-jae was surprised and if he called her by her name. She knows Se-kye’s wish for one other person to call her by her name regardless of her appearance, and she asks if that one person is Do-jae. Se-kye says that Do-jae wasn’t surprised, and Woo-mi accepts Do-jae as that one other person for Se-kye. Aww.
Secretary Jung briefs Do-jae on their rival airline (Sa-ra’s company) eliciting an explosive response by launching a promotional event. They haven’t formulated a reasonable campaign to compete, but Director Kim is pushing for an event for first class customers.
Do-jae isn’t keen on the idea and walks into the conference room saying that economy class triumphs over first class in size. He disputes that first class costumers won’t bother to participate in their event because they know that they’ll be treated well regardless.
Do-jae argues that their job is to make obvious mundane routines into special moments through travel. He shifts their target to economy class and proposes random upgrades to first class among event participants. A director notes the stark price difference for international flights, but Do-jae considers this an advantage in fostering event participation.
Director Kim teases Do-jae for favoring Cinderella scenarios, and Do-jae commends Director Kim’s idea — they’ll bring a real Cinderella, Se-kye, to their promotional event. Director Kim criticizes Do-jae for bringing his personal life to work, but Do-jae says that he’ll just excel in both dating and work. Do-jae orders the event launch to be scheduled for next week, since he knows Se-kye is preoccupied this week.
Sa-ra attends a luncheon with other airline representatives, pleased to be accepted as the first woman in their circle. One representative says that she’s easier to work with than her brother because she’s a woman, and Sa-ra corrects him that it’s not because she’s a woman, but because she’s more ambitious than her brother. She uses the oppa to reference her older brother, but an ahjussi representative tells her to call oppa if she needs help and discusses the photo of Sa-ra in the flight attendant outfit. Ick.
Sa-ra bites her tongue at this boys’ club conversation and tries to pour herself a glass of wine, but a representative takes the bottle, saying that a woman shouldn’t pour alcohol. They lift their glasses, but Sa-ra excuses herself for a work matter. The representatives tell Sa-ra that she doesn’t need to work hard because she’s pretty, and she leaves the table without another word.
Sa-ra speeds away in her car, enraged by the ignorant men. Driving into a car wash, she finally breaks down in tears in private and calls herself an idiot for expecting more from this invitation. As the car wash comes to an end, she quickly wipes away her tears and rolls down her window to pay. Of course, it’s Eun-ho working another part-time job. He notices her tears and offers to cover her car wash in exchange for a cup of coffee.
As Sa-ra eats steak across from him, Eun-ho regrets only asking for coffee. He asks why she cried, and Sa-ra admits that it was because of men. Eun-ho finds that unexpected, since she looks like she would make men cry, and Sa-ra also acknowledges this.
Sa-ra asks if Eun-ho is dating Se-kye, and he clarifies that they’re childhood friends. She doesn’t believe that a man and a woman can be just friends, and he says that she can’t assume that her experience is everyone’s experience. Touché.
Eun-ho refuses to answer questions about Se-kye, so Sa-ra directs her questions at Eun-ho. She asks if he’s interested in her, with the multiple run-ins and getting her number. Eun-ho says that it’s a misunderstanding and clarifies that he doesn’t like bad people. Ouch. He chugs his coffee when he gets a request from Se-kye to bring her dog, and before he leaves, Sa-ra rejects him as well, claiming she doesn’t like good people.
At their staple pojangmacha, Woo-mi and Eun-ho warn drunk Se-kye to be wary of Sa-ra, who seems suspicious of her fake relationship. They worry about where Se-kye will sleep that night, and Se-kye suggests going to the sauna with Eun-ho. He’s horrified by the suggestion.
Eun-ho’s sister Aram brings Se-kye’s dog to them to avoid the possibility of another scandal, and Eun-ho hesitates to give her his precious money for the errand. Se-kye snuggles her dog, and Aram looks interested in not-so-Se-kye. Aram flirts with Se-kye, and Woo-mi and Eun-ho let her live out her mid-summer night’s dream that will disappear in a week.
The pojangmacha ajumma comes to their table and asks for Se-kye’s ID because he looks too young. Se-kye hilariously admits that he was born not so long ago, and the ajumma kicks him out.
As Do-jae sketches the new version of Se-kye, he hears the arrival of drunk Se-kye with her dog. Do-jae sees Se-kye as herself, though she’s still in the transformed body. Se-kye assumes that Do-jae’s mother is fine because she called Se-kye multiple times, and Do-jae says that his mother has been through much worse. Se-kye can sense that he’s about to tell a pitiful story, so she drunkenly walks away toward the couch.
Se-kye says that this is her week off to eat and drink anything because she’ll return to her original body just as she was before. (S)He lifts his shirt to scratch himself and accuses Do-jae of looking at him with bad intentions. Do-jae refuses to converse with a drunk person and retreats to his room.
The next morning, Se-kye smacks herself for her drunken behavior and notices that her cohabitant has a good body. As she starts feeling herself, she’s met by freshly showered Do-jae putting on his bathrobe, and she covers her eyes instinctively. Do-jae points her to the shower and closet, and she notes to herself that Do-jae also has a good body.
Do-jae notices Se-kye struggling to shave, so he takes the razor to help. He provides a tutorial as he shaves Se-kye’s face, and we see both transformed and original Se-kye standing still in front of Do-jae. It seems that Do-jae sees the original Se-kye as she thanks him for a clean shave and offers to help him shave next time.
Do-jae tells Se-kye to pick out an outfit from his closet, and the only thing that fits is Do-jae’s high school uniform. As she ties the necktie, she remembers the necktie moment with Do-jae and shakes the bad intentions out of her head.
Se-kye walks out in the uniform and wonders why Do-jae still keeps his uniform so clean. When Do-jae explains that the uniform was handmade by his father, Se-kye offers to change out of it, but Do-jae stops her and tells her to come to him. As she walks over, we see both transformed and original Se-kye stand in front of Do-jae.
Do-jae interrogates her about when they first met and what he gave her. She responds that they met at the roof of the hospital and cheekily says that he gave her shame. Then, she clarifies it was a handkerchief. He asks what they first ate together, and Se-kye answers insults (“eating insults” is the literal phrase of “being insulted”) then correctly answers sushi.
Se-kye remembers the sushi being delicious but says that her dining companion was rude. She acknowledges that she was also uncouth, but Do-jae says that he just didn’t know her then. Se-kye’s dog runs to its owner, and Do-jae acknowledges that this high schooler is really Se-kye.
Do-jae asks when Se-kye will return to herself, and she gets self-conscious. She asks if he’s uncomfortable, and Do-jae confirms this, saying that he wants her to return soon because this body is not Se-kye.
Se-kye stuffs her face with ddukbokki as she indignantly thinks about Do-jae’s rude reaction to her transformation. (S)He overhears a group of high school boys paying their friend for winning a bet about a girl confessing to him. The bet winner brags that pitiful girls easily fall for him at the smallest nice gesture, and Se-kye notices a girl crying at the next table.
Se-kye approaches the girl, Joo Ga-young, who the boys had placed their bets on. Se-kye also recognizes Ga-young from the children’s fund event as the student targeted by the sleezy donor. She offers to help Ga-young get revenge, since she was in a lousy mood anyway and always wanted to try out this genre in acting.
Eun-ho comes home to his angry mother, who’s discovered his seminary preparation documents. She yells at Eun-ho for choosing this path despite her opposition, but Eun-ho says that he’s thought long and hard about this decision. He hands her his bank book with the money he’s been saving for when he’s gone at seminary, but she throws it back at him.
She tells him to leave her house, since he won’t be her son anyway when he becomes a priest. Eun-ho looks hurt by his mother’s stern disapproval, but he maintains his composure and says that he’ll be back after his job.
Eun-ho goes to Sa-ra’s house for his housekeeping job, and he notices that the chandelier light is out. He tries to fix the light, but it comes crashing down, just like his spirits. He crouches down to pick up the pieces, and he despises himself for being so good that he can’t even curse properly at times like this.
When Sa-ra returns home, she runs into Eun-ho finishing up his housekeeping work. She’s annoyed that she had looked for Eun-ho everywhere when he was here at her house.
High schooler Se-kye waits for Ga-young with flowers while the surrounding students admire his looks. Se-kye marches up to Ga-young and demands that she pick up his calls. He hands her the flowers and says that he missed her.
Following their script, Ga-young throws the flowers and tells Se-kye to stop calling her. Se-kye confesses his love for Ga-young, and in his head, Se-kye approves of audience’s reaction to their roleplay.
When player boy arrives, Se-kye asks Ga-young if this is the poor boy she’s been playing around with. The player tells Ga-young to choose between him and Se-kye, and she starts to walk toward the player. Se-kye dramatically grabs her arm and tells her not to go, but Ga-young goes to the player anyway. Getting revenge, she calls the player ugly and tells him to stop messing around.
The insulted player lifts his hand to hit Ga-young, but Se-kye steps in. The player and his posse walk toward him to fight, and Se-kye insists that they come at him one at a time. They don’t agree to his terms, and Se-kye ends up running away. Ha, not the cool exit as planned but successful revenge.
Do-jae fails at the fish memorization exercise with Secretary Jung, who wonders if Do-jae has been blinded by love. Do-jae asks Secretary Jung if he’s ever been turned on by a man’s body, and Secretary Jung warily steps away from Do-jae with his hands crossed over his chest. LOL.
Then, Do-jae receives a call from the police about his son being involved in an assault case. He’s confused by the call and asks what year the police are calling from. Hahahaa.
When Do-jae arrives at the police station, Se-kye greets him as his father, and the player posse mothers sneer that Do-jae likely had his son as an unplanned accident. They lament that their sons had to interact with such lowly people and blame Ga-young for seducing the boy, prompting Se-kye to defend her.
The mothers threaten to sue them for damages, but Se-kye clarifies that the player posse instigated the fight and hurt themselves by tripping over their own feet. That provokes the player to push Se-kye to the ground, and Do-jae exchanges a look with Se-kye to exaggerate the injury from the fall. Do-jae hands his business card to the mothers to handle this through the law, but the mothers back off when they recognize his business card.
Once they’re out of the police station, Ga-young thanks Se-kye for helping her. She asks for his number, but Se-kye says that he’ll be studying abroad in France. He promises to return as a better man for Ga-young, and she appreciates his perfect ending to their roleplay. They adorably bow to each other to conclude their act, and Ga-young watches Se-kye walk away.
In the car, Se-kye grumbles about Do-jae coming to help despite finding Se-kye uncomfortable. Do-jae pulls over to resolve Se-kye’s sulky mood and clarifies that he only finds Se-kye uncomfortable because he has an airline event at the end of the week that requires the original Se-kye. He reminds her that Se-kye was always Se-kye in his eyes, and that assuages Se-kye’s anger.
Do-jae apologizes for his unintentionally hurtful language, which causes Se-kye to sheepishly feel sorry for the misunderstanding. Since Se-kye feels sorry for causing trouble, Do-jae suggests that they live together to protect Se-kye from further problems. Plus, Se-kye doesn’t have anywhere else to go anyway.
Eun-ho offers to work as a live-in housekeeper for Sa-ra to pay for the broken chandelier, since he doesn’t have the money. She asks why she should trust him, and Eun-ho shares that he’s an aspiring priest; thus, he has no interest in women, including Sa-ra.
Later that night, Se-kye tells Eun-ho that she’s temporarily living with Do-jae and asks where he’s staying. Eun-ho says that the truth is dangerous and doesn’t share his arrangement with Sa-ra.
Looking through documents, Sa-ra calls herself crazy for agreeing to the arrangement. Do-jae also flips through documents before bed and smiles, calling Se-kye a strange woman.
The next morning, Do-jae drags Se-kye out to exercise, and they carry out normal daily activities and conversation. As they watch TV, Se-kye jokes that they should write their own version of a love story in which Do-jae confesses by saying that he’s never met someone so kind. Se-kye narrates: “In retrospect, those were a series of strange days. Like it was nothing, I ate with someone, greeted someone, and joked with someone.”
Do-jae takes Se-kye’s memorial photo for her transformation, and Se-kye continues to narrate, “Like it was nothing, we recognized each other. Because it was like nothing, it felt like any day.” Se-kye wakes up back in her original body, and Do-jae greets her in the morning. She confesses to herself that for the first time, she regretted returning to her body.
Se-kye participates in a photoshoot as the airline model, and her photographer notices that Se-kye looks better than usual. She presumes that it’s because she’s dating, and Se-kye just smiles.
Se-kye visits her usual ddukbokki shop and looks around for Ga-young. When Ga-young arrives, Se-kye covers up her recognition by awkwardly asking if she wants an autograph. Ga-young declines, but as they eat, she thanks Se-kye for everything. Before they can discuss further, they’re interrupted by a call from Do-jae’s mother.
Do-jae’s mother meets Se-kye with bags of luxury items, and Se-kye assumes that they’re another form of bribery since Se-kye returned the money. But Do-jae’s mother apologizes and asks Se-kye to stay by Do-jae’s side. She proffers the limited-edition shoe that Se-kye lost while running away from the award ceremony and desperately asks Se-kye to be her Cinderella.
Se-kye wears the limited-edition shoes to the Cinderella airline event, awarding a couple with an upgrade to first class. She looks around the crowd for Do-jae, but he’s not at the event.
Later that night, Se-kye adds the photo of the high schooler to the memorial. She notes that she saw Do-jae endlessly as the high schooler but barely even once when she returned to her original self.
As Do-jae labels his sketch of high school Se-kye with her real name, he receives a call from “Aunt” a.k.a. Se-kye. She reports that she successfully attended the airline event, and he knows because he saw the pictures. Se-kye wonders if he could have attended the event even though he wasn’t obligated to show up, and Do-jae asks if she missed him.
Se-kye vehemently denies this and claims that she just called to make sure that he wasn’t lazing around while she was working. He takes it that she missed him, but she unconvincingly denies this with a smile. She then randomly asks about her razor, and he says that he threw it away.
Do-jae tries to hang up, but Se-kye extends the call by telling Do-jae not to watch their unfinished movie without her. He promises not to finish the movie, and he tries to hang up again. Se-kye stops him by asking if he’s ever been inside the air traffic control tower, and Do-jae tells her to come out.
Do-jae brings Se-kye to the air traffic control tower, and she admires the night view of the airport. Do-jae understands her amazement, since that was his initial reaction as well, but now, he regularly visits the tower for work.
Se-kye asks Do-jae why he works so hard for the family business, considering his prosopagnosia. He says that he finds his work fascinating — that people from other sides of the world who may have never crossed paths could meet, fall in love, and live with each other for a lifetime. He defines his work as connecting people who may have never met and allowing people to love someone they may have never loved.
Se-kye says that it sounds like fate, and Do-jae asks if she’s taking about them. He cracks a smile to indicate that he’s joking, but Se-kye seizes that moment to softly kiss him. She steps back in realization of her impulsive act and apologizes, but Do-jae pulls her in for another kiss.
Ahhhh! What a rewarding payoff for this romantic build-up. I really enjoyed this episode for its perfect use of the transformation and cameo to build intimacy between our leads. Se-kye’s narration that for the first time, she didn’t want to return to her body resonated with me — for the first time, I actually wanted the cameo around for a little longer. Kim Min-seok was a wonderful choice as Se-kye’s counterpart in this fundamental phase of the romantic development, and he set the bar for future cameos in this series. I loved the portrayal of Kim Min-seok as a high schooler (that man is almost 30 but his baby face is going nowhere) and the continuity of Se-kye’s troublemaking kindness for Ga-young. I appreciate that continuity, as it makes the story feel more thought-out and purposeful.
I’m finally onboard with Sa-ra, and I’m glad my patience has paid off. Her inferiority complex as a woman in power is relatable, and that brief moment of vulnerability in the car wash felt raw. The way the boys’ club incited that crushing feeling of being objectified and silenced grinded my gears, and I’m ready for her to make all those men cry. I agree with Eun-ho that she definitely looks capable of this. Speaking of Eun-ho, I found the cohabitation agreement between him and Sa-ra to be rather rash, but I’m not one to dispute this because the potential for hijinks always outweighs rational thought in my book. I’m ready to witness their opposite energies clash and bloom.
Now that our leads have essentially confirmed their feelings for each other, I’m curious to see how they navigate themselves out of their fake relationship into a real one. The business partner excuse has been tossed out of the window, so everything they do now means something real, for better or for worse. That last scene at the air traffic control tower was the epitome of the rom-com prowess of our leads, and I’m eager to see more of their chemistry unfold. Needless to say, I cannot wait for next week.