Man this was a beautiful episode. And I don’t mean it in the plot sense – plot wise, it was pretty straightforward and slow. No, I mean it was cinematically beeeeyouuuuuteefulllll. I mean, in the levels of I was lusting over the lighting and slow camera close-ups. (Let me just add that I don’t watch previews of dramas so I have no idea what’s upcoming in this show.)
Jung Sik yells at his son for keeping a sickly child locked up in his room, reminding Gook Young that he owes his life to Joon Young. But Gook Young’s defense is that he was just trying to protect Joon Young. If he hadn’t stopped him from leaving, he would have gone to be with No Eul, who is currently charged with attempted murder on Choi Hyun Joon’s life. Joon Young can’t be associated with her! Jung Sik pauses and sputters, “Choi… Hyun Joon?” The world is getting too small for him right now.
Young Ok meanwhile won’t let her son go out and see No Eul, especially in his state. So Joon Young throws a tantrum – the heart-wrenching kind. “It’s all your fault Mom!” he yells. “If you had stayed by Choi Hyun Joon’s side he would never have devolved into the degenerate he is now! You made things this way!” Young Ok is so taken aback that Jung Sik swoops in to her defense. (All that yelling is pretty much echoed throughout the house so…) But Young Ok doesn’t want Jung Sik to berate her son any further. In an eerily quiet and calm voice, she sends him out of the room, and then tells Joon Young to stay put until she brings back medicine.
This isn’t normal. This isn’t how Young Ok normally handles things. She’s too stunned to fully grasp what Joon Young just said to her, and for the next few days she goes through the motions in a daze – wasting a lot of bean sprouts, cutting herself on the knife, etc.
Frustrated, Joon Young grabs a chair and smashes it against glass. It’s dramatically edited so we only see bits and pieces of what he’s doing, and left to guess what actually happens.
Next thing we know, he’s arrived at the jail cell to come and rescue No Eul. What? This has got to be a dream, because we don’t even see how he got out of the house! No Eul is relieved to see him and she cries that she never meant to kill Choi Hyun Joon. Joon Young says, “I know,” and then whisks her away to their supposed vacation where they’re going to hide away for ten years. Because… he got her out on bail?
And then they drive to the beach, where Joon Young’s set up a cabana house on the beach, replete with cushioned sofas and candles and snacks. Okay this has seriously got to be a dream, because if this is Joon Young’s idea of “hiding away,” then it’s terrible. What better way to announce your presence than to have this beautiful cabana on a public beach?!
No Eul snuggles up against Joon Young, feeling safe and relieved that her troubles just may be over. And… it turns out it is a dream as she finally falls asleep in the cell. And as for Joon Young? He’s still in his home, refusing to eat and only staring out the window at his backyard, where there is an increased amount of security guards.
No Jik camps outside of the police station, feeling hopeless because Hyun Woo/Ji Tae isn’t around to help, and Joon Young didn’t answer his pleas. It breaks Ji Tae’s heart as he watches from his car in the station’s parking lot, and one can only hope he pulled some strings so that No Jik and Na Ri could see No Eul outside of her cell and feed her.
No Eul tries her best to distract her brother and best friend of the dismal situation she’s in, telling them about her cellmate who stole a lot of cash and how amusing she is. But No Jik is still worried, and asks if his sister really attempted to kill the assemblyman. She assures him she didn’t, and adds that Joon Young is on his way soon to help her. In reality though, that’s just a comforting lie she’s trying to tell herself because she doesn’t want to believe Joon Young abandoned her when he saw her being dragged away.
Meanwhile Ji Tae goes to his father to get him to drop the charges. It’s not that easy though, as “attempted murder” holds greater weight than “reckless driving.” Ji Tae wants his parents to stop ruining No Eul’s life, and Hyun Joon (knowing that Ji Tae likes her) dares him to go public with it. Will Ji Tae have the courage to announce what his parents have done in covering up her father’s accident and suing her, and own up to the fact that they are his parents? Will he have the courage that Hyun Joon didn’t have all those years ago to say no to Assemblyman Yoon?
It’s not like Hyun Joon is a full out villain here yet, even though he sounds like one because he won’t drop the charges. Instead, he owns up to his cowardice and is using it against his son. And Ji Tae, being his father’s son as we’ve seen before, is definitely full of cowardice. I think Hyun Joon is a lot more self-aware than others think he is, and he just cannot act on his morals as much as he’d like to.
Young Ok bursts into Joon Young’s room, unable to fathom that Joon Young insulted his father in front of her. Thankfully Joon Young isn’t so physically weak to not be able to tell her the truth. Truth-telling time! He reveals that Hyun Joon covered up the hit-and-run accident involving No Eul’s father, and she clearly hasn’t gotten over it. Hence the near fatal accident she caused on Hyun Joon. Young Ok is unable to believe this because she still holds her first love in high regard, thinking that he’s the most perfect human being in the world. As much as I want to shake her to get her out of that bubble, I get that she wants to preserve her good memories of her first love because they never ended up together.
But then Joon Young adds that he caused an accident – hurting No Eul in order to protect Hyun Joon. See, he too wanted to hold his birth father in high regard and did everything he could to protect him. But in doing so, he hurt the one girl that he actually cared about, and that’s why he didn’t want to be a prosecutor anymore. This hits Young Ok harder because now she understands her son’s motivations in forgoing the law career.
Gook Young heard this entire conversation (of course) so after he drives Young Ok home he decides to let Joon Young out. It would be too cruel to separate him from No Eul at this point. However, the moment Joon Young gets into his car he doesn’t decide to go to the police station. He decides to visit Hyun Joon instead.
Eun Soo is in for a shock when she sees her husband’s illegitimate son outside her door and tries to send him off by saying that her husband isn’t home. But Haru – that fangirl – spills the beans to Hyun Joon that her Joon Young-oppa is at their door. Hyun Joon is curious to see why he’s there and lets him in, and decides to speak with him privately in his office. Of course, Eun Soo is not going to sit far away and wait to find out what they talk about; she situates herself outside the office door to listen in. At least Haru listens to her father and goes to her room…
Joon Young wants Hyun Joon to drop the charges, especially since he doesn’t think Hyun Joon intended to change it to “attempted murder.” Hyun Joon pretends that he’s curious as to why No Eul would try to kill him, even though he’s adamant that she did. That’s when Joon Young points out that she could have killed him at anytime in the last five years. If she really wanted to, she wouldn’t have swerved away that night – because he wouldn’t have. I love that when Joon Young says this, we see him through glass so it’s a double image of his face; It’s like we’re seeing another side to Joon Young as he confronts his father.
Hyun Joon doesn’t want to be on bad terms with Joon Young though, as he has a strange affinity to the boy. (What a cheesy way to have Hyun Joon have the inklings of, “Oh this boy is my son.”) But Joon Young doesn’t care. He doesn’t want to see him anymore, and drops off the USB that he had stolen from No Eul five years ago. In it is footage of Hyun Joon exiting Madame Song’s bar. It’s the footage that he’s trying to blackmail Hyun Joon with right now, and that he hurt No Eul for.
Hyun Joon actually understands the message and calls to drop the charges, which makes Eun Soo burst in and cry, “Don’t do it honey!” It’s funny how even Hyun Joon is exasperated with his wife, as if he’s had enough of her shenanigans in trying to protect him.
When Joon Young leaves the house, he bumps into Ji Tae returning home. Ji Tae is surprisingly calm at hearing that Joon Young bribed his father to drop the charges, as if it’s something he would have done himself. But later on he seems to have second thoughts in letting Joon Young “win” at getting No Eul out, and he calls him to say that Joon Young does not have any right to No Eul either. If only he had let No Eul report the USB findings to the media, if only the family had received their punishment five years ago, No Eul would be in a different place now. But no – Joon Young interfered, because he is still Choi Hyun Joon’s son.
BAM! And with that Joon Young’s confidence is destroyed and he never visits No Eul in the police station.
She is released the next day though, and Nari is the only one there to greet her with tofu. She looks around the parking area for Joon Young, and hopelessly wants to wait for him. Nari calls up No Jik, hoping that his appearance will spur her to get a move on things, but he’s busy not getting into a car accident of his own! On his way to the station he nearly gets hit by Secretary Kim – Eun Soo’s own secretary. Yup – are you calling shenanigans? Because I’m calling shenanigans!
No Jik accepts their ride to the station, as he doesn’t know who Eun Soo is. But when No Eul sees her, her blood runs cold. Accident, my butt! Eun Soo notes that so much could have gone wrong so easily if her secretary had braked one second too late. But behind her veiled apologies is a threat: if No Eul does not do what she says going forward, her brother’s bright and shining future can easily be cut short.
Joon Young numbs himself from his feelings by drinking lots of beer and playing video games. When CEO Namgoong and Gook Young find him like this, they feel awful but CEO Namgoong thinks he did the right thing in preventing Joon Young from seeing No Eul. Gook Young adds that No Eul just got out of jail, and while it makes Joon Young feel like he should go see her, he chooses to go in his room instead and hide. He doesn’t notice that No Eul has come to his front door.
Before No Eul can ring the doorbell, CEO Namgoong catches her and tells her to piss off because Joon Young isn’t interested in her anymore. The fact that Joon Young didn’t see her in the jail cell should tell her he isn’t interested in her. Never mind that it was CEO Namgoong’s fault, as he’d never admit to it. It was also not necessary for him to say that at all, but for dramatic purposes he must tell her this to drive her away.
Joon Young finds out that No Eul came to his place too late through Nari, and he decides to go have a conversation with Ji Tae. By “conversation” I mean, punch him in the mouth. The scene fades out, so it seems like there is more to this conversation that we are not meant to know of just yet.
No Eul really has no reason to stay in the country now, as her love has forsaken her and Eun Soo is threatening her. So she makes a huge decision to pack her bags and leave Seoul with No Jik. However just as the taxi is about to drive off, they’re stopped by Ji Tae, dressed in a tux for his engagement party. Yep – he’s about to announce his engagement to Jung Eun but instead of going there right away, he reveals himself to No Eul first and stops her from going anywhere.
And at the same time, Joon Young helps Lawyer Cha Taek Joong pay his measly lunch bill because Cha was the prosecutor on No Jang Su’s case. And Joon Young wants to know who the real perpetrator of the crime that Hyun Joon protected.
Dun dun dun!
It looks like the series is ramping up for the latter half to expose some truths with some ugly melodramatic scenes and some court scenes. It’s actually a bit exciting, even though I know that it’s going to be emotionally painful for all the characters, because it looks like Ji Tae and Joon Young are actually working together to expose the evils of Choi Hyun Joon – whom I don’t even feel comfortable with taking all the blame right now! It’s almost like cowardice is a genetic trait at this point because all the men around No Eul are being stupid cowards. But I’ll give credit to the fact that at least Ji Tae and Joon Young are doing something about it.
Jung Eun is being woefully underused in this series, so I’m hoping that she’ll play a larger part in the latter half. It’s her time to shine, to do more than just pine for Ji Tae or glower at him. It’s time she actually do something like Eun Soo has been in slowly threatening No Eul’s existence. Speaking of Eun Soo, she said something that really bothered me, along the lines of “Stop hanging around me and go away.” And I’m thinking, “Technically No Eul did go away and you just find yourself in her orbit, and every time you cross paths you choose to meddle instead of just staying away. So can’t you go away?” It’s one of those maddening privileges that the rich feel, that they are the center of the universe. And it’s also very satisfying for me to know that it will come crashing down on her. Because, K-dramas.
On another side note, there’s this one scene where Ji Tae de-stresses by skeet shooting, and for a moment I thought I was back in the land of Downton Abbey. Like, this is how the elite rich de-stress. While the nouveau-riche like Joon Young de-stresses with video games.
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