KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

a landing site for quick, completely biased, and totally snarky korean drama reviews


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

REWATCH: Personal Taste - Episode 4

Home is where the...poison is?
“A gay tenant is THE BEST!” is still echoing through JinHo’s head as he slams his bedroom door behind him. “I’m really going to go nuts,” he grieves in great agony. “She humiliates me in front of Director Choi and now the leg…!” In his temper, he can’t believe he actually gave her a massage after what she did to him at the kalbi house, falsely outing him once again, and to make it worse, doing so in front of someone who can make or break his company. “I can’t let this get to me, I can’t,” he whispers the mantra and slaps his cheeks awake. Be strong!

The next morning, GaeIn rolls off the sofa and groggily notices the daylight. “Where am I?” she mumbles, wondering why she’s sleeping outside. But it only takes a moment before the previous night’s events come flooding back to her in a series of horrific images, including one of her yelling drunkenly to a restaurant full of people: “I’m telling you, this man is gay!” She gasps. Oh crap! JinHo is going to try to move out again as she has again violated his simple request to quit making references to his sexual preferences, especially when it includes announcing it to strangers.

Her stomach also grumbles its unhappiness and she gets up to head for the restroom to at least solve one problem when JinHo strolls out. He’s chatting on his phone. Before he notices she’s awake, she hits the deck and feigns sleep. He hangs up and glances at the floor, noting that she’d relocated to the ground when he’d seen her on the sofa only seconds earlier. With a tap of his feet, he tries to wake her. She steadfastly stays an immobile log on the floor. Loudly, “Go inside and sleep, you’ll cramp up.” Ignore, ignore. He snits under his breath, “She sure has some weird sleeping habits.”

As soon as he’s gone, she jumps up and darts for the toilet. But a split second later, JinHo is there swinging the bathroom windows open. “Did you sleep well?” he asks, overly politely. She fidgets and asks tentatively, “Yes, did you JinHo-sshi?” His face is cold. “Don’t you have something you’d like to say to me?” he encourages. “Say to you?” she pretends confusion. She knows exactly what he’s referring to and why he’s got the expression of a man who wants to quietly strangle her. Eyebrows quirked, he listens to her rambling explanation about alcohol and her inability to remember anything she does when under the influence, but she’s pretty positive she didn’t do anything out of line, as that just isn’t her style at all. He’s grinding his teeth, “I see.” He’s fairly sure she’s lying through her teeth but that small percentage of doubt that she really doesn’t remember what she did prevents him from actually reaching out and throttling her. There’s nothing he can really say and so he turns to leave. GaeIn wins this round.

GaeIn remains in the bathroom pounding her head at her own stupidity. How could she announce something like that to so many people!? The problem is, forget the lease money, she’s actually beginning to like having JinHo around as her gay roommate and now he’s likely so ticked off by this latest incident, he’ll insist on moving out again.

Thankfully JinHo has more pressing matters to worry about so he lets go of his ‘GaeIn’* issues at home and meets SangJoon at the site for the new Dam Art Gallery, which is just a big empty mountainside at present time. JinHo’s architectural brain furiously thinks of ideas as he draws in the air, mentally painting a picture. They’re completely absorbed in their work but when Director Choi’s name is brought up, JinHo can’t help but remember the look on the other man’s face when GaeIn announced to the whole wide world that he was gay. He hangs his head and realizes, if nothing else, he’s definitely made an unforgettable impression on Director Choi. “What?” SangJoon asks, hearing JinHo muttering under his breath. “Nothing,” JinHo avers. SangJoon comments, “Hey, you know, last I saw, it really seems that person’s got some real interest in you.” JinHo, a bit sensitive about the whole man-on-man attraction scenario, snaps, “What the hell are you talking about? Does it make sense to you that a man would like another man!?” SangJoon laughs, you see, he wasn’t referring to Director Choi. JinHo had misunderstood. SangJoon thinks they are talking about GaeIn so he titters, “Wow, you really must see Park GaeIn only as a fellow man, not a woman at all!”

*gae-in also means “personal” in Korean

On the way out, their good humor is interrupted by the arrival of President Han of Mirae Construction who has some pointed words about the failures of JinHo’s father as both a leader and an architect and warns JinHo of making the same mistakes. JinHo counters that his father’s only shortcomings had been to trust a weasly snake of a colleague like President Han. Despite his smiling laughter, President Han’s good humor is false. Without a doubt, JinHo’s cold calm gets on the older man’s nerves. Jeon JinHo has a way of looking at others with a narrowed gaze that is both cocky and condescending.

Back in the city, two high-maintenance women meet for the first time on the doorsteps into M Construction, JinHo’s company. They both have short, designer style hair, a slender and attractive frame, and a nasty jealous streak…and even the same handbag. They eye one another competitively. After exchanging some catty remarks about who’s fake and who’s the real deal, using the bag as a metaphor, Na HyeMi eyes the other woman and snaps, “You’re a new face around here.” Kim InHee informs the other that she’s here to meet with the company president. HyeMi doesn’t like that bit of information. This woman is here to see her JinHo? HyeMi [accurately] smells a man-stealer and makes sure to mark her territory, “Just so you’re clear, Jeon JinHo is my fiancé!” InHee is definitely startled, “Fiancé?” The words “but you’re a girl” doesn’t actually come out of InHee’s mouth but they might as well have popped up above her head in a dialogue bubble. She squints after HyeMi. It takes less than a second for InHee to realize this might be true, not HyeMi being JinHo’s fiancé, of course, but that he isn’t gay at all.

Inside, TaeHoon serves the two vixens some beverages and can feel the sizzling mood between them. It’s a little confusing to him. Thankfully, JinHo and SangJoon arrive right then. HyeMi chirps, “Oppa!” But JinHo’s attention is completely focused on the unexpected appearance of Kim InHee. “What brings you here?” he asks, politely but definitely wondering what kind of situation he’d just walked into. HyeMi quickly shuffles to JinHo’s side and takes his arm, clinging possessively. Annoyed by her intimate behavior in front of a client, he yanks his arm out of her grasp and hisses, “Am I your monkey bar?” HyeMi pouts, “Your mother said you didn’t take your vitamins! If your fiancé doesn’t manage these things for you, who will?” JinHo ignores her and guides InHee into his office for a private meeting, leaving his ‘fiancé’ steaming.

Behind closed doors and away from the jealous girlfriend-hopeful, InHee presents JinHo with an invitation to a MS Group event, the parent company of Dam Art Gallery, where he can mingle with many of the bigwigs associated with the gallery. JinHo is grateful she made a personal trip to deliver the invite but wonders why she didn’t just drop it in the mail, as protocol would dictate. She explains that she wanted to greet him in person and take the opportunity to offer her apologies once again for their first and second meeting. He’s feeling gracious with the invite in his hand and tells her there’s no need for her to worry on it. When ChangYul calls her during the meeting with JinHo, she ignores it. InHee has her sights trained on a new architect and has decided to put ChangYul behind her.

Her ex-fiancé is actually outside her office at the gallery trying to have a word with her but, of course, she’s with JinHo playing her charms. She asks JinHo if he’s busy that afternoon, if not, would he like to come to the gallery and take a look at some new work that’s recently arrived? JinHo hesitates, but she adds, “You see, Director Choi doesn’t have anything scheduled this afternoon, and when he’s free, it’s a habit of his to do a walk-through of the gallery.” JinHo can’t refuse an offer that tempting.

In the car on the way to the gallery, InHee brings up the real reason for her excessive interest in JinHo. “How are you finding Sangojae?” JinHo lies, “I’m comfortable there.” InHee, who now suspects he’s not really gay, ventures, “I guess you really aren’t affected by living together with GaeIn.” It’s a dig at GaeIn’s womanly attributes but one that JinHo misses because he still believes InHee thinks he’s gay, just like GaeIn. He avoids the comment altogether and brings it back to business, “More importantly, how do I repay you for this kindness?” After all, this tip to get some one on one time with Director Choi is information gold. She smiles charmingly, “I guess you can buy a meal then.” He agrees, “I can do that.” InHee crinkles her face. Gay or not gay? she’s busy wondering as she dissects his unreadable profile with her stare.

At the gallery, they exchange phone numbers before parting ways. The digit-sharing is witnessed by ChangYul and he is not liking the self-satisfied smile that appears on his ex’s pretty face.

Back to the flirting duo, InHee presses her luck by saying, “If you land this contract, you know you’ll owe me more than just one meal.” JinHo smiles winningly, “Of course.” They do look rather chummy, from anyone’s perspective. Regardless of what JinHo already knows about InHee and what she did to GaeIn, he’s still charmed by her. She’s a classy and sophisticated woman who works at an art gallery. On top of that, she’s attractive. What is there not to like? Mix all that with some gratitude and her flirting is swaying him. After all, the plain truth is this, his dislike is aimed at ChangYul, not InHee. Not to mention, he doesn’t even particularly like GaeIn either, who takes every chance she gets to announce he’s gay and reduces him to being her gay pet. No, there’s no logical reason for JinHo to dislike InHee personally since he doesn’t feel any loyalty to GaeIn. He’s a rational person who is beginning to wonder if a pleasant relationship with InHee could be more profitable than his contentious one with GaeIn. He’s playing with a volatile fire but he doesn’t know it yet.

In the bathroom at the gallery, JinHo practices with the mirror on the many ways he can tell Director Choi that he’s not gay. It’s weird, awkward and JinHo realizes there’s no classy way to bring up the topic.

JinHo stands in front of The Virgin by Gustav Klimt, arms clasped behind his back, to all appearances, completely absorbed by the art. Director Choi recognizes JinHo right away, even by his backside. “What are you doing here at this hour?” he asks, a bit pointedly. Director Choi must be the victim of a lot of ass-kissing lately as he’s immediately suspicious by the architect’s presence during work hours. JinHo simply says he’s doing research, getting to know the kind of art the gallery showcases in order to be better inspired when desiging the art center. 

Director Choi is a polite man, but not an idiot, and going through the highlight reel of his previous encounters with JinHo, he tells the young man something smells and it isn’t that pleasant an odor. JinHo doesn’t deny it and asks the director to accept it kindly as youthful passion. JinHo’s frankness probably saves the situation from complete disaster as Director Choi doesn’t seem all that amused anymore by their many incidental meetings. But the director does digress to mention the “fun female friend” JinHo was with at the barbecue spot, a woman who appeared to share the same type of youthful spirit as JinHo. An opening given, JinHo valiantly avoids outwardly grimacing and tries to clear the misunderstanding but the director quickly informs JinHo that he could care less about JinHos personal affairs and instructs the young man to focus on putting together a good portfolio instead.

Before he leaves, JinHo wonders aloud, “In the front lobby where the Klimt is hanging, I wonder if a Kandinsky would be more suitable there.” Director Choi concedes it isn’t that bad a suggestion—and it really isn’t. At the top of an industrial-looking staircase with bright blue lights and a boxy digital arrow pointing skyward at the piece sitting right above, the geometrical contortions of a Kandinsky piece would definitely better suit. But the point isn’t to impress the viewer, the point is Director Choi is impressed. Artwork and architecture are not that far apart in discipline and architectural students often find inspiration in fine art and it is not unusual for a diligent and talented architect such as JinHo to be familiar with such famous names, in fact, it would be more odd if he was ignorant of it. JinHo isn’t pretending false knowledge here to score some points and dropping names to appear fashionable, he really is expressing an opinion.

YoungSun visits GaeIn at home and she comes bearing gifts: giant sea oysters! YoungSun’s mother has sent them over and being a good pal, she wanted to share the wealth. Things are looking up as GaeIn tells YoungSun she’s going in for a job interview found through an online recruitment site. Her friend is surprised GaeIn is considering even entering the corporate culture. “What other choice do I have?” GaeIn asks. YoungSun wonders, “Have you really given up on getting the money back from WonHo?” But GaeIn doesn’t want to talk about that, she has a real problem. She outlines the disaster of the previous night, what she did to JinHo—again. GaeIn really is bummed and YoungSun truly can’t believe her friend. How could she offend JinHo less than 24 hours after the first incident? They both realize this is serious and forgiveness may not be so forthcoming this time.

YoungSun does what any married woman might think to do when trying to win good favor from a man—dazzle him through his stomach. Then, after he’s feeling all good from the food, GaeIn must bond with him. But both women wonder if that’s likely to happen considering GaeIn’s lack of charisma. Also, GaeIn doesn’t really want to cook or suck up to him, but YoungSun, who is firmly on JinHo’s side in all things, tells her she needs to stop thinking of a house without him and focus on ways to chain him to the place. GaeIn doesn’t resist too hard.

After going to the grocery store for ingredients, they head for the video store because according to YoungSun, gay guys and their muses are supposed to share a meal, giggle over boyfriends and girlfriends and then watch a movie together deep into the night. GaeIn is skeptical. GaeIn wants to rent the iconic movie about gay cowboys by Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain, to communicate through her actions that she is accepting of his lifestyle, that she doesn’t judge and wants to help ease his loneliness in fighting against social oppression.

While GaeIn is worrying about him and being coerced into grocery shopping all for his benefit, JinHo is happily consorting with her enemy. He is now even taking calls from InHee. He’s formal on the phone but the little hint of a smile cannot be missed. He isn’t displeased by the attention. SangJoon overhears and congratulates him on wooing the curator of the art gallery to their side of the battlefield. JinHo is dismissive but when he admits the call was about going out for dinner together, SangJoon can’t bother to suppress his delight in having such a stud for a boss.

At the end of the work day, as JinHo is leaving, his employees are looking at an internet survey, the kind of list Korean netizens love making. This one is a tally of the most wanted gift by women for Christmas. A gay boyfriend! JinHo catches the meat of the conversation and can’t help but hear: “Woman want their own gay boyfriendJinHo absorbs this information, a frown on his face. He leaves the office and heads for Sangojae, unfortunately, TaeHoon’s been tasked with finding out where he lives by Na HyeMi. “Sorry, JinHo hyung,” TaeHoon talks to himself as he watches JinHo’s car pull away, “but you already know you can’t really trust anyone in this world.”

Speaking of Na HyeMi, she’s crying into JinHo’s mother’s shoulder, moaning about JinHo’s lack of interest in her. “He still treats me like a little kid,” she wails prettily. JinHo’s mother comforts her, explains that after his father’s death, JinHo has only focused on succeeding and her son is just not ready to shift that focus into dating. She advises HyeMi to stay patient and JinHo will eventually come around. His mother tells HyeMi she chased JinHo’s father around a long time before he noticed her, too.

TaeHoon is not that surreptitiously following JinHo, but the other doesn’t even notice the slick black car pulling up behind his because he’s too focused on spending another night dodging GaeIn’s antics. He looks like a man walking into a death sentence. “The reasons why women want their own gay boyfriend is so they can go shopping together, be understood and have meaningful conversations.” JinHo shakes his head as he thinks on what he has learned. Standing in front of the doorway that leads into his own personal hell, he considers it. Shopping? Meaningful conversations? He snits nastily, “Even if I was gay, that would never happen, not with that woman, not with you, Park GaeIn!”

Inside, YoungSun announces, “On the menu tonight, oysters au gratin!” GaeIn isn’t feeling very confident about this plan of action now that she’s standing in the kitchen, especially since YoungSun has no intention of helping or staying for dinner. When JinHo walks through the door, the temperature instantly becomes chillier and strained. “Welcome home, JinHo-sshi,” GaeIn greets warmly (through gritted teeth). JinHo can’t quite look at her, instead he focuses on YoungSun who’s advising both of them to be less proper when speaking to one another since they’re not that far apart in age anyway. 

GaeIn is game for it and gives it a try, tossing out casually, “You hungry, JinHo?” His head snaps up, and his expression gets even more tight, if possible. He doesn’t like the dropping away of honorifics. He likes the distance between them. It barely keeps him safe from her tendency for over-familiarity as it is! Under his darkening and silent gaze, GaeIn belatedly tacks the properly respectful figure of speech back onto her sentences. But the friend insists, “Since you’re living in the same house, it’ll be so much better if you can both be more natural. Let out your words and your gas in comfort! Right?”

No. JinHo counters that if informal speech is ever to happen, it should happen organically. Chastised by him and also subjected to his completely unamused expression, YoungSun herself drops her casual speech and addresses him politely. JinHo is too formidable for even YoungSun’s cheeriness so she uses her starving kid as an excuse and gets the hell out of dodge, leaving GaeIn to fight the fight alone. With her support gone, GaeIn sneaks over to JinHo’s room and presses her ear to the door. Since the door is made out of paper, JinHo can see her shadow and he bursts out. “We need to talk,” he announces. GaeIn already knew this was coming.

They sit across from one another, her head bowed low in defeat. His head is raised high and his arms are crossed. “What you’re saying is…you don’t remember anything from last night,” he summarizes. She apologizes again but argues that there’s really nothing she can do about memories that have been lost. He mentions the kalbi bill he paid, does she remember that? No, but she promises to pay him back as soon as possible. When he inquires about the $1000 she also borrowed, she forgets to stay in character. “WHAT!? Wow, you’re a total con artist! When did I borrow money from you, and THAT MUCH!? When?” He sits and simply smirks. “I guess only select parts of your memory are missing,” he offers helpfully, dryly. His face loses the smile. Coldly, “I can forgive everything else but not the lying.” She immediately jumps across the wooden bench dividing them grabs onto his legs, “I won’t ever do it again! I was wrong!” Next thing we know, there’s a pen and paper between them and GaeIn is drawing up a contract promising to “bite her tongue and die” if ever it is announced again to the public that he is gay. JinHo shakes his head, “It’s really of no consequence to me whether or not you bite your tongue and die.” She curls her lip and counter-offers, “I will do whatever JinHo demands if, I, Park GaeIn, ever announce your personal preference to the public again.” Glumly, “Good enough, right?” He forcibly sinks her thumb into the ink and stabs it into the paper to make it formal. “So we’re square now?” she asks. JinHo allows, “For now.” She says in defeat, “I’ll make you dinner tonight…in payment for the kalbi.”

She’s very bad in the kitchen, unable to even chop veggies without slicing a finger in the process. She sobs and hollers her way through preparing a barely passable meal. At the table, JinHo digs out all the side dishes from the fridge and eats that instead of her prepared offering. He daintily picks at rice. At his lack of interest in her efforts, GaeIn editorializes how hard she’s worked all day just to please a certain someone, to make that particular someone something tasty, even wounding herself in the process. 

Internally sighing but without an audible word, he stabs at an oyster and takes a bite of her dish. She leans in interestedly, “How is it?” He’s stingy with the compliment, “It’s edible.” She’s staring so intently at him and the food on his chopsticks that he asks if she wants one. There are only three on the plate, only three have survived her dismal cooking. She says no, that she ate while prepping it. He quickly eats all three. “Is it good?” she asks again. He replies coolly, “Since you already ate some earlier, don’t you already know the answer to that?” He is stubbornly refusing to compliment her cooking. Despite her insistence that he eat up, her smile is forced and her eyes are bitter. But JinHo doesn’t care that she’s sending him negative vibes. He has his invisible glass wall up between them.

After watching him for a moment, she murmurs, pretty loudly, “Delicious things should be shared with others to create affection and strong bonds.” He replies matter-of-factly, “I am a person who harbors absolutely no interest whatsoever in creating any kind of bonds with you.” He eats without tasting a single bite. When he’s done, he robotically thanks her for a good meal and tries to depart. She swallows her pride and sticks out her hand, “Jeon JinHo-sshi, let’s do our best to get along.” He accepts the shake but counters, “You just do your best and we’ll be fine.” She follows him to the sink where he’s washing up his dishes. “JinHo-sshi, since we even ate together, how about a movie?” she suggests hopefully. It’s a resounding negative. She ends up watching the movie she’d picked, Nacho Libre, by herself. 

She’s laughing with a huge bowl of popcorn in her lap when JinHo comes out of his cave later in the evening for a glass of water. He sees her chuckling to herself. He’s impressed by her tenacity, or more accurately, astounded by her thick skin. As he’s pouring himself a drink, he’s muttering, “Screwed over by her boyfriend, betrayed by her friend…and there she is like nothing ever happened.” Hearing someone in the kitchen, GaeIn calls out, “InHee, water for me, too!” JinHo turns to stare, dumbfounded. GaeIn’s laughter fades away when she realizes what she has just said. She fearfully turns around to see JinHo eyeing her, she coughs and quickly looks away.

JinHo definitely feels bad for her now and strolls over to offer her his water. “Here.” Eyes wide, she quietly accepts it for what it is, a gesture of kindness. “Would you like some popcorn?” she asks softly, peering at him with eyes so wide they’re practically begging. “No, I’m fine,” he responds, but he’s genuinely polite, not his usual clipped effort at civility. She goes back to munching on her snack and watching tv, albeit much more quietly. He’s standing by the sofa not sure what to do. Should he go? Stay? Words come out randomly, “Don’t you diet?” It’s a nonsense question, and slightly rude, but she answers, after all, he’s always rude as far as she’s concerned. “I’m not the type to gain weight easily,” she says. He retorts, “Maybe you won’t get fat, but at your age, it’ll turn into a gut.” She’s not even offended she’s so used to his bluntness now. His still standing by the sofa. He finally gets to the question he really wants to ask, “How long have you lived with Kim InHee? Even after what she did to you, to call her name out like that out of habit, it must have been a while.” The answer: 10 years. She starts shoveling popcorn into her mouth like it’s the best thing she’s ever tasted.

He sighs and makes his decision. He sits down beside her. Arms still crossed. She’s surprised, but secretly happy. She knows this is another gesture of kindness. It definitely is. JinHo knows exactly what she wants—companionship, and its not only because of the article on why women want a gay boyfriend. She’s an open book, all her emotions written all over her crumpling face. He reaches over and tries a kernel of popcorn. “It’s tasty enough,” he allows. “I thought at our age it turns to belly fat,” she throws his earlier comment back at him, but it’s light-hearted ribbing. “I’m not prone to a gut,” he counters wryly. “Do you go to school for those witty comebacks?” she asks. She’s watching him intently. In spite of himself, the corners of lips twitch. She smiles broadly at having elicited a grin from him and tips the popcorn bucket toward him as he goes for another handful. He’s watching Jack Black run around the ring and GaeIn keeps peeking glances at him, enjoying their closeness. Bonding!

“How long have you known?” she asks a moment later. He glances at her, “What?” The minute she says “gay” his expression constricts in annoyance. This woman is like a dog with a bone, he’s thinking and is about to make an exit but GaeIn keeps talking. She’s not really asking about him, she wants to share something about herself with him. “I’ve know since I was seven,” she’s saying. He blurts out, “Are you a lesbian?” She laughs but further clarifies, “Thats when I knew it was unusual to be motherless.” She recalls a moment when she was a little girl at a school event when all the other kids had mothers to fuss over them, but she had nobody. “Ah, I’m really someone that doesn’t have a mother, that kind of feeling came over me,” she says. Then sympathetically, “I wonder if it’s like that for you, JinHo-sshi.” Perhaps his loneliness does not stem from being gay, but he has his own memories of loss and isolation. He replies lightly that he didn’t do silly school events like her when he was a kid. She smiles brightly and starts chuckling. “What?” he asks, as his words were in complete seriousness but have somehow made her laugh uncontrollably. “You’ve liked men all the way back then, too, didn’t you?” He makes a face. Despite the big sofa, the two are sitting snugly against each other on one side, shoulder to shoulder, and she nudges him with hers, “Didn’t you? Didn’t you?” she insists. He grabs a handful of popcorn and shoves it into her open mouth. But she keeps asking, laughing all the while. When the popcorn won’t stop her questions, he exclaims, “What exactly do you want to know?” She’s asking, “What’s your ideal type?” He responds, “I think Park GaeIn is prettiest when she keeps her mouth shut!” She keeps chattering on and on and we can hear him begging, as the camera moves away from them, “Can’t we just watch the movie? Please!”

Back to the feud between ChangYul and InHee: this time it is InHee who has been locked out of the condo. When ChangYul lets her in, they get into yet another childish shouting match. He’s still reeling from catching InHee and JinHo exchanging phone numbers and correctly interprets her interest in his enemy as more than just professional. ChangYul can’t believe how heartless she is but she’s a master fighter. She tosses it right back into his face, what about the way he treated GaeIn? ChangYul can’t believe she would use that as ammunition when he left GaeIn for her. Even if ChangYul can’t have InHee, he tells her she can’t go to JinHo, especially not him. But ultimately, what ChangYul really wants is to start over with InHee as he had actually cared for her. She, however, does not seem to share his sentimentality. InHee informs him that she prefers designer things and realized through recent events that ChangYul was a fake. She only wants to hold onto something of actual quality. ChangYul embraces InHee from the back in desperation but she’s unmoved. He lets go at her lack of response. They come to an arrangement. Since neither of them have a place to live, they’ll reside together but stay out of each other’s business.

Despite the peace between GaeIn and JinHo the previous night, the curse of Park GaeIn attacks JinHo again the next morning. He’s in a real snit, even SangJoon can’t figure out what’s wrong with JinHo. No espresso. No music. What’s wrong? He’s not doing his usual morning routine. Turns out, JinHo’s lower intestines are furious with him for introducing bad oysters into his system. Back at Sangojae, YoungSun calls asking how GaeIn feels because the oysters were bad. GaeIn is horrified, “Of course I’m okay…JinHo ate all of it…!” Suffering in a public bathroom at the pharmacy around the corner from his workplace, JinHo is furious, “I’m going to kill you, Park GaeIn!”

GaeIn is, of course, anticipating yet another battle with JinHo when he gets home, and naturally, another round of threats to move out. She’ll deal with him later though, because for the moment, she needs to head off to a job interview. Turns out, there was a mistake made by the recuiters and the company doesn’t really need a furniture designer. ChangYul is at the office to witness her getting rejected. It’s a rainy day and inexplicably, he also being heartbroken by InHee’s rejection, finds himself compelled to follow her.

GaeIn ducks into a corner mart and warms herself up with instant noodles. ChangYul watches from his car, pity on his face, but also something more. Regret? Perhaps his assertion that he’d never once felt anything for GaeIn other than pity hadn’t been the whole truth after all. He continues to watch through the pouring rain. His expression is inexplicable and for a moment, it is the face of a man who is also a victim. One who is beginning to understand something about himself. He takes in her unfashionable white jacket, tacky bow tie, oversized glasses…it’s not attractive, but there is a simple charm about the scene.

JinHo has received a dinner invitation from Director Choi and arrives at the restaurant still weak and nauseous. The director wanted to buy him dinner because JinHo’s suggestion to place a Wassily Kandinsky piece at the top of the stairs turned out to be a good one. But it quickly becomes apparent that JinHo is in no condition to leisurely dine and trade esoteric quips about art and architecture as his growling stomach has become a third member in their dinner party. Director Choi offers JinHo his silk handkerchief to wipe the sweat from his brow then suggests they have a raincheck. Oh, but he wants JinHo to make sure to return the handkerchief next time they meet, as it holds special significance for him. A passing gesture, perhaps, but maybe more. Boyfriends (or girlfriends, depending) have a habit of leaving personal artifacts behind or in the possession of an interested party as a way to foster a connection and to assure another meeting. JinHo, however, is just upset that GaeIn has ruined yet another opportunity for him to advance his career.

GaeIn, like the wet puppy she can be, slinks home. ChangYul has followed her all the way to Sangojae. He’s conflicted, unhappy with the decisions he’s made, seriously wondering what went wrong. He goes off to find a drink to soothe his pain. The grass is always greener on the other side, or perhaps the expression “you don’t know what you’ve had until you’ve lost it” is more appropriate.

Just as ChangYul drives away, JinHo’s Mercedes pulls up to take its place, physically and figuratively. JinHo seems to hesitate every time he’s on the doorstep into his new residence, one bad mood away from getting back into his car and going far, far away from Sangojae. He’s too ambitious and desperate, though, to indulge in fantasy. He walks in, angry again (his usual mood with GaeIn), but notes her soaked appearance and realizes she’s had a bad day too so decides to swallow his anger. 

She’s surprised to see he’s okay and asks redundantly, “Are you okay?” He responds, “Do I look okay to you?” She interprets that to mean he’s not. She’s beside herself, having caused yet another disaster for him. When she starts to openly discuss his bowel movements, he gets prudish. But she hurries around the house trying to find medicine for him and it’s a sad sight to see the wet girl so worried about him instead of her own health. She’s not very capable, but one of her more tolerable faults is her constant unnecessary concern for other people’s welfare above her own. He throws a towel at her. Masking his concern with anger, because it’s easier, he scolds her for dripping water all over the house. She is still upset about his diarrhea and his empty stomach. “I’m fine,” he snaps angrily, “just change your wet clothes before you catch a cold.”

JinHo is sketching when he hears a crash and a scream outside. He ignores it but her distressed noises bring him out. She’s on the floor gingerly trying to pick up jagged pieces of ceramic. He pushes her aside and starts to pick them up himself. He mutters, “If you don’t create at least one accident a day, your body just itches in discontent, doesn’t it?” She huffs, “And you, JinHo-sshi, if a day goes by without you nagging at me, are you filled with discontent?” They’re both squatting on the floor side by side, at eye level with one another. She’s staring at his profile intently, like a child, as he carefully cleans up the mess on the floor. He pauses and assesses her, “It’s not like you don’t deserve it.” She taps him on the arm, “I made porridge for you.” He sighs in defeat. This woman always gets her way. 

Facing one another over a bowl of porridge, she smiles at him encouragingly. He spoons a bit of the porridge but before it enters his mouth, he remembers the last meal and how that ended up for him. The spoon changes direction and points at GaeIn. “You first,” he says and explains, “you might have put something poisonous in here.” She’s offended. “For Park GaeIn, that’s not so impossible a mistake, don’t you think?” She accepts the spoon and shoves the porridge into her mouth. He takes the spoon back and proceeds to eat. She gets a giggly grin on her face. “Do you know what just happened?” she smiles giddily. He looks up and peers at her through his glasses. “We just kissed!” She’s quite pleased with herself. They’re bonding! He snickers, “I should have taken my chances with the poison.” She raises her hand in mock threat, “Why you—!” He notices the cuts on her fingers. “What’s with your hand?” She pulls out some aegyo and tells him it’s all his fault, really, as she’d injured herself making the meal for him the other night. It’s to his credit he doesn’t remind her that this meal that she’s referring to has cleaned out his entire system and then some. He simply says, “Put a band-aid on it.”

They really are bonding.

Just then, her phone buzzes. She looks at it and her good mood evaporates. “Answer it, sounds urgent,” JinHo says when it continues to whine in her hand. “It’s ChangYul,” she murmurs. Both their faces become uncomfortable. ChangYul leaves a message telling her he’s outside and waiting, he just wants to see her face. He’ll wait until she’s ready. She hangs up and her face is as one would expect when an ex-boyfriend calls out of the blue, drunk and outside, pleading that he “just wants to see your face.” It’s a dangerous temptation and JinHo calls her on it. “Don’t do it,” he orders. She insists, “I’m not going to.” JinHo continues to pick at the porridge she made for him. “You want to. It’s written all over your face,” he tells her, annoyed. “Don’t hold onto a love that’s already left.” He looks up and sees her glum face. He wags his spoon at her, “It’s so obvious you’re going to go to him.” She steels up. “No, never!”

But the phone continues to buzz and alone in her room, she can’t take her eyes off of it vibrating nearby. JinHo is in his own room, winding down and reading. He looks up at his first aid kit and against his better judgement, grabs a band-aid for her. He heads out just in time see her dash outside to meet ChangYul. He notes that he was right afterall, but he’s disappointed. Not about the band-aid, he’s disappointed in her weakness. He’d known she’d go but he had hoped she wouldn’t. Not because he cares for her, but because no one likes seeing puppies kicked, even if it’s not your own. He snickers as he returns to his room, but it’s not a malicious one, but pitying.

Outside, ChangYul is indeed still waiting for GaeIn, slumped against his car door. “Go home and sleep,” she tells him. He loopily looks up. “GaeIn,” he slurs, wobbling towards her. “Aren’t you at the wrong door? InHee doesn’t live here,” she tells him. ChangYul says he’s come to see her. She won’t meet his eyes but nails it dead on: “Because it rained today, did it remind you of a certain wet dog?” He says he’s sorry, he wanted to tell her the truth a long time ago. “Probably to ease your own guilt,” she bites back. Even kicked puppies can retaliate when pushed to hard. ChangYul grabs her arm and pleads, “Hit me, hit me! I came here to get hit. I deserve it!” She snaps, “Why would I dirty my hands by hitting you?” Drunkenly, he nods in commiseration, “Dirty? I guess I deserve that.”

When he looks away, she finally turns his way. Her eyes water even more. “Why did it have to be InHee of all people? Why her?” His next answer is complete truth, not only because he has also hit rock bottom but because alcohol is an amazing truth serum. “Why InHee?” he ponders aloud, looking at the ground. “Because…InHee gave herself to me completely.” He’s not just talking sex although that is definitely a part of it. ChangYul tells GaeIn that he’s felt that she’s always kept him at a distance, treated him with suspicion, as if she was never sure he was a man worth keeping. She never made him feel like a man, just a space-holder. True or not, fair or unfair, he’s telling her his feelings, how her ways made him feel impotent and frustrated, emotionally and physically. Perhaps in the context of the situation, ChangYul really has no right to put such accusations upon a woman he completely screwed over, but the point here is his own insecurity did not allow for him to be with a woman who didn’t show her love to him in tangible ways that he understood, like pretty clothes and make-up and more aggressive skinship. He had been a playboy lost in unfamiliar territory, he didn’t recognize this kind of love and instead found himself dazzled by InHee, the kind of obvious affection he understood, flashy and in his face, not quiet and sincere.

GaeIn is shocked. She tells him even his sighs made her heart gallop, even his playful kisses made her giddy and just one word from him sent her running at full speed toward him. The reason why she never dressed well was because she thought every second with him was so precious she didn’t want to waste time getting ready. “Wasn’t that enough for you?” she wants to know, her expression pained. “Not for someone like me,” he admits, a bit sadly. “Why didn’t you help me believe even a little?” he asks a bit miserably, and more than a tad whiny. “Why didn’t you make me believe that you were the one I needed to marry?” He is pushing the blame onto GaeIn but he is also speaking drunken honesty. Unfortunately, the measure and value of a confession fueled by whiskey is arguable. Is he just feeling hurt by InHee or did he really care for GaeIn? That is the million dollar question and it’s not immediately obvious which one is really the cause of this late night visit. She’s wondering, as any girl in her situation would, could she have changed the way things had unfolded between them, could she have kept her man if she had done better? She ventures brokenly, “It was my fault.” He sighs, and says defeatedly, “I’m not saying it was your fault…I’m saying we were too different.” His phone suddenly rings and seeing that it’s InHee, he takes the call.

InHee is yelling at him through the phone to come back home so they can finish fighting. In frustration he uses her name when he tells her he’s not in the mood to deal with her, which GaeIn catches. Everything that is said gets nullified when GaeIn realizes he’s at her doorstep, drunk and pleading, professing that he had cared about her when in fact he is still sharing a bed with InHee. She can’t believe he’s able to make a fool out of her until the very end. ChangYul isn’t very happy either, not with InHee, not with his own behavior on GaeIn’s doorstep. “Go away,” she says with finalty.

She heads back only to get another round of insults from JinHo, who has been hovering around waiting for her to come back in. Despite the fact that he wants to pretend he doesn’t care, clearly the whole situation bothers him. “Don’t you have any pride at all?” JinHo demands. “Are you stupid? He calls your name so you go running after him?” She’s not in the mood. “Stop it,” she says flatly. “I guess you really are a dog,” he says cruelly, “you go happily running back even after being thrown away.” 

On closer observation of JinHo’s face, he’s not just bothered, he’s actually quite upset. “Do you even now how pathetic you look?” he yells at her. She’s had enough abuse for the night and takes her hurt out on JinHo. She starts pounding at his chest in anger, there’s no real heat or violence, just the need to exorcise her pain. And JinHo is there to stand by her side and take it from her. She cries, “Why does everyone look down on me? What did I do that was so wrong?” JinHo angrily tells her that no one else is responsible for this situation she’s in, just herself. GaeIn sobs, “A person like you…has probably never waited all day long for just one call from a person you love.” JinHo blinks back his own emotions. She explains, “My heart felt like it was going to explode whenever I saw him…the person that made me feel that way came here tonight and wanted me to come out! Even though I know I shouldn’t have gone, I had to know what he had to say…” She falls to her knees, “...since he made me this way.” She’s a ball of tears and JinHo just looks down at her. A woman’s heart breaking is a horrible thing to witness.

Some time later, they’re sitting side by side, guzzling beer. She’s drunk. She takes a long pull then babbles, “He said I didn’t hang my trust on him completely. InHee gave him everything but not me, so he couldn’t believe in me…couldn’t believe I was a woman he could spend the rest of his life with.” JinHo snorts, “Ridiculous jerk. What’s the point of coming around now and saying things like that?” She stares off dully, “He said it was like dating a boy. Not a woman.” JinHo gives her succinct but sage advice: “Forget him.” But how? she wants to know. He was the first man she’d ever loved but turned out, he never even saw her as a woman. That’s how she lost him. How can she possibly just let that go?

“It doesn’t matter anymore anyway,” JinHo points out. His words are definitely that of a person who hasn’t ever been desperately in love, certainly not a kdrama kind of love. “You see, I’m wondering…” she continues to speculate, “what if it was my fault? Not because ChangYul did something wrong…not because InHee is a bad person…but all because of me!” She guzzles and guzzles beer. JinHo grabs the bottle out of her hand, “Are you hoping to drink yourself to death?” JinHo huffs irritably, “If it bothers you that much, then make him come back to you. Make him regret that he let a woman like you go.” She turns to him, “JinHo-sshi…” He looks at her worriedly, not liking the look on her face or the tone of her voice. She grabs his sleeve. He warily turns to meet her upturned gaze.

She says to his shocked face: “Would you make me…a woman?”


  1. wow... im sounding like a broken record.. but nevertheless, you're awesome.. i was just checking by to see if by any chance you had a new post coming up but not really believing it. haha..turned out you did. anyways, ep 4 is my favorite ep so far and it's the ep that made me want to continue PS. as i have said in one of my comments, the chemistry is definitely more distinct and we can feel the ultra cute bonding whenever they are together. I have to say that I am still not in love and going crazy waiting for the next ep. For ex, the ending of ep 4 made me curious and was funny but it failed to make me pull my hair. but actually, i have to be thankful for that. I am not yet ready for another You're beautiful. It nearly destroyed my life (but i'm not complaining). and I have to say.. i hate In Hee. she annoys the hell out of me. Chang Yul and she become even more annoying in ep 5 if that's possible. On the other hand, their reaction to gae in makeover is priceless. see you next

  2. i stand corrected... the end of ep 6 is one hell of a cliffhanger. ok. c ya!

  3. Ep 4 WAS really good! I'm actually really finding all the characters so interesting, even ChangYul and InHee, which really amazes me. I usually despise the second leads, but they are complicated in themselves, which I like because it makes everything all the more unexpected.

    Doing these recaps of the episodes are really helping me to connect to the characters as well, I think, since I'm spending more time with them.

    Unfortunately, I haven't been able to watch 6 yet, and I don't know if I will get the chance to until Sunday.

    =( Hectic weekend coming up. But you have me very excited! I can't wait.


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