In this episode…
To the shock of everyone (Jung-hyuk and Se-ri included), Jung-hyuk pivots and affirms that the woman in his house is his fiancée and nope, no papers or names are needed because she’s part of Division 11 (spies unlimited), which disappoints everyone else on a massive scale. No chitchat, no harassement, nada. Company 5 boys expect the worst because Captain can’t lie, but omo, he can and did! SS Lt. Jo is suspicious and wants to guard against any investigations further by Jung-hyuk and sets up a listening device. The listener is a villager who happened to be involved in the scheme to kill Jung-hyuk’s brother and he’s still dealing with that trauma, but does his job. Se-ri gets ready to leave by holding an awards show, giving out prizes to 3 of the men, but not grumpy Pil-su, nor jealous Jung-hyuk (beyond a tomato plant). We meet Dan, his ‘real’ fiancée and learn that the swindler from the south is definitely a jerk. The boat arrives to take Se-ri to the offshore boat and sensing her unease, Jung-hyuk goes with her; they exchange names as a parting gesture, but the trawler is pulled over. They’ve been rumbled! Honoring drama tropes, he kisses her as the hatch lid opens…
Yolette: Hahahahaha! He really wanted to get that award, didn’t he! So cute.
But he really does do everything she asks, it’s a little weird. Can it be that he’s in love with her already?? Or is he just that bored? Did he, maybe, already know her from Switzerland? Because he gets her everything she wants, listens to her instructions on how to behave towards her in public, lets her give away his stuff and even takes to heart her advice about saying 10 nice words to he tomato plant everyday. WHY is he so keen to do everything she wants??
Robin: You know, until you mentioned the little scene at the end where they are both in Switzerland, I didn’t realize that they had them! I’d been turning it off after the credits outro. I went back to watch them afterwards. In episode 1, it did indeed look like he was amused by her in the tree, not alarmed at all and maybe a little bit smitten in those few seconds watching her unawares. How much exactly did they experience together in Switzerland (and how sad was it that she wanted to legally euthanize herself?) She said he looked familiar, but you would think if they spent a lot of time together, or even one magical night (we can hope), he would certainly not have that common South Korean disease, amnesia.
I think some of the things she does annoy him (they would annoy anyone), but others are the kinds of things that would touch most people, especially giving away food and clothing to the boy who’d been caught stealing to feed his sister. She didn’t put those things together to go and play Lady Bountiful, she was just doing what her heart told her to do and I think it is the kind of thing he would do as well. She also was curious about who he was, why the books with dark subjects, what about the piano? Those prompts are scratching away at the trauma he’s still dealing with; the loss of his career (looks like he had to step in to replace his brother in the army), the loss of a dear brother, the loss of more freedom that a professional musician would have…
Yolette: I can’t believe they bugged the house and no one slipped up and said something incriminating? Can it be??
Robin: Heard out of context, thinking that she might be a spy from Division 11 and therefore talking in “code” (like Jung-hyuk’s 10 nice words to the tomato plant), I suppose we can suspend disbelief a wee bit. But where I was leery was the installation of the device; come on! In that nosy village nobody noticed?
Yolette: The neighbors were hilarious talking bad about our heroine just steps from her house where she can still hear them. Passive aggressive much?
Robin: Oh, Se-ri! Dasher of dreams! Slasher of fantasies! Those village ladies must have had endless daydreams about running away with this neighborhood prince charming and in walks this mysterious floozy with ill-kept hair and odd clothing who isn’t just that pretty and their various bubbles are burst. They even suspect her of being nine-tailed fox! The fact that she tells them she doesn’t want to make kimchi with them and subject herself to their prying, gossipy ways (and maybe come in for the drama tropey kimchi slap?) was smart, as was her staging of the morning farewell.
One interesting note: the other (real?) fiancée wears her hair down long and straight too (though Se-ri could use a hairbrushing), so what would villagers make of her?
Yolette: Runaway conman still seems to be a waste of space in this drama. I wonder at what point he will become relevant?
Robin: I was surprised at how entitled he felt to talk down to someone who clearly was not just an average military lackey type, just because he was paying to stay in North Korea and this officer was in on the scam. I thought it was interesting that neither he nor Se-ri really have much awareness of NK, just a short hour’s drive north of Seoul, and all the news that comes out of that country about the lives of its people and the regime, but then I have read that many people in SK just aren’t as concerned about things as people outside are, like they’ve become inured to it all. Interesting too that with the proximity of Seoul to the border that the possibility of her being carried that way doesn’t even make a blip on their mental radars. BTW, it looks like the only person who really still cares is the guy who sold her life insurance.