Monthly Magazine Home: Episode 6
Oh, the power of a compliment. Our hero is slowly learning about positive reinforcement, even if he hasn’t quite figured out why kind words have the effect they do. There are a lot of accidental revelations in this episode, and through them our characters start to see each other in new and maybe even surprising ways. But while they may be coming to understand each other better, some of them also have a lot to learn about themselves before they can really relate to someone else.
EPISODE 6: “You are in my heart”
Young-won proudly thinks back on her efforts to save money so far, but Ja-sung’s next video warns that difficulties will arise. His advice for when that time comes is to imagine a clear picture of the house you want, as motivation to keep trying.
Young-won pictures her ideal home as a place where she can relax and be herself, and is taken aback to realize that’s exactly what she already has.
Ja-sung is still beaming from Young-won’s compliment. He marvels that the book’s advice works on both “simple” people (by which he means the magazine staff) and “advanced” people (like himself). He gets a call that there’s a buyer for his current residence, and instructs his secretary to start the contract proceedings tomorrow and move his belongings to the next empty place.
On the way to work, Young-won runs into Eui-joo, who tsks in disapproval as Young-won wrestles with a stuck zipper on her bag and then works to squeeze out a tiny little bit of hand cream from a nearly used-up tube. She urges Young-won to just buy a new bag.
Sang-soon dances into the office to the tune of Rain’s “Gang,” decked out in hip-hop apparel and texting the group chat instead of speaking. He’s been to another psychic, who told him to avoid speaking. He accidentally texted all of this information to a group chat that included Ja-sung, who comes out of his office and makes everyone applaud Sang-soon’s tenacity.
As soon as Ja-sung returns to his office, everybody panics again, worried they’re about to be fired. Young-won tells them about the book she saw on his desk, and that he’s trying to motivate them instead. They’re relieved, but Editor Choi warns Eui-joo that they’d better be careful if they want the compliments to continue – Ja-sung won’t keep it up if he knows they’re aware of why he’s doing it.
But Ja-sung has heard the whole thing. He’s offended that they thought he was only saying nice things in preparation to fire them, and storms off when Editor Choi meekly asks if he will keep complimenting them. Back in his office, he grumbles that compliments are for people who deserve them, deeming the book a waste of time and money.
Young-won and Ja-sung head to an interview, but the CEO interviewee tells Young-won over the phone that her dog is sick at the vet and asks to reschedule. Irate, Ja-sung calls the CEO back to complain, but a look at Young-won’s face reminds him of her calling him a good person. Instead of yelling, he ends up offering his condolences for the sick dog. He hangs up looking just as shocked with himself as Young-won is.
Back at the office, Sang-soon is still texting everything instead of speaking, and has even put tape over his mouth. Editor Choi threatens to remove him from the group chat, so he turns to using a text-to-speech app instead.
Ja-sung can’t get Young-won’s compliment out of his mind. She asks him to let her off at a bus stop so she can grab something from a nearby workshop for Mi-ra, but he decides to just drive her to the workshop instead. Since the errand is work-related, of course.
Seeing Young-won’s interest in the shop, the owner offers to let her craft something for free. Young-won glances at Ja-sung and starts to decline, but he says he’s been meaning to survey this area for a long time, and that she should kill time here. He quickly excuses himself.
He really does survey the area, but it’s inconvenient to access and has no investment value. When he finally thinks to ask himself why he’s wasting time surveying a worthless area, he gets angry over being so easily flattered. He returns to the shop, and pauses to take in the sight of Young-won engrossed in her project. She gives him the house-shaped keychain she’s made, calling him her mentor. He sputters out a vague response, but once her back is turned, he smiles down at the keychain.
Eui-joo sighs as she looks over an article about long-lasting couples, and Sang-soon pops up to ask what’s wrong. She says she’s lonely because her boyfriend dumped her, and asks him if she’s unattractive.
He assures her (through a combination of text-to-speech and gestures) that she’s really great… or would be if she weren’t so spend-happy, abrasive, and had better drinking habits. Infuriated, she pinches his arm to try to make him speak.
Ja-sung buys Young-won dinner in exchange for the keychain. She points out it’s not nearly as expensive as the sushi they’re enjoying, but he says that this is what he wanted to eat. He also orders a bottle of sake, telling her she doesn’t have to drink any if she doesn’t want to.
At home in bed, Eui-joo tries to stop waiting for a text from her now-ex, but jumps back up when her phone buzzes. It’s Sang-soon, who wants her to come hold his spot in the housing subscription line so he can go to the bathroom. She tries to ignore him, but he keeps begging and says he can’t ask his girlfriend because she’s tired from teaching.
He offers to set her up on a blind date, and she angrily insists she’s not a pushover… but of course she shows up anyway. It’s freezing, and Sang-soon makes a spectacle of himself by stripping off two layers of pants and falling over a barrier while exiting the line.
Young-won tells Ja-sung that she realized the apartment she’s renting from him fits her exact image of an ideal home, and that all she really wants is not to worry about being able to make rent every month. He says that he’ll wait to sell the apartment until she can afford to buy it, and she excitedly makes him promise. They drink to it, and spend the rest of the evening talking and laughing.
Ja-sung wakes up the next morning to see Young-won’s head on the pillow beside him, but it’s not Young-won’s voice that greets him – it’s Editor Choi.
Horrified, Ja-sung recreates his memories from last night. He’d sent Young-won off in a taxi, and then tried to get one for himself. But a very drunk Editor Choi had jumped into the taxi first, dragged him in, and taken him home.
Now, Editor Choi cries that he’d meant to take Ja-sung to Ja-sung’s own home instead. Ja-sung rushes out, refusing the family’s invitation to stay for breakfast, and swears Editor Choi to secrecy.
Ja-sung can’t believe what happened, and blames Young-won’s compliment for everything, including that “weird dream” of imagining her beside him. But then he gets a thank-you message from her and lights up all over again.
Young-won sees a girl on the bus putting her hair up and smiles as she remembers dropping her hair elastic and bumping heads with Ja-sung at the restaurant last night. She’s still struggling with her bag’s zipper, and it takes extra time to scan her bus card since she can’t get it out of her bag.
Sang-soon has yet again lost out on the housing subscription, and blames himself. He’d cheered prematurely thinking he’d won, only to find out he’d seen someone else’s number upside-down. He’s certain that if he hadn’t shouted (breaking the psychic’s instructions), he would have won.
Eui-joo goes over to comfort him, but really she wants to know about her blind date. Sang-soon was of course too distraught to set it up.
Young-won meets with the photography team to go over a storyboard. When Gyeom steps out to take a call, Chan asks about her ideal type. She says vaguely that she likes someone who’s nice and who she can talk to, and he presses for more details – perhaps someone tall and broad-shouldered, like Gyeom? She says those things would be nice, and he says he knows just the person.
Eui-joo demands Sang-soon pay for the hair and makeup she got done today. He’s taken aback at how much it cost, and makes bumbling remarks about her parents, only for her to remind him that she told him before they both passed away a long time ago. He stammers an apology for being insensitive, and she wants a date in return.
Young-won, Ja-sung, and the photographers head out to shoot in an apartment complex designed for pet owners that even has special pet amenities and playrooms. Young-won is impressed that Ja-sung invested in this place, making him flustered and smiley once again.
Young-won finds Gyeom playing with a dog, and he tells her about the pet dog he used to own. She says he must have been a really good dog owner. Ja-sung, watching from the doorway, is a little miffed that she’s complimenting someone else, but admits that Gyeom deserves it.
He gets more and more irritated, though, as she continues to freely distribute compliments to everyone and their dog (literally). When she calls the dog a good judge of character for being friendly with Ja-sung, he tells her he’s not a good person after all and leaves. In the car, he glares at the house keychain and removes it from his keys.
Gyeom asks Chan if calling him a good dog owner means Young-won thinks he’s a good person, hopeful that she might like him back. But Chan tells him to give up. When he’d offered to set Young-won up with someone his age, she’d said she was taking a break from dating and wasn’t interested in younger guys, anyway, after a bad experience. Gyeom isn’t deterred, as he intends to show her he’s different.
Sang-soon is still moping about the housing subscription. Editor Choi snaps at him for zoning out and not getting all his work done, but gets quiet when he accidentally sees a text message on Sang-soon’s phone. The message makes Sang-soon break down in tears – his parents have decided to sell their house and give him the money so he can buy a place and get married.
Ja-sung calls Young-won into his office and orders her to finish a first draft by the end of the day. She protests that she doesn’t have enough time, but he says he’s not a good person and won’t accommodate her.
Young-won is flabbergasted, unable to think of anything she’s done wrong. She stays at her desk writing late into the night, until Gyeom shows up with food. He’s also mystified at Ja-sung’s rushed deadline, but reiterates that on the inside, Ja-sung is really warm-hearted. In response, Young-won tells Gyeom he might be more mature than she is, which puts him over the moon.
Young-won finishes her draft, but Ja-sung says he doesn’t have time to read it today, and that she should just leave it on his desk.
Ja-sung meets with Gyeom to say he found a replacement photographer, but Gyeom says there’s no rush. He wants to stay a little longer to be near someone he likes. Ja-sung is curious, but Gyeom just says he’ll introduce them later. In response to Ja-sung’s question of where he’ll live, Gyeom suggests he can stay with Ja-sung, but Ja-sung says he doesn’t let anyone into his own home.
Young-won finally arrives home to find Eui-joo crying outside her door. The blind date rejected her too, and she tells Young-won that she’s at rock bottom. Young-won hugs her supportively, but they’re interrupted by drops of water falling from the ceiling. Young-won pokes at the wet spot, and water cascades down on their heads.
Ja-sung and a cleaning crew determine that it’ll take a few days to repair. Eui-joo presses him to pay for a hotel, and he eventually gives Young-won 500,000 won (100,000 won more than her monthly rent).
Young-won thinks this is too much, but Eui-joo explains after they leave that she had a reason for asking so much. She says Young-won can just stay at her place until the repairs are finished and use the money to buy a new bag.
But when they arrive at Eui-joo’s apartment, her boyfriend is waiting, clearly wanting to talk. (And if we were wondering, he’s very much not the older gentleman who’s paying her rent.) Young-won excuses herself and wanders down the street, suitcase in tow. She struggles again with her bag’s zipper, until the whole thing tears out. She stops to admire a designer bag in a shop window, but gasps at the price tag (352,000 won). She reminds herself to think of the house she wants to buy instead.
Just as she’s picking out a cheaper bag, she gets a text from her mom, who ‘s behind on credit at the wholesaler and needs 500,000 won. Young-won sighs that her mom always seems to know when she has money.
At a loss, she trudges back to the leaky apartment and tries to distract herself with thoughts about her ideal house.
“That house can be a haven and place of comfort,” she says, as we see Gyeom relaxing by a park tent. Then we see Sang-soon in a taxi, reading encouraging messages from his girlfriend. Young-won continues, “It can be a space to be with the person I love.” Sang-soon arrives home to find his mother asleep on the couch, and covers her up with a blanket. “But it’s unattainable for me,” Young-won says.
Editor Choi also arrives at home, to another reminder that the kids are studying and to be quiet. As he sighs and tiptoes down the hall, Young-won says, “But the house I’m living in can be an extension of my rough day and another kind of battlefield.”
Eui-joo and her boyfriend are sharing drinks when she gets up to read a text. It’s the rich gentleman confirming that he’s sent her rent money. “It can be a place with a secret I don’t want others to know,” Young-won continues. Finally, we return to Young-won sitting in the leaky apartment, and she concludes: “It can be a place you have no choice but to return to.” She wonders if she’ll ever own her dream home.
Ja-sung returns to the leaky apartment, having left his phone. He’s surprised to find Young-won there, and accuses her of taking his money to use for her housing fund instead of a hotel. He won’t listen to her explanation and leaves, telling himself he’s not responsible for her and doesn’t care what happens to her.
But he grabbed her phone instead of his by mistake, and he sees text messages coming in from her mom thanking her for sending the money. Realizing what happened, he takes her to his own apartment. He says that, as the owner, he’d be responsible if she stayed in the leaky apartment and an accident occurred. She assures him he doesn’t need to worry about her, but he grabs her arm and says that he can’t help worrying.
The next morning, Young-won wakes up in bed next to Ja-sung. They both start upwards and stare at each other in shock.
One thing I appreciate about this show are the smaller moments where the characters don’t fall into their usual goofiness or selfishness, and instead show genuine respect for each other. Moments like Ja-sung deciding he couldn’t be upset about Young-won complimenting Gyeom since Gyeom really is that nice. Or when Sang-soon apologized for hurting Eui-joo’s feelings. Or how Editor Choi stopped criticizing Sang-soon when he knew Sang-soon would be overwhelmed by the message from his mother.
While many of these characters’ actions and responses tend to be exaggerated, it highlights how we are often so blinded by our own struggles that we have a hard time noticing what others around us are going through. Like Young-won wrote in her article last episode, the more time you spend getting to know someone, the more you come to understand them. But, as this episode showed us, in order for that to happen we have to let each other in to see our vulnerability.
And on that note, I’m glad that Young-won and Ja-sung are actually getting to know each other as people through conversation instead of by their respective online presences. However, their relationship is still incredibly imbalanced in Ja-sung’s favor. Now that he’s let her into his home, hopefully that balance will start to shift and put them on more equal footing.
We are at least seeing one shift in that Ja-sung is now the one seeing her everywhere and being influenced by what she thinks of him, instead of the opposite. It’s fun to watch that stupid grin spread over his face at every little nice thing Young-won says about him, even if I disagree that he’s quite the good person she keeps saying he is.
It seems as though she’s the first person (besides Gyeom) to say nice things both about and to him, and I think he believes that’s how it’s supposed to be. He’s convinced himself that criticism and self-sufficiency is the price for getting to this level of success, and while that may be true to an extent, he also needs to understand that it’s possible to be kind to others and receive kindness in return while also making smart financial decisions.
And, you know, that sometimes wealth is more about luck and circumstance than making all the right decisions.
- Premiere Watch: At a Distance Spring Is Green, Monthly Magazine Home, Hospital Playlist 2, Nevertheless, Voice 4
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- Jung So-min, Kim Ji-suk showcase their homes in Monthly Magazine Home
- Jung So-min and Kim Ji-suk confirmed for new JTBC housing drama