Woori the Virgin: Episodes 3-4
Our leading lady has decided to be a surrogate, but the more she learns about the baby daddy, the more she worries he’s not a suitable father. This revelation puts an added strain on her relationship, but at the same time her resolve to maintain her virginity is also weakening. Maybe she and her boyfriend can find “other ways” to strengthen their bond?
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
Last week ended on quite the murderous cliffhanger, but before we resume the whodunit plot of our K-drama, we first observe a conversation between Woori and her family that occurred the morning after she decided to keep the baby. She’s still determined to be a surrogate, but in order to emotionally distance herself and mentally prepare to give it to Raphael and Ma-ri, she begins referring to the fetus as “Hammer.” Not only is this scene relevant because her new nickname triggers some amusing misunderstandings later on, but it also establishes her current headspace going into this week’s episodes.
With that out of the way, we pick up where we left off: with Woori and Gang-jae discovering the body on the elevator. Ma-ri seems genuinely shocked and horrified to see her ex-lover’s body, and given how poor her acting skills are, I think it’s safe to say she didn’t do the neck stabbing.
Gang-jae doesn’t suspect her either because Chairman Kim’s signature kill move is a scalpel to the neck. Gang-jae’s boss, however, is less quick to jump to conclusions — not when the abundance of available scalpels at the Diamond Medical Foundation indicate that the murder was more likely a crime of passion.
After her little fainting spell, Woori decides to see her (new) OB-GYN to confirm that she and Hammer are still healthy… because apparently a woman’s body is so fragile that a little fainting spell can cause harm. Now, I’m no expert, but I seem to recall the ER doctor in Episode 1 saying that fainting was a common symptom. Seems a bit overkill, but Gang-jae is too busy hunting a murderer to accompany her to the doctor, which sets the stage for Woori to spend some alone time with Raphael.
He accompanies her to the OB-GYN, where her doctor reports that she and the baby — I mean, Hammer — are fine. Woori also uses this time with Raphael to let him know that she’s decided to be a surrogate for him and Ma-ri. There’s just one catch: she wants to give Hammer to a loving family.
Of course, this only reminds Raphael that he’s trying to get a divorce, which doesn’t exactly align with Woori’s image of the perfect, happily married parents. So he lies and says that everything is fine at home, not knowing that his wife is at that very moment trying to confirm that his mother-in-law didn’t stab her ex-lover with a scalpel. Mi-ja claims she didn’t do it, but she definitely thought about it.
While Mi-ja denies any resemblance to Professor Xavier (loved the X-men reference, btw), Woori discovers that Raphael is a bit of a player. How this is news to her is beyond me, especially considering a flashback reveals that she caught him kissing someone else the day after their kiss by the phallic lighthouse. (I can’t unsee it now that it’s been pointed out to me!)
Ye-ri gives Woori the 411 on Raphael’s scandalous dating rumors, which prompts Woori to do a deep dive into all the online articles of his widely publicized nightlife shenanigans. The search results make her uncomfortable, so she asks Gang-jae if he can do a little digging into Raphael. But no, that’s unethical — says the guy who still hasn’t handed over the photos he took of Ma-ri’s affair even though they are relevant to his ongoing murder investigation.
Woori begins worrying that Raphael and Ma-ri aren’t suitable parents, and if she cannot entrust them with Hammer, then the only other option would be for her to keep Hammer. As Woori voices this conclusion aloud, we can see the realization hit Gang-jae that he might have to be Hammer’s father. Given that he still hasn’t exposed Ma-ri’s cheating ways and is now having day-mares about being weighed down by a baby featuring Raphael’s dastardly good looks (both hilarious and terrifying), I think it’s safe to say he’s not ready to be a father — or, at the very least, not the father to someone else’s kid.
His doubts — about being a daddy and about the identity of the murderer — are the basis for an unlikely alliance between him and Ma-ri. She doesn’t want her affair to be exposed and ruin her already tenuous marriage, and he doesn’t want to be the father of Raphael’s spawn. He also doesn’t want his boss jumping to conclusions that Ma-ri — who, let’s be real, has a pretty strong motive for murder — is their killer when Chairman Kim is the more likely suspect. And so, he makes a special, unsanctioned trip to the victim’s apartment to steal back the necklace that Ma-ri tossed during her breakup. So much for being a stickler for the rules!
Raphael, on the other hand, overcompensates and tries to prove he will be an excellent father by showing up at Woori’s office with a bunch of appliances designed to pamper his baby mama. This makes Woori uncomfortable, and they meet privately at a nearby cafe where Woori explains that she would prefer it if he checked with her before showing up at her job unannounced with a bunch of expensive gifts.
Any goodwill he might have earned with his gesture, however, is undermined when a “lady friend” stops by their table to greet Raphael. Woori is immediately suspicious, and when Raphael goes to the restroom, she can’t resist taking a peek at his incoming messages. They seem vaguely flirtatious, and her concern that he’s a two-timing scumbag grows.
She secretly follows him to a restaurant… where he meets another woman. Given how poorly — and I mean poorly — Woori conceals herself from Raphael’s sight, I can only assume Eun-ran let Woori win games of hide-and-seek as a child. It comes as no surprise, then, that Raphael spots her. Caught in the act, Woori goes on the offensive and uses this moment to accuse him of being a cheater… only to find out that Raphael and the woman know each other because he recommended a doctor for her niece’s cancer treatment. Awk-ward!
But the encounter lends itself to a much needed heart-to-heart in which Raphael admits that he used to be a partier who dated a lot of women — but that was before he got sick. His mother died of stomach cancer, and when he got his diagnosis, he felt like it was a message from his mother that he should be a better man. He assures her that he’s changed… but he lies that he and his wife are doing well.
The conversation leaves Woori feeling more confident in her decision to give him Hammer, so she invites him and Ma-ri to her next OB-GYN appointment. It’s a full house, with both her family and his wanting to be present for the first ultrasound, but the doctor has to restrict the number of people to Woori and the father (Raphael). This doesn’t go over well with everyone else, especially not Ma-ri and Gang-jae, who decides in the waiting room that he’s going to tell his boss that he covered up Ma-ri’s affair. (Is that your conscience or your jealousy talking, Gang-jae?)
In the examination room, the doctor points out the gummy-bear sized baby, and Woori’s detachment crumbles. She’s not giving away a hammer. She’s giving away a baby. The weight of her decision finally hits her. She’s scared and unsure, and her mother and grandmother do their best to comfort her.
Raphael has a strong visceral reaction to seeing the first image of his child, and he’s inspired to mend his relationship with Ma-ri for the sake of the baby. But when she hugs him in excitement, the sonogram photo he gave her slips from her hand and symbolically falls to the ground.
Meanwhile, Sung-il wants to make up for lost time and see his daughter, but Eun-ran has been blocking his attempts to meet with Woori and explain that he’s her father. He keeps calling, taking sad selfies, and stopping by their restaurant unannounced.
In general, he’s being a giant pain for Eun-ran… until they end up alone in her room and start making out like teenagers. Grandma catches them in a compromising position — which hilariously mirrors the scene from the latest episode of Mask of Desire that Grandma captured on her phone — and Eun-ran finally tells Grandma the truth about Woori’s paternity.
At the same time, Raphael’s insistence that Ma-ri respectfully address Woori by her professional title triggers a memory, and he finally remembers kissing Woori by that east coast lighthouse. I was seriously wondering if he was going to have an amnesia backstory, but I guess it makes sense when you think about it. Woori would remember and cherish her first kiss, whereas Raphael is far less likely to remember his… uh… well, I’m sure he’s lost count.
Unfortunately, Raphael’s epiphany leads to an awkward double date with Woori and Gang-jae, who try to sever their past connection by insisting that Woori has never been to the East Coast. Raphael senses that he should drop the subject, but the waitress is oblivious to the tension in the room and keeps waxing poetic about the delicious seafood from the east coast. Did you hear that? She said the east coast! For those of you in the back of the room: EEEEASSSST COOOOASSSST!
Raphael, for his part, is amused by this new twist and feels like Fate is at work. Unfortunately, back at Diamond Medical Foundation, Raphael finds out that Duk-bae has appointed Ma-ri’s ex-boyfriend as the new CEO of Diamond Cosmetics.
Ma-ri is equally displeased with this development, but her ex, who is still wounded that she dumped him for Raphael (and his CEO title), seems to think he can win her back by dethroning Raphael… from a company Raphael’s family owns. Yeah, I don’t see this working out for him.
In the meantime, Woori’s sex drive has increased (thanks to her pregnancy hormones), and a conversation with Eun-ran makes her reconsider her whole vow of chastity. What’s the point in hanging onto her virginity now that she’s pregnant, right? So as Woori eyebangs Gang-jae’s Adam’s apple like it’s the Biblical forbidden fruit, she resolves to seduce him.
Ye-ri, under the assumption Woori is asking about a hypothetical drama scenario, gives Woori some seduction techniques, which boils down to: smell nice, look sexy, and press your “milkshakes” against his arm. We’ve already established that Gang-jae is a bit dense, so he doesn’t quite pick up on what Woori is putting out. Or if he does, he’s in denial that it’s
Woori decides to be more direct and channels her creativity to write Gang-jae a steamy letter detailing all the naughty things she wants to do to him. There’s just one problem. She also promised Raphael that she would write an introduction for the hospital on his behalf, and — you guessed it — she accidentally sends Raphael her porno letter. Raphael, champ that he is, handles the mix-up well and barely even teases her.
Finally, Woori just goes for it. She tells Gang-jae that all the recent changes to their plans have made her realize every minute they have together is precious. She loves him and wants to sleep with him. He reacts calmly — but receptively — by saying he loves her in return. He then suggests that they have dinner at a Chinese restaurant… in a hotel… and they should get breakfast together in the morning. (Color me surprised!)
Speaking of confessions, Sung-il is dying to tell Woori that he’s her father, and he continuously finds ways to insert himself in her life. All the extra attention has led his manager to think he’s interested in Woori romantically, a theory that only grows stronger while he and Ye-ri watch Sung-il and Woori having a seemingly intimate conversation on a park bench together.
Except they are discussing Woori’s (supposedly) deceased father, the one Woori tragically learned not to talk about because the word “dad” always brought her mom to tears. Sung-il abruptly departs, gut-punched by his daughter’s tragic backstory and unaware that his “baby” girl is planning to lose her virginity.
The night in question arrives, and Woori and Gang-jae check into the hotel, have a nice dinner, and then go up to their room. Woori nervously takes an hour to get ready and mentally prepare herself, and once they’re alone together, they awkwardly sit a foot apart on the bed. It’s almost a relief, then, when Raphael unknowingly interferes — not once, but twice!
He first calls Woori to thank her for writing the hospital introduction, and then he almost immediately calls Gang-jae to ask how the murder investigation is going. And then the fire alarm goes off! Gang-jae takes all the interruptions as a sign for them to wait until after they’re married to have sex. They have all the time in the world together, so there’s no need to rush it.
Shortly thereafter, Gang-jae wraps up the Diamond Medical murder case. The CCTV footage was restored, and one of the female employees was caught on camera stabbing the victim. Gang-jae still thinks Chairman Kim is involved, but his boss shuts down his theory and tells him to drop the case. Gang-jae’s junior PARK NA-HEE (Han Jae-yi), however, is on his side, but is it because she actually believes Chairman Kim is involved, or because she’s crushing on Gang-jae?
With the murderer caught, business moves forward at Diamond Cosmetics, but not before Raphael exposes Ma-ri’s ex-boyfriend as an incompetent businessman who almost signed a deal with a con artist. Duk-bae fires Ma-ri’s ex, and Raphael is reappointed as the CEO of Diamond Cosmetics.
Although Ma-ri double-crossed her ex and used the information she gained from him to help her husband and “family,” Raphael serves her with the divorce papers again. He realizes that an unhappy marriage between him and Ma-ri is not what’s best for the “gummy bear” (cuter, albeit less amusing, than Hammer). Instead, he believes he, as a single parent, will be good enough for his child.
So Raphael meets with Woori and her family to tell them the truth, but before they can fully process that Raphael and Ma-ri are getting a divorce, Sung-il comes crashing into the family restaurant. With very little preamble, he announces to his gathered audience that he is Woori’s father, and we end with Woori looking shocked while Eun-ran gives Sung-il a beating.
You know what this K-drama needs? A Jerry Springer cameo. I joke, but there really is a lot of baby momma and daddy drama going on. Not that I’m complaining. I actually love it, especially since many of the zany situations are a parody of what’s happening to Woori. In addition to providing comedy, these parallel storylines highlight and strengthen the maternal bond between Woori, her mother, and her grandmother, and I appreciate the (mostly) positive representation of this matriarchal family.
This week’s episodes also began planting the seeds for a rift in Woori and Gang-jae’s relationship. Personally, this makes me happy because I’m fully on Team Raphael, but Gang-jae is a mature and respectful boyfriend, which makes him hard to dislike. The question is: will this drama slowly corrupt him and show him crossing more lines in his pursuit of Chairman Kim, or will he uphold his virtue while we slowly learn that he’s… just not right for Woori?
Personally, I’d prefer it if he went crazy in his pursuit of his arch nemesis. I’m living for those brief, over-melodramatic flashbacks to his partner’s death, and I’m hoping the story leans into that cheesiness even more.