Clean With Passion for Now: Episode 12
Even though our CEO’s charms are becoming harder and harder to resist, his favorite housekeeper is managing to successfully keep him at arm’s length. As if things aren’t complicated enough, their household becomes more crowded thanks to continued meddling and it triggers a crisis that has a profound affect on both of them, especially our romantically conflicted housekeeper.
EPISODE 12: “It can’t get better than this”
After Oh-sol apologizes to Seon-gyeol for pretending not to know his feelings, his eyes open and he grabs her wrist. Seon-gyeol tells her, “If you’re sorry, I hope you start knowing how I feel from now on,” and he leans closer to kiss her. Oh-sol runs out at the last second and once she’s in her own room, she asks herself, “What should I do?”
In the morning, Oh-sol walks out of her room apprehensively, only to find Seon-gyeol waiting for her. Before Oh-sol can escape, Seon-gyeol reminds her about breakfast and she busies herself preparing his meal. Once breakfast is ready, Seon-gyeol asks Oh-sol to sit down and before she can say anything about the previous night, Seon-gyeol asks, “You’ve fallen for me, right?” When Oh-sol stammers, Seon-gyeol decides that he’s right and suggests, “Be my girlfriend, Gil Oh-sol…”
Seon-gyeol happily announces their first day as a couple but when he sees the look on Oh-sol’s face, he asks, “Why? You don’t want to?” Seon-gyeol reminds Oh-sol about her apology the night before but she argues that he was too drunk to remember anything. Seon-gyeol proves that he remembers everything when he grabs Oh-sol’s hand and places it along his face, just as she did the night before. Seon-gyeol urges, “Let’s date. For real,” only to have Oh-sol tell him, “I can’t.”
Oh-sol heads for her room and in her haste, she runs into the couch. Seon-gyeol grabs Oh-sol as she falls (he’s getting really good at this) and once she’s steady, he asks, “Why are you being like this?” Oh-sol explains that she’s not interested in dating anyone and reminds Seon-gyeol that he once felt the same way. Oh-sol apologizes for her misleading words from the night before and retreats to her room.
Disguised, Oh-sol meets Joo-yeon at a park for moral support. Joo-yeon urges Oh-sol to tell Seon-gyeol the truth, but when Oh-sol rehearses what to say, “I promised your grandfather that I’d never date you,” Joo-yeon realizes how terrible it sounds. Oh-sol confesses that she accepted the assignment because she believed it would help both Seon-gyeol and Oh-dol but everything’s going wrong.
Dong-hyun, Jae-min and Yeong-shik are on assignment at the aquarium, where Yeong-shik is mesmerized by a beluga whale. Jae-min teases Yeong-shik over his cute beluga souvenir, unimpressed when Dong-hyun shows off an identical one. When Dong-hyun steps away to answer a call, a suspicious Jae-min wonders if he’s dating someone but Yeong-shik is too busy making whale sounds to listen.
Secretary Kwon tries to talk to Seon-gyeol as they walk through the aquarium, but his mind is obviously elsewhere. Seon-gyeol denies that he’s distracted, but gives himself away when he asks if Oh-sol is having any difficulties. Secretary Kwon asks about Seon-gyeol’s friend, the one who planned to confess his feelings, and is told, “…he’s not sure whether it went well or not.”
After Secretary Kwon leaves, Seon-gyeol’s mother calls, upset that he rejected Hye-won again. When Mae-hwa asks if he prefers men, Seon-gyeol looks up in frustration and is suddenly aware of his incredible surroundings. The display of ocean life reminds Seon-gyeol of the night when Mr. Choi and Oh-sol watched a diving documentary together. Oh-sol had wondered what it must be like to be underwater and Mr. Choi described it as romantic.
Seon-gyeol calls Oh-sol to have her bring him an important envelope right away and then he sends Dong-hyun, Jae-min and Yeon-shik out for dinner with his credit card. The crew leaves just when Oh-sol arrives at the aquarium in disguise.
When Seon-gyeol meets Oh-sol, he informs her that her disguise isn’t necessary since the aquarium is empty. Seon-gyeol explains that inside the aquarium it feels as if they’re underwater and asks Oh-sol for just one hour as he pulls her away. Unfortunately, Yeong-shik runs back inside the aquarium to look for his lost souvenir, followed by Dong-hyun and Jae-min.
As they enter the main aquarium, Seon-gyeol mentions the documentary that Oh-sol watched with Mr. Choi. Oh-sol confesses her interest in free diving and admits that she even considered learning how to do it. Oh-sol explains why she couldn’t do that, “You can’t do everything you want to do in life,” and she looks at Seon-gyeol as she adds, “Sometimes, you have to give up on something you want.”
Oh-sol’s attention is caught by a sea turtle as it swims by and she explains to Seon-gyeol, “When sea turtles hatch, they follow the stars to go back to the sea…nowadays, baby sea turtles are lured by artificial lights on beaches. They head to the city…in the end they dry out.” Thoughtful, Oh-sol asks Seon-gyeol if he’s ever wondered, “Am I being guided by the stars or artificial lights? If I am being guided by artificial lights, will I ever make it back to the sea?”
The mood is broken when Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol hear Yeong-shik and the others return. Dong-hyun is surprised to see Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol but he says nothing. They run for cover, but not before Jae-min catches a glimpse of Oh-sol.
Jae-min refuses to leave once Yeong-shik finds his tiny beluga and pulls out his phone to call Oh-sol. Jae-min hears a phone vibrate but before he can find Oh-sol, a security guard asks them to leave.
Once everyone is gone, Oh-sol realizes that Seon-gyeol is gripping both of her hands and he releases them immediately. On their way out, Oh-sol pauses in front of a magnificent display of sea life and admits, “It’s just like being underwater. It’s beautiful.”
Seon-gyeol gazes at the fish and speaks up, “Whether they are stars or lights, can’t you go with me? If we look for it together, we might be able to make it to the sea more easily.” He turns to face Oh-sol and continues, “If that’s not the case, I’ll just take you there. Trust me. If it’s with you, I feel like I can go anywhere.” Later, Oh-sol lies in bed and repeatedly switches her lamp on and off as she stares at the ceiling.
Oh-sol meets the cleaning team for dinner and eventually Jae-min asks her, “You’re dating, aren’t you?” Jae-min insists that he’s happy for her and exclaims that it feels like dating season as he motions to Dong-hyun, who just left the table. Jae-min describes how politely Dong-hyun speaks to his girlfriend on the phone and when Dong-hyun’s phone rings, he playfully answers it. Jae-min is suddenly serious and when Dong-hyun returns, he reports, “Your grandma is in critical condition.”
The entire team arrives at the hospital to find Seon-gyeol already there and he reports that Dong-hyun’s grandmother is almost out of surgery. Jae-min notices Seon-gyeol’s surprise at the sight of Oh-sol and assumes it’s because they haven’t seen each other for a while.
While Dong-hyun visits his grandmother, the rest of the team shares what they heard from the nurses — the woman isn’t Dong-hyun’s grandmother, she’s the grandmother of a friend who was killed during an assault. Dong-hyun ended up being falsely accused of that assault.
Seon-gyeol pays the hospital bill while Dong-hyun finally confides in his friends and explains that their boss always pays for the grandmother’s care. Not only that, Seon-gyeol was the only employer willing to hire Dong-hyun in spite of his record and he admits, “…he was the first person who stood by my side. Mr. Jang is like a savior to me.”
Oh-sol is waiting for a bus when Seon-gyeol pulls up and offers her a ride home. During the drive, Oh-sol informs Seon-gyeol that Dong-hyun told the team everything, but he explains that Dong-hyun is the one who’s taken responsibility for the grandmother. Seon-gyeol catches Oh-sol by surprise when he mentions that she looks pretty with makeup but he adds, “You look even prettier without it.”
Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol walk into his house (wearing their matching slippers) and are greeted by Mae-hwa, who’s there with photos of new dating prospects. When Seon-gyeol insists that he’s not interested in any of them, Mae-hwa guesses that he already likes someone. Mae-hwa is shocked when Seong-gyeol tells her that he likes Oh-sol, even though Oh-sol insists that there’s nothing between them. Undeterred, Seon-gyeol makes his feelings clear, “The lady I like is Ms. Gil Oh-sol right here.”
Angry, Mae-hwa reminds Oh-sol that she moved into Seon-gyeol’s house to work, and wonders if that included seducing Seon-gyeol. When Oh-sol claims that Seon-gyeol has a crush on her, he tells his mother, “She’s right. It’s a one-sided thing. For now, at least.”
The next time we see Oh-sol, she’s at a restaurant with Mae-hwa who wants to know, “Why don’t you like my son, Seon-gyeol?” Mae-hwa knows too well that Seon-gyeol’s difficult personality and mysophobia pose serious obstacles, so she’s surprised when Oh-sol explains that he’s out of her league because of their social statuses.
Exasperated, Mae-hwa calls Oh-sol’s explanation ridiculous and questions why Seon-gyeol likes Oh-sol in the first place. When Oh-sol agrees, “Why does he like me? It’s causing trouble for both of us,” Mae-hwa seems to understand. She catches Oh-sol by surprise when she asks, “Did my father…tell you not to date him?”
Mae-hwa barges into her father’s office and warns him not to meddle in Seon-gyeol’s love life. Chairman Cha has no idea what she’s talking about until Mae-hwa explains that Seon-gyeol likes Oh-sol. Mae-hwa begs her father to promise that if Oh-sol cures Seon-gyeol’s mysophobia, he’ll leave them alone. Chairman Cha orders her, “Stop spewing nonsense and leave. Now!” On the way out, Mae-hwa runs into her father’s doctor and he answers an inquiry by suggesting shock therapy, as long as there are sufficient safety measures in place.
Secretary Kwon excuses herself from a meeting at Cleaning Fairy to answer a call from Chairman Cha. He orders Secretary Kwon to dig deeper into Oh-sol’s background and she agrees. At the same time, Mae-hwa calls Oh-sol with instructions to return home right away and to ignore Seon-gyeol’s calls. Mae-hwa promises to explain everything later and asks, “For now, just do as I say. Okay?”
Joo-yeon gets pushed to the ground by the security guard at the complex where Oh-dol defended his father. Determined, Joo-yeon gets back up to ask why CCTV footage is missing from the day of Oh-dol’s incident. When the guard admits, “You’ll never find it even if you keep coming,” Joo-yeon accuses him of colluding with the thugs who attacked Oh-dol’s father.
Joo-yeon turns around and sees that Oh-dol witnessed the entire exchange. He’s about to go after the security guard until Joo-yeon stops him. Joo-yeon mentions the upcoming disciplinary hearing and when she starts to cry, Oh-dol stiffly hugs her. Once Joo-yeon is done crying, she announces that she’s hungry but before he leaves with her, Oh-dol ties his jacket around Joo-yeon’s waist because he thinks her skirt is too short.
Mr. Choi finds Oh-sol’s father preparing food and learns that Oh-sol is coming home for a vacation. When she arrives, Oh-sol and Mr. Choi greet each other as if they haven’t seen one another since she left for her assignment in “Busan”.
Secretary Kwon reviews Oh-sol’s Cleaning Fairy application and her cover letter explains that her life was turned upside down when her mother died. When Seon-gyol stops by on his way out, Secretary Kwon discreetly turns over the application.
Seon-gyeol tries to call Oh-sol as he leaves the company but she doesn’t answer, so he sends a text during her family dinner and Mr. Choi notices that she ignores it. Oh-sol asks about Oh-dol’s disciplinary hearing and everyone falls silent until her father shares how much his coaches and colleagues have tried to help. He promises Oh-sol that everything will be fine and urges Oh-dol to cheer up.
Mae-hwa calls her secretary, who’s overseeing a huge party at Seon-gyeol’s house. He assures her, “This will be a perfect shock therapy. 10 out of 10!” Mae-hwa then calls her father’s doctor to confirm that a medical team is waiting outside and tells him, “Let’s do this.”
Seon-gyeol hears the beat of the music coming from his place and once he’s inside, he’s greeted by masked guests who are dancing to loud music and flashing lights. Angry, Seon-gyeol demands to know, “What is going on here,” and when a female guest tries to hand him a drink, he swats it to the floor. The party stops until the secretary gets it going again as he guides Seon-gyeol to the living room.
Surrounded by gaudy strangers and overwhelmed by the lights and music, Seon-gyeol gasps for air. Oh-sol ignores another call from Seon-gyeol while she’s washing dishes at home. Sweating heavily, Seon-gyeol manages to stagger to his bathroom where he tries yet again to reach Oh-sol. Mr. Choi offers to help Oh-sol with the dishes and he points out that her phone has been ringing all evening. In his bathroom, Seon-gyeol falls and his phone flies out of his hand as it continues to call Oh-sol.
Mr. Choi asks if something is wrong and when Oh-sol denies it, he urges her to talk to Seon-gyeol since it looks as if he’s desperate to reach her. Oh-sol finally answers Seon-gyeol’s call and realizes that something’s wrong when all she hears is Seon-gyeol weakly calling out her name. Oh-sol races out of her house with the explanation that there’s a company emergency and when she pauses on the street to catch her breath, Mr. Choi appears and tells her, “I’ll go with you.”
Oh-sol and Mr. Choi are shocked by the scene that greets them inside Seon-gyeol’s house. Oh-sol is frantic when she can’t find Seon-gyeol and screams, “Everyone, out,” but her voice is drowned out by the music. While Oh-sol unplugs the music, Mr. Choi runs into the bathroom.
Once the music stops, Oh-sol screams for everyone to get out but is met with blank stares. When she hears Mr. Choi trying to rouse Seon-gyeol in the bathroom, she joins him and calls out to Seon-gyeol. At the sound of her voice, Seon-gyeol manages to open his eyes long enough to see that she’s all right.
Oh-sol stares at Seon-gyeol with concern once he’s safely in his bed. Even though Mr. Choi assures her, “He will be fine now,” Oh-sol doesn’t look comforted.
Secretary Kwon is still at work when she gets a call with details about the death of Oh-sol’s mother. She’s looks visibly shaken to learn that Oh-sol’s mother died in the AG Group incident.
Oh-sol tends to Seon-gyeol while he sleeps and holds his hand when she apologizes, “I’m sorry for coming too late.” Mr. Choi overhears Oh-sol’s words from the doorway and he closes the door to give her some privacy. Oh-sol eventually falls asleep holding Seon-gyeol’s hand and that’s how Mr. Choi finds her when he returns to cover her with a blanket.
Sun is streaming through the bedroom window by the time Seon-gyeol wakes up, alone. He remembers seeing Oh-sol the night before and runs out of his room calling her name.
Seon-gyeol doesn’t notice that his place is clean and in perfect order and when Oh-sol appears, he envelops her in his arms. Relieved, he confesses, “I was so worried about you. I thought something bad might’ve happened, and I was terrified.”
Seon-gyeol takes a step back and with a pleading look asks, “From now on, don’t go anywhere without me. You have to stay right next to me 24 hours a day. Okay?” A tear escapes from Seon-gyeol’s eye when Oh-sol agrees, “I will. I won’t go anywhere. Let’s be together 24 hours a day.”
This time, when Seon-gyeol leans in to kiss Oh-sol, she doesn’t run away. As the sun shines behind them with the promise of a new day, Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol kiss. When they part, Seon-gyeol reminds Oh-sol, “Don’t go anywhere. You promised me,” and she readily agrees, “I’ll stay right by your side.” Seon-gyeol kisses Oh-sol again as she wraps her arms around his neck.
Even though I don’t suffer from mysophobia in the least, I have to admit that seeing all of those masked partygoers in Seon-gyeol’s home made me plenty anxious. I was appalled by the level of invasion that was forced onto Seon-gyeol because homes are a refuge, moreso for someone with mysophobia. What were Mae-hwa and her creepy assistant thinking? And what happened to that medical team that was supposed to be standing by? That scene still disturbs me but it did prove that Seon-gyeol’s anxiety wasn’t triggered because he was surrounded by strangers, he was worried sick about Oh-sol.
All along, Seon-gyeol has been determined to win Oh-sol’s heart and that’s exactly what he’s managed to do. Seon-gyeol has been honest about his feelings for Oh-sol and even accepts that his feelings might be one-sided. After Oh-sol’s experience with her ill-fated, one-sided crush, she’s very much in control of the romantic overtures from both Seon-gyeol and Mr. Choi, but thanks to interference from Chairman Cha, she and Seon-gyeol are in a romantic limbo.
It wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that Chairman Cha manufactured Oh-dol’s crisis precisely so that he could use it to control Oh-sol. As much as Oh-sol wants to insure her brother’s future, she also cares about Seon-gyeol’s well being. She’s taken the argument that Seon-gyeol made during their sweet date at the aquarium to heart, that they can endure anything as long as they’re together, which explains what prompted Oh-sol to change her mind.
Once he knows that Oh-sol is safe, Seon-gyeol makes a heartfelt and impassioned plea for her to accept his heart, relieved when she finally agrees. What follows is their long awaited kiss as a bona fide couple, very tastefully done. The sunlight in the background effectively blurs out everything, which means that the emotional impact of the kiss has to be communicated in other ways. It was actually the second kiss, with Oh-sol on her tiptoes, wrapping her arms around Seon-gyeol’s neck, that assures us not only that she accepts his feelings, she returns them.
It’s to be expected that there won’t be a straight path to true love for Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol, even though they’ve already overcome so much. Chairman Cha is sure to do his best to keep them apart, but Seon-gyeol has already proven that he’s completely devoted to Oh-sol and the more that they’re challenged, the closer he and Oh-sol become. While she was horribly misguided with that party, Mae-hwa’s loyalty belongs to Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol and she finally stood up to her father to defend their relationship. That’s huge. Mr. Choi seems to have accepted that he doesn’t stand a chance with Oh-sol and to his credit, he did all that he could do to help both her and Seon-gyeol through the crisis.
The wild card is still Secretary Kwon, who’s obviously been working for Chairman Cha all along. Does her loyalty lie with him or Seon-gyeol? In her position, she has access to every detail in Seon-gyeol’s life and a betrayal would be devastating, both personally and professionally. I still believe that she sincerely wants to see Seon-gyeol happy but the reason for her association with Chairman Cha hasn’t been explained. I find it curious that her young son was born around the time of the AG Group incident and wonder if she’s somehow connected to what happened. Before we face the final episodes, we were treated to not one, but two kisses, and the promise that they hold will have to sustain us as Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol navigate choppy waters.