People with Flaws: Episodes 13-14
Despite our awkward hero’s determination to get revenge on the girl who humiliated him back in school, the more time he spends with her, the more he finds himself falling for her all over again. But they’re still keeping a lot of secrets from each other, and it will take some trust between them to get everything out in the open so they can both begin to heal.
Min-hyuk tells us in voiceover that when he and Kang-woo were kids, his parents traveled the world doing social work and rarely came home. His family treated him well, but he’d always been jealous of the attention Kang-woo got from his parents. When he would hear people say that he was smarter and handsomer than Kang-woo, even though it hurt him to see Kang-woo upset, he didn’t comfort him.
We come back to the present, when Min-hyuk sees Kang-woo outside the restaurant with a very drunk Seo-yeon in his arms. He feels that old jealousy again, believing that he deserves something when Kang-woo already has everything. He takes Seo-yeon and puts her in his car, and he dares Kang-woo to ask if he likes her.
Knowing that Min-hyuk can’t lie, Kang-woo refuses to ask, and the cousins get into a hilariously childish fight. By the time they remember they’re grown-ass adults, Seo-yeon has woken up and gone looking for a cab. Kang-woo shows Min-hyuk where Seo-yeon lives, explaining that he knows because they went to school together.
He says they used to be close, but when Min-hyuk asks why they dislike each other now, Kang-woo says it’s none of his business. They hide when Seo-yeon pulls up in a taxi, then Min-hyuk says he’s going to make it his business. He starts to say he likes Seo-yeon, but Kang-woo cuts him off and runs away.
The next day at school, Seo-yeon has a monster hangover, and she tells Mi-kyung that she thinks she threw something at Kang-woo (she threw dirt, hee). When Kang-woo arrives in a taxi, Seo-yeon belatedly recalls that she still has his car key, and she meekly hands it over to him. He’s grumpy and doesn’t speak to her, but he does give her a hangover drink, awww.
Min-hyuk, Mi-kyung, and Seo-yeon peer suspiciously at the hangover drink, wondering if Kang-woo spiked it with something. Seo-yeon takes it as a warning that Kang-woo plans to bully her a lot today, and she asks Min-hyuk if she did anything strange last night. He says she didn’t, so she drinks the tonic, as Min-hyuk looks sadly at the multiple hangover remedies he got for her.
Mi-kyung can’t figure out why, according to Hyun-soo, Kang-woo would have pretended to be gay to get rid of Seo-yeon when he’s acting like a kid with a crush on her. She calls Hyun-soo and makes him meet her at a cafe, where she asks him if Kang-woo truly knew about Hyun-soo’s lie that they were a couple.
Remembering Kang-woo’s threat, Hyun-soo insists that Kang-woo knew, and that it was all to get revenge on Seo-yeon for dumping him in middle school. Mi-kyung asks if Hyun-soo is sure Kang-woo doesn’t still like Seo-yeon, and Hyun-soo does a spit-take and says that’s ridiculous. Mi-kyung snaps at him to keep cleaning and stop mooching off Kang-woo (HAHA, she still thinks he’s a janitor), and that she plans on choosing a man for Seo-yeon.
Vice Principal Park tells Seo-yeon to take his orchid outside for some sun, and to get rid of all the used paper. When Kang-woo sees her carrying the heavy box, he swipes it from her. He tells Vice Principal Park to use the other side of the paper to reduce waste, announces that Seo-yeon is on standby for him from now on and unavailable for any other tasks, then walks off with Vice Principal Park’s orchid.
Min-hyuk gets an invitation from one of his rich friends to attend a dinner, and he’s told to bring a date so the others’ wives and girlfriends don’t drool over him. Min-hyuk doesn’t really want to go, but he sees a chance and invites Seo-yeon to be his date. She shocks him by agreeing, so much that he walks into her desk, hee.
After work, he takes Seo-yeon to a salon where Mi-kyung has already picked out a classy (and expensive) black dress and heels for her. When Min-hyuk sees Seo-yeon all dolled up, he just stares. Seo-yeon misunderstands his expression, so he breathes, “I’m just terrified. I’m terrified by your beauty.”
Kang-woo’s mother shows up, surprising Min-hyuk. He introduces Seo-yeon as a fellow teacher, but when Kang-woo’s mother asks her name, Min-hyuk pulls her away by the wrist. Mom calls Kang-woo to ask if Min-hyuk has a girlfriend, and Kang-woo just laughs… until his mother says it’s one of the teachers they work with.
In the elevator, Min-hyuk sneaks a peek at Seo-yeon, and she thinks that he’s worried about the dress and promises to return it. She asks why they had to get something so expensive, but Min-hyuk just says cryptically that pricier things are best. He tells her to call him by name since they’re supposed to be dating, but when Seo-yeon switches to “Min-hyuk-sshi,” he locks up and goes all shy, which is adorable.
When they meet up with Min-hyuk’s friends, he’s obviously proud to have Seo-yeon on his arm. It quickly becomes clear that his “friends” are superficial and spoiled, and their ladies are snide to Seo-yeon. One guy asks who liked who first, and Min-hyuk admits that he liked Seo-yeon first: “When I’m with her, she makes me feel like I’m a good person. She makes me want to be a good person.”
At these dinners, the group has a tradition of choosing one item they’re wearing and donating it to a pediatric center. Min-hyuk tells Seo-yeon that they purposely wear something cheap to donate, like a handkerchief or socks. They decide to shake things up a bit — Min-hyuk announces that he and Seo-yeon will donate everything they’re wearing, from their clothes to their accessories, shaming the others into doing the same.
When he drives Seo-yeon home later, she tells him that he actually made her heart flutter for a moment when he said that about liking her. He tells her that he can’t lie and that he meant it, several times, but Seo-yeon thinks he’s still joking and waves it off each time. After she goes inside, Min-hyuk says dejectedly, “It’s true…”
Kang-woo had been watching, having gone to Seo-yeon’s house after hearing she was out with Min-hyuk. He goes home and talks to Mr. Potato as if he’s Seo-yeon: “You never laughed like that with me. You never made jokes like that with me. You’ve never gotten along that well with me.”
During lunch the next day, Seo-yeon and Min-hyuk re-enact their donation surprise for Mi-kyung. Kang-woo sits with them, obviously in a foul mood. Mi-kyung says it’s an honor to eat with the heir to Shinhwa Foods, unaware that Min-hyuk is the heir, not Kang-woo. Kang-woo sneers at Min-hyuk that it is an honor (that smirk is everything), and mentions the question he asked Min-hyuk the other night.
LOL, Min-hyuk throws food on Kang-woo’s shirt to shut him up. Kang-woo starts to blow up at him, and Min-hyuk has to remind him where they are. Through gritted teeth, Kang-woo tells Seo-yeon to follow him to his office.
When she gets there, Kang-woo is still buttoning up a clean shirt, giving her an unexpected glimpse of his pecs. He tells Seo-yeon that he wants daily reports on the track team, since he’s sponsoring them, so that he can decide whether it makes sense to keep the track team — and her — at the school.
He dismisses her, making her seethe, but there’s nothing she can do. On her way out, he asks what she did yesterday after work, so she barks angrily that she went to bed. After she slams out of his office, Kang-woo cringes hard with embarrassment at his inability to keep his big mouth shut.
Seo-yeon is livid, but she gives herself a pep talk and calms down. When she goes back to Kang-woo’s office to give her report, she hides her face to keep from seeing any more skin… but Kang-woo is gone. She calls him and he tells her to come to his house, making Soo-yeon scream at the phone.
Ho-dol shows up that night to tutor Seo-joon and Joo-hee, and when he sees Won-seok’s car, he leans on the gate to wait until Won-seok leaves for work. Won-seok opens the gate and Ho-dol leaps to his feet, yelping (without being asked) that he’ll keep Won-seok’s secret. He rushes inside, leaving Won-seok gaping in confusion.
In her little apartment across the street, Jang-mi looks at the cheap slippers from Seo-yeon in adoration (awww, she’s got them in a lit display case, that’s so sweet and sad). She goes to her photo wall and puts some clues together — Min-hyuk and Kang-woo both like Seo-yeon, but she can’t figure out what the deal is between Min-hyuk and Kang-woo. She whines that there are too many people near Seo-yeon, and looks longingly at a black case as she wonders, “Is this the only way?” Hmmm.
At Kang-woo’s place, he looks over Seo-yeon’s report as Seo-yeon notices that Mr. Potato is growing his grass-hair. Kang-woo sighs that it’s a lot of trouble to care for and tells her to take it if she wants. But after Seo-yeon heads to the kitchen for some food, Kang-woo lovingly promises Mr. Potato that he wasn’t serious, hee.
Seo-yeon predictably goes for the one unhealthy thing in Kang-woo’s fridge, horrifying him by double-fisting raw hot dogs. He insists on making her a healthy omelette, and he smiles as she digs in. She feeds him a bite, and she completely misses his blush after using the same spoon as her.
As Seo-yeon helps herself to some fruit, Kang-woo gets a call about his designing project and slips away to his office to send an email. He doesn’t notice Seo-yeon let herself in, and she says that she likes his designs. She asks why he doesn’t design women’s clothes anymore, and she starts to mention that she still has the drawing of the wedding dress he designed, but Kang-woo abruptly cuts her off and says it’s time for her to leave.
The next day, Won-seok stops Ho-dol on his way to class. He tells Ho-dol that the night he came to the bar, Ho-dol looked so excited, and it bothered him. He advises Ho-dol that not everyone in a given minority are on the same side, and that there’s bound to be at least one bad guy in any group.
Ho-dol gets excited that Won-seok is looking out for him and protecting him from the bad guys, but Won-seok is all, “No, I’m the bad guy!” LOL. He also says that his family knows he’s gay so there’s nothing to keep secret, but again Ho-dol misses his point and begs him to tell him how he came out. Aw, he’s such a puppy.
After school the following day, Kang-woo tells Seo-yeon that he has an appointment but doesn’t need her to drive him. She seems a bit disappointed, and curious where he’s going that he doesn’t want her along. She sits at her bus stop and gives a bottle of water to a man who appears homeless — hey, that looks like Doctor Kim, but with a mole near his eye like in the photo Kang-woo saw…
Kang-woo gets annoyed when he drives past Seo-yeon at the bus stop (“Is Joo Seo-yeon the only woman left in the world?!” lol), but he cancels his appointment and circles around to tell her to drive. She huffs at his imperious tone, but she smiles to herself as she gets behind the wheel.
Jang-mi is on the roof of her apartment trying to use spy equipment to hear what’s going on inside Seo-yeon’s house. It doesn’t work, so she fiddles with the power output and causes a blackout. Seo-joon is home alone when everything goes dark, and suddenly he’s a little boy, hiding under the table and screaming for a mother who never comes.
The lights come back on, and Joo-hee is holding Seo-joon in her arms, comforting him. He stops crying and leaps away from her, and he refuses to tell her what that was all about.
Kang-woo ends up taking Seo-yeon to a fabric market, and as they drive back, Seo-yeon has to slam on her brakes to avoid hitting a stopped car. She throws an arm out to keep Kang-woo from hitting the dashboard, and her hand on his chest is more than he can handle, so he flings his seat into the reclining position and snaps that he’s going to take a nap.
Kang-hee is working late in a hotel lobby when she overhears a man on the phone, arranging for a woman to be brought to his room. A little while later in the parking garage, she sees two men dragging an obviously drugged woman into the building.
A moment later, Won-jae runs to her car carrying the woman and puts her in Kang-hee’s back seat. He jumps into the passenger seat and tells Kang-hee to drive, but she orders him out of the car first, recognizing him from his other stunts to get her attention and accusing him of putting on a show.
Elsewhere, Seo-yeon sees a drunk man get behind the wheel of his car, so she pulls over and throws herself in front of his vehicle to stop him from driving away. The drunk man throws a punch at Seo-yeon, but Kang-woo steps between them and takes the blow on the chest.
Kang-hee takes the drugged woman to the hospital and has Lawyer Kim, Shinhwa Foods’ attorney, look up the men who drugged her. She learns that their ringleader is Baek Gook-hwa, one of the illegitimate children of Baekdam Corporation’s owner (which coincidentally makes him Jang-mi’s half brother), and that he’s currently at the police station being charged with assault.
While she’s doing that, Won-jae is approached by the three men who were planning to assault the woman. They all end up at the police station, the weasels covered in injuries and Won-jae hilariously untouched. Kang-hee shows up and warns Gook-hwa that his father won’t be happy to hear about this, showing him a flash drive where she’s recorded the woman’s statement.
She gets him to settle by promising not to turn it over to the police, but as she and Won-jae leave the station, she sends the file to a reporter instead, ha. Won-jae explains to Kang-hee that he saw the men in a club and figured out what they were planning, so he followed them to the hotel to rescue the woman. Kang-hee tells him that she knows that he knows who she is, so Won-jae promises not to show up in front of her anymore.
Lawyer Kim arrives at the station, but he tells Kang-hee that he’s not there for her… he’s there for Kang-woo. He reassures Seo-yeon that this was the drunk man’s third strike, so he won’t ever get his license back, on top of the assault charge.
Kang-hee introduces herself to Seo-yeon, but Kang-woo doesn’t let Seo-yeon tell her who she is, just saying that Kang-hee doesn’t need to know. He leads Seo-yeon away by the hand, and Kang-hee asks Lawyer Kim not to tell their parents about the incidents today.
Once they’re alone, Kang-woo yells at Seo-yeon for jumping in front of that car. He says she also put herself in danger to stop her ex from driving drunk, and he asks why she keeps doing that. Seo-yeon says, “If someone had done that back then, my parents…” but she stops herself, unable to finish the sentence. Kang-woo asks Seo-yeon what happened to her parents, but she just pulls her hand from his and walks home.
When she gets there, she finds Won-jae eating tofu and joins him. She checks the brand, and they both groan to see that it’s made by Shinhwa Foods, ha. Won-jae asks if Seo-yeon is still dating Kang-woo, and she says they never were actually dating. Won-jae says that he knew Seo-yeon wouldn’t go for a handsome guy, and he offers to beat up Kang-woo if she wants him to, like a good big brother.
At his house, Kang-woo keeps thinking about what Seo-yeon almost said about her parents. He contacts Mi-kyung to meet with him, and he asks her what happened to them. Mi-kyung says that they were both killed by a drunk driver on the night before their middle school trip, and Kang-woo feels like a jerk for saying to Seo-yeon that he wanted to greet her parents soon.
Later, Seo-yeon wakes from an old nightmare where she’s back in school, walking down the street covered in cuts and bruises and with the sound of screeching tires echoing in her mind.
Kang-woo gets up early and goes for a jog, and he unconsciously ends up at Seo-yeon’s house. She comes out for her own jog, and he follows her until she stops and notices him. When she does, she calls out to him cheerfully, and he moves closer as he thinks, “Don’t call my name. Don’t talk to me. Don’t smile at me. I told you not to smile at me!”
In that moment, he’s his young self again, ready to confess his feelings to the girl he likes. Throwing caution to the wind, Kang-woo says to Seo-yeon, “I’m sorry for everything in the past, what happened recently, right now, and in the future. I’ll continue to be sorry. I’ll make you worry, I’ll annoy you, and I’ll make you think about me. I’m sorry that I like you.”
Awww, that was such a perfect confession for where Kang-woo and Seo-yeon are emotionally. I’m proud of Kang-woo for really thinking about things this time before telling Seo-yeon how he feels. He saw how much fun she had with Min-hyuk and realized that his own behavior was pushing her away, and he decided to change. He didn’t say anything arrogant or assumptive like that he’s going to make her like him, he was just open about his own emotions, and he even apologizes for upsetting her in the past, and may upset her in the future. It’s still a little pushy of him, but I also find it refreshingly honest. He’s simply owning his own behavior and his own emotions, and letting Seo-yeon know that he’s not blind to the way he’s shaking up her life.
I’m also really loving this comedic side of Ahn Jae-hyun — I’ve only seen him play straight-laced characters, but his little expressions when he’s annoyed or purposely antagonizing Min-hyuk are both hilarious and adorable. I can still catch him acting during some scenes, but as the show goes on, I think he’s relaxed into the role of Kang-woo and feels more comfortable, and he’s just getting funnier and funnier. Now that Kang-woo seems to have made a decision to accept how he feels for Seo-yeon and pursue her, I hope we get to see more of that side of him. Kang-woo is at his best when he’s letting himself be vulnerable, and even though I think this is only going to upset Seo-yeon further, at least for a while, I hope he sticks to his guns until he wins her over.
I’m really curious about the accident that killed Seo-yeon’s parents, because there seems to be a lot more to it than what we’ve seen. It’s likely the source of Seo-joon’s fear of the dark and being alone, since that flashback where he was alone in the house probably took place on the night they died. But it’s also done some serious trauma to Seo-yeon, who will throw herself in front of a stranger’s car to stop them from driving drunk. I’ve also noticed that she can speak pretty plainly about it to some people, but whenever Kang-woo asks, she locks up. I wonder if Seo-yeon was in the car when it happened, based on that scene where we saw her walking injured along the road. Maybe maybe she asked her parents for a ride to Kang-woo’s house after calling him that night to talk, and that’s when it happened, so she feels guilty and even associates the accident with Kang-woo, in a way. But then, in Soo-yeon’s dream it looked like she witnessed the accident, so I’m probably way off.
The show has finally found the perfect balance between humor and heartwarming that I was hoping for, and for me, it’s become just about perfect in tone and feeling. I just love all the characters, with their silliness and their secrets and their heartbreaks, and want to know more about all of them. People with Flaws is a bit predictable (though I’m sure it still has a few twists to throw our way), but I find it comfortable in the way that an old, beloved book is comfortable — sometimes you want a story that’s familiar, so you can let your mind and heart just relax and enjoy the journey. I’m completely invested, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
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