People With Flaws: Episodes 11-12
One step forward turns into five steps back when a misunderstanding blows up in his face, making everything much worse than ever. Secrets are brought into the light, but they only breed more secrets, and everyone is so emotionally sensitive that any reconciliation seems almost impossible.
Believing that Kang-woo is gay, and that he wants her to be his fake girlfriend so that his family won’t set him up on blind dates, Seo-yeon decides to do it. But Kang-woo was dead serious — he thinks that she’s agreeing to be his girlfriend for real, and he tells her sweetly that he feels like dying of happiness.
He leans in to kiss her, but Seo-yeon steps back, then grabs Kang-woo’s face and tells him to back off. He thinks he just came off too strong and apologizes, and offers to drive her home. Seo-yeon is a little flustered, having noticed when he hugged her that Kang-woo is pretty muscular, but she tells herself that she shouldn’t be noticing those things.
When they get to her house, Kang-woo tells Seo-yeon that he was here once, way back in school. He’d come to drop off some of the grilled rice cakes she liked, and had met her stepfather. Kang-woo had tripped over his untied shoelace and Seo-yeon’s stepdad had shown him how to tie it so that it won’t come loose. He shows Seo-yeon that he still ties his shoes that way, and she grins that she does, too.
Kang-woo asks if her parents still live here, and Seo-yeon’s face falls, but Won-seok arrives home before she can explain. Having previously seen Seo-yeon and Won-seok together and assumed they were dating, Kang-woo overreacts and forbids Seo-yeon to see him again. The noise brings out Won-jae and Kang-woo freaks out again, so Seo-yeon yelps that they’re her brothers.
A few minutes later, a very sheepish and polite Kang-woo tells Won-jae and Won-seok that he and Seo-yeon are dating. The brothers are skeptical, knowing Seo-yeon’s aversion to good-looking men, so Seo-yeon ushers Kang-woo out the door to avoid their questions.
When Kang-woo gets home (giddy that the guys around Seo-yeon are only brothers), Hyun-soo is waiting to ask if Kang-woo truly likes Seo-yeon. Kang-woo does a little happy dance as he tells Hyun-soo that she agreed to date him.
Mi-kyung is equally shocked when Seo-yeon says that she’s going to be Kang-woo’s pretend girlfriend. Seo-yeon says she just wants to help Kang-woo because they’re friends, and that the next step should be posting pictures of them online so his family will see them together.
She surprises Kang-woo by running into his arms when they meet up for a date, and she snaps some selfies of them snuggling, but she swings away just as he’s starting to enjoy it. She takes Kang-woo to a restaurant popular among couples to pose for more selfies, and though at first he’s a bit perplexed by her behavior, he enjoys being close to her.
Kang-woo buys Seo-yeon an expensive cake before dropping her off at home, and when he goes in for a hug, she high-fives him instead, hee. As he’s driving away, he notices someone lurking around the corner from Seo-yeon’s house – it’s Jang-mi, and though he’s never seen her before, he seems to find her odd.
Won-seok comes outside to feed the stray cat who lives in their alley, and he catches Seo-yeon grinning at her fancy cake. He wants to know more about the guy who gave her the cake, since he’s totally not Seo-yeon’s type, so he tells Seo-yeon that he wants to get to know Kang-woo better — tomorrow.
Mi-kyung helps Seo-yeon eat her cake as Seo-yeon wails over the situation. Mi-kyung thinks that Won-seok is interested in Kang-woo and that he’ll steal Kang-woo from Hyun-soo, causing Seo-yeon’s attempt to help Kang-woo be with Hyun-soo to backfire. Whew, this is getting complicated. Mi-kyung tells Seo-yeon to just come clean to Won-seok and ask him not to reveal the “truth.”
Seo-yeon tries to deflect Won-seok, until he says that with Kang-woo’s name and middle school, he has enough information to find him himself. So she caves and tells him the truth as she knows it — that Kang-woo is gay, and she’s pretending to date him until he and Hyun-soo find a way to be together.
At school, Min-hyuk lures Seo-yeon to his office (by waving snacks at her through the window, hee) so that he can take care of her cut knee. Seo-yeon asks Min-hyuk if he’s dating anyone and what kind of people he likes, wondering if that person could be near him already.
With hearts in his eyes, Min-hyuk says that his type eats with gusto, works hard, and is kind, and that he does believe they’re very nearby. He asks her the same question, and gets flustered when she says looks are important to her, HA.
Kang-woo bursts in and sees Min-hyuk’s hand on Seo-yeon’s bare knee, so he kicks Min-hyuk’s stool, sending him spinning away. He leads Seo-yeon outside and says that he wants to tell people about their relationship, but she argues that it would be bad for her career since he’s her boss.
Kang-woo concedes the point, but he mumbles for Seo-yeon not to get too close to Min-hyuk. She can’t hear him, so he bellows it at her, childishly refusing to give her a reason other than “just because!” Back in his office, Kang-woo cringes at his own petty behavior, though he cuts himself a little slack since he’s been jealous of Min-hyuk’s good looks and intelligence since they were kids.
Won-seok shows Hyun-soo’s school picture to a friend at work who knows Hyun-soo, who laughs at the idea that woman-loving Hyun-soo might be gay. He sends Seo-yeon a text with pictures of Hyun-soo on dates with women, and when she calls him, he confirms that there’s no way Hyun-soo and Kang-woo are dating each other.
She’s already at the agency building, having brought Seo-joon his headphones while he practices, so she runs around the building screaming in fury until she finds Hyun-soo on the roof. She gives him a flying kick then twists his arm, forcing him to admit that he lied about he and Kang-woo being gay.
He explains that he wanted to discourage Seo-yeon and Mi-kyung from hitting on them for their money, but Seo-yeon thinks that Hyun-soo and Kang-woo conspired to make her look stupid and get revenge for what happened in middle school. Appalled and offended, Seo-yeon goes straight to Kang-woo’s house, while Hyun-soo tries to call Kang-woo to warn him, but his arm won’t work.
At first Kang-woo is happy at the unexpected visit, until Seo-yeon says angrily that she knows he’s not dating Hyun-soo. She snaps that he hasn’t changed after he confessed to her on a bet fifteen years ago. Kang-woo doesn’t know what she means, but we flash back to middle school and see things from Seo-yeon’s perspective.
She had been studying by an open window and had overheard some mean boys planning to make one of them confess to her in order to win a pool of money. Kang-woo had been with them, so when he’d approached Seo-yeon later and said shyly that he likes her, she’d thought he was doing it to win the money.
She’d lashed out, calling him fat and ugly. But even then, Seo-yeon had willed Kang-woo to say it was a joke and apologize… but he hadn’t. Now, she asks Kang-woo how he could do that to her all over again after she felt bad enough about it that she even offered to help him out.
Hurt, Kang-woo goes very still and asks if she really thinks he’s that low of a person. Seo-yeon says that she does, and the hurt in Kang-woo’s eyes is just heartbreaking.
Hyun-soo gets attacked for the second time tonight, this time by Kang-woo, who actually kicks down a door to get to him. Hyun-soo stammers that he was only trying to help and would never have lied if he’d had any idea Kang-woo would end up liking Seo-yeon.
After confirming that Seo-yeon was only helping him because he thought he was gay and actually has no feelings for him, Kang-woo busts into loud, slightly manic laughter. Hyun-soo tells Kang-woo that Seo-yeon didn’t believe him that Kang-woo was clueless, but Kang-woo orders Hyun-soo to let her keep believing they conspired against her from the beginning.
Sitting alone at home later, Kang-woo thinks that if Seo-yeon believes he’s such a low person that he would confess on a bet then deliberately trick her and make her feel stupid fifteen years later, then he’ll show her how low he can really go.
The next day, Seo-yeon tells Mi-kyung the truth — that Hyun-soo and Kang-woo lied about being gay lovers because they believed the two of them are gold-diggers. Seo-yeon sees this as just more proof that handsome guys aren’t to be trusted.
Later, Kang-woo pulls Seo-yeon out of a staff meeting and tells her she was right — that he wanted revenge for the way she treated him in school, and that he pretended to be gay because she wouldn’t have agreed to date him otherwise. He says that since she caught on sooner than he expected, he’s just going to bully her in the open.
He orders her to take his car to be serviced, and when Seo-yeon objects, he threatens to fire her and hire another P.E. teacher. There’s nothing Seo-yeon can do about it, though she doesn’t hide her fury, and her anger makes Kang-woo’s stomach upset again.
He has Doctor Kim meet him at a coffee shop just to have an excuse to make Seo-yeon act as his driver, ha. Doctor Kim guesses that the woman glaring at them from the parking lot is the woman Kang-woo likes. Kang-woo claims that he has no more feelings for her, but judging from the way he stares at Seo-yeon, Doctor Kim doesn’t believe him for a second.
When he gets back to school, Kang-woo finds Min-hyuk waiting in his office, looking uncharacteristically serious. He asks Kang-woo why he’s being mean to Seo-yeon, but Kang-woo pulls rank and tells him to mind his own business.
Min-hyuk smiles to find Seo-yeon in his office, depressed and helping herself to his snacks, and he tells her she’s welcome any time. He asks what’s going on between her and Kang-woo, and she says their conflict is like gum stuck in your hair — the only way to remove it is to cut the hair.
Chairwoman Han calls Min-hyuk for an update on Kang-woo, making Kang-woo’s mother sniff that she obviously favors Min-hyuk. Kang-hee shows up to remind her dad that he has a business dinner in a few minutes, and on the way, Kang-woo’s mother notes that the dinner is at the same restaurant where Kang-woo had his blind date. Kang-hee tells her to leave Kang-woo alone, because he probably has his own plans for his life.
At Seo-yeon’s house, Won-seok runs into Ho-dol again when he comes for another tutoring session with Seo-joon and Joo-hee. He tells Ho-dol to stop pretending he doesn’t remember him, and Ho-dol, thinking that Won-seok must still be in the closet, earnestly promises not to tell Won-seok’s family that he’s gay. LOL.
Heading to work, Won-seok spots Seo-yeon looking at the pictures of herself and Kang-woo that she took on their one date. He notes her sad expression and offers to beat up Kang-woo (awww), but she says it’s her fault she was tricked. After Won-seok leaves, she deletes all the photos.
From her surveillance apartment across the street, Jang-mi watches Seo-yeon and tells her own pictures of Kang-woo that she never liked him. She gets a call from her housekeeper and hurries home, where her mother dresses Jang-mi up for a blind date with an older, divorced man.
Through Jang-mi’s date, we learn that she’s one of many illegitimate children of a rich man, and that her mother is his fifth mistress. He tosses her a hotel room keycard that her mother gave him and invites Jang-mi upstairs, and when she refuses, her mother beats her up in the ladies’ room for not sleeping with the disgusting jerk.
Her mother winds up for another smack, but Kang-hee (who’s there for her business dinner) intervenes. At first she assumes that Jang-mi’s mother is the guy’s wife and caught Jang-mi having an affair with her husband, but when she says Jang-mi is her daughter, Kang-hee snarls that that’s worse. Jang-mi’s mother leaves, and Kang-hee tells Jang-mi that she doesn’t have to stand there and get hit, but Jang-mi just silently bows her thanks and leaves.
Teetering on her unfamiliar heels and with her makeup ruined, Jang-mi slowly makes her way to her favorite park. She takes off her shoes to massage her blistered feet, and Seo-yeon shows up with a pair of sandals she bought on the street, having been out jogging and seen how much pain Jang-mi was in.
She doesn’t recognize Jang-mi all dressed up, and she wonders where the other woman they met here disappeared to. She and Mi-kyung guess she’s staying at a shelter and they head home. Jang-mi is already gone, having taken the slippers and left her expensive heels behind.
Despite their determination to hate each other, Kang-woo and Seo-yeon can’t help but think about each other. Seo-yeon passes the vendor where she bought Kang-woo’s gift and wonders if Kang-woo is being mean to Mr. Potato because of her. Kang-woo tries to work on his clothing line for Hyun-soo, but he keeps drawing Seo-yeon instead. He recalls how Seo-yeon said she thinks he’s low enough to want revenge after all this time, and he says sadly, “No matter how much I’ve changed, it doesn’t matter to you.”
Kang-woo tries to call out of work again, but when he was in a good mood he’d offered to buy the staff dinner again to make up for the one he bailed on before, so he has to show up. Mi-kyung can’t attend because it’s her father’s memorial day, but she tells Seo-yeon to call her if she finds it necessary to kill Kang-woo, and she’ll help her hide the body, hee.
At the restaurant, Kang-woo tosses Seo-yeon his keys and informs her that she’s his designated driver, so she can’t drink. But he’s too upset to eat or drink, and Seo-yeon deliberately gets roaring drunk just to spite him. She ends up outside, introducing herself to the flowers, and when Kang-woo comes to check on her, she throws dirt at him petulantly.
He sits down and patiently cleans her hand with his handkerchief, then pulls her to her feet and tells her to head home. She whines that he hasn’t changed at all, and Kang-woo protests that she must be blind if she can’t see how much he’s changed.
Seo-yeon yells that he changed so much he went a full 360 degrees, and that she doesn’t like anything about him. Chastened, Kang-woo asks, “What should I do, then? What must I do to win you over?” Seo-yeon gears up to give him another lecture… then passes out in his arms.
Suddenly, Min-hyuk yanks Seo-yeon away from Kang-woo and says that he’ll take her home. He says that Kang-woo’s bullying is being the reason Seo-yeon got so drunk, and when Kang-woo tells him again to mind his own business, Min-hyuk retorts that he’s making it his business.
Kang-woo asks why Min-hyuk is doing this, and he starts to ask if Min-hyuk likes Seo-yeon. His gaze uncharacteristically hard, Min-hyuk challenges Kang-woo to ask the question, reminding Kang-woo that he can’t lie and will answer honestly.
Yikes. Min-hyuk is normally so meek and even-tempered, so I’m a bit taken aback by how quickly he escalated to fiery-eyed fury. He’s not wrong about the way Kang-woo is treating Seo-yeon, and after he’s spent so much time getting to know her preferences in the hopes that she’ll start to like him, I can see why Kang-woo’s behavior makes him so angry. Kang-woo has no claims on Seo-yeon, and he doesn’t get to be cruel to her and act possessive of her.
I was hoping that the real-or-fake dating misunderstanding would last a bit longer, mostly because mooncalf Kang-woo is adorable. But I also very much appreciate when a show doesn’t linger too long on one situation and moves the plot forward steadily, because it keeps the action fresh and gives the story a chance to go to more places. I also like how the side characters each get their own time to shine, and I love them all so much that I don’t even mind how very many of them there are. I feel especially bad for Jang-mi, whose odd behavior makes a lot more sense now that we know she’s an illegitimate, abused child whose mother only sees her as a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder. No wonder she keeps trying to give away her money, and latched onto Seo-yeon when she was kind to her. I’m still not okay with the stalking, but I’m no longer scared that she’s a danger to Seo-yeon. Jang-mi’s story actually made me cry in this episode, and I have a feeling it won’t be the last time.
Seo-yeon pretty quickly seemed to drop her prejudice against Kang-woo because of his good looks, but it turns out, that’s not the personality quirk most likely to cause her problems. She has a really bad habit of jumping to conclusions, then assuming those conclusions are cold hard fact, when often they’re nowhere near the truth. She convinced herself that Kang-woo had promised to sign off on her track budget, when in reality he said nothing even remotely like that. Then later she was certain that Kang-woo told her himself that he’s gay, when that “information” came to her from Hyun-soo by way of Mi-kyung. We’ve seen Seo-yeon’s version of what happened back in school, but until she explained, Kang-woo had no idea why she rejected him so cruelly when they’d been best friends. Knowing how Seo-yeon blows things out of all proportion to reality, I won’t be surprised if we eventually learn that her version of events is quite skewed.
As for Kang-woo, even though he’s acting more childish than ever towards Seo-yeon (and right after I complimented him on maturing so much!), I kind of don’t blame him. From his perspective, Seo-yeon was mean to him in school when he sincerely confessed, yet he likes her enough to risk putting aside his pride and confessing to her again. And both times, instead of just asking him what really happened, Seo-yeon assumed the worst of him. She never gave him the chance to tell her his side, either in the past or now, and he’s got to be in a lot of pain that she believes he would intentionally hurt her that way not once, but twice. It’s not great that Kang-woo’s response is to try to hurt Seo-yeon back, but it’s understandable, and I really feel bad for him.
Once again, this show is going exactly in the direction I’d hoped, and it’s every bit as good as I thought it would be if it let itself be emotional and a little vulnerable. Kang-woo and Seo-yeon have caused each other so much real pain, which actually makes me look forward to the time when they let themselves love each other and start to heal. I was so worried that the odd tone of the humor at the beginning would be off-putting, but the way things are going now, I’m so excited to follow where the story is leading.
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