Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread
With the truth out in the open, and some decisions to be made, the dynamic between our leads sees a big shift. The shape their relationship will take is very much still in motion, but the closer they get, the more they seem to slip in sync with each other.
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
As reveals and confrontations occur in quick succession, the relationships between Song-ah, Hyun-seung, and Jae-shin quickly change in response. In fact, there’s so much of a change that where we open this week (with the fake dating suggestion), and where we end, are two very different places.
As Song-ah’s anger against Hyun-seung slowly cools, her anger against cheating boyfriend Jae-shin grows. We enjoy several fantasy moments where she throws water on him at work, or where he’s punched out cold, but in reality, Song-ah is hesitating on what to do. Retaliate? Seek revenge with Hyun-seung’s fake dating scheme? Try to move on and forget it?
Jae-shin knows something is up after being ghosted by Song-ah for so many days, but — strange man — he only assumes that she’s cheating on him with Hyun-seung. It doesn’t even occur to him that she found out about his own lies/upcoming marriage to someone that’s not her.
If Hyun-seung seemed a little too assertive/aggressive last week, this week that totally shifts onto Jae-shin, who’s undeniably bad to Song-ah throughout our episodes this week. Rough, demanding, and even a little violent — it’s overly dramatic, but hey, this is a melo romance, and what fun is there in Hyun-seung valiantly protecting Song-ah if there is no one for him to protect her from?
It was the growing understanding between Song-ah and Hyun-seung that was the most fun to watch this week — but that doesn’t start to happen until Hyun-seung quietly tells Song-ah that he once went through exactly what she’s going through now. And that insight on why he was so adamant about revealing the truth to her before it got worse is the first step in repairing their rapport.
Slowly, Song-ah begins to understand why Hyun-seung did what he did, and even winds up thanking him, since she admits she wouldn’t have been able to untangle herself from Jae-shin if it hadn’t played out the way it did. And that is with not one, but two, fights over Song-ah this week.
In the first confrontation, Jae-shin’s lurking around her house trying to figure out why she’s ghosting him. Song-ah’s not ready to admit the truth yet, and this is the scene where Jae-shin defaults to thinking she’s cheating on him. Lucky for Song-ah, Hyun-seung is always nearby when Jae-shin gets in her face. Hyun-seung rushes in to free Song-ah from Jae-shin’s rather violent grasp — and without even intending it, the two wind up telling Jae-shin that they are dating. So the fake dating is in effect, but really only for Jae-shin, and because he stirred it up himself. But what’s really important about this scene is the fact that Hyun-seung accepts Song-ah’s own agency and decision-making.
In the middle of his stand-off with Jae-shin, he reaches his hand back for hers — more of an offer than a command. And it’s only when she reaches to take his hand that they move forward with their plan to play the couple in front of Jae-shin.
This is also important because now the dynamic we’re looking at is Jae-shin as the aggressor, and Song-ah and Hyun-seung as the pair that come together to protect/support each other. This dynamic shift quelled any uncertainty I had from last week. Oh, and it’s fun — after all, it’s constructed purely for our viewing pleasure.
Jae-shin, of course, has it out for Hyun-seung at work, humiliating him in meetings, giving him thankless tasks, and even changing his and Song-ah’s schedule so that Jae-shin can confront her in private. Jae-shin and Song-ah indeed have their confrontation, and she finally admits to learning about Jae-shin’s fiancee. This scene just goes from bad to worse.
Jae-shin is absolutely incorrigible, and gets rough with Song-ah yet again, and this time she looks truly frightened. Lucky thing this is dramaland! That means Hyun-seung has figured out the plot and rushes in to save the day. The two men have a huge brawl, and as dramatic and fan-servicey as this is (I love it haha), it also shakes up Song-ah enough to finally grieve. She faces what Jae-shin did to her, and even thanks Hyun-seung for the role he played thus far. This moment is definitely a major shift — if not the major shift — in the air between them.
We’re given a little more insight in Jae-shin’s past (which sheds light on his current behavior) and snippets of his early romance with Song-ah, but I can’t say I particularly feel for him. The same goes for his finance LEE HYO-JOO (Lee Joo-bin). Perhaps these two are a better pair than they think? Because Song-ah and Hyun-seung sure are.
Outside of the fights and confrontations this week, we also saw a lot of cute and sweet moments between our leads. Though the scenes are mostly constructed to build tension, excitement, and cuteness between Song-ah and Hyun-seung, it’s really the chemistry between these two that bring these scenes to life. Kim Ro-woon in particular brings this layer of goofiness to their interactions that’s a whole lot of fun to watch, and it evens out the melo a bit. (Case in point: zipping and unzipping his lips in the elevator.)
Of all their moments this week, my favorite was when they were in the car together. Hyun-seung is cursing out Jae-shin (no longer referring to him respectfully or by his work title). Song-ah balks and tells Hyun-seung he had better not talk down to her (i.e., use banmal). He agrees… but then does just that, teasingly calling her name with the extremely swoony/intimate, “Song-ah-yah.” This earns him a flick to the forehead.
The whole exchange here is adorable and works so well because of their chemistry — in fact, Kim Ro-woon’s statement in an interview that their chemistry was really comfortable makes a lot of sense now, and you can see it in moments like this.
Though Hyun-seung takes on the role of confidant and protector, there’s no hiding that fact that he still realllllly likes Song-ah — and our ending scene this week is the perfect example of that. By happenstance, he notices Song-ah getting dragged into a club by her friend, and heads in after her. Everyone else is dancing, but he’s just standing there with his arms crossed watching her, half body guard, half lovestruck hoobae. When Song-ah finally turns around and notices him, they have their first major swoon moment.
The more we learn about and see Hyun-seung, the more I like him. He certainly wasn’t exaggerating when he told Song-ah he was protective. We’ve seen it in action again and again, but we’ve also seen that he operates from a place of pretty highs standards/expectations of others.
I’m super happy with the shift we’ve seen in the story this week, so with most of the drama out in the open air, I’m ready to see what else is in store as Song-ah and Hyun-seung spend more time together, and start to blur that sunbae/hoobae line.
- Premiere Watch: Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick, Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce)
- New stills for JTBC’s Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick
- Kim Ro-woon relentlessly, romantically pursues Won Jin-ah in new JTBC office drama
- Kim Ro-woon is a swoony noona-killer Sunbae, Don’t Put On That Lipstick teaser
- Script reading for Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick with Won Jin-ah, Kim Ro-woon
- Won Jin-ah, Kim Ro-woon confirm new JTBC drama