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Things are getting better for Tae-kang. You could even say it’s his day of glory since the kid receives his prize for the talented designer contest. And of course the person who gives him the trophy is Ji-an. Saying she’s not delighted is an understatement. Tae-kang stuffs his empty stomach with yummy foods while Ji-an tells him straight she knows he didn’t design or made the shoes: He is a swindler and they both know it. Tae-kang asks her to cool down. She will have to get used seeing his unpleasant face since he’s also hired by Jinny Kim Shoes and will be part of his staff. Ji-an explodes and the loud “what?” makes everyone turn their heads. She asks to talk to him in private but he refuses to follow her. Time for plan B: She spills her glass on his suit and drags him by the collar. If we didn’t know who’s the boss…

Time for a serious discussion. Basically she orders him to quit by himself before getting humiliated and humiliating the company: His resume is empty and he has no skills. Tae-kang see things differently: He needs the money and the stable job. If he fails it’s his own problem. So why is she over reacting? Maybe because she has feelings for him since that fateful night? The answer is: Noona-dongsaeng head slap. Quite painful. She asks him to be careful with his words and to lower his eyes but he doesn’t accept being bullied. He grew up on the streets after all so no surprise if he’s a bit rebellious. She goes for a second blow but he catches both her wrists and holds her tight against him. Rawr!

 

Tae-kang: “Let’s be honest for one minute. Can you really tell me that this night meant nothing at all for you?”

This time the answer is… Her knee on his jewels. Bwahaha… That’s what you get for sexually harassing your boss. Ji-an returns to the party while poor Tae-kang tries managing the pain. She acts like she came back from the bathroom and everything’s fine but suddenly Tae-kang appears behind her. He walks toward her like he is in pain. Everyone is now staring at them in the hall.

 

Tae-kang: “Noona! How can you leave me like this? Am I that embarrassing to you? Should I really consider we are only friends from now on?” Tears start forming in his eyes. “I understand. I will not stay in your way. I will pray for your happiness. Farewell.” He takes her hand and gives back the missing button of her shirt. Ji-an is livid. He leaves the place overacting the limping and waits until no one can see his face anymore. Then a big devilish smile illuminates his face: “Who do you think you are messing with?”

Na-ri accompanied by her uncle arrives at a painting gallery and pays respect to an older woman: The President of the company herself. She looks uncomfortable and intimidated. The elder thanks her for the flowers and asks if everything is going smoothly at work. She makes it clear that she is the one who takes the biggest decisions at Jinny Kim Shoes. Na-ri searches for a way to connect with the fierce woman and asks her advice: She would like to invest in art so could she choose a painting for her? They are family after all…

 

Looks like it was a bad idea. Na-ri angrily tells her secretary to just store the damn thing wherever he wants. To improve her mood she asks him about the award ceremony and the secretary replies than discussing it at the moment is maybe a bad idea… Yeah! Scandal! In her office, Ji-an tears apart the ceremony picture of her with Tae-kang head to head.

Tae-kang arrives to meet the execs of Jinny Kim formerly and is surprised to see Ji-an at the table. One of the men asks him about his opinion on Hwang Ji-an. Tae-kang says that he respects her a lot and that she’s her model in the business. He even brought her biography with him today. He quotes one of her lines: “A designer should be judged on his creativity, not on his diplomas or work experience.” Hehe. Smart guy has prepared his line of defense and done some homework. He admits he didn’t go to college, he only went to high-school. Everything he knows about shoes is what he learned by himself. In fact he is the perfect example of self-taught man. Na-ri who’s here too almost hides her face in her hands. Ji-an decides to end the masquerade and asks him what is the fashion trend for next season. Tae-kang is speechless. Ji-an asks then if he has something to say about evolution of women’s lifestyle and shoe industry. Swallowing sound. She asks about the origins of high-heels, famous Italian brands etc… And it’s a complete fiasco. What you call a big moment of solitude… Final question is: “Do you know what’s the problem with imitations?” Tae-kang replies embarrassed that they are fake. Ji-an says it’s exactly that. And she hates fakes, may it be shoes or persons. Well, that’s a clean execution. 

 

So, everyone gathers to select a new promising designer. But Na-ri is not done with it yet. She insists on keeping Tae-kang. After all it was Ji-an who spotted him first. She should trust her instinct. Didn’t she say geniuses are built and not born this way? Furthermore she believes in Ji-an’s teaching skills. The HR guy is obviously another coward afraid to displease his boss and he doesn’t oppose.

Na-ri invites Ji-an and they settle down in a terrace for a tea. Ji-an is defensive and asks what her motives: If she has something to say she can do it at the office. Na-ri says there is nothing special. She just wants to enjoy her free time. She proposes to go to a famous French restaurant next time: They have foie gras and an excellent bouillabaisse. And now I want to eat again. Hopeless…

 

Ji-an tells her a little story that happened to her: Once upon a time, a woman was nice and took her in when she got kicked out by her parents. She realized later the “friend” had badmouthed her behind her back, saying she was nothing without her and she had to pay for everything. To make things clear, Ji-an puts the money for the drinks on the table plus the amount for the nice massage of the other day. Na-ri gently tells her she should get along with people and consider her reputation. Isn’t she scared of the rumors or of what the President could think of her? Ji-an replies without ambiguity she never feared her boss but rather lived accordingly to her principles. She also survived all those years in the business world without the advices of a youngster so thank you very much and take care of your own problems. Once again she gets mad and leaves her superior alone at her table. Ji-an, your psychology sucks! She is just socializing and trying to be nice. And that comes from a paranoid…

Tae-kang has a little congrats party for being hired in a stable job for the first time in his life (we learn he is already 27). He admires the simple cake lovingly made by his dad and his barman best friend. A best friend who spoils the mood though, insisting on the fact that he won the contest only because of luck. *Murderous glance X2*.

“But having luck is a talent too!”Just shut up and cut the cake

Father and son have their share of alcoholic drinks and finally head back home.They walk hesitantly and sing popular songs in the streets. Dad is so happy than he kisses his precious son’s forehead. So cute. They soon realize they landed once again in their old neighborhood and they lament over their former house: The new color of the entry door is ugly! Tae-kang starts crying and says he should never have sold it. Dad says it’s OK. He did it to pay the fine for his old dad after all so now it’s all forgiven… Plus thanks to living in a sauna all day long he has a better skin now. Kekeke I know where the cheerfulness and the pink glasses of Tae-kang come from.

The next morning is a bit hard for Tae-kang: He didn’t hear the alarm and gets all frantic. He even falls while putting his pants and his father can’t even feed him before he leaves the sauna. It’s rush hour in the buses but nothing can discourage our boy. Well Ji-an can apparently. They take the elevator together and she is as friendly as usual.

I’ll take the next one if you don’t mind…

A bootlicker starts complimenting her and she cuts him immediately: She’d rather read his report than listening to him. She gives him a deadline and storms out of the elevator. The remaining passengers starts gossiping and Tae-kang listens carefully. Rumors are that she has a toyboy and he has been recently hired in the company thanks to her. The stupid girl of episode one who belongs to Ji-an’s staff adds he is described as handsome and even worked as a host.

 

The junior in the team says it must be bullshit again and she defends her boss: The week before stupid girl said Ji-an was lesbian and the week before that she told everyone she was the lover of the President. Junior decides to leave those unhealthy people on their own and gets out to breathe some fresh air. Here maknae: A cookie for you. Da-in our nice junior happens to meet a nice senior who leads Tae-kang to his office and they have their first eye-contact. I will bet on solidarity of the bullied for now and maybe an unrequited love later. Like always everyone starts checking themselves before the boss arrives. Stoo-pids! She doesn’t care what you look like. She cares for your work! 

 

Of course it’s time for hazing and they tell Tae-kang to sit at the end of the table which is the boss’s place. Can I throw a grenade in that room? I promise it will benefit to all the human race. Ji-an arrives and tells him to just go and change the water barrels of the Tangbi (?) room. Tae-kang obeys and leaves but then comes back. “Where is that room again?” Ji-an looks at him bemused. Traduction: “How did I end up sleeping with such a moron? I swear I’m not on drugs…”

 

In the meantime, Choong-baek and daddy are waiting anxiously at the restaurant. Tae-kang conveniently calls at that moment and tells them not to worry: He is very popular since he won the contest and everyone wants to befriend him. He forgets to mention he spent the day in the storage room where his only friends are a pair of shoes. Anyway, daddy is relieved and it’s all that matters. He is quite useful to say the truth and translates some foreign terms for him: What is a wedge heel, a stiletto… Tae-kang finally asks about the random numbers on the shoe boxes: 36, 38, 39½. And there I say stop writer. A 27 years old man with a shoemaker for father can’t recognize shoe SIZES???????

Tae-kang says of course he doesn’t know: He only replaced soles and tried to hook new customers on the streets. His dad never taught him the important things! Huh… And you weren’t curious about those random numbers all those years? You never bought shoes for yourself? Sorry, I can’t buy that with all the suspension of disbelief in the world.

A guy of the team comes to check his unfinished work and ears the end of the conversation. He asks what is the problem: Is he a hand-phone addict, a stupid man or a lazy guy? It’s quite harshly said but who wouldn’t think the same? The scolding gets overboard when nagging superior adds than of course he can do whatever he wants since his boss and him are Very Close Friends… I sincerely hate the spirit of the employees in that company, I swear.

Tae-kang leaves and finds himself stuck in the elevator with Ji-an. She asks if he completed his task and he answers “Sure! No problem!”

Ji-an: “I suppose doing the inventory was too easy for you. You just needed a whole day when a part-time worker does it in 3 hours.” I think I’m in overdose of humiliation scenes right now…  

 

Well, I don’t know where that elevator is going but they sure have time to talk. He asks her to give him a break → She calls him an annoying fly → He asks for respect and defies her→ She tells him to watch his mouth → He replies he will stick to her and be her personal fly… Suddenly Ji-an starts wincing in pain and puts her hand on her belly. Tae-kang says she must be constipated because of all her negativity and aggressiveness: She should be careful or else she will have hemorrhoids. Really show? A newbie trying toilet humor with his boss of the opposite sex the first day of work? I must be more conservative than i thought… He finally understands she’s not faking it and goes to probe her stomach but she pushes him back and tells him to mind his own business. Then she storms out. For Your Information, the elevator scene lasts 2min30secs. The Taipei 101 tower elevator’s journey lasts 37s: QED.

http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x3sla<br /><a href=”http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3sla_taipei-101-ascenseur_travel&#8221; target=”_blank”>Taipei 101 Ascenseur</a> <i>par <a href=”http://www.dailymotion.com/neptune83&#8243; target=”_blank”>neptune83</a></i>

 

Anyway, Ji-an hurries and goes to hide in her office like a wounded animal. She remembers when he hold her close to him and asked her to be honest about her feelings for him. Her meditation is interrupted by a phone call: A woman working for a wedding planner agency congratulates the bride. Ji-an replies it’s a mistake: She’s not married. The woman then corrects herself: She should have said the “future” bride. Both check the phone number and there is no doubt. She’s effectively the woman going to be married.

The jerk responsible for that crazy situation is our dear Doctor of course, Eun-sung. Mr Jerk is all proud of his little joke and spies his phone, waiting for the call of the angry bride. When it rings, he picks up then childishly hangs up after the “hello” to have his revenge for the numerous times she did this to him. Then he walks out of the hospital and waits for the witch to appear. Bingo!

She is furious of course and wants to know if he’s a pervert or a stalker. Why should he choose? I want him to be both. Eun-sung is not scared a bit by her aggressive attitude and proposes to explain the situation: 

Your parents came to see me at my hospital because you told them you liked the handsome Doctor of the last blind date. They thought things were going on too slowly and wanted to meet me in person. They also have consulted a fortune-teller who told them we are perfect for each other.” BWAHAHA… Just when I started disliking this show Mr Funny Hottie saves the day.

Ji-an tells him he should have called her and Doc says he TRIED but she hung up on him every time… Which is the reason of the present situation.  She says never mind, she just has to clarify the situation with her parents.

“You mean explaining to them we both sabotage our blind dates to avoid marriage?”

Ji-an: “Something like that, yes.”

“And so, you don’t care about the consequences for me? Everyone will laugh at me!”

“Why should I care? You did this to yourself.”

Ji-an ends the conversation and gets into her car. Followed by sexy Doc who decides to come with her. She asks him to get out but the man is stubborn: They need to discuss the reasons for the breaking and she has to work on her bad temper. It’s a lost battle and Ji-an reluctantly starts the car. Doc doesn’t think twice and fastens his seat belt…

Noraebang time for the staff of Jinny Kim Shoes. A guy sings a slow with an atrocious voice and I want to cut the sound. It doesn’t seem to disturb the Gossip Champions. The topic of the day is “Who will replace the President when he retires?” Stupid Girl says there is no suspense. Of course it will be Yeom Na-ri. Well, only if the rumours about Medusa (Ji-an) running for the job are not true. King of Insults is surprised: Chairman’s wife would choose a stranger over the daughter of the Chairman’s “second wife”? King of Insults and Stupid Girl seal the deal with a high-five. Maddino, can I borrow your AK47? I swear I never hated characters so much before. They are just a bunch of viscous slugs. And you know how to kill slugs right? With a glass of beer buried in the ground.

 

Looks like i gave ideas to Tae-kang: He arrives with a huge jug of beer to refill the glasses and gets coldly rejected. They are comfortable between them and don’t want the junior to be part of the band. Who knows? If he is their boss’s lover he could be a spy… Loosers!! He tries his luck with the cute female junior sitting alone by herself and is also rejected.

I don’t understand those people: If you don’t want to come to those parties, just say you don’t want to come. Easy. In real life I’ve never been sacked because of it. Are they all castrated or what?

 

Tae-kang goes to the bathroom and eavesdrops on Na-ri who gives a phone call to her uncle. She says work is very tiring these days and the atmosphere is crazy. She wants to invite him for lunch a certain day but her uncle says he already has an appointment.   Na-ri says it’s OK, don’t worry and then hangs up. She stays in the staircase all by herself. Tae-kang gets stopped by another worker of the company who asks if he is a newbie. Tae-kang is all happy to have found someone to talk to, until the guy calls him by his nickname in the company: Good-for-nothing-kid.

 

The hateful employee n°589947 tells Tae-kang he is in the company for 15 years. He knows everything, official and officious and he always knows if a rumor is true or false. He can tell just by looking at him than he is not Medusa’s lover. Tae-kang thanks him with a heartfelt “thank you!”. The senior tells him he can be his mentor if he wants to climb the stairs in the company. Should he give him some tips? I have a bad feeling about this…

Ji-an and Eun-sung arrive at the parents home in the afternoon and he tells her he should buy something before entering. Her reply is: “We get in-We explain-We get out. Ten minutes should be enough. Eun-sung whispers to himself she’s a real Medusa. As long as you know it before marrying her… Ji-an’s mother comes to open the gate and is greeted by a 어머님 [eomeonim] (respectful term for mother). Mom is completely smitten with him and Ji-an rolls her eyes. Wait, the best is yet to come. Parents are gathered in the garden with friends to enjoy the nice weather. Father-in-law is called 아버님 [abeonim] of course and is highly pleased. Ji-an asks Eun-sung what does it mean but she has no time to hear the answer. Eun-sung is kidnapped by the elders of the village who want to know everything about the future son-in-law fallen from the heavens.

 

Ji-an, the awful truth is: You’re victim of a large-scale conspiracy. I know it’s hard and it’s going to be a long night. Do some yoga breathing exercises before jumping in the arena. Good luck. Sincerely.

Signed Myst.

Everyone is having fun and talk like old friends but Ji-an doesn’t forget why she came here in the first place. She quietly asks Eun-sung to leave. He has a long surgery scheduled for tomorrow morning, right? She even pinches his thigh but it’s like talking to a wall. The nosy elders ask how old they are and then decide they have to make babies quickly. Eun-sung: “I will try to do my best.” Bwahaha… Ji-an is not amused and quite shocked actually. He adds than if it doesn’t work it’s not a problem since he’s happy with her right now and that will never change. He grabs her hand to show everyone he loves her. Awww. Sorry sister, I can’t help you anymore. He is just too cute for words.

 

He even manages to have her sing with him in order to rehearse for the future ceremony and there I say hat’s off, Mister. Later on, she cuts some fruits while Eun-sung is clowning around with her dad on his back. She remembers when she was a kid and played with him: One day he used the ink she spilled to paint his face and chased her like a tiger.

Mom comes to see her daughter in the kitchen and confirms he wasn’t happy like that since a long time ago. Mom tells her than bringing Doc to their home is the best decision she ever made. Ji-an can’t spoil the mood and has to capitulate.

 

She cuts her finger while peeling an apple and of course the Doctor of the house volunteers to treat the wound. Ji-an tells them to stop overreacting: It’s just a scratch, no need to do a scene. Mom gives her a disapproving look but Eun-sung says it’s all right: Ji-an looks fierce and cold on the outside but he knows better. In fact he is sure she already cares for him deep in her heart. Ji-an! If you don’t like him I’ll take him for myself. Resistance is futile. 

Dad calls mom outside and the two enemies are left alone in her bedroom. Eun-sung observes everything and says she must have had a tough childhood. Awards everywhere, school notes, trophies. Nothing girly, no toys, no decoration. He comes to sit next to her and asks if she’s still angry at him.

Ji-an: “How could you do that? How can you… Make people laugh like this? I could do it when I was a little girl and progressively it became harder and harder. I worked a lot, won awards, I gave money to my parents, sent them in vacation abroad. But one day they stopped laughing and I couldn’t do anything about it. Nothing worked so I gave up. I convinced myself he always was like that.”

Eun-sung: “I can’t make my father laugh either. It’s always easier to make strangers laugh. Dealing with family is hard for everyone.”

OK, now I’m crying on my keyboard. Being an only daughter and having no one to talk to. Being able to speak freely to a stranger more than to your own family. I can so relate to that…

Back to the noraebang: Seol Gong-soo the mentor keeps briefing Tea-kang while the Losers Team look at them from a distance. The nickname of the guy is “permanent snow” cause he entered the company almost at the same time than Medusa. However, he is still an assistant at the sales department. Tae-kang thanks his sunbae and decides to apply his secret method immediately: He spots the lonely girl of the staircase and decides to introduce himself. It’s his first day too and he knows it’s not funny. He hilariously tells her to come closer so he could tell a secret right in her ear:

“A sunbae of mine told me than the person you have to know in order to survive in that company is a woman called Yeom Na-ri. She is the ultimate protector and everyone has to obey her because she’s the chairman’s daughter. Problem is, she’s a pain in the ass and she holds grudges. That’s why you need a well calculated plan to approach her. She’s supposed to be in her mid twenties and she has a cold aura.”

Bwahaha. The guy has no idea who he is talking to! Na-ri looks around her for a hidden camera and obviously thinks it’s a joke.

Tae-kang scans the room and sees a girl in a little black dress. No doubt, she’s the target. He grabs the arm of his new friend and heads to the stage to do the show. He starts dancing and acting all goofy and finally registers all the eyes are on them.

A dried squid! Bwahaha… Where is the Gentleman who plays with that normally?

Tae-kang apologizes to the vice-president and headslaps himself behind the head. Hehe… Na-ri is embarrassed and amused at the same time. The audience is totally flabbergasted.

Ji-an and Eun-sung get back home in Seoul and Doc says he admires the generosity of her mom: She gave him enough cabbage and red pepper powder to make kimchi for an army. He offers a cup of tea if she helps him carrying the bags. The scheming (second) brain of that guy never stops… Too bad, she shows her plastered finger. But all is not lost: She agrees to accept his phone calls starting from now, you know, to avoid annoying blind dates and all… She tells him not to misinterpret her words though. She’s not proposing to him but only suggesting an alliance against the elders. If I were here I swear I would push her right in his arms. Girl couldn’t relax even to save her life. She starts telling him to take care of the communication with the parents about dates, marriage and stuff… Eun-sung doesn’t care about that at the moment and plants a kiss on her cheek. Squeeee! Shut-up kiss. I love that old school move.

To be continued…

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Comments:

- This drama is not bad but I see signs of it going downhill: A lot of repetitions, loooooong scenes which could be shortened without spoiling the story. A lot of “déjà vu” scenes taken from other dramas:

KSA playing “I’m in pain” straight from Scent of a Woman.

The guy sticking in the car from Me too, Flower…

With my experience I can now say all the production money went into the leads pockets and not into a solid script. When they start using elevators as a main set it’s never a good sign. Even for a business drama. Normally the loss of steam appears only at episode 8 or so. Also, we are in summer: I want to see flowers, parks and fountains. Not only smoky noreabangs and poorly decorated offices.

- I suspect the supposed hot bed scene between KSA and LJW (that we didn’t see yet) is used to get viewers hooked till the end and we will be disappointed with what we will get. Hope I’m wrong of course.

- Too many hateful and dumb characters. A lot of humiliation scenes: I want to burn Jinny Kim shoes with everyone inside.

- All in all, definitely not what I call a “feel good drama”. This recap took me centuries. For now I can’t connect genuinely to those characters. The only one I care for is the smart Doc and I perfectly know it’s because he has the funny scenes (and the cutest smile). The Chairman’s daughter is also interesting.

-  For information, the ratings are going downhill too:

credits: koreandrama.org.

Conclusion: I still have to see episode 4. If it doesn’t get better I may stop recapping this show and jump ship to A Gentleman’s Dignity. Much more fun and interesting.