Memorials: Episode 10
Now that our heroine has settled into her new position as chairman, it’s time to resume her true title as Queen of Complaints. A new issue is brought to Se-ra’s attention that conveniently relates to her newfound interest in Smart One City. Se-ra’s never been one to back down from a challenge, but between tackling the shady machinations of her fellow politicians or keeping her dating life a secret, it’s hard to say which is the greater hurdle.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Mom and Dad eye Se-ra as she moons over The Kiss at breakfast the next morning. When Dad asks if Se-ra and Gong-myung are getting along, she smiles they’re fine. Mom suggests Gong-myung eat breakfast with them from now on and Se-ra sputters they should keep professional and personal lives separate. Dad accuses Se-ra of using her position to bully Gong-myung. Se-ra scoffs and scurries off as Dad asks Mom if he was too harsh. Mom knowingly tuts dads rarely know what’s going on in their daughters’ lives, smirking her dad was the same way.
Outside, Gong-myung paces by the car, thinking back to The Kiss and how Se-ra had suddenly pulled away and ran out of the office. He wonders why she ran when he’d see her in the morning, but Mom comes out to tell him Se-ra already left for work. At the office, Gong-myung stares at a post-it Se-ra had left ordering him not to enter her office unless she calls and not call or text her. Deflated, Gong-myung wonders if he’s been rejected.
He spends the rest of the day twiddling his thumbs until Hee-soo exits her office that evening and asks if he’s leaving. Gong-myung replies Se-ra is still here and Hee-soo says humans may mistake sympathy, goodwill, and affection, but suggests he think wisely since Se-ra will leave when her term is over, but he’ll still be here as a civil servant.
Gong-myung nods and Hee-soo asks him to dinner. He politely declines and we see Se-ra spying from her office window. She can’t hear his continued rejections of Hee-soo’s offer to eat or get coffee and shuts the blinds in a panic when he looks towards her office. Se-ra’s stomach growls and finally by 8pm, her office door opens… but only for her to slide out takeout dishes. Heh.
As Gong-myung wonders when she’d ordered food Yong-kyu comes over to commend Se-ra for working so hard. Se-ra finally calls and tells Gong-myung to brief her, hanging up before he can answer. Inside, Gong-myung watches Se-ra fiddle with her pen as he reports her schedule. When he finishes, she tells him to take a seat… and Gong-myung breaks into a smile when she reveals the Dating Regulations she’d been crafting all day.
They’re her response to his Office Regulations and she says they’re to keep their relationship secret. The next day, Se-ra groans as Dong-chan fights with Assemblyman Heo for the mic. Gong-myung brings her some papers and she slips him a note. He opens it to find a heart as Se-ra’s voiceover announces the first rule is to not express affection at work. She winks and he mouths for her to behave but smiles to himself.
Later, Dae-cheol brags he knew about a recently revealed office romance, deflating when Yong-kyu says the couple has been together 5 years. Half-listening, Gong-myung smiles as he recalls Se-ra’s second dating rule – the first person to get caught will end their life – only to look down and realize he’d assembled the cherries in a heart with Se-ra’s name written in the stems.
When Gong-myung shares the office gossip with Se-ra, she proudly announces she’d pegged the couple when she worked at the service center, ticking off all the evidence. He asks if she likes this kind of gossip. Se-ra nods excitedly and clutches his arm, begging for details. Spotting Hee-soo, Gong-myung shoves Se-ra away in accordance to her third rule – to never admit they’re dating. They conspicuously become focused on other things as Hee-soo looks at them suspiciously.
That night, Gong-myung walks Se-ra to the shop hand-in-hand. She’s reluctant to let go and Gong-myung points out they’ve already looped four times. Se-ra quips he still has five whole minutes before he’s off duty so Gong-myung suggests they meet five minutes earlier tomorrow. They finally release each other and turn away, but Se-ra calls out to him and Gong-myung grins as she rushes into his arms… just as Han-bi and Ja-ryong arrive.
Se-ra shoves Gong-myung away and he turns to see they’ve been caught. Inside, Han-bi and Ja-ryong re-enact the embrace for Woo-young, adding a twirl which Gong-myung immediately points out didn’t happen and Se-ra excitedly suggests they try next time. Hee. Gong-myung hisses they’re supposed to deny all suspicions but Se-ra says they’re already caught.
The couple is questioned on their relationship and Woo-young reluctantly pays Han-bi for them dating after the chairman election and Gong-myung confessing first. Se-ra growls at them to stop betting on her relationships and Ja-ryong asks if they’ve kissed. Gong-myung starts to deny it, switching when Se-ra answers truthfully. She glares at him as Woo-young tries to call foul but Han-bi insists Se-ra knows what kissing is and holds out her hand for another bill. With Se-ra staring at him, Gong-myung tells the women he kissed Se-ra first.
The next day, Gong-myung smiles at Se-ra’s text, suggesting they be more careful in the future. He wonders why she bothered coming up with rules and jumps out of his skin when Yong-kyu asks what rules. Awkwardly deflecting, Gong-myung asks what Yong-kyu is holding and is given a box of letters they’d received for the chairman.
Later, Gong-myung sits with Se-ra for chairman tutoring and she asks for a crash course on Smart One City. The idea started 11 years ago, but due to objections, the complicated administration process, and insufficient budget, it always fell through. When Chief Won was elected, she joined hands with Chairman Jo and pushed for the project. Assemblymen Yang and Bong strongly objected, but Chairman Jo passed the budget for the project anyway while Chief Won greased wheels with administration.
Furthermore, Chief Won added Sarang district to the redevelopment list which put her way over budget. The reason Hee-soo, Dong-chan, Chairman Jo, and Assemblyman Heo were present at the ceremony was because they head the voting districts. Se-ra asks why Chairman Jo and Chief Won partnered up when they’re from opposing parties and Gong-myung guesses they’re aiming to join the National Assembly.
A text from Han-bi informs Se-ra a complaint letter was sent to her office. Se-ra struggles to read the traditional writing and hands it to Gong-myung to translate. The writer asks Se-ra to reconsider the name changes for the districts in the Smart One City project, citing they’re part of local history. Gong-myung tells Se-ra the names will be changed next year, with the new names selected by an earlier competition.
Se-ra asks about the previous letters the writer mentioned and Gong-myung hands over the ones he’d received from Yong-kyu, answering Se-ra’s glare that he’d only received them today. He explains as they were received when the office was vacant, no one read them. Nodding, Se-ra says the letters have reached their recipient and suggests they get busy, holding her finger out to Gong-myung and with a smile, he touches his to hers and agrees.
Chief Won eats with Chairman Jo to smooth over their alliance, reasoning she’d slighted Se-ra at the ceremony and only sided with her on the secretary issue because Se-ra cited bylaws. Chairman Jo says he understands, and Chief Won asks what she should do about he insufficient budget for Smart One City. Chairman Jo tells her to push back the completion date to 8 years like other autonomous cities, instead of Chief Won’s proposed 6.
She insists they consider the residents, but Chairman Jo knows she simply wants to compete it before the general election. She points out he wants that too and asks Min-jae how to bridge the funding gap. He suggests approaching the Mawon Credit Cooperatives. Satisfied, Chief Won takes her leave and Chairman Jo gives Min-jae a look before leaving as well.
The Idiot Trio grumble to Chairman Jo about Chief Won taking all the credit for Smart One City and he informs them she plans to meet with Mawon Credit Cooperatives. He asks to meet with the director first but wants to contact him directly – and not let Min-jae know. Min-jae arrives to announce it’s time to leave and as the others file out, he ponders Mawon Credit Cooperative.
Turns out that’s where Woo-young passed her interview and she sits for orientation with a group of women as their superiors fawn over one hired through nepotism (she’s Idiot Trio Assemblyman Shim’s daughter). Afterwards, the other women grumble she’s clearly going to be the one to nab the permanent contract but Woo-young says banks are about performance.
Se-ra and Gong-myung sit with the letter writer, a village elder, gives them a history lesson on the etymology of the district names. Elder says Assemblyman Yang had agreed the name was important, adding the components mean “thought” and “consider.” He asks the pair to think and consider again. Another man walks them out, explaining he’s the resident rep and as soon as the couple leaves, he calls and reports their visit.
The couple go to their usual restaurant for lunch and when Gong-myung asks which dish Se-ra likes, she replies, “I like you.” Flustered, he tells her to behave but his hand quakes as he attempts to pour water. Se-ra announces they’ll accept the complaint, citing the cost of changing all the signs could be better used towards the welfare organizations. He asks why she’s so eager and Se-ra says he can drop out if he likes, but the letters were sent to her office and it’s now her top priority.
Back at work, Se-ra asks the head of the secretariat about the letters and he says they postponed replying as the chairman seat was empty. Se-ra points out Dong-chan assumed the position temporarily and stalks off to ask him directly. Min-jae and Assemblyman Heo report Se-ra’s movements to Chairman Jo and Chief Won, respectively. Chief Won thinks Se-ra is trying to flex her power as chairman while Chairman Jo says this is Chief Won’s issue to handle.
Se-ra finds Dong-chan lounging in Hee-soo’s office, finding it weird he makes himself at home when Hee-soo isn’t there. Dong-chan snaps it’s his office and Se-ra retorts they rent them. She asks about the letters and he says it wasn’t his problem. Hee-soo returns and kicks them both out of her office. Outside, they run into Gong-myung and Dong-chan snatches up the drink on his tray, barking at a stunned Gong-myung for not bringing his order sooner.
Pissed, Se-ra growls Gong-myung is her secretary and not someone for Dong-chan to boss around. Dong-chan cowers under Se-ra’s wrath and she takes the drink back, winking at Gong-myung as she walks back to her office.
Min-jae shows Chairman Jo the reports Se-ra was sent this week and reports she’s scheduled a meeting with Chief Won tomorrow. He adds she received the letters sent to the office and he’d said Chairman Jo read them and notified the relevant departments. Chairman Jo asks if Se-ra gets full reports and hearing she only gets partials, he orders Min-jae to send her everything: “I’ll support Gu Se-ra as much as I can… Until it’s checkmate.”
Touting the merits of Smart One City, Chief Won asks why Se-ra wants to derail the project over a simple name change. Se-ra argues it’s silly to waste money on a name change but Chief Won turns to Hee-soo, who explains the decision was passed through the appropriate procedures and with the residents’ approval. Chief Won says an administration must follow procedures in order to be transparent and democratic.
Se-ra counters there’s still 3 years left on the project, but the budget will remain the same –meaning the welfare that was cut, will remain cut. She asks Hee-soo what will happen to the study room kids and Hee-soo huffs, unable to respond. Chief Won understands Se-ra’s desire to make her mark but argues this is the residents’ wishes.
Outside, Hee-soo rounds on Se-ra, demanding why she mentioned the welfare and kids. Se-ra breezily points out the welfare budget was cut while the Smart One City project continues to drain funds, tutting those kids will realize later Hee-soo’s “well done” stamp was just for show. Hee-soo fumes, confirming Se-ra’s hunch the kids weigh on her conscience. She starts to suggest they work together, but Hee-soo snorts and says she expected it from Se-ra but is disappointed in Gong-myung for sending her unprepared to meet Chief Won.
In the stairwell, Dae-cheol delivers files to Gong-myung like a covert operative. At Gong-myung’s confusion (since her requested the files officially) Dae-cheol grins he’d always wanted to act like a spy. He does wonder why they suddenly agreed to send the files after previously refusing, adding he didn’t find anything strange when he looked. He asks why Gong-myung wanted them and Gong-myung says he needs to consider something.
That night, Gong-myung massages Se-ra’s legs at Sunset Land. His alarm goes off and Se-ra despondently tells him to go home. Not moving, he suggests they go together, wondering how Se-ra plans to change anything when the name change was approved properly with the residents’ consent. Se-ra perks up, wondering why he did research when he wasn’t interested. He says he’s always tried his best and lived busily but isn’t interested in a past he can’t change.
Sitting up, Se-ra announces she’s lived in the Minju neighborhood her whole life, went to Mawon Middle School and Mawon Girls’ High School, where she met Woo-young and Han-bi. Gong-myung says he’s read her resume and when Se-ra adds she spent her 20s drinking he nods he’d assumed that as well. Se-ra asks about his life and Gong-myung vaguely replies when went to all-boys middle and high schools, then college, and now he’s a civil servant.
Se-ra says she wants Sarang neighborhood to remain Sarang and wants to think and consider it. She suggests they do it together and while Gong-myung doesn’t see the difference in the name, he promises to say with her: “Since you’re always my priority.” He admits research and driving are the limits of his capabilities and Se-ra assures him he has a very reasonable boss, unlike her previous boss who made her come up with 13 drafts at once.
Gong-myung realizes she’s talking about him and they laugh. She confesses he’s the only one she likes and inches closer. Gong-myung nervously scooches away until they reach the end of the bench. He leans in for a kiss and Se-ra kisses him back, exchanging kisses back and forth. Finally, Gong-myung walks Se-ra home and as she walks inside, he calls out to her, suggesting they do the thing Han-bi and Ja-ryong did in their dramatization of the previous hug.
Declaring he’d hurt his back, Se-ra bids him goodnight and Gong-myung deflates a little… but Se-ra turns back: “We can do it!” Agreeing, Gong-myung prepares to catch as Se-ra counts down… only to veer off at the last minute as Dad comes around the corner. Se-ra ends up clinging to Dad as Gong-myung is shoved aside. He greets Mom as Dad barks at Se-ra to get down. Hee.
Inside, Gong-myung kneels before Dad as Mom comes out all dolled up, announcing first impressions are important, as Gong-myung is now Se-ra’s boyfriend. Dad orders Se-ra to get the whiskey and she pouts he didn’t even get it out when she was nominated. Dad pours some for Gong-myung (but not Se-ra) and orders him to drink. Gong-myung winces and Dad glares so he downs the whiskey.
Dad says he’s glad to see Gong-myung: “I’m happy… and sorry.” Se-ra’s smile drops and she demands why Dad is sorry. The pair bicker and next thing we know, Gong-myung is passed out on the table as the rest of the family drunkenly admires him. Se-ra muses Gong-myung is cute and tires to kiss him, but Mom pulls her back… and tries to kiss Dad. Deeming it inappropriate, Dad pushes her away as Gong-myung sleeps soundly through the chaos.
He wakes up in Se-ra’s bed, shocked to find himself also wearing her campaign hoodie. Dad cooks breakfast and asks why Mom isn’t worried, but she asks why she should be – Chairman Jo is rich. Dad barks at her for trying to marry Se-ra off immediately after they started dating and their interrupted by Gong-myung exiting Se-ra’s room. Mom greets him cheerfully and Dad growls at Se-ra to get up.
Gong-myung turns to see Se-ra sit up from where she’d fallen off the couch and while she worries over her disheveled appearance, Gong-myung is more smitten than ever. Heading to work, Gong-myung announces they’re late and Se-ra starts to suggest he drive since he’s surely sober now, but he refuses. She tries holding his arm at the bus stop, but Gong-myung shrugs her off, reminding her someone could see. However, when the bus arrives, he takes her hand.
Se-ra meets with Assemblyman Bong, who’s curious why she’s so obsessed with the name change. Se-ra says the elder had spoken with Assemblyman Yang – just like Golf Ball Granny. He’d died before resolving the issues so Se-ra wants to finish what he started. She adds she doesn’t want Sarang to be renamed and promises to show Assemblyman Bong her office later. He asks how she likes it and Se-ra says it’s uncomfortable.
Assemblyman Bong hopes it stays that way, pointing out when it becomes familiar, she’ll take it for granted and start making bad decisions. He hopes she won’t trust people too much, as everyone has another side. Se-ra asks if that includes him and Assemblyman Bong replies, “Of course” and they laugh.
Ja-ryong spots Han-bi at an intersection and calls out to her, waving excitedly. Han-bi returns his enthusiasm until she sees his judo instructor standing next to him. The women meet eyes and Han-bi turns and walks away. A flashback to a 2015 sports festival shows Han-bi had been sparring with the other woman in a match. Han-bi had managed to win, but her victory immediately gave way to horror as she realized the other woman had been severely injured.
Waiting after school with Dad for Han-bi, Ja-ryong is too upset to accept Dad’s offer of candy. Han-bi runs up and Dad chides her for being late and Ja-ryong stomps off. As they walk home, Ja-ryong sighs they know so little about each other. He asks when Han-bi opened her shop and she says 4 years ago – after quitting judo. When asked why she quit, Han-bi responds, “An injury.”
Worried, Ja-ryong frantically asks where she was hurt, but Han-bi corrects she’s the one who hurt someone. They were forced to quit – so she did too. Ja-ryong slips his hand into Han-bi’s and they walk home together.
Looking over the list of resident signatures, Se-ra and Gong-myung see there were differing opinions in the same households. They head out to investigate and are surprised to discover the homeowner knows nothing of the resident claiming to live there. While pondering the implications at a corner store, Gong-myung buys an ice cream, recalling how they’d shared as kids. They break it and once again, Gong-myung has the bigger piece. This time he refuses to give it to Se-ra, but when he takes a call, she takes a bite. Hehe.
Gong-myung tells the caller he’d like the list of people who moved to Sarang the month before the vote and the pair get to work investigating the residents. At the end of the day, the find that none of the voters for the name change live in Sarang, nor do the actual residents know who they are. Se-ra snipes that Chief Won had preached about following the rules and yet clearly cheated to get the name changed.
Realizing the resident representative who collected the signatures had to be involved, they find him waiting outside Saryang Hall in response to a blackmail text from one of the fake residents. He’s suddenly illuminated by headlights and when he sees Se-ra and Gong-myung step out fof the car, he bolts. They give chase and upon catching him, reveal they know about the faked signatures.
The man insists he’s just a minion and paid homeless people to switch their address and sign the petition. Se-ra asks how orchestrated it and is stunned when he replies Assemblyman Yang. The man says Gong-myung knows him, since he’d met with Gong-myung the day of his hit-and-run. Se-ra stares in confusion as Gong-myung looks concerned.
Epilogue February20, 2020 – the night of Assemblyman Yang’s accident. The resident representative waits in a restaurant. Assemblyman Yang arrives just as a drunk Se-ra leaves, bumping into each other as they pass. She exits and he sits down with the other man, accepting the packet with the falsified petition. Yang announces he’d met Gong-myung, calling him a jerk. He thinks like father, like son. The man asks if he knows Gong-myung’s dad and Yang smirks he knows him very well.
Ask and ye shall receive! I hadn’t expected us to delve into Assemblyman Yang immediately, but better now than cramming it all in at the last minute. And what a twist! I’d forgotten how shady Assemblyman Yang had seemed when he approached Gong-myung, as he’d been painted in such a kind light by the citizens he’d spoken to before his death and his rallying against Chairman Jo had seemed to clearly put him on our side of the fight… and yet the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend. Assemblyman Bong had warned Se-ra that every person has 2 sides and I only hope she doesn’t apply that to Gong-myung as well.
It wouldn’t be unfair for her to feel weird that Gong-myung had met with Assemblyman Yang, on the night of his accident, and never mentioned it, but it’s also totally reasonable that he hasn’t. Especially if Assemblyman Yang made some creepy proposal to bring Chairman Jo down. Gong-myung is hardly his father’s fan, but I don’t think he’d team up with someone simply out to ruin him. And now I’m wondering if the rumors about Assemblyman Yang accepting bribes wasn’t completely fabricated by a scheming Conservative Party.
However, Assemblyman Bong’s statement works the other way, as well. This is most obvious with Hee-soo – who can be a bit of a brat, but does have her soft spots – but my also be true of the crappier characters like Min-jae, who we can safely suspect of having his own agenda, or even Chairman Jo. What a twist it would be if he’s hiding some humanity in there! I mean, he was friends with Dad since their childhood and while he’s become unscrupulous and power-hungry now, that doesn’t mean he’s completely a lost cause.
We’re still missing vital information, such as whether he was involved in Assemblyman Yang’s “accident” and whatever happened with Gong-myung’s brother’s death. I’m not sure I want a “redemption” arc for Chairman Jo – or if he even really needs one – but it’s interesting food for thought. At the very least, he deserves a healthy dose of karma.
This episode opened up a whole new can of worms and all I can say is I hope it doesn’t create a wedge between our couple. With the way the story and characters have been handled thus far, I have high hopes Se-ra and Gong-myung won’t fall victim to unnecessary angst. I’m guilty of enjoying some juicy strife now and then, but this is not one of those times! Se-ra and Gong-myung are an absolute delight and it’s always refreshing to watch a couple just be happily in love. I love how the person to break all of Se-ra’s rules, was Se-ra, herself.
This couple makes my face hurt from smiling. Plus, how cute are Mom and Dad over Gong-myung? He’s practically part of the family and I died when Dad apologized to him for Se-ra! I have to commend the show for having such a wonderful cast of characters beyond just the leads. The snippets of Woo-young and Han-bi’s lives interwoven with the love lines, family, and politic plots validates their characters as people, not just Se-ra’s “sidekicks,” and makes me root for their happiness just as much as Se-ra and Gong-myung’s.