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Why Her?: Episodes 9-10

The romance is kicked up a notch as our leading lawyer begins cohabitating with her man, but the relationships among our evil trio are far less harmonious. With their faith in each other dwindling, tensions rise, and an unexpected incident may be the opening our heroes need to fight back and settle old scores.

 
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP

Last week, I asked the drama gods to cut back on the superfluous Group 8 scenes and give us some much needed answers to all the mini side-mysteries we have going on, and — surprisingly — the drama gods delivered! But along with the exciting plot development, there was an uptick in the number of tropey romantic scenes between Soo-jae and Chan, and we also had to spend — what felt like to me, at least — and unfortunate amount of time watching Tae-kook sow seeds of discontent between In-soo and the (unexpectedly flatulent) Sung-beom.

The decline in our Terrible Trio’s relationship has been hinted at for some time now, but we see the start of the eventual fallout this week when Soo-jae is released from prison — despite the fact that In-soo ordered Tae-kook to eliminate her as a threat. Tae-kook responds to In-soo’s frustration and suspicion by showing In-soo some incriminating photos he has of him, a not-so-subtle reminder of who really has the upper hand.

Meanwhile, since being released from prison, Soo-jae has moved in with Chan because she isn’t comfortable living at her old company-managed apartment. She owns a building — the one where her secret office was housed — that used to belong to her father before he went bankrupt and lost it, but it will take some time to remodel the upper floors and convert it into an acceptable living space. Plus, you know, Chan’s place is convenient to both the law firm and school…

Sure, sure, whatever helps you sleep at night, Soo-jae. Oh wait! Staying over at Chan’s place cures her insomnia, too! I’m just going to chalk that last one up to the fact that she feels safe and secure living under the same roof as three protective men.

Speaking of Soo-jae’s protectors, Yoon-sang quits his volunteer work with the law school clinic and moves back into his family home, which is full of its own drama. Joo-wan is — to put it bluntly — an incompetent, philandering ass with a massive chip on his shoulder, so it’s no wonder that Tae-kook is rejoicing over the return of his youngest son, who is infinitely more competent — when he puts his mind to it — and has no skeletons in his closet.

And now that the prodigal son has returned to the fold, we’re seeing what appears to be the start of Joo-wan’s downfall. His soon-to-be-ex-wife kept a blackmail file on him, and as part of the divorce negotiations, she gave it to Soo-jae. Joo-wan is also growing increasingly frustrated that his father is excluding him from the darker side of Tae-kook’s business (e.g. killing Suk-pal and getting Gi-tak to admit to it), and his lack of knowledge is reflected in his “friendship” with In-soo and Sung-beom’s sons.

While Tae-kook appears to be the chairman and assemblyman’s yes-man, they also fear him and what he knows. Joo-wan, on the other hand, is simply his father’s son. He’s not even the lawyer they call on to bail them out when they get involved in scandals. No, that’s Soo-jae, as we’ll see later.

But first, some romance. Because Soo-jae and Chan’s cohabitation is bound to bring them closer, right? Right?! Ehhh… On the surface, yes, our leading couple is doing and saying all the right things in classic K-drama style. We even got to see Chan get jealous over the charming — and more age appropriate — Se-pil.

As much as I loved the fact that Chan had to go up to the roof and lift weights to keep himself from spying on his crush and her dinner companion, my amusement was overshadowed by my disappointment that Se-pil used to be engaged to Jin-ki’s daughter KANG EUN-SEO (Han Sun-hwa) — the mysterious woman he and Jin-ki have been visiting at the nursing home. Given how he talks about her, it’s obvious he still loves her, and my Soo-jae and Se-pil ship sank before it even left the harbor.

Through a series of conversations and flashbacks, we’re able to piece together some of the events from ten years ago that led to Eun-seo’s current condition. Somehow she was cornered in Sung-beom’s house, where she was sexually assaulted. She managed to escape and flee to a nearby convenience store — wait a minute, is that the same convenience store where Chan’s step-sister worked?

Next, we see a woman wearing an employee vest run out of the convenience store and get hit by a car. But is that woman Eun-seo or Chan’s step-sister? Eun-seo’s current brain injury — and last week’s flashback — indicates that she was involved in another accident following her sexual assault, but why would she be wearing the vest? As a disguise? To cover up her disheveled clothes and signs of her assault? While these questions remain unanswered, we do learn more about the fate of Chan’s step-sister…

But wait! There’s more romance first! See, after Soo-jae’s very annoying mother gets arrested for drunk driving and Soo-jae has to bail her out, Chan unilaterally decides that she needs to destress and see the sunrise. So he drives the restaurant van — which is oh-so-conveniently built for glamping — to an intimate spot on the beach. It turns out, Soo-jae is immensely impressed with the van, and she accidentally admits that she likes it — I mean, Chan.

Chan is so excited he goes in for a quick kiss, but they put the kissing on pause to vaguely open up to one another. Without going into specifics, they both admit that they are keeping secrets that may make the other dislike them, but they both promise to disclose them with time.

Annnnnnd then they both proceed to lock lips for an excessively long time.

After they return to the real world, Chan seems keen on opening up about his past and real identity sooner rather than later. He asks Soo-jae to meet him on the roof after work, but Yoon-sang shows up, too, with stalker photos of the couple’s beach date in hand. He warns them that their cohabitation has put Chan on Tae-kook’s radar, but this bit of information — which he’d already warned Soo-jae about earlier — is also a parting gift of sorts.

He tells them that he will live as his father’s son from now on. Chan seemingly takes the betrayal harder than Soo-jae, and — I’m paraphrasing here — he tells Yoon-sang that he will protect Soo-jae while Yoon-sang is off being an angsty, jealous daddy’s boy. Ugh, I don’t like this change in Yoon-sang’s character, and his sullen demeanor has me believing he’s given up on being a double agent. Has he fully joined the Dark Side? Or is he going the extra mile to really sell it?

The end of Chan’s budding bromance is followed by an unexpected public reunion with his step-mother at the law school clinic. She and her friends, who were scammed by a cosmetics company, visit the clinic for legal counsel, and his visually-impaired step-mom recognizes Chan by his voice. Well, that’s a mighty convenient way to work around the whole drastically-different-face thing.

While Chan’s classmates chalk up her reaction to mistaken identity, Chan is shooketh. He retreats to a nearby bench, where he’s more concerned by his step-mom’s failing eyesight than her very public attack on him. Soo-jae spots him looking all sad and dejected, and when he sees her, Chan appears to be on the verge of giving her the Spark Notes version of who he is. Unfortunately, her phone keeps interrupting his confession, and it’s an issue that she cannot ignore.

We already knew Sung-beom was a shady businessman, but he rushed the construction on his latest project even though there is clear evidence that the ground was unstable. So no one is surprised when a massive sink hole opens up and buries several workers. As emergency teams rush to rescue the missing workers, Soo-jae is asked to assist with damage control. But when it rains it pours.

Not only is one of the unrecovered workers the son of Soo-jae’s former classmate — who Soo-jae was reunited with in prison — but Sung-beom’s son is caught in a scandal. The idiot was driving under the influence and caused a car accident, and supposedly In-soo’s son was drinking with him prior to the incident.

After the collapse at the construction site, In-soo tries to disassociate himself with Sung-beom, so the last thing he wants is his son caught up in a scandal with Sung-beom’s son. So Soo-jae is moved from working on the construction disaster to the supposedly high priority task of cleaning up a chaebol mess. She’s still on site at the disaster, though, when her classmate’s son is recovered from the wreckage.

But he isn’t the only person the rescue workers find under the debris. They also recover human remains, and next to the remains is a keychain that looks very similar to the one Chan’s step-sister gave him. Devastated at seeing photos of his step-sister’s remains online, he rushes home and digs through the boxes in his rooftop room for his matching keychain.

Shortly thereafter, Soo-jae arrives home and searches for Chan so they can resume their conversation from earlier. She finds the door to his rooftop hidey-hole unlocked, and curiosity gets the best of her. She enters and discovers that the space has been trashed from Chan’s frantic search, and his conspiracy theory white board is right there, practically begging her to take a gander. If seeing “the only person who believed I was innocent” written next to her own picture on Chan’s white board didn’t clue Soo-jae in as to Chan’s true identity, then locating Chan’s old driver’s license — the one with his old face and new name — sure did.

Ahhhh, it feels so good now that the secret is out. I know this is likely going to lead to some relationship drama and angst, but maybe that’s what the story — and this couple — needs right now. While it was nice-ish that Soo-jae and Chan got more screen time as a lovey-dovey couple, it didn’t do much to off-set the boringness of our Terrible Trio’s internal feuding. The only romantic scene that brought me true joy was when Chan acted all pouty and jealous of Se-pil, but even then I was more invested in the scene-stealing Se-pil.

It was also nice to learn more about the events from ten years ago. We still don’t know everything, but I’m fine with that. I just needed something — a little tidbit of information — as a reward for sticking with this story for so long without nary an explanation for my troubles. The last couple of weeks have felt stagnant, so I’m optimistic that this week’s information dump is a signal that the story is going to pick up speed again.

We also tiptoed around the issue of Jae-yi’s biological mother. Even though we still haven’t gotten confirmation, there were just enough hints to make me think my theory of her being Soo-jae’s daughter is correct after all. Plus, if Soo-jae is the mother of Tae-kook’s granddaughter, it would explain why he’s so confident that he can marry Soo-jae off to his son. Essentially, if he’s ever feeling backed into a corner, he can use Jae-yi as leverage. In exchange for Soo-jae’s compliance, he’ll probably offer her the “opportunity” to be her biological daughter’s step-mom, as if he’s doing some sort of favor for her. Gross.

 
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I have one question - Why Him? Gong chan should never have been the love interest, Him and the other boy should go take hike together.
Sae pil is much better match to Soo jae - personally and professionally - he respects her and believes in her abilities.
I would rather watch Sae pil and Soo Jae having drink and hanging out together than those two chest thumping idiots.

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I still dont understand why she falls for him at the first place and I cant move past that point
lol
and I've said this before, introducing the love line is a mistake

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It’s unfortunate but the more they push the romance, the clearer the total imbalance: wealth, maturity, professional progression. All of Soo Jae’s friends would be calling Gong Chan “the kid” and heavily steering her away from a student with a crush. Bizarrely, the show might have been stronger if he’d shown his cards early and she’d known the whole time he was the murder suspect who wanted to repay her. But right now - Soo Jae, he’s a kid.

Now and forever, team sexy effortlessly charming toast truck CEO.

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Petition to change the title! Why Him? makes so much more sense 😂😂😂

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I'm so on board with Yoo Sae Pil,they really match and still wonder like many here WHY HIM?Still can't understand why a woman as Soo Jae would fall or look at a kid...I know he is a adult but in my eyes he is a kid comparing him to her and in the imbalance...

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Rarely have I been so underwhelmed by a declaration of love and the accompanying kiss. Unfortunately, no miracle happened and I still don't see any sparks or attraction between the two.

For now, I'm only holding out so I can see when and how Soo-jae Chan's secret is discovered (check), who the real killer is and what's up with Soo-jae's baby.

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Seo Hye Jin can kiss a book and make it look good but not this time. I cringed. Why did they have to go into such imbalanced and nonsense romance

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@daebakgrits Thanks for a great weecap. This weekend’s episodes were busy with the multiple storylines and the one I am most concerned about was the room being discovered. After all the diligent protection of the evidence how come the roof top door was left ajar?

I am so grateful we seem to have turned the corner so there were no random shots of the body dropping. I hope this continues for the rest of the series.

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Chan probably left the door open in an hurry to go and confront the police or the killer or whomever after retrieving the keychain.

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I worry it’s that secretary from the dark side that finally got in there and we are meant to assume it’s Chan because the place was already a tip when he left.

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The episodes this week (and last week) were in a lull. Things picked up towards the end in EP 10. Finally, the truth is out about Gong Chan. It was obvious that Soo Jae wouldn't learn it from him directly, ugh. The beach scene would have been nicer without the fancy van. It just reminded me of PPL.

I'm confused about the step sister Na Jung... I thought her body was already found around the time of her murder. Is there a link between her and Kang Eun Seo? If so, that's a bit too many close connections among the different characters.

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I too wondered the same about Gong Chan's step sister's body already being discovered at the time of murder. The show is slowly turning a hot mess.

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I think it’s been a hot mess for a while as they are mixing too many genres. Godfather trope, Noona romance, legal and political drama. It’s like it’s a modern take on a historical drama. I wonder if it’s based on a Shakespearean play like Julius Caesar I didn’t read those ones but the fight for power amongst the three exec level men and the sex scandals, death verses prison to get rid of obstacles is just getting ridiculous.

I was confused re Chan finding his step sister in a construction site and then waking on a beach from the start so her body still being on the construction site was not a surprise and I expected it to be discovered as soon as the disaster on a construction site came up.

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Chan's past is not very clear. He found his step-sister but then woke up on a beach alone.

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Her body had always been missing. In Episode 2, at a press conference, Prosecutor-turned-professor-turned-sexual harasser Seo said, "We did not find the victim Jeon Na-jung's body yet."

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@daebakgrits I can feel your frustration in every single sentence of this recap 😂😂😂 I just want to drop this drama at this point, but only Seo Hyun Jin's acting is stopping me from doing it. Everytime we ask the drama to focus on something better, the drama does but the writing is so sloppy that the characters all appear lame. Gong Chan's friends so far are likeable but I have a feeling the drama will butcher the characterisation of those two too. I was hoping for Soo Jae to be the one to build distrust between the enemies by using Min Young Bae and his wife as spies when she recommended them, but the show went a convenient route of using a landsink to oust the enemies and have the leads deal with their secrets🙄🙄🙄 Bleh!

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In my honest opinion… ML's acting is kind of stiff, I don't think he's cut out for melodramas.... (Loved his portrayal of his character for TB) I feel like they casted him to piggyback off of his popularity from True Beauty instead of his actual talent. Because whether or not his acting is stiff they know the show would receive the views they are looking for even though the show/him is lacking. Because of his popularity, fans overlook his stiffness and say he's doing great or whatever due to their bias... His acting could be better.. I'm also not a fan of how perfect the writer is trying to make the ML out to be. I guess since he couldn't get the girl before, they are trying to win over the fans by making him perfect or whatever.. I am not a hater, I actually think he's a great actor, he's just lacking a lot for his first lead role but no one can be perfect in their first lead role. Maybe he let his nerves get the best of him. I hope that he will get better!!!.. The FL is a BOSS!!! I love her in all that she does. I wish they didn't make her so vulnerable all the time in front of the ML. I wish they would have made her the kind of woman who needs no man but can be fine on her own... I feel like her character is tough, and that it should take a lot more than just a couple nice gestures to tear down her walls… I also think the plot is a bit predictable and the romance between the ML and FL is quite overshadowing the actual story that is being told.. They are building up the relationship too quickly.. They should have just let ML be there for her but not romantically. He could have just been an underling of hers instead of a romantic partner... For this type of show, there shouldn't be a 2nd lead or they should have made the so-called 2nd lead be her boss's oldest son and not the youngest.. Makes no sense, but hey that's Kdramas for us.. I'll continue watching though to support the show and the actors... Fighting everyone!!!!

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It’s so true the female lead keeps flitting between being strong then weak. I think because she was originally a caring vulnerable person who watched her dad struggle, was mistreated in male dominated work place and then was pushed over the edge by the marriage betrayal and baby loss. Her intellectual dominance is genuine but the detached cold presentation is not a natural fit for her so it gives way to her true side sometimes. I just don’t like that the only time we see her normal side is when she is drinking with a long term friend.

Her taste in men must be pretty rubbish if she was in a serious relationship with the eldest son as he seems to use drink/drugs and dodgy friends who belittle him to cope with the stress of having a narcissist for a dad.

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Yeah, there is just a lot of plot holes in the writing. So many questions and few little answers. I'm confused about a lot of things, I was hoping they'd focus more on her storyline instead of the romance aspect. I want more background on why she turned out the way she did. I want the full story, hopefully in the next few episodes they can elaborate on that.

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The drama is interesting when it's about the plot and the intrigues.

Looks like Chan's step-sister was a colleteral victim in Eun-seo's assault.

If I understand why the writer chose Chan over Se-Pil as a lover for Soo-Jae, sadly, HYI couldn't make it work. I really liked him in True Beauty, but neither in The Sound of Magic, neither in this one, he convinced me in his role.

Yoon-Sang is very useless. I don't know his purpose in this story. Does he know she dated his big bro?

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My heart sank, along with my ship, as soon as Se-pil said the word "father-in-law." Chan is embarrassing when he told Soo-jae to not drink too much and Se-pil to not give her too much alcohol. Please don't talk to him.

I'm living for all this Se-pil screen time. I'm glued to the screen whenever he appears. As long as the show continues to focus on his revenge, I can ignore the bland romance. Although it was unbelievable that Se-pil didn't know Chairman Han's house had been on the market for a year.

I wished Soo-jae's professor-student relationship had been exposed by Chairman Choi's photos. If she didn't think staying with Chan was wrong, then she wouldn't have lied to the university faculty. I loved when Yoon-sang told Chan off for believing he can go up against his father.

Can someone explain why all the complaints about teen Dong-goo? It was ten years ago. Chan was born in 1995 (on his ID card), so in 2012 when 17-year-old Na-jung was murdered, he was 18 years old in Korean age. Different actors play teen versions of the leads all the time. Why would Hwang In-youp play himself? At least we know Lee Eugene is age appropriate.

My complaint is if first-year law school students are 24, give or take, how in the world does Chan call Yoon-sang "hyung"? Many thanks, @DaebakGrits, for weecapping!

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Re the comments about the two actors, I think it’s the fact that some actors especially those with youthful looks do play themselves at school age and in this case this actor has played a teenager and still looks like one now. The issue was the person playing him looks nothing like him and doesn’t look younger he could be playing the university age Chan and no one would question it.

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Does Nam Da-reum look like every one of the actors he plays?? As someone who has watched Lee Eugene in other dramas, I know his age. If Hwang In-youp played himself, wouldn't Soo-jae be stupid not to recognize Chan? Personally, I don't think Hwang In-youp looks as young as you all think he does.

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We clearly have rose tinted glasses 🤣

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I don't have issue with the younger version of Gong Chan. There were way more weird cases in Kdrama world :p

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The drinking comment was totally inappropriate and invasive, even if they had already been a couple.
If my partner said something like that, all hell would break loose.

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Yoonsang is repeating his first year so he's older than Chan.

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Say Yoon-sang is 26. Chan is 28 years old.

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I don't remember them mentioning Yoon-sang's age but I'd be surprised if Chan was calling him hyung if he's really younger since they're so strict on the hierarchy. Even one year difference is a big deal to them from what I've seen of kmedia.

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It makes no sense if Yoon-sang is 29 years old. Just how many times did he fail the admission test?

Likewise, it makes no sense if Chun-poong and Se-ryun, who don't use honorifics with Chan, to be '95 liners when they're first-year law school students.

Did the show make Chan this old so we would be more accepting of their noona romance?

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I'm loving the snark in this recap @daebakgrits:
"...his visually-impaired step-mom recognizes Chan by his voice. Well, that’s a mighty convenient way to work around the whole drastically-different-face thing." That level of nonsense sums up why I dropped this one four episodes ago.

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It looks to me as if this is a typical Korean drama with the genders reversed.

Soo Jae is a cool, successful professional, financially well off and with a sharp and strategic mindset, always one step ahead. There are set backs, but ultimately she will defeat the villains. A typical ML in any other drama. She does not share her plans with her love interest.

Gong Chan is younger, still a little naïve and inexperienced, not wealthy, but warm hearted, emotional and completely loyal. A typical FL in any other drama. Thus the childish hairstyle - he has to look like a kid.

Unfortunately the romance does feel very artificial and forced and I am not sure this is because of the gender reversal, but it could well be, because I also ask myself - why him?

Most side characters are unfortunately without depth, including the minor villains. It is the same as in Dr. Lawyer, so much so that I sometimes confuse the two dramas.

The only nuanced character is our main opponent, Tae-kook, the actor is always very good as a villain and for me the most watchable.

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The only good things about this show are soo jae, tae kook and intrigues. I love all actors but their characters are sooo much weaker compared to fl. Esp gong chan. I understand why writers made him the ml, but the best choice for romance would be slow burn. Watching how gong chan just wants to repay soo jae for her kindness and then after few episodes develop romantic feelings would have been so much better. Same with soo jae. Their moments are cute but without proper build up its just no fun. I also wish soo jae being older sister figure for yoon sung . Cuz for now I couldn't care less about him and his feelings.

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Disclaimer: I haven't watched ep. 10 yet. However, there is ZERO chemistry between the ML and FL. She looks her age (37) and he looks barely 18, making their pairing bizarre at best. I usually love noona romances, but the romance in this drama seems so forced and unnecessary.

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