In this episode…
The real fiancée makes her presence known, angers the village women with her attitude, and we get a pretty clear picture that Jung-hyuk’s going along with the engagement out of duty, putting up with a ridiculous late-night dinner with the future MIL but not much else. During his absence, the women bring booze to commiserate with Se-ri and they bond over her tale of a love facing obstacles. Se-ri is offered another plan to get home, one that will cause Jung-hyuk problems though he denies it; it requires a passport so a makeunder, NK style, happens, and Se-ri pawns an key item. The State Security LC Cho continues being suspicious and looking for ways to trap Jung-hyuk, and Jung-hyuk looks for ways to repay the favor. Finger hearts are given and pouts are pouted, and a train trip to Pyongyang meets with a lengthy delay.
Yolette: Really, our boy’s efforts were bordering on pathological during the train ride. Our heroine didn’t even have to ask him for anything, just mention it in passing and he’s off to go get it! It’s getting more and more bizarre! And where does he finally draw the line and say no? Getting a picture together. He doesn’t want a memento, he says. It makes me think he already HAS one from that time on the bridge. What a weird thing to balk at.
Robin: He was definitely paying close attention to what she was saying on that bridge, the whole time Dan is trying to catch his attention and remind him that they are supposed to be getting to know one another. He’s all “yeah, yeah, I hear you,” while Dan’s doing her quiet “pay attention to me!” thing, but he was watching and listening to Se-ri as if Dan was made of glass. He might not have a photo of her from that particular moment, but I agree that he might very well have others from that Swiss interlude. And… just wondering… if Jung-hyuk took over soldiering after his brother’s death to please his father, could Dan be another responsibility that he inherited? Could she have originally been planned to be his brother’s wife?
The whole train ride sequence was like some sort of glam-travel in the 3rd world travelogue — how quaint the singing vendors are! How resourceful the country folk are! How cozy the campfires are! But I wondered if the breakdown was planned so those country folk would have an opportunity to make some money (if such a thing were to really happen).
Yolette: That said I laughed myself sick during this episode. The ladies gathering to commiserate after they met the real fiancee–they were so angry on her behalf!! Learning all the new ways to say bitch! And the drunken village watchwoman screeching at the General’s wife, “Do you really love him? He’s just an old raccoon!” while being bodily carried away! Our hero’s fulminating pout and bed kick after Se Ri sends finger hearts to all of his crew. OMG, I can’t! Hahahaha!! He thought he was special. And his FACE when she tells him she has MULTIPLE men waiting for her and crying over her disappearance in South Korea, hahaha. Down with that “Capitalist love!”
Robin: A moving picture worth a thousand words!
I thought this little bit was hilarious, and while he’s so Hyun Bin, he still managed to make me laugh at his pouty, pouty face!
The bonding session was fun, and it really cemented in my mind how Se-ri is really a survivor. Those ladies don’t know Romeo and Juliet? Well they do know the old folktales, and so does Se-ri. She is upset that her watch isn’t worth anything but it’s weight value in NK, until she sees a guy pawning his belt. How poor do you have to be to pawn a belt? I like the way the women have taken her to their bosom and man, each one of them is a little scene stealer in her own way.
Yolette: Does he really not realize that he likes her? It seems obvious that he does, but then why go out of his way to warn her that he already has a fiancée and not to catch feelings for him? But also, SCREAMING LAUGHING that he tells her confidently that his fiancee won’t show up and ruin his lies, turns the corner and there she is!! LOL! Ouch!
On this note, it seems that our heroine “negs” him a lot, asserting that he’s not that smart, that he’s not respected, that he has no power, etc. (I’m posting the definition from Google: Negging is an act of emotional manipulation whereby a person makes a deliberate backhanded compliment or otherwise flirtatious but negative remark to another person intended to undermine their confidence and increase their need of the manipulator’s approval.) I find it is an interesting device being used by the writer in this drama, especially in light of our hero’s eagerness to please her. Is the writer deliberately staging this relationship as such, or is it just happening that way unintentionally?
Robin: I don’t know that it’s intentional on Se-ri’s part; she’s just formulated that opinion based on what the Company 5 boys told her because neither they, nor the villagers know that he’s politically connected and apparently from elite wealth (an OSTRICH as a security alarm at his parents’ home?!) and she’s saying these things to him as a way of saying, “I know you face challenges, you’re not doing all that well, but I’m okay with that and I’ll help you too if I can as a way to say thank you (and I don’t judge you for it either.)”
Having Dan show up (and girl, you are not going to get a man to fall for you if you stand there like an ice princess) just as Jung-hyuk so confidently says that he’s not going to get busted was a predictable moment, but enjoyable nonetheless. The bit I enjoyed the most though was Se-ri saying she was going to ‘head off home’ and he hustles after her to catch her and say that his home is hers (don’t go running off to some other place in the dark where you could get lost and run into trouble without me here to protect you). Oh yes, he’s interested!
Yolette: Finally Se Ri and the con man run into each other! I love that she saw right through him at first glance. Even he had to respect that about her. Now our hero has something he can really get jealous over! Rrowr.
Robin: I’m disliking Gu Seung-jun quite a lot, but then I guess that we’re supposed to — but he’s another survivor, it seems. Maybe because Se-ri has toughened herself up to survive her painful past she’s become an expert at sizing up the panderers and sycophants, but it was gratifying to see her tell him to take a hike after taking a ‘sip’ from her brother (that sip being a couple of billion, it seems). In the few scenes we’ve had with him, it seems like Gu Seung-jun is the less attractive flip-side of Se-ri; taking and expecting and charming to get his way, without any sort of compunction.
Yolette: Imma go out on a limb and say that after our heroine’s tale of dismay, our hero will at some point go back to reclaim her designer watch to make her happy and he’ll find his brother’s watch at the pawn shop. I wonder why the bad guys are so afraid of it being found. What evidence could it contain?
Robin: Ditto. D’ya think they telegraphed this little detail sufficiently? Sometimes the stories just write themselves, sigh…
But, evidence aside, how proud were y’all that the maknae of the Company 5 boys was smart enough and loyal to figure out that, judging by how long he had to wait to be interrogated by LC Cho, he was the last of them to be visited and therefore the others had said NOTHING. Yay!
Yolette: How sad that our wiretapper still hasn’t grown a spine. He spilled all the goods, still a faithful rat. I feel so bad for his son. Our heroine is surprisingly good with children for a hardened socialite.
Robin: I wonder when his heart will “grow 10 sizes” and he will discover that he has a pair of cojones after all? Knowing he has access to evidence (whatever that watch will tell anyone), knowing that he can be a true and honorable ‘rat’ and turn in LC Cho and possibly higher-ups for murder, knowing his wife likes Se-ri, knowing Se-ri defended his son… what else will it take?
Not only is Se-ri good with children (apparently speaking from her own experience), but there was a little “oof” moment when she tells Jung-hyuk that he will be a good husband and father some day. If he is feeling ‘those kinds of feelings’ for her, knowing he’s sending her away (again, even if whatever was in his recollection of their past in Switzerland may have been one-sided, she might also represent the life he sacrificed as well as someone who touched his heart) has to sting.
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