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Memorials: Episode 12

The pieces of our protagonists’ past are falling into place and amidst the sweet childhood bond, a dark cloud of tragedy is taking form. As they find themselves embroiled in a new complaint which seems to point towards a troubling coverup, their antagonist puts a more aggressive plan in motion.

 
EPISODE 12 RECAP

April 1st, 2020. 18th Anniversary of the Sarang Resort fire. Se-ra walks Ja-ryong home and teases Han-bi quit and she’s taking over. Knowing that’s untrue, he asks what she did after taking the day off. Se-ra says she lounged around and Ja-ryong tuts she should work hard. Se-ra tries to say she lied about laying around, but Ja-ryong calls that a lie. Receiving a call, Se-ra fibs they have the wrong number and Ja-ryong sighs she’s bad at lying.

We flashback to April 1st of last year to see that was the day Se-ra found the bus stop with the broken sign filled with flowers and a banana milk (left by Gong-myung). She’d been lost in thought riding in the car with Woo-young and Han-bi until they threw a speech in her lap and drove to the protest rally outside Mawon Office.

We again see Se-ra reluctantly take the stand and launch into a heartfelt speech, saying the issue isn’t that she was fired – but that building a distribution center near an elementary school was unacceptable. Se-ra had asked what kind of future exists if they don’t hope for a better tomorrow. “I know this day has been full of lies,” Se-ra had concluded, “but I really mean this, as long as you choose me.”

Voting day for the name change of the Smart One City neighborhoods arrives and everyone looks expectantly at Hee-soo when she walks in. Se-ra opens the meeting by saying each assemblyman represents more than a percentage of voters – they’re also deciding which names their children will grow up using. She implores everyone to close their eyes and think of those future children. Chief Won scoffs and only one of the Idiot Trio complies.

Everyone casts their vote and when Gong-myung brings her the results, Se-ra bites back a smile… and announces the ordinance passed 7 votes to 6. Chief Won immediately thanks Hee-soo and Assemblyman Bong shakes his head as everyone files out of the room, leaving Se-ra blinking back tears of disappointment.

Chief Won orders her people to speed up the project to make up for lost time as Assemblyman Heo finds Min-jae on the roof and asks if he’s made up his mind. Min-jae says he’s still thinking and Heo points out a chief’s secretary is far better than a district rep’s secretary. He says Chief Won offered the position because she thinks highly of Min-jae, patting his shoulder before leaving.

Se-ra springs up when Hee-soo enters her office, and reasons Hee-soo made her decision after a long deliberation – Sarang is Hee-soo’s district and she likely took next year’s election into consideration as well. Hee-soo tells Se-ra to just curse her out and Se-ra quips she already did enough of that in her head. She asks why Hee-soo voted for the name change and Hee-soo says she wants to be on the winning side.

She thinks Se-ra didn’t believe she’d win, either, and says she came to return Se-ra’s wish coupon: “I almost sided with you.” Se-ra corrects she didn’t give up until the ballots were counted, pointing out Hee-soo chose the winning side with her vote. Hee-soo simply smiles and walks out.

At home, Mom tells Dad Se-ra is at a disadvantage not having a husband to attend local events and meetings on her behalf to win people’s approval and votes. Mom decides to take initiative in order to get a jump on next year’s election. Dad asks why she’s talking about elections and Mom says it doesn’t make sense for Se-ra to give up a cushy job. Dad tells Mom to throw away her expectations if she cares for Se-ra but Mom quips that’s why he liked her.

Cut to Mom making a speech at a local event on Se-ra’s behalf. She squeals with delight when Chairman Jo arrives, and he greets her with equally false enthusiasm. Mom says Se-ra works from dawn to dusk, grinning she’s busy in both work and love. She asks if he’s aware Se-ra and Gong-myung are in a serious relationship and Chairman Jo laughs it off, saying they’re too young for anything serious and isn’t concerned. He says Mom looks beautiful and walks off, leaving Mom flabbergasted.

That evening, Chairman Jo tells Min-jae Se-ra’s recent loss will provide more than enough motive for her to go against Chief Won. He suggests they focus on Mom and her money troubles and Min-jae anxiously points out Se-ra won’t sit still if her family is attacked: “It’s not an appropriate plan.” Chairman Jo says he doesn’t need appropriate – he needs efficient and effective.

Min-jae argues he didn’t recommend Se-ra as chairman to be used as a scapegoat and Chairman Jo snaps he’d agreed because Min-jae was going to be with her, not Gong-myung. He says if the situation changes, so must their tactics. Chairman Jo never intended to allow Se-ra to keep the post and needs an excuse to oust her.

The following day, Chief Won invites Se-ra to her office and says they have a lot in common. She thinks their desires for change are the reason why they were elected and suggests they bury the hatchet and work together moving forward. Se-ra vaguely replies that sounds reasonable… and then spits out her juice when Min-jae walks in. Chief Won smirks and introduces him as her new secretary.

He walks Se-ra out and she says she thought he’d be with Chairman Jo forever. Min-jae warns her Chairman Jo plans to use her to oust Chief Won, and then he’ll come for her. Se-ra says she doesn’t care about their fight – she simply plans to try her best to keep her job until her term ends. She takes her leave and Min-jae lets out a sigh.

That evening, Chairman Jo is mildly surprised when Min-jae confirms he quit because Jo is using Se-ra as a pawn. Chairman Jo says he won’t be able to fix it now, sighing he’d considered Min-jae a son and they’d spent many years like family. Min-jae answers “like” a family means they aren’t really family but thanks Chairman Jo for everything. Jo muses it won’t be easy working for Chief Won and suggests they not say goodbye as they’ll continue seeing each other at work.

Mom listens to a pitch from a real estate agent, saying she’s looking for a house for Se-ra. Her friend worries Mom has already been scammed into buying property but Mom retorts getting scammed once doesn’t mean you stop investing. Mom turns back to the agent and gleefully asks if the house faces south. Oy vey.

At the Area 6 construction site of Smart One City, a worker heaves a heavy load up a flight of stairs. His vision blurs and he loses his footing, tumbling to the landing below as other workers rush to his side. Meanwhile, Yong-kyu carries his things back to the Secretariat office and bitterly tells Gong-myung he’s cleared out so the latter can move in when he’s ready.

Gong-myung lifts his own box and Yong-kyu accuses him of never unpacking. He growls they need to talk and Gong-myung snorts but follows. Dae-cheol goes with them and tries to mitigate as Yong-kyu demands how Gong-myung got his job back, griping he can’t use an innocent civil servant in his love spat. Face hardening, Gong-myung asks if he’d reported that to Chairman Jo as well.

Yong-kyu blanches and Gong-myung says Yong-kyu was in charge of receiving the Mawon Office reports and gave the original files to Chairman Jo and only the summaries to Se-ra. Yong-kyu tries to deny it, but Gong-myung points out Chairman Jo had commented on Se-ra’s weekend exercise, using Yong-kyu’s exact phrasing.

Just then Yong-kyu’s “girlfriend” calls and he scrambles for the phone, but Gong-myung answers first and Chairman Jo demands why Gong-myung was reinstated as Se-ra’s secretary. Gong-myung tells Yong-kyu the basic virtue of a secretary is loyalty: “Should you be loyal to someone other than your superior?” He warns Yong-kyu not to be Chairman Jo’s lackey anymore and stalks off. Yong-kyu storms off as well, leaving Dae-cheol more confused than ever.

In the assemblymen’s office room, Dong-chan announces Gong-myung has resumed being Se-ra’s secretary. The Idiot Trio figure they must’ve gotten back together and Hee-soo’s eyes bulge. Dong-chan says even Assemblyman Heo and Chairman Jo know about it and Assemblyman Bong tells the group to respect Se-ra and Gong-myung’s privacy. Hee-soo reels from being the only one not to know and immediately confronts Gong-myung.

He readily confesses he likes Se-ra – not out of pity, but sincerely. Gong-myung earnestly asks she keep the relationship a secret and Hee-soo bites her tongue and nods. He leaves and Hee-soo mutters she didn’t reveal everyone already knows as a final act of revenge, thrashing about in embarrassment. Heh.

Dong-chan offers drinks to the Idiot Trio and Shim thinks Se-ra will be quiet for a while. Jang thinks they shouldn’t bother with her title when it’s just them, but Shi points out she’s still their superior. Dong-chan is more than happy to bash Se-ra and launches into a mini tirade before jumping out of his skin when she appears behind him. She chases him out of the office as the trio quietly sip their drinks.

The construction workers from Area 6 arrive at Mawon Office to protest unsafe working conditions. Min-jae reports the situation to Chief Won and she rolls her eyes. Area 6 is the location of the Sarang Resort and Chief Won grumbles Sarang continues to create trouble. She orders all routes to her office blocked and suggests she and Min-jae get an early lunch. By the time the protestors make it inside, all paths to Chief Won’s office are taped off so they decide to appeal to Se-ra, instead.

On the roof, Dong-chan accuses Se-ra of taking her frustrations out on him. She points out he’d stolen her ordinance, tried to bribe her with gold, and now was caught gossiping. Dong-chan asks if she plans to hit him and flinches when Se-ra raises her arms. He screams when she rushes towards him, but she’s actually looking at the mob of protestors headed for their office.

Dae-cheol and Gong-myung frantically assemble drinks for their guests since Yong-kyu took the afternoon off for family matters. Se-ra and Dong-chan fight to get to her office first and are stunned to find the mob waiting inside. Dong-chan declares Se-ra must’ve made a mess and is quickly locked out of the office by Se-ra and Gong-myung.

PART 2

Complaint notebook in hand, Se-ra listens as the workers explain that lack of safety measures onsite has resulted in five injuries and both the construction company and Mawon Office seem to be busy covering it up instead of apologizing. The workers suspect the Labor Administration of colluding with them as each inspection declares no issues.

Se-ra and Gong-myung go to the hospital to visit the injured worker and she’s wracked with guilt when recognizes him as the older guard who’d been fired alongside Dad’s friend. He says his son also works at Mawon Office and stepped out to meet with someone from the construction company. Turns out the son is Yong-kyu and he confusedly answers his father doesn’t have a chronic illness when Q Construction representative, Jeong Min-hwan, insists that was the cause of the accident.

Ignoring Yong-kyu, Jeong says the company still feels responsible and have prepared a settlement under the stipulation Yong-kyu and his father sign a nondisclosure agreement. Yong-kyu repeats his father doesn’t have a chronic illness and Jeong counters proving an industrial accident is harder than he’d think. He suggests Yong-kyu review the documents first, but the papers are promptly snatched away by Se-ra and Gong-myung.

Afterwards, Yong-kyu thanks them for coming, but doesn’t want to make things worse. The couple explain they’re here on behalf of the workers and four others were injured besides Yong-kyu’s dad. Yong-kyu snaps at them to talk to the other victims, wondering what Se-ra can accomplish when she already failed to protect Sarang’s name. Se-ra can’t answer and although Yong-kyu looks guilty he doesn’t apologize and walks away.

Gong-myung knocks on Se-ra’s door that evening to head home but finds her office empty. He seems to know where she’s gone and we find her back at the bus stop, staring up at the broken sign. She curses that it still hasn’t been fixed after her numerous complaints and takes out her phone to file another. Sensing movement to her right, Se-ra almost karate chops Gong-myung. He grumbles she should know better than to attack just anyone and she quips he should know better than to creep up on her. Hee.

They sit and Gong-myung announces today he found her in one go, handing her a banana milk. Recalling finding one at the bus stop a year ago, Se-ra smiles she found it, too. Gong-myung tells her not to be upset and says Jeong Min-hwan made him angry too. Se-ra confesses she’s actually mad at herself – if she’d handled the security guards’ complaint better, Yong-kyu’s father wouldn’t have been working at the construction site and gotten hurt.

Gong-myung gently points out the security guard issue was due to the apartment office and employment company’s poor judgement and the construction site is an internal problem: “Other peopled did wrong and should be held responsible. Don’t blame yourself.” Reinvigorated, Se-ra suggests they investigate the cause of the accident and throwing her arm around Gong-myung’s neck, drags him off.

Chairman Jo meets with the Mawon Credit Cooperatives and recognizes Woo-young as one of Se-ra’s friends. He recommends her to help handle the business with Mawon Office but says not to mention his involvement. Soon, the project is presented to the interns and Woo-young is the only one to volunteer so they easily comply with Chairman Jo’s wishes.

Min-jae calls a reporter to dispute an article declaring Chief Won’s private land is included in the Smart One City project. Unfortunately, the reporter heard it directly from Chairmain Jo and Min-jae is forced to back down. He discusses the rumors that the land is still owned by Chief Won’s father-in-law (and Assemblyman Heo’s father) despite changing names on paper following the Sarang Resort fire.

The land has remained unused for 20 years and Chief Won reasons it only made sense to include it in order to expand the project scale. Min-jae is unable to argue and Chief Won suggests they create a task force to regulate public opinions on the internet – The Integrity Task Force. Dae-cheol jumps at the chance to leave the service center to serve the chief but deflates when he enters the office to find men busily typing at computers and ignoring each other.

Having contacted the other victims, Gong-myung reports they’ve already signed the confidentiality agreement and therefore can’t cooperate. Se-ra questions how there can be so many incidents when construction only started 2 months ago and Gong-myung adds half the workers have already been convinced to return to the site. He says unlike previous complaints they’ve handled, even the victims aren’t cooperating. “If they don’t tell us,” Se-ra says, “we can figure it out.”

She proposes they go undercover on weekends with her gathering intel at a nearby restaurant and Gong-myung infiltrating Area 6 as a laborer. While Se-ra charms the restaurant ahjummas, Gong-myung snaps photos of torn netting. Se-ra asks the ahjummas about the recent injuries and they say everyone is keeping quiet for fear of getting fired. They wonder why Se-ra is asking so many questions and Se-ra fibs her husband works at the site, cheerfully offering to show them pictures of Gong-myung.

As Gong-myung returns his equipment at the end of the day, he hears the site manager refer to them as Best Industrial Development and sees business cards with the same company logo on his desk. The manager then tosses two bankbooks to his secretary and asks her to wire the monthly pay to one account, but overtime pay to a separate account.

Reconvening at Han-bi’s shop that evening, Se-ra whimpers over her aching body from the strict diner ahjummas as Gong-myung applies pain patches on her. Gong-myung briefs her that the site isn’t using proper safety measures, but even stranger the construction company for Area 6 is Q Construction (and Jeong Min-hwan is from there as well) but the manager referred to the company as Best Industrial.

Se-ra guesses they’re a subcontractor, but Gong-myung says Best Industrial Development isn’t listed among the companies working on Smart One City. Se-ra reasons it must be money-related which makes Gong-myung think of bank accounts. They nod at each other and Se-ra tells Ja-ryong she and Gong-myung will take him home.

Outside, she says she was worried about Gong-myung working onsite and he says he did part-time manual labor during university. Se-ra looks impressed and says they’re both strong-willed and resourceful. Noticing the awkward energy between him and Ja-ryong, she suggests they find something in common as well (aside from her). Ja-ryong asks if Gong-myung has any siblings and Gong-myung says he has a younger brother named Jong-dae. He asks what grade Ja-ryong is in and he and Se-ra look a little melancholy when he answers second grade.

Gong-myung notices Ja-ryong’s shoe is untied and when he bends to tie it, Se-ra says it’s the sign of the shoelace fairy that a friend is thinking of or missing him. Ja-ryong takes both their hands and the three of them walk home together laughing.

The next day, Se-ra asks the diner ahjummas if the workers use coupons and learns they pay with a company card. Later, she sneaks over to the account records and finds the bill for Best Industrial Development. In her excitement, Se-ra bluntly asks why Best Industrials is paying for Smart One City… and gets chased out. She calls to report to Gong-myung, but instead of getting proof, she gets salt thrown in her face.

Gong-myung sneaks into the office to get a look at the bankbooks and finds they also list Best Industrial. Just as he tries to take a picture with his phone, the secretary returns. Gong-myung manages to shut the bankbooks into the drawer before she enters and explains his presence by turning on the charm and asking if she likes coffee… only to be curtly rejected. Hee.

He did manage to send a photo of the business card to Dae-cheol, who reports back Best Industrial Development doesn’t have a license and has been fined many times for building without it. Gong-myung tells him they’re in charge of Area 6 and says he’ll keep digging. He asks Dae-cheol to keep it secret and Dae-cheol pretends to be talking to his kids when he sees coworkers approaching.

That night, Gong-myung cowers as Se-ra reams him for the blurry bankbook photo. He points out at least he didn’t come empty-handed and the photos of the site are clear. Se-ra growls he should’ve pocketed the bankbook and Gong-myung points out that’s theft. He adds tomorrow they start adding a night shift and Se-ra says that means they still have tonight and drags him off.

They sneak onsite hand-in-hand, but the office lights are still on. They dive behind construction materials when a car pulls up, but Jeong Min-hwan sees figures darting across the site. The manager tells him no one is working tonight so he grabs the flashlight to investigate. Se-ra and Gong-myung find themselves cornered. She lifts a tarp to crawl under, but something catches Gong-myung’s eye and he throws it back to reveal the remains of the Sarang Resort Fire Victim Memorial with Jo Jong-dae listed among the dead.

Young Se-ra and Gong-myung are leaving school when a voice calls out to them and they turn to see Jong-dae running towards them. He takes their hands and the three happily walk home, the badge on Jong-dae’s chest indicating he’s in second grade.

 
COMMENTS

Oof, my heart! I may have to go back and rewatch some episodes (like I wasn’t going to do that anyway) because I had been under the impression Jong-dae had died in a vehicle accident. I can see where my brain connected dots between the significance of the bus stop and Jong-dae’s death being introduced along with the fight against the distribution center and trucks next to an elementary school, but this adds a whole new layer to the tragedy. Assemblyman Yang had approached Gong-myung about Chairman Jo’s involvement with the Sarang Resort Fire, revealing his parents divorced afterwards.

That’s not an uncommon reaction to the loss of a child, but it’s safe to assume more was going on. The fact that Chief Won’s family owned the resort and then she and Chairman Jo moved to include it in the reconstruction for Smart One City and change the name of the neighborhood is beyond sketchy. This finally explains why Gong-myung left – when his parents divorced, he went with Mom and Chairman Jo remained behind. I’m still not sure why he didn’t say anything to Se-ra first, or decided to distance himself from her, but I’m sure we’ll delve into exactly how traumatic the whole incident was for both of them and while I’m not looking forward to seeing our couple in pain, I feel the resolution and healing will be worth it.

It kills me how loose-lipped Woo-young and Mom have been with Se-ra’s dating life. To be fair, neither understands how tumultuous the relationships are between the couple and Min-jae and Chairman Jo, but it still wasn’t really their place to interfere. Min-jae took it in stride and while I’m so proud of him for finally putting his foot down with Chairman Jo’s latest scheme against Se-ra, I’m sure even he’s aware it’s too little, too late. It worrisome how personal Chairman Jo’s attacks have gotten, and I can’t help but wonder if Se-ra’s relationship with Gong-myung is the reason. Chairman Jo still holds out hope Gong-myung will come around and Se-ra doesn’t mesh with those plans. Furthermore, using Mom and Woo-young against her isn’t a new low for him, but it’s a reminder he’s not a nice guy.

On the flipside, Hee-soo is determined to show zero personal growth but I have come to enjoy her character. I felt equally gratified and empathetic when she found out not only were Se-ra and Gong-myung dating… but everyone knew. Hopefully, that “final act of revenge” means Hee-soo will abandon that rivalry and take one step closer to that frenemy balance I’ve been begging for from the beginning. I can’t say I was entirely surprised Hee-soo didn’t vote with Se-ra. Whether her research into the Sarang Resort fire played a part or it was simply a career move is hard to say. I do love that Se-ra called bullshit on her argument to be on the winning side, because as the swing vote, she chose the winning side. She claims to have thrown away her conscience, but if that were true, she wouldn’t have bothered giving back Se-ra’s coupon. She’s taking the long way round, but I’m sure she’ll get there in the end.

All in all, I really love this drama. I know I say it a lot, but I don’t think there’s any harm with expressing it repeatedly when it’s true. From the story, to pacing, to characters, to Gong-myung’s hair, everything is so delightful. The upcoming episodes are going to get a little heavy as we delve into the darker plot that has been breadcrumbed throughout, but I have faith our bubbly couple and colorful cast will buoy us along.

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First, bless thee forehead! Keep it exposed!

Loved how Se-ra said that Hee-soo chose the winning side! The writing of this drama is packed that no conversations are wasted.

Even though I feel the angst coming, with this couple, they will overcome it.

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I have to commend on the writing of this drama. It's a rom com bit at the same time its very well crafted. Like you have said, conversations aren't wasted. Each time someone talks, we get to know them better.

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True about them conversations. Like the mention of Gong-myung doing manual labour, does it mean he had to pay his own way through uni? Maybe that's why he can sympathize with Se-ra's money problem, hence the thermal underwear.

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Forehead for the win! Maybe on this show, instead of being a barometer of good vs evil, showing forehead means opening up yourself ^^

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ooohh a new chapter for our Gong!

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May more forehead be exposed soon!

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Ugh these two 😍
I couldn't contain my tears at that last scene with Gong-myung's brother and also at that scene with Ja-ryong 😭
Can't wait for tonight's episode!

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Thank you for the recap! I was disappointed Hee-soo wasn't persuaded but not at all surprised since appeals to pathos don't seem to work on her. Although neither did Se-ra's offer to help with ordinances. I'm a little curious on how she made her decision and if Hee-soo chose that side because she thinks that's the long-term winning side for some reason.

Oof that ending scene hit hard, I did cry a little ngl. But it's cool to see the "Memorials" title starting to come into play.

On the lighter side, Se-ra's ability to pop up out of nowhere as soon as Dong-chan starts talking shit is hilarious. Also Se-ra kabedon-ing Gong-myung again is A++++++

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I also wonder what would convince Hee-soo. I thought the offer on 10 ordinances would appeal to her political side. What gives?

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Oooh i never made the connection with the title "Memorials" now it started to make sense.

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It's not funny becaues of no epilogue! :( It was no epilogue for the first time in this series.

I think Sarang fire was meant to be fictional.

In my funny opinion, it might almost reached 20 years by April 1, 2022 when it will be produce in 2022! But, it was not true in real date of this series. 2020, not 2022.

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I have to agree with you, because everything is really delightful. I just love the show (in case any of you haven't read this in any of my previous comments).

I cried so much when GM asked JaRyeong about his class and talked to him about his donsaeng. Oh, my heart. And then the three of them walking down the street. Tears came to my eyes even while writing this. I felt GM's and SeRa's pain.

I still think there must be some redemption for Chairman Jo. I refuse to think that someone who's lost a son as a child can overcome it so easily, and he hasn't. At least I wish we have that redemption.

And regarding HeeSoo... this is a bit odd, but I'm having Park HooJa (My fellow citizens) vibes with her. It's not that she's evil, but she's kind of petty. When she talked about that last act of revenge, I couldn't help but think about her.

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awww I loved Park Hoo Ja and I totally see that

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I had never watched Park sung hoon acting in anything else before, and I had been under the impression (since day one from this drama) that he is kind of an average-looking guy (which is very good for this kind of nerdy character by the way).... But as from this episode and a tiny bit of change in his hair and conbined with his smiles, wow.... I am like wow, he is actually very handsome, even gorgeous! 😍
Now I understand why men change their hair. It really makes a difference.

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He was a very hot psychopath in Psychopath Diary

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I bet, but I don't like the plot of that drama, so not even for him or for the quality of acting skills they could show me, I won't watch it😅😅😅😅
But it's ok. I can swoon here and I hope he will be in other nice projects in the future

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You don't have to watch the drama. I might have put some images on my fanwall when I was watching it.

https://www.dramabeans.com/members/cloggie/activity/935793/

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Amy post this two years ago but i found it recently:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOd7Brk1cd8

Sorry not forehead in this one.

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The power of forehead!

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He is rather cute and charming in rl! He seems like a sweetheart in rl! His former co-star in Psychopath Diary said that he is a pure person who is kind-hearted in rl! He has his moments esp. with this hair up oooh, not gorgeous but he is attractive its just the camera here makes him look old lol.

He is a versatile talent! From My Only One (Where he was a kind/gentle dentist who later becomes ill/in love), to Justice (Where he was a creepy cold hearted emotionless creep), to Psychopath (Suave, campy, chaebol turned psychopath), and to ITR (dorky, sweet, awkward civil servant).

I hope he continues to grow more as an actor, he may not become a huge star, but he can be one of those talented working actors! His agency BH entertainment is respected/big, so I hope that he and Nana work together again (They both said they want to) b/c their chemistry is AMAZING!!!

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Wow, thanks for your info. I didn't know anything about him.
We tend to forget this is a business and there are lots of people involved in allowing us to swoon over these Oppas.
There is a lot of competition as well.
I wish him success, but more than that, integrity and satisfaction in his job.
And yeah, oh yes, he and Nana have wonderful chemistry together.

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Np! I only recently discovered him by chance, I was looking up a diff. actress Cho Yeon, found out she was My Only One, and saw an interview. He was also there, but I had no clue who he was (only heard of Psychopath Diary but not him only Jung In Sun). But he was utterly charming in that interview, and I was like whose this?? Luckily a day or two later, I found out that he was doing a rom-com, lucky me! And the rest is history haha.

Yep. It's a business after all. I think if we are aware of that, and keep our boundaries then it's all in good fun. He is 35 so, I hope that he'll have another lead role because he's really honed his chops and shown that he can also pull off rom-com. I do think that having Nana there helped him too, since they known each other from Justice. I'm rooting for him, and hope to see him in more stuff down the line! If its as good as Into the Ring, I'll be so happy :)!

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Thank you so much for the recap💪

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Like you @sunny I thought Gong-Myung's brother had died in a car accident. I think it said 'accident' and I just made that assumption. When we found out what had actually happened, and why Se-ra was so obsessed with the bus stop working correctly, it really hit me hard. As did that final scene and Gong-Myung looking at the memorial plaque.

This drama is just so good at interweaving these emotional moments with being fun and happy.

From the moment that Se-ra's parents knew that Gong-myung and Se-ra were dating, I had been worried that they'd tell Chairman Jo. After all Se-ra's dad and Gong-myung's dad are friends. Don't do it mum, don't do it! I wanted to shout at the screen. Sigh. But then, you find out that everybody knows already anyway (as Se-ra's friend had said to Min-jae 'they are so obvious') and that made me laugh so much. Probably everybody had known for ages apart from Min-jae and Hee-soo...

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I was surprised they knew, they don't seem to care about anything except them. It was kinda cute to see them being happy for the couple :p

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I for one is happy that it's not a secret anymore, but yea, quite surprised that office people just roll with the fact. Am expecting snide remarks and innuendos, but they are unexpectedly grown-up, LOL.

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Again another trope that in other rom-coms would be used against the couple or used as a tactic to not date. However, the writer has turned a lot of tropes upside down (Such as our ML being written as a cold guy like a lot of dramas have but he's actually a sweetie or our FL being seen as air-head when she is gutsy and smart) in which in other rom-coms would have spelled disaster for our couple. But in here, everyone expect our second leads ha, knew about our couple dating, and they actually rooted for our couple to succeed lol!

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...besides Chairman Jo would have already known about our couple given his mole in the Secretariat.

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Absolutely! That's why I was less annoyed with Mum for spilling the beans.

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There were a lot of disapointing characters : the mum who spilled her daugther's love life, Hee-Soo who chose the dark side of the Force, Yong-kyu who betrayed Sera by giving informations to Charman Jo and not giving all the documents to Sera and then wanting to sign the document with the Evil compagny...

I'm happy that GM has Sera beside him because it will very painful for him to discover the truth behind the death of his brother.

The scene with Ja-ryong was so cute! I loved the story about the the shoelaces undone.

This drama is really good at balancing politics, humor and romance!

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Augh, Young-kyu, how could you! His betrayal really hits me hard T_T

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I really didn't like when he said she never won... It was very petty from him. He could see how she tried and he didn't help her!

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Yeah, I found it especially bad form considering the role he could of had in sabotaging her chances

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True, that was doubly mean! Maybe he is kicking back because of guilt. Crossing fingers he'll come back into the light, maybe even be a double mole for Jo.

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Aaw for Gong-myung having inner GPS to Se-ra's location! The undercover stint is so fun, but am more than ready to see our couple face Gong-myung's troubled past together and win.

Am super leery for Woo-young now that Chairman Jo (should we even call him chairman now..?) has his eyes on her. Was disappointed that instead of doing some Machiavellian manoeuvre, he is relying on smear campaign. Hate Chairman Jo for dashing mom's hope like that, hmph! On a side note, noticed that for most of mom & dad scene together, it was dad who was doing the domestic duty, like cooking and folding clothes, LOL.

Kudos for Min-jae standing up for Se-ra's family but wished he'd done this sooner. Watching him being a migratory bird makes me kinda depressed. If he has serious political ambition, he should just follow Se-ra and be an independent candidate instead of everybody's secretary. If he has a hidden ambition for revenge as someone has mentioned before (relating to Sarang Resort fire maybe?), it'll be better because right now his arc seems pathetically aimless, and I refuse to believe the writer neglects his character like that.

So is Chief Won (and Heo daddy) the big baddie behind the Sarang Resort Fire? Wonder if this is why Gong-myung decided to work for Planning & Budgeting.

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@meowingme,
I definitely got the feeling that Chairman Jo has been playing the long game against Chief Won and it is about the death of his young son. I don’t think this has anything to do with competing with her for a National Assembly seat. This is about the fire that killed his son and he is going to take her down. That is my speculation. Now if Gong-myung picks up on that and joins Dad, well that would be quite a turn if events.

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Am also expecting more since Ahn Nae-sang has this "I know more than you think I know" face going on, I'd love it if the long con is true!

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Woe, yes, that would be interesting. He is still sketchy and ruthless somehow, but if he is being like that the whole time, in order to get revenge, I would understand. And it would make him more real, I don't know if that makes sense....

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ww Gunwoo has a cameo. I swear I see that kid everywhere.

Apart from Sera, Gong’s soft side appears before kids – the runaway, then Jaryong. I initially thought Gong’s brother is older than him and he died on a vehicular accident, but a fire killing your younger brother was more devastating. I am still hoping that Chairman Jo has plans against Chief Won to avenge his child’s death.

On a lighter note, I like Sera and Gong are smart and competent, though oblivious that their secret office romance is not so secret afterall. Even the water purifier and copy machine know apparently. What’s noteworthy is the second leads have no clue as well.

What I don’t like though is how the writing made the Show’s setting so small. The construction guy who was injured was also one of the former guards, and Yokyung’s father. Really? I see that this was set up for drama, but I see it as a bit too convenient.

I really enjoy Sera-Gong interactions, all other scenes pale in comparison.

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I have also found it convenient, but not in a bad way. We have to remember Mawon-gu is a district in the capital city Seoul, so geographically, all these characters are kind of neighbors.

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Yeah, guard to construction worker is not too far fetched for this neighborhood but does it have to be Yokyung's father though? Just a little bit bothersome. :)

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I actually really like the small town feel this show has. Reminds me of Stars Follow from Gilmore Girls in a way. It adds to the charm of this quirky small show, plus it fits in because its not a crazy or big show with big names but it has heart!

I do agree with you on Se-ra/Gong interactions which this show gives us plenty of. They are the highlight and I am glad that a rom-com actually shows us the couple together more than separating them for no reason and we get 5 min of them at the finale.

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What a pair. I just cant get enough of this whole OTP-undercover-thing. It's such a catnip of mine.

I already loved Gong-myung in casual garb last ep, but then this episode with that all black get-up and the hair swept back happened and I don't know what to do with myself. He's also really attractive when he's catching on to things like with the Yong-gyu's spying.

Can't quite explain it, but I love the understated treatment of the loss of Jeong-dae. Just little things, like how Gong-myung can matter-of-factly mention him to Ja-ryong, at least, to an extent, and how Se-ra constantly opens the conversation to give him a chance to speak of how he's dealt all this time, but never really pries. It makes me actually anticipate when he'll finally open up about this. In the meantime, she prods him to bond with Ja-ryong. Definitely my fav part this episode.

I've already talked about how fun the directing is, but I also love how they use perspective in more intimate scenes. They did this well in the kiss scene last episode and in the shoe-tying scene this ep, when they showed Sera's perspective, as she appreciated the bittersweet nature of the moment.

Thanks for the recap!

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Aaw, that's a lovely observation about Se-ra unobtrusively prodding Gong-myung to open up. He seems to welcome a chance to connect with children, like with the runaway boy in the early episode, but is understandably awkward about doing it. Ja-ryong being who he is, it'll be good practice for Gong-myung ^^

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Helloooo fellow Casually Dressed Gong-Myung enthusiast!👋 So I am not the only appreciating his outfits!😀

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My favorite child secretary Ja Ryong bring all the love. I love that scene so much because it shows how important both of them are to her. Ja Ryong her faithful confidante and truth teller. Gong Myung her lover and straight man. It was adorable and just brought me all the joy.

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seriously whats wrong with people around Sera? her mom basically spending money on investment (again!!!) after she was scammed. her ex-secretary betray her and working with another politician (im so happy Gongmyung called him out smh). her best friend meet her ex boyfriend and spilled that she has a boyfriend.
i dont like Heesoo either, she thought everything she did is right and she acts like she is above Sera.

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I agree with every word you typed and have been ranting about that on every recap nowadays. Se-Ra has a lot to learn, yes, but she can only become better if people would bother to support and help her. It is a shame that Gong-Myung seems to be the only one on her side that is acting accordingly.

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Thank you for the recap!

I am bracing myself for the angst in the next episodes, but at the same time I am looking forward to the reveal of the accident and how it shaped Gong-Myung and Se-Ra. I am usually not too fond of childhood connections, so I love how theirs is an integral part of the story. The script also turns the “second half male lead angst” trope on its head, because Se-Ra does not disappear to the background to merely serve as Gong-Myung’s comfort as we delve into his story. Instead, her story turns out to be heavily intertwined with his, which will make her comfort that much more meaningful to Gong-Myung and the story, and ensures that her story remains the main focus until the end.👍

Se-Ra’s mum can is selectively thoughtful. I love how she is willing to campaign on her daughter’s behalf and how she does not want to be a burden. Those good intentions and actions won’t help much however, if she keeps getting them into debt and blabs about Se-Ra’s love life. I understand that Chairman Jo probably already knew, but in politics you have to mind your words. You also have to know your opponents, especially if they look down on your family and you’re not even aware of it *coughChairmanJocough*. This is something I would like to see addressed, but I fear it is just mere comic relief.🤔

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YES Gong-myung's hair, Gong-myung's forehead, this show, this couple; they all make me happy.

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So, I am torn... I like Gong Myung's new hair. And his new casual outfits. In real life, of course this is much more attractive.

But... I miss Gong Myung's old hair! And his beige clothes and suits! I have grown to love them. Somehow his long, pretty legs came more into focus that way.

His smile on the other hand - that is always welcome. With or without a beige sweater vest.

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I agree, if I like his new style, I kinda miss his old one too. I liked his haircut, he looked like a little boy.

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Interesting! I wasn't a fan of that coconut hair #Freetheforehead, but I got used to it. I think PSH is a handsome guy outside of this show, but let's be real here, I say this with affection but he sometimes looks old due to the camera angles. The parted hair and casual style look way better on him, and he looks less like a dork and more confident which also signals his change after he met Se-ra.

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I agree with you, and yet, I liked that characteristic (due to a camera angle or whatsoever) because it shows that a Male Lead doesn't have to be hot gorgeous in order to make us fall for him, in this case, we, just like Sera, fall for his endearing, sweet and dorky personality.
And isn't that exactly what happens in real life?
Most people are not so handsome like these actors, but they have gorgeous personalities.
So, for me, Gong myung's coconut hair, and dressing like a middle age man looked like a real person and again, I just got used to and fell totally in love with his personality.

Coming to Nana... She is very pretty, but also tooo much skinny for my taste. But again... I love her personality and I am in love with the way she laughs, it feels so natural!
They both are the highlight of this show and they make me happy every week....

I don't want it to end!-😣😥😭

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That is true. I seen him in other interviews, and his face is quite small haha. It's a different type of male lead which isn't the chiseled/all done up guy but someone you might know in rl type of guy.

Lol, that's so cute tbh! I think the writer has done a good job turning on the tropes (cold ML) here and instead has given the character layers with the fire case/his father/grief, and slowly he's been shedding those layers.

Nana is a good size, she's tall and lean and whenever they clinch her waist, you can tell she's fit. She was boring in Kill It (well whole show was), so she didn't stand out there. But here, she 100% does. It does goes to show that if you give an actor there potential, they might end up surprising us.

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I know there is a drama call "kill it", and that's it! With that title, no, I am not interested in watching it whatsoever.
But then again, after this one, if Nana does another rom com or something attractive for my type, I will be happy to watch her again, because she is great

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Completely agree about them not choosing to highlight his attractiveness. He was living a very average existence and doesn't strike you as one who puts much effort into his appearance, which contributes to his draw.

Also, this probably makes no sense, but his hair down simultaneously makes him look younger and older to me. Maybe because he looks a lot like Seungshine from Just Dance, with it down, while dressing more maturely gave him an older feel.

So the forehead reveal and casual outfits make him look more consistently his age, if that makes any sense.

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LOL, it doesn't make much sense, but I understand. Ha ha.... I also believe looking younger or older is a matter of attitude and happens as well in the real life.
People comment about this because we all know he is 35 but he is playing a 29 or 30 year-old man (I think so, since Nana's character is 29 and they went together to school), but the first episodes, him being so..... typical civil servant, stick to the rules and boring might have made him look older (or younger...🙄), and lately dressing casual and going all James bond make him look younger (or older)... don't know anymore. But for my taste, more handsome now😍

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Definitely prefer forehead but I concede that Seo Gong-myung's charm shines even through his bangs ^^

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Oh, I loved his old hair too. I feel like it communicated his no-nonsense, unwavering character very well and was completely in line with the monotonous, everyday routine of his life.

But that's why I like the hair change so much
because while he still hasn't completely changed (as he said in ep 9, he'll continue to like the things he likes), he's definitely enlivening his routine, loosening up a bit and starting to enjoy bending the rules with Sera. He's been shocked out of his complacency, so to speak.

Same with the casual outfits, which we're more seeing as a result of their undercover shenanigans and the deepening intimacy of their relationship. All this wouldn't be as enjoyable without his original style though, if that makes any sense.

That and I'm very new to Park Sung-hoon, so every new look is probably going to be exciting to me, lol.

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For once a K-drama rom-com, that knows its one! The second leads are blah, but they been well utilized for whatever their role is thus far, altho moreson on Hee-soo's side than Min-jae. I always think that second leads are more miss than hit in rom-coms because they take away from our main OTP. I love that this show from Ep 1 has given has lots of moments/scenes that further add more depth to their relationship (Whether romantic or platonic). We haven't gotten any jealous second leads throwing curveballs at our couple or meddling parents getting between our main pair, that is so REFRESHING to see. Cough cough, To All The Guys Who Loved Me/Men Are Men which is also a KBS rom-com airing rn can learn a thing or two from this show!!!

I have no qualms other than her mother who is just frustrating when she's driving herself and her family more into debt ugh. That's so much burden on her daughter, that being said this show is refreshing because its dropped here and there in a very tiny manner, and we move on quickly from it to become annoyed by it long term. Hopefully there's no noble idiocy act in Ep 15 or so. More happy times for our couple PLS PD/Writer!!

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Nana and PSH are super cute in this video for the OST they sing (there are eng sub)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1zO7ih2Ozs

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They are sooo cute!

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LOL! Everybody knows.

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